The Figure in the Carpet Sameer Farooq & Mirjam Linschooten

Residence: May 11 - June 14, 2015

Exhibition: June 14 - August 2, 2015

Curated by Christine Shaw

Photos courtesy of the artists
Special Events

Opening Reception
Sunday, June 14, 1 – 3PM
A FREE shuttle bus will depart from Mercer Union (1286 Bloor Street W) at 12:30pm and return for 3:30pm. Artists will be present.

FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday, May 24, 12 – 5pm
The tour starts at Koffler Centre of the Arts at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street) at 12pm and then departs for Blackwood Gallery and Art Gallery of York University. To RSVP, email the Koffler Gallery at or call 647-925-0643 ext 221.

ARTBus Tour
Sunday, June 21, 12 – 5pm
The tour starts at the Ryerson Image Centre (33 Gould St, Toronto) 12noon and then departs for Blackwood Gallery and Oakville Galleries. A $10 donation includes afternoon refreshments by the Trafalgar Brewing Company and Whole Foods Market, Oakville. Seating is limited. To RSVP contact or call 905-844-4402 ext. 24 by Friday, June 19 at 4pm.

Exhibition Statement

The sorrow is in the curtains, the distress is in the vitrine, the pain is in the carpet and on the labels and the shelves, the authority is on the walls. For their exhibition at Blackwood Gallery, Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten take the ethnographic museum as a subject, exaggerating its repeated forms and revealing the “blueprints of distress” of its makers (to borrow from anthropologist Laura Anne Stoler). In Farooq and Linschooten’s treatment of museum display as an aesthetic medium, a complex space of social codes, ideological agendas, and haphazard protocols emerge from the glass. Proposing alternative models of display, this site-specific installation reflects on the ways by which cultural artifacts can be transformed into public knowledge, all the while recognizing that the fingerprints of the institution will always be on the material.


Video interview with the artists Sameer Farooq & Mirjam Linschooten, August 2015.
For a HD version, please click on the Vimeo link above.

Videographer: Michael Dopsa

Artists' Biographies

The interdisciplinary practice of Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten aims to create community-based models of participation and knowledge production in order to re-imagine a material record of the present. They investigate tactics of representation and enlist the tools of installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and the methods of anthropology to explore various forms of collecting, interpreting, and display. The result is often a collaborative work which counterbalances how dominant institutions speak about our lives: a counter-archive, new additions to a museum collection, or a buried history made visible. Their work has been exhibited in various countries, including: Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Recent projects include Faux Guide (Trankat, Morocco), The Museum of Found Objects Toronto (Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada), The Museum of Found Objects Istanbul (Turkish Ministry of Culture, Turkey), Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue (Artellewa, Egypt). 

Sameer Farooq has been awarded several grants from the Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Europe Media Fund as well the President’s Scholarship at the Rhode Island School of Design. He grew up in Canada, studying at McGill University (CAN), the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (NL), and completed his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design (US).

Mirjam Linschooten was named a Fulbright Scholar and was a recipient of the Mondriaan Fund international grant, as well as the European Culture Fund grant. Mirjam grew up the Netherlands where she completed her Bachelor in Graphic Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (NL).

Installation Photos
Opening Reception

Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

This exhibition has benefited from the additional support of the Department of Anthropology (UTM) through the temporary loan of artefacts from the Deborah J. Berg Faunal Collection and FLOR Store – Toronto, 162 Cumberland Ave.

Funding for additional staff support made possible through the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations program, Department of Canadian Heritage. The Canadian Museums Association administers the museum component of the YCW program on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The exhibition is also the culmination of a five-week experimental research residency. As such, the artists
gratefully acknowledge those whose invaluable ideas and efforts informed this project: Kevin Adderley (FLOR); Emily Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Gimmi, Christopher Regimbal (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House); Joel Herman (Art Gallery of Ontario); Marianne Kalich (Greenhouse, Department of Biology, UTM); Pam King (UTM Library); Joanne Massingham (Theatre Erindale, UTM), Chad Nuttall, Beth Spilchuk (Student Housing and Residence Life, UTM); Heather M.-L. Miller, Trevor J. Orchard (“Deborah J. Berg Faunal Collection” of the Department of Anthropology, UTM), Heather Darling Pigat (University
of Toronto Art Centre, St. George); Sarah Quinton (Textile Museum); Lawrence Switzky (Department of English and Drama, UTM), UTM Muslim Students Association, Yan Wu, and all others who continue to contribute to this project as it develops.