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Rights of Passage: Don Valley Right of Way
Framed digital print on silk
Rights of Passage, a hybrid series of performances and installations, enacts a symbolic daylighting of buried streams, drawing attention to lost riparian zones to consider land use, urban futures, and ecological interdependence. These graphic scores printed on silk accompany an 8-part choral piece and performance video installation. The riparian zone is found along the banks of rivers—a shifting and amorphous line between water and land. Of both ecological and legal significance, the riparian zone within common law traditions primarily addresses the rights of landowners who occupy land adjacent to rivers. Unstated, however, are the implied rights of non-owners to access such rivers and, perhaps more elusive, the rights of rivers to their own courses. As such, riparian responsibilities (as opposed to rights) protect the passage of water over land and the passage of subjects, human or otherwise, along those waterways. When rivers are lost or buried due to development, the riparian zone is only spectrally present. Rights of Passage retraces lost and endangered riparