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Syrus Marcus Ware: Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches From The Future)

September 11–December 8, 2019
Guest Curators: Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien
Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall
Toronto-based artist Syrus Marcus Ware imagines a world where racialized people have survived the “Black death spectacle” writ large on the nightly news; survived the catastrophic impact of the Anthropocene; and survived the crushing effects of white supremacy. Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art and the RIC, the artist draws on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism to transform the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall into a portal through which the next generation of racialized activists communicate with us, their ancestors, and offer us insights into the future.


Syrus Marcus Ware: Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches From The Future) has been co-commissioned by the Ryerson Image Centre and the Toronto Biennial of Art



Fall Exhibitions Opening Party
Wednesday, September 11 
6 – 8 pm

Tanenbaum Lecture with Syrus Marcus Ware
Wednesday, November 27, 7 pm
Location TBA (check website for details)

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 pm

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted.

Toronto Biennial of Art
Four people standing in a dark room, draped in strands of neon lights
Fig. 1

Syrus Marcus Ware, Dispatches From The Future (still), 2019, multi-channel video. Courtesy of the artist

Artist Bio

Syrus Marcus Ware

In 2017, Syrus Marcus Ware was the recipient of the TD Arts Diversity Award through the Toronto Arts Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2015, he received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. In 2012 he was granted the Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBTQ+ community leadership and activism, the largest award of its kind in Canada. His work has been included in various exhibitions in Canada, including at Open Space, Victoria; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. Ware is a core team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto.

Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches From The Future)