About The Author

Lisa Baldissera

Lisa Baldissera has worked in curatorial roles in public art galleries in Western Canada since 1999, including as Senior Curator at Contemporary Calgary (2014–16) and as Chief Curator at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon (2012–14). She was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria from 1999 to 2009, where she produced more than fifty exhibitions of local, Canadian, and international artists. She holds MFAs in Creative Writing (UBC) and Art (University of Saskatchewan) and a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Baldissera has served on contemporary art juries across Canada and internationally, including the Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize (The Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Royal Bank of Canada Canadian Painting Competition, the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards, the Sobey Art Award, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Prix Pierre-Prince-de-Monaco, and as a guest of the British Arts Council outreach program.


Baldissera’s recent curatorial projects at Griffin Art Projects include the solo exhibitions, Stan Douglas: Allegories of the Present and William Kentridge: The Colander, the latter of which was accompanied by an international conference, Worldings, which brought together South African and Canadian artists, curators and activists. Other recent exhibitions have included Person/ne on Arendtian forms of care, citizenship, and personhood and Per Diem: The Gerd Metzdorff Collection. At Contemporary Calgary in 2017, the project UTOPIA FACTORY considered issues of urban planning, monuments, public art and reconciliation in the building of a new art gallery, while WILD: Fabricating a Frontier (with M:ST and Calgary Underground Film Festival) complicated frontier narratives in contested zones and settler colonial contexts. Co-curated with Joanne Bristol, the exhibition extratextual featured over twenty Canadian and international artists who explore how modes of writing, as well as concepts of textuality and narrative, have informed artistic production. Never the Same: what (else) can art writing do? an international symposium co-produced with Bristol on the agencies and futures of art writing was held in Calgary in 2017. Baldissera’s doctoral thesis addressed vulnerability in the public sphere through exhibitions, a short story collection of ficto-critical writing, and the examination of Canadian writers and artist Emily Carr, Billy-Ray Belcourt, and Lisa Robertson, and American writers Chris Kraus, Christina Sharpe, and Claudia Rankine. Baldissera is currently the Director of Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver, B.C.


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