Yasmeen Kanaan: Empathy/Empathie


Curated by AHGSA's Special Project Coordinators, Maegan Gaudette and Michelle Sones, working in tandem with exhibition designer Yasmeen Kanaan, this Virtual Vitrine Exhibition features six artists who are working with themes of tenderness, compassion, remembrance, and nostalgia. All artists examine the limits and potentials of intentional empathy through various media. A special thanks to these creatives, both within and outside of the Concordia community, including Ayla Dmyterko, Imogen Rennie, Hannah Evans, Amber Morrison, Xiao Han, and Shazia Ahmad (who graciously allowed us to use her artwork, Transition Soliloquy, for the exhibition's poster).

We are delighted to share with you this virtual exhibition via the following link. This Exhibition has been created via a collaboration between Concordia's Art History Virtual Vitrine and Concordia's 15th Annual Art History Graduate Conference.

Curatorial statement:
"What potentials do intentional or practiced empathy hold? Empathy encapsulates a generative force that exposes our relational ties to others, highlighting that we are dependent upon our greater social and environmental contingencies. In this, we are influenced greatly by our pasts and often hold a great amount of tenderness and consideration for our histories, both collective and individual. Such inquiry holds the potential to enliven and uncover truths, bridging narratives with the subjectivities of lived experiences, noting while resituating memories that have been lost, dismissed, spoken-for, or forgotten.

The artists curated in this exhibition engage with intentional empathy in a variety of ways, approaching the potentials that lie within profound feeling, unabashed emotion, and self-reflection. These modes of inquiry can bridge and fasten histories that expand beyond a singular temporal, geographical, or spatial realm, encouraging remembrance, appreciation, and above all, preservation – platonically, romantically, medically, and culturally. Additionally, implied are one’s intentions behind their intellectual, artistic, and emotional engagement, displaying inhibitions, anticipations, or fears while simultaneously exposing the positives of hopefulness and deliberate, and oftentimes critical, nostalgia.

Through these artists' various artistic lenses, legacies of attachment, compassion, and the greater possibilities of connectivity are exposed between both human and non-human others. While empathy does have tangible limitations, these artists employ dialogues that suggest memory as a powerful tool that may be used for the betterment of self and others – revealing the harmonious and untethered potentials intrinsically embedded into empathy, care, and acts of compassion."

Curatorial statement written by Maegan Gaudette, 2nd year Art History MA student.

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