Open Call For Artists

Information

The Critical Design Lab, in collaboration with Tangled Art+Disability and the Doris McCarthy Gallery, invites disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, and Sick artists to submit works on/about #CripRitual.

Call open: January 6, 2020

Deadline for submission of proposals for artwork: April 1, 2020

Exhibition dates: January-April 2021

Exhibition location: Tangled Art+Disability and The Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Simple English Summary and ASL

Call for Art Works

Exhibition Details

Submit Your Work

About Us

Simple English Summary and ASL:

[Image description: Video screen capture of an ASL interpreter. They look at the screen with a focused expression and hold their hands up to make two facing L shapes]

Disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, and Sick people face a lot of barriers and stigma. One way that we deal with these barriers is through rituals. Rituals can be things that we do to create accessibility, mark important moments, or to be in community with others who have similar experiences. What kind of rituals do you have in your life that help to deal with barriers and stigma? How do they make life better? How do they bring you together with your community? 

We invite art to be part of a show called #CripRitual. The exhibition invites work from disabled artists. The art work could be about:

-Rituals that manage how people who are not disabled see you

-Rituals of self-care

-Rituals to create access

-Rituals to create a better world

-Rituals of celebration and joy

The show will be at two art galleries in the city of Toronto: Tangled Art + Disability, Toronto & the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough from January to March 2021. During that time there will also be an academic meeting for people to talk about crip ritual that will end with an accessible dance party. 

If you have art to submit to this art show, please send it in using the form. We will look at all of the ideas that people send in and pick some of them to be part of the art show.

We care about access. If your art is selected we will ask you to come to an online workshop in May 2020. In this workshop we will work with you and the other artists in the show to make your art accessible. This might mean captioning video art, or writing an audio description of a photograph or other ways of making art accessible. 

If you have questions please email us at criticaldesignlab@gmail.com. If this application is inaccessible for you, we will be glad to work out a better way to communicate.

Call for Art Works

Rituals are transformative: they change us and the world around us, whether through incantation or ceremony, private practice or public protest. Academic theories of ritual hold that rituals are embedded in cultural worlds, and that all cultures have rituals of world-building. With the phase “crip ritual,” we put these theories in conversation with disability culture, as understood by disability justice movements and disability studies. This exhibition will gather together artworks that use ritual to foreground understandings of disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, and Sick people’s experiences. #CripRitual highlights strategies for building crip power: the ceremonies, habits, celebrations, design practices, social scripts, and community agreements, grounded in disabled knowledge and experience, that undergird disability culture. 

By invoking the word “ritual,” we are referring to crip cultural traditions that center disability as valuable. Alison Kafer writes, for instance, about the moment of being fitted for a new wheelchair as a rite of passage. She crips a formerly-medicalized event by reframing it as a ritual marking the temporalities of crip life. We can also imagine other crip rituals marking the life cycle: rituals for retiring old prosthetic devices, for receiving new hearing aid molds, for venting frustration when access is denied. #CripRitual thus adds nuance to existing academic theories of ritual. Classically, anthropologists define rituals as prescribed action that bring people together to recognize a change in social status through references to shared cultural symbols and an appeal to a higher power (the higher power in this sociological definition may be spiritual, performative, political, or administrative). Feminist activists use the word “ritual” in a different but related way, to recognize processes that harness intentional transformative potential: ecofeminist writer and activist Starhawk, for example, devises rituals for planting, harvesting, making compost, and caring for community during activist convergences. 

In this call for art, and in the intended exhibition, artworks depict or create rituals that refer to shared experiences of disability culture. In bringing together this exhibition we seek to make apparent the shared cultural meanings circulating in crip communities. The exhibition recognizes crip rituals as processes and events geared toward building power, strategies for surviving ableism that may be secular, spiritual, or in-between.

We imagine five general categories of crip rituals, that may assist in developing proposals for work:

-Rituals of managing the normate’s perception of difference

-Rituals of access

-Rituals of care / self-care

-Rituals of activism

-Rituals of joy and celebration

Examples of crip ritual may critique the imperative to be well and able-bodied, or, revel in the virtuosities that crip bodies hone to make a home in the world. Crip ritual refuses normative hierarchies of authority and expertise in favor of  situated knowledge, of crip expertise. Crip ritual activates collective care networks, mobilizes disability arts aesthetics, and articulates iterative re-imaginings of crip futures. Crip ritual supports bodyminds. Crip ritual puts bodies on the line and enact protest. 

Through this exhibition, the Critical Design Lab, in collaboration with Tangled Art Gallery and the Doris McCarthy Gallery, seeks to create a living archive of #CripRituals. This archive will bring together artworks that attend to the ceremonial practices, vernacular designs, and transformative strategies through which disability culture makes crip life livable. 

Exhibition details

The exhibition will be anchored by the installation of selected artworks in a physical gallery space in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). The physical exhibition will be complimented by a digital archive of crowdsourced examples of #CripRitual described by audiences on social media. This crowdsourced collection of crip rituals will be projected on the gallery wall, and gallery goers will have the opportunity to contribute their own descriptions or documentations of crip rituals to the archive in real time.

The exhibition will take place at Tangled Art + Disability, Toronto & the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, January-March 2021, in conjunction with an academic Symposium on Crip Ritual and a Crip Nightlife Party.

Artists whose work is selected for the exhibition will receive artists fees commensurate with typical rates for the hosting galleries. Transportation and installation of artwork will be supported by the curatorial collective and collaborating galleries. In some cases, support may be available to subsidize artist travel to attend the opening or other exhibition events.

The Critical Design Lab seeks to revel in and elevate the ritual of negotiating access needs. In this spirit, as part of the development of the #CripRitual exhibition, Critical Design Lab will work with artists to develop accessible work. Artists whose work is accepted to the exhibition will be required to participate in a design charrette workshop to develop multimodal, multisensory access elements for their artwork in collaboration with Critical Design Lab and gallery staff, tentatively scheduled for May 2020.  

Submit Your work

Submissions are now closed. Please continue to participate on social media at #CripRitual.

Questions? Email us at criticaldesignlab@gmail.com

About Us

The Critical Design Lab is a collective of disabled, crip, and neuroqueer maker-theorists and allies. Our lab creates public-facing projects rooted in a critical design practice informed by disability culture and science and technology studies. The lead curators for this exhibition are Jarah Moesch, Aimi Hamraie, and Cassandra Hartblay, in collaboration with our colleagues at Tangled Art+Disability and the Doris McCarthy Gallery.

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