Take Care

Labour of Curation
September 11–30, 2017

Care Work
October 16–November 4, 2017

Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid
November 20–December 9, 2017

January 8–27, 2018

Collective Welfare

February 12–March 11, 2018

Curated by Letters & Handshakes

Download the Take Care macropublication featuring overviews of each exhibition circuit, a curatorial statement by Letters & Handshakes, and full colour illustrations throughout.

Tania Willard, Basket Rescue Operation (talking to Peter Morin and remembering Dana Claxton's talk for the BCMA in Whistler) from the series Only Available Light, 2016.
Courtesy the artist and grunt gallery.

#callresponse | Amelia Abreu | Yasmeen Nematt Alla | Art Metropole | Lise Haller Baggesen and Deirdre M. Donoghue | Beverly Bain | Alana Bartol | Christi Belcourt | Amber Berson and Juliana Driever | Anthea Black | Cherish Violet Blood | Marc Böhlen | Denise Booth McLeod | Lisa Busby | CareForce | Jill Carter | Cevan Castle | The Center for Parenting Artists | Circo Zero | Claire Fontaine | Joshua Clover | Nicole Cohen | Aylan Couchie | Cynthia Cranford | Marcia Crosby | Cultural Workers Organize | Thirza Cuthand | Dames Making Games | Beatrice Deer | Erika DeFreitas | Dillon de Give | Kay Dickinson | Steven Eastwood | The Element Choir | EMILIA-AMALIA | Lauren Fournier | Frog in Hand | Mercy Gichuki | Declan Gould | Maggie Groat | Karina Griffith | k.g. Guttman | Tea Hadžiristić | Nasrin Himada | Tarah Hogue | Home Affairs with Ozlem Ozkal | Sheena Hoszko | Maria Hupfield | Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-) | Jakob Jakobsen | Ursula Johnson | Kwentong Bayan Collective | Nicole Laliberte | Michelle LaVallee | Carolyn Lazard | Yaniya Lee | Leisure (Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley) | Cheryl L’Hirondelle | Deborah Ligorio | Hermenio Lima | LoVid | Paul Maheke | Terrill Maguire | Robyn Maynard | Isaac Murdoch | Lisa Myers | Wanda Nanibush | Esther Neff and IV Castellanos | Petrina Ng | Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn | Lindsay Nixon | Kris Noakes | Matthew-Robin Nye | Onaman Collective | Pinky Paglingayen | Shani K Parsons | M. NourbeSe Philip | Coman Poon | Precarious Workers Brigade | Radiodress | Raju Rage | Sheharyar Raza | Helena Reckitt | Kerri-Lynn Reeves | Jeff Reinhardt | Ian Roderick | Jamie Ross | Christina Rousseau | Zoë Schneider | Shane Aslan Selzer | Sarah Sharma | Amie Siegel | David Harris Smith | Juliana Spahr | Rosary Spence | Danielle St-Amour | Kara Stone | Lena Suksi | Tanya Tagaq | Pelin Tan | Kaitlin Tremblay | Eve Tuck | Evan Tyler | Joshua Vettivelu | Justice Walz | Boo Watson | Jessica Lynn Whitbread | Tania Willard | Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory | Susan Wolf | Fan Wu | Laura Yuile | Frauke Zeller | Alize Zorlutuna

Project Statement

Because care is not a domestic question but rather a public matter and generator of conflict.
- Precarias a la Deriva

Encompassing a five-part exhibition series, performances, publications, and workshops, Take Care follows a 2016 group exhibition, curated by Letters & Handshakes, at the Blackwood Gallery. That exhibition, I stood before the source, featured artists confronting the aesthetic problem of representing contemporary capitalism, and concluded with this impulse: to imagine a “shift from the metrics of accumulation to the requirements of care as an ordering principle of social relations.” [1] Immediately, however, this statement encounters the “crisis of care,” [2] the problematic within, against, and beyond which Take Care mobilizes more than 100 artists, activists, curators, and researchers.

Anatomizing the crisis of care and its systemic underpinnings, Take Care pushes back against both the low cultural visibility of care work and the prevailing extractivist attitude toward care, which, as Nancy Fraser puts it, treats care, like nature, as a free, infinite resource—a logic to which this project’s title signals. [3] Rather than take care for granted, we embark on this project as a transdisciplinary inquiry into care, setting out to explore care’s heterogeneous and contested meanings, practices, and sites, as well as the political, economic, and technological forces currently shaping care. Although we strive to elevate care, the intention is not to position care as a cure or panacea or even as benign: care involves relations of power in which concern and control, empathy and exhaustion, dependence and interdependence, the systemic and the intimate, responsibility and obligation are entangled.

The exhibition series’ political proposition, kept in play throughout, pivots on care as a possible nodal point among actions, struggles, and visions that “re-place” care “as an arche of human existence and of social relations.” [4] In its organizing strategies, Take Care strives to take on the challenges posed by its program: to rethink affective dimensions of (curatorial) labour; decentre individual authorship; profile radical communities of care; reallocate cultural and institutional resources; cut through apathy and empathy; practice collective resiliency; respect existing initiatives and historical precedents; and generate new bonds. Take Care is, in short, a connective project.


