Fogo Island Dialogues: What is Contemporary?

Barbara Fischer and Nicolaus Schafhausen in Conversation

Thursday, August 25
6:30-8:00 PM
Fogo Island Inn
Everyone welcome


Artists working today employ a rich diversity of media and approaches to engage with our globally connected, technologically mediated and multicultural world. Addressing an array of social and political concerns, such as cultural identity, nationalism, mass migration, and surveillance, are there nonetheless common threads that unify current artistic practise? What constitutes contemporary art today? And what makes contemporary art contemporary? Join Barbara Fischer, Director of the University of Toronto Art Centre, and Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director, Kunsthalle Wien and FIA Strategic Director, for a conversation on our contemporary moment.

Barbara Fischer is the Executive Director/Chief Curator the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (comprised of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre). She held previous curatorial positions at Open Space Gallery, Victoria BC; Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff Centre); the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Power Plant: Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; and directed the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, from 1999-2005. Her curatorial work focuses on contemporary art and its histories, and includes solo exhibitions and publications for major, internationally recognized artists such as Stan Douglas, John Greyson, Tanya Mars, Alain Paiement, FASTWÜRMS, Michael Fernandes, Kelly Mark, Euan Macdonald, Rebecca Belmore, Will Kwan, Ron Terada, Kevin Schmidt, Mark Lewis, Melanie Gilligan, and Bouchra Khalili.

Fischer has curated numerous group exhibitions of Canadian and international artists, and her major projects include the international circulating exhibitions General Idea Editions 1967-1995 (2003-07); Projections (2007); and Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980 (2010-13), among others. She received the 2008 Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art, and curated Mark Lewis’ Cold Morning for the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Additionally, Fischer is Director of the Master of Visual Studies-Curatorial Studies in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.