Author: Molly Kay

ROM Special Lecture Offers Insight into the Culture of the Gulf

On November 10, I attended the tenth annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Each year this event strives to encourage and promote civility, empathy, understanding, and awareness of contemporary issues. This year, I had the pleasure of listening to Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation. She spoke about arts, culture, and community in the Emirate of Sharjah. Born in the Emirate of Sharjah, a state in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Al Qasimi is the daughter of the emir. Despite her traditional and conservative upbringing, she has always been...

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“Flesh of the World” exhibit explores the human body in acclaimed campus gallery

UofT students are pretty lucky. Our campus is located in the core of downtown Toronto and we have access to so many artistic and cultural opportunities. However, due to the high volume of external events and exhibits, we often tend to forget about the many exciting things happening right here on campus. In fact, many students are unaware of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and University of Toronto Art Centre that exist at our very own Hart House Student Centre. These establishments feature contemporary Canadian artists, as well as select historical pieces, all year round. Over the past few months, they have showcased a large collective of artists in a very special exhibit called The Flesh of The World, which managed to leave a lingering impression. Inspired by the philosopher Maurive Merleau-Ponty, as well as the 2015 XVII Pan and Parapan American Games, which occurred in Toronto this past summer, The Flesh of The World challenges our preconceived notions about the human body and questions society’s idea of a “normal body.” The compelling questions brought forth are, “What does normal even mean?” and “How can such a standard exist in a society as complex as our own?” This exhibit provides viewers with an inside look at several physical disabilities and conditions along with the ways they limit quotidian functions. The various art media of the exhibit examine the relationship...

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