Recently RWC/MAG submitted a proposal to Crossroads Gallery in Environmental Studies at York University for an exhibit in conjunction with the Feminist Art Conference at OCAD-U and were accepted.
from the proposal:
The Red Wagon Collective (RWC) is a loose knit group of women who do cultural work around the affects of poverty and homelessness in the Junction neighourhood and environs. Currently the main project of the Red Wagon Collective is the Monday Art Group (MAG) at Evangeline Women’s Residence, which is owned and operated by the Salvation Army in the Junction, a gentrifying neighbourhood in Toronto. Women from the neighourhood gather every week with women living at Evangeline to make art. MAG is a space where women work on their own projects, develop skills, make gifts or practical items, share and produce knowledge and spend time with one another, in other words MAG is an informal economic space of affective, knowledge, informational, supportive, resource, and gifting exchanges. The MAG is also a performative space where we push the boundaries of neigbourliness, of social arts, dialogue and resistance.
The Monday Art Group takes place in the institutional context of a women’s homeless shelter in a gentrifying Toronto neighbourhood and includes members from Red Wagon Collective and women living at the shelter. MAG is a space of racialization, class and disability – the theme of the proposed exhibit is social abandonment and community at the intersections of homelessness, Indigeneity, poverty, class, racism, immigration, health, trauma, exclusion. The work’s concern is the agency of those with lived experience in discourses of social justice. MAG gains its outsider art aesthetic from the neoliberal conditions of poverty in which we work.
MAG is the basis to work on collective and multi-directional practice and to do installation projects that intervene in the public space of the neighbourhood and social justice, activist and academic discourses. Our work is the result of a social practice, which refuses to instrumentalize or leave behind the bodies who have created the knowledge and the works presented here. For this proposed exhibit we are engaging an aesthetic based on the lived experience and creativity and conditions of work within marginal spaces, which looks and sounds different than understood contemporary art. The quality of the work relates to the economic and historical condition of the bodies who have produced it. RWC takes interest in the unique expression of those with lived experience of the violence of capitalist/colonial society and puts forward the question of its inclusion, unmediated, in social justice discussions.