The Fabulatory Function of the Curatorial

You are warmly invited to the CCST public lecture, The Fabulatory Function of the Curatorial, to be held on Tuesday, November 24 at 5:15pm PST. This event is hosted by the Critical and Curatorial Studies program at UBC.

The Fabulatory Function of the Curatorial
A public lecture by Emelie Chhangur

5:15p.m., Tuesday, November 24, 2020
This event is free and open to the public.
Please register for the talk at:


Considering the larger concept of “curating on a continuum,” Chhangur simultaneously looks backwards and forwards with a view of her practice as a portal of multi-directional transformation and change. Considering key projects along the way—in particular those staged at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) in Toronto—and how they informed her concept of In-Reach, she turns her attention to thinking about In-Reach as a curatorially-engaged practice that has bearing on her upcoming work at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. If at AGYU, Chhangur conceived of her work in institutional transformation as an artist’s project, at Agnes, she considers her directorship as a curatorial one. Underlining this thinking is a true belief in the fabulatory nature of artistic practice and its ability to have real consequence on social imaginaries, institutional structures, and cultural traditions. Here we consider the curatorial as a medium whose forces are relational and whose material encompasses the entire apparatus of institutional mattering—from its civic function to its social role—all of which is also operating along a continuum and can always thus be subject to transformation and change.

Emelie Chhangur is a curator, writer, and an artist. She is the newly appointed Director and Curator of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. This appointment follows a significant curatorial career at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). At AGYU, she led the reorientation of the gallery to become a civic, community-facing, ethical space driven by social process and intersectional collaboration, she founded the gallery’s residency program, and she received 25 OAAG awards for her contributions in writing, publishing, exhibition-making, and public and education programming.

Distinguishing herself as a cultural worker dedicated to questioning the social and civic role of the public institutions of art, Chhangur has developed a curatorially-engaged approach to working across cultural, aesthetic, and social differences through a practice she calls “in-reach”—a concept that has since transformed engaged institutional practice in the arts across Canada. In 2019, she won the Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ inaugural BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Changemaker Award and in 2020, she won the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence. She holds a Master of Visual Studies from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

This visit is made possible by the generous support of the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies.