SOS: A Story of Survival, Part II – The Body

26 August 2023 to 7 January 2024

Adad Hannah, Amy Smoke, Arjuna Neuman, Bangishimo, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Erik O'Neill, FASTWÜRMS, John Marriott, Kim Dorland, Karine Giboulo, Mary Kavanagh, Paul Roorda, Stephen Andrews, Wendy Coburn, Will Gorlitz, and objects from the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum

Curated by Darryn Doull



SOS: A Story of Survival is a three-part exhibition exploring what survival is, what it looks like and what it means to survive.

For Part II – The Body, issues, frameworks, struggles and successes of local and global significance are brought together. Subjects include the absolute destruction of war and conflict, comfort with death as a way of living more fully, migration, food and housing insecurity, and the raucous collapse of our shared environment. The exhibition is a quietly contemporary project in that it does not pretend to find solutions to these extreme circumstances. We are past all of the tipping points. There is no going back.

Instead, the works and artists gathered together here each propose and embody alternative frameworks, relations and possibilities. These are tools for survival amongst the gently falling ashes gathering on the ground and in our lungs. If we must warm our feet on the fires of the Anthropocene, how might it become possible that the distinct geological change that marks the epoch be inverted to one that is positive, recuperative and community-led? It seems that change takes time, but Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges reminds us: Centuries and centuries and only in the present do things happen. Our generation(s) must contrast our origins and find footfall upon unknown terrain, buoyed by care and mutual aid, so that our 81.1 years of expected corporeal survival are something more than running, relocating and rebuilding from the latest collapse and disaster.

This is a story of survival.

Part I – The Image began the series in 2022 and Part III – The Planet will conclude the series in 2024.

To access the exhibition resource, an essay titled SOS: A Collection of affect, resonance and congruency can be found here




Related Programs

22 September, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Members Preview) and 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Open to Public)
Opening Party with special guest DJ TBA

30 September, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp, with Amy Smoke, Bangishimo and Erik O’Neill 

5 October, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Curator Tour with Darryn Doull

9 November, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Death Café, with Chris Lafazanos
Includes a brief Curator Tour of the exhibition

18 November,
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Artist Talk with Karine Giboulo
2:30 - 4:00 p.m Miniature Figure Workshop with Karine Giboulo 

1 December - 2 December
A Day With(out) Art


This exhibition is supported by the Musagetes Fund, held at Waterloo Region Community Foundation, the Allan Harding MacKay Curatorial Endowment Fund, and the Waterloo Region Arts Fund.



Feature Image: Wendy Coburn, Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest, 2014. Digital video with sound. 36:29 mins. Courtesy of Vtape.      

Top: Land Back Camp, Stories from Land Back Camp (still), 2020. Directed by Erik O’Neill, Amy Smoke and Bangishimo. Digital video with sound. 26:01 minutes. © Land Back Camp.

Bottom: Kim Dorland, Where are all the protest songs? (detail), 2022. Oil on panel, 213.4 x 609.6 cm. Courtesy of the Artist and Patel Brown. Photo by Darren Rigo.