A Manifesto, A Strategy
As someone who has worked in artist-run culture in various capacities, I am fascinated by the vast contrast in the way people are valued when entering an
institution as an artist or as a staff member. The artist is generally brought in as an external expert, tasked with changing the face of the institution on a temporary
basis. They are often given autonomy, but with the understanding that it is for a very short time only. The worker, however, is tasked with understanding their
place within the established system or hierarchy, and doing only what is asked of them. There is usually little room for independent thought, let alone action. The
lack of trust, independence, and respect that I have felt while working as a staff member in various arts institutions, is ultimately what made me decide that it was
not a viable career path for me in the long term, and instead I decided to focus on my art practice.
BiographiesZinnia Naqvi is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal and Tkaronto/Toronto. Her work examines issues of colonialism, cultural translation, language, and gender through the use of photography, video, writing, and archival material. Recent works have included archival and re- staged images, experimental documentary films, video installations, graphic design, and elaborate still-lives. Her works often invite the viewer to question her process and working methods.
Naqvi’s work has been shown across Canada and internationally. She received an honorable mention at the 2017 Karachi Biennale in Pakistan and was an Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of EMILIA- AMALIA Working Group. She is a recipient of the 2019 New Generation Photography Award organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada in partnership with Scotiabank. She earned a BFA in Photography Studies from Ryerson University and an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University.