Download the full preliminary project statement.



[1] Letters & Handshakes, “I stood before the source,” I stood before the source (Mississauga: Blackwood Gallery, 2016), 32.
[2] Nancy Fraser, “Contradictions of Capital and Care,” in New Left Review 100 (2016): 99-117, and “Capitalism’s Crisis of Care: A Conversation with Nancy Fraser”, in Dissent Fall (2016): 30-37.
[3] Fraser, “Capitalism’s Crisis of Care,” 91.
[4] Precarias a la Deriva, “A Very Careful Strike - Four Hypotheses,” trans. Franco Ingrassia and Nate Holdren, in The Commoner, no. 11 (2006): 41.

Exhibition Circuits

The exhibitions, performances, publications, and workshops comprising Take Care are organized around five circuits of care:

Labour of Curation
September 11–30, 2017

Recalling the etymology of curate (curare: “to take care of”), Labour of Curation views cultures of work and interaction in art institutions through a care lens, and reflects on art’s implication in, rather than detached observation of, the crisis of care.

Habits of Care
Curated by Helena Reckitt
Lisa Busby, Claire Fontaine, Deborah Ligorio, Paul Maheke, Raju Rage, Amie Siegel, Laura Yuile


Care Work
October 16–November 4, 2017

Traversing care as a social gesture, a job, and a political site, Care Work presents counter-narratives of the provision of care, care workers’ struggles, and caring labour’s transformation through colonialism, marketization, migration, and technology.

k.g. Guttman, Hands become Ears

Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-), CareForce

Kwentong Bayan Collective (Althea Balmes + Jo SiMalaya Alcampo), In Love and Struggle

Onaman Collective, Land and Water Protectors

The Let Down Reflex
Curated by Amber Berson and Juliana Driever
Lise Haller Baggesen & Deirdre M. Donoghue, Cevan Castle, Dillon de Give, Home Affairs with Ozlem Ozkal, Leisure, LoVid, Jacqueline Hoáng Nguyễn, Shani K Parsons, Kerri-Lynn Reeves, Shane Aslan Selzer


Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid
November 20–December 9, 2017

Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid turns to support structures and collaborative practices beyond institutional spaces that are conventionally associated with care, such as hospitals and long-term residential care facilities, to consider care as a disposition, a system of reciprocity, a radical act, and an elusive goal within communities of art and activism alert to the challenge of sustainability.

The Sustenance Rite
Curated by Lauren Fournier
Anthea Black, Thirza Cuthand, Erika DeFreitas, Petrina Ng, Zoë Schneider, Kara Stone, Evan Tyler, Justice Walz, Jessica Lynn Whitbread

Radiodress, MKV: Credit River Immersion

Circo Zero, Turbulence (a dance about the economy)


January 8–27, 2018

Stewardship decentres the isolated individual as the privileged recipient or scene of care, and forefronts “epistemically-diverse” conceptions and collective practices of care that centre upon relationships to land, territory, and nonhumans.

Curated by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield, and Tania Willard
Christi Belcourt, Marcia Crosby, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff and IV Castellanos, Tanya Tagaq, Tania Willard, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory


Collective Welfare
February 12–March 11, 2018

Engaging spaces of the welfare state as contested sites of differentially distributed care, Collective Welfare confronts tensions between institutional bounds and autonomous practices of denying, circulating, or centring care in social relations.

Steven Eastwood, The Interval and the Instant

Sheena Hoszko, Correctional Service Canada Accommodation Guidelines: Mental Healthcare Facility

Carolyn Lazard, In Sickness and Study


The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.



The Blackwood Gallery is grateful for additional support for Take Care from the Department of Visual Studies (UTM); Jackman Humanities Institute; McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology; MidAtlantic Arts Foundation; Outreach, Conference and Colloquia Fund (Office of the VP Research, UTM); SSHRC-funded research project Cultural Workers Organize; University of Toronto Affinity Partners Manulife, TD Insurance, and MBNA; UTM 50 Legacy Fund; and Women and Gender Studies (UTM).

Funding for additional staff support was made possible through the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations program, Department of Canadian Heritage. The Canadian Museums Association administers the program on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage.



Special thanks
The Blackwood Gallery and Letters & Handshakes are indebted to long-term collaboration, mutual aid, and knowledge-sharing amongst our peers and colleagues. For Take Care we send a special thank you to all the artists, curators, and program contributors, as well as the following individuals: Martin Arnold, Ana Barajas, Franco Boni, Emelie Chhangur, Nicole Cohen, Amrita Daniere, Massimo De Angelis, Kaye Francis, Britt Gallpen, Ulli Krull, Brandy Leary, Park McArthur, Gabrielle Moser, Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Kris Noakes, Anu Radha Verma, John Paul Ricco, Danny Russell, Daniella Sanader and Milka Vujnovic, Sarah Sharma, Joan Simalchik, Danielle St-Amour, Bryan Stewart, Alison Syme, Tess Takahashi and Mike Zyrd, Peter Urbanek, Shalon Webber-Heffernan, Alec White, Juliana Zalucky, Constantina Zavitsanos, and the Blackwood Gallery Advisory Board.