On January 18, 2019, from 6 pm to 9 pm, join us at the SPAO Centre (77 Pamilla St.) for an artist talk and the opening reception of #oreo_liveitwhite, featuring the work of Rah, an Iranian-Canadian artist from the Ottawa/Gatineau region.

A media and performance artist, Rah developed the character of Oreo to address contemporary political issues and to stimulate dialogue surrounding racism and white privilege. In this exhibition, Oreo performs as an Iranian nationalist who erroneously identifies as Aryan. In Iran and among its related diaspora, it is a part of the national discourse of identity that Iranians are Aryans, and this myth is permeated in present-day visual cultural and political discourses. In her new work, Rah uses social apps as a “relational sketchbook” where she performs as Oreo to critically examine nationalism in the digital age by appropriating hashtags, visuals and symbols used by nationalists from around the world. With this exhibition, Rah inspires an urgent consideration of the ethics of engagement on network technologies.

Rah’s exhibition is presented in partnership with the Qu’ART Collective as the first event of their 2019 meta-festival series. As 2019 marks both the 50th anniversary of the first federal legislation to decriminalize gay sex in Canada, and also the 30th Anniversary of a summer of targeted homophobic violence in Ottawa-Gatineau, Qu'ART's year-long collaborative programming aims to broaden LGBTQ2+/ queer artistic activity and to encourage intergenerational knowledge-sharing within our communities.

Rah will present an artist talk at 6 pm, in collaboration with Capital Rainbow Refuge, an organization that works with LGBTQ communities to sponsor sexual minority refugees. Following Rah’s presentation, there will be a reception at 7 pm, with remarks at 7:30 pm.

#oreo_liveitwhite continues until Saturday March 9. It is free and open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays between 12 and 5 pm, or by appointment. The SPAO Centre Gallery is fully accessible.

detail of image by SPAO alumna Celeste Marten

detail of image by SPAO alumna Celeste Marten

Get back in the classroom this winter and register for one of our part-time classes! Lots of our classic offerings are open for registration including Photojournalism and Documentary PhotographyDigital Photography I: FoundationPhotoshop ILightroom ISpeedlite I, Speedlite II and Darkroom I

Beyond the Basics, Digital Post-Production I: Foundation and Digital Printmaking I: Foundation will return this winter, as well as the masterclass Photographic Vision and Language

We're very excited to be offering SEVEN new classes this winter - click here to find out more!

There's something for everyone at SPAO this winter, so register today!