Objects of Affection | Panel Discussion


Presented in conjunction with Koffler Gallery exhibition Esther Shalev-Gerz.

While interviewing museum conservators & historians for her recent project, The Gold Room, artist Esther Shalev-Gerz observed that the framework of their profession seemed to bind them to a strict adherence to factual information when asked to interpret objects from the collection. Imaginative and speculative forms of interpretation are still often disregarded in traditional museum methodologies, even though they are intrinsic to the experience of art. In response, this conversation brings together a visual artist, a museum conservator, a poet & a psychic to explore the potential role of imagination, psychometry and intuitive methods in interpreting museological artifacts & collections. Discussing alternative ways of accessing knowledge, Sameer Farooq, Lisa Ellis, Jared Stanley & Kimberly Rose examine the possibilities offered by new technologies & different ways of thinking in expanding museum practices towards a more inclusive and democratic outlook.

LISA ELLIS | Lisa has been the Conservator, Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Art Gallery of Ontario since 2017. She was the technical lead for the AGO’s groundbreaking exhibition Small Wonders (2016-17), a partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art & the Rijksmuseum. The technical analysis of the AGO’s Thomson Collection of early 16th century miniature boxwood objects utilized micro CT scanning & Advanced 3D Analysis software (ORS). The scans were used with great success to allow viewers to understand & experience these tiny sculptures through animations & “The VR Experience: Small Wonders.”

SAMEER FAROOQ | Sameer is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist whose work aims to create community-based models of participation & knowledge production in order to re-imagine a material record of the present. He investigates tactics of representation & enlists the tools of installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing & the methods of anthropology to explore various forms of collecting, interpreting, & display. The result is often a collaborative work that counterbalances how dominant institutions speak about our lives: a counter-archive, new additions to a museum collection, or a buried history made visible.

KIMBERLY ROSE | Kimberly is a Mohawk Shaman, clairvoyant psychic medium, spiritual psychologist, soul-talker as well as gifted in the world of healing. She has been doing readings for the public all over the world since 2004 with an accuracy rate above 95%, & has given lectures/teaching tours in the great white northern towns. Rose considers that her purpose in life is to help heal the living by connecting them to their souls when need be, as well as to loved ones on the other side.

JARED STANLEY | Jared is a Reno-based poet, writer & artist whose primary interest is in the intersection of lyric poetry, the history of landscape & land use, & the vernacular, ever shifting ground of English as it changes due to immigration, environment, & technology. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Ears, The Weeds, & Book Made of Forest, which won the 2009 Crashaw Prize for poetry. His collaborative artwork has shown widely in California and Nevada.