UPCOMING:         Souped Up at Gallery TPW, Toronto        /         YTB at Momentum 12 in Moss, Norway

Marsya Maharani


Detail image of an installation of rejection letters received by the curators and artists involved in the exhibition An Index. The image depicts two rejection letters printed in black ink on yellow papers. Letters were issued by the Canada Council for the Arts and CAFKA 2.0, with the personal information of the applicants redacted. Photo by Yuula Benivolski.

I am an Indonesian independent curator and researcher working exclusively in collaboration with others - including as part of Younger Than Beyoncé (with Geneviève Wallen, Marjan Verstappen, and Michael “Humboldt” Magnussen) and Gendai (with Petrina Ng). Informed by my position as an immigrant and settler, my projects explore experimentation in learning, working, and playing together to nourish diverse ways of thinking, specifically in relation to issues of equity. This is reflected in recent and ongoing collaborative projects that test models of collective knowledge and resource-sharing, such as between majority-BIPOC art collectives exploring operational methodologies to address burn out (Gendai MA MBA: Mastering the Art of Misguided Business Administration); racialized curators and cultural workers navigating predominantly white institutional spaces (Souped Up, with Geneviève Wallen); BIPOC art workers seeking to imagine “off-ramps” from the linear expressway of traditional, capitalist, and institutional career progression in the arts (Gendai CO-OP); and emerging arts practitioners interested in co-learning virtually (Cyber Fellows, with YTB). I have written for Xpace Cultural Centre, CMagazine (with Petrina Ng), and the anthology The Politics of Spatial Transgressions in the Arts, edited by Gregory Blair & Noa Bronstein (with Geneviève Wallen).

I am pursuing SSHRC-funded doctoral research at York University to explore practices of collective care and radical friendship as grounds for institutional structure, work culture, and labour practices. I hold an MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University and a BA in Art History from the University of Toronto. My past institutional experiences include working as the Exhibitions Coordinator at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and as the Assistant Curator at Sheridan College, as well as serving on the board of SAVAC. I was selected as a Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab Fellow.

I am living, working, learning, and raising a family in Tkaronto/Toronto, on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, as well as the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat.

Can I ask you questions about the failure in white dominant culture, sustainable collaboration, alternative hierarchical governance models,diversity work, radical friendship, and ways of being with one another? Do you want to think out loud over (virtual) dinners, reading groups, co-working days, studio visits, walks, hang outs....?

Let’s be friends.