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AGO Artist-in-Residence Program: EMILIA-AMALIA
May 1 – August 4, 2017

Affidamento, or “entrustment,” is one of the most important, and most challenging, practices of 1970s Italian feminism. It asks women to not only acknowledge the disparities between them—in age, experience, and competencies—but to make these differences a generative force in their relationships, allowing them to support, learn from, and urge one another on.

Over the course of a three-month residency at the AGO, EMILIA–AMALIA aims to explore the resonances of relationships of entrustment between artists, curators, and writers, and to experiment with modes of public engagement that activate the productive differences between feminists and to ask how we can want differently together.

The residency will take shape around a series of related activities, including the production of a set of chapbooks that have emerged from the group’s recent programming, “How to Ask a Question”; interventions into the AGO’s library; a free public screening; and guest residencies by emerging feminist artists Oreka James, Camille Rojas, and Shellie Zhang. This new chapter of the group’s activity will investigate gestures of withdrawal, refusal, non-cooperation and abandonment as feminist strategies of resistance.


EMILIA–AMALIA is an exploratory working group based in Toronto that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices. The group is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Yaniya Lee, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Zinnia Naqvi, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions.

Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group investigates historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism, that we have inherited.

EMILIA–AMALIA critically examines how we fit in with these past iterations, and also, how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions. Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively. The group has been meeting monthly in Toronto, and each monthly meeting is structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity. EMILIA–AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.

Signature Partner, AGO Artist Projects

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