Gauri Gill: The Americans, co-presented by SAVAC and Mississauga Central Library

1 May to 31 July 2011

Opening reception: 1 May 2011, 2pm to 4pm, 3rd Floor, Mississauga Central Library

Camera Walk: 1 May 2011, 4pm to 5pm, Celebration Square

Location: Mississauga Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Road West
For library hours visit or call 905-615-3500.
Gauri Gill: The Americans features a series of resonant photographs that explore the contemporary experiences of South Asian communities in the United States of America in a pre- and post-9/11 landscape. Developed during her travels from California to New York between 2000 and 2007 Gill presents an intimate look at the interior worlds, often populated by family and friends, documenting the tensions between the optimism of their times and the realities of class, race and cultural differences. Gill photographs the diverse South Asian-American communities and individuals engaged in varied activities between sites of labour and pleasure. The prevalence of culturally specific objects, colours, textures, attire, ornaments, artwork and religious icons in Gill’s photographs reflect and celebrate the cultural roots of her subjects, both retaining their traditional signifiers of South Asian identity and merging within a larger American plurality.

Presented in Canada for the first time, this series develops a greater understanding of the South Asian immigrant experience in the US, whilst challenging existing stereotypes. Gill provides an opportunity for viewers to relate to her subjects on a common level, beyond the culturally specific. The resulting colour photographs are simultaneously humorous, poignant, ironic, and beguiling.

“The Americans is an exhibit of powerful photographs and stories of South Asian immigrants in North America. It details the experiences of immigrants, their ventures into different cultural landscapes and the juxtaposition of the competing, and at times complementary, values. It reflects the experience of many immigrants who bring valuable cultural sensibilities, education and talent to Mississauga each year. As a Mississauga “Buzz” event with the International Indian Film Awards, Culture Division hopes to share the dynamic interaction between east and west with the thousands of visitors and residents of the City.”
--Janet Mador, Manager, Arts and Culture Programs, Central Division, Mississauga
"Gauri Gill's photographic series The Americans is still as relevant today as it was when she started working on the series in 2000. It takes as its subject the South Asian Diaspora community and how it has woven a place for itself in North American life. This is perhaps even more relevant to Canada today after a recent 'Statistics Canada' report announced that South Asians will be the largest visible minority in this country in the next decade. Certainly around the GTA, and especially in Mississauga, the South Asian community has become a part of the fabric of Canadian life. Many of us will find the images captured by Gill's keen documentary eye familiar, seeing refractions of them in our everyday lives."
-- Dr. Deepali Dewan, Curator of South Asian Visual Cultures, Royal Ontario Museum

Gauri Gill was born in Chandigarh in 1970. She received her first BFA degree (1992) from Delhi College of Art and her second BFA (1994) from Parsons School of Design in New York. In 2002, she received an MFA in photography from Stanford University, California. Her works have been included in important group exhibitions including 'Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh' (Whitechapel Gallery, London and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland); 'The Self and the Other: Portraiture in Contemporary Indian Photography' (Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona); 'Public Places, Private Spaces' (Newark Museum, New Jersey); 'Shifting Shapes: Unstable Signs' (Yale Art Gallery, Yale University, New Haven); as well as a two person show with Tomoko Yoneda at Lucy Mackintosh Gallery in Lausanne, 'Rememory'. Gauri Gill lives and works in New Delhi.

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre)
401 Richmond St. W., Suite 450
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8


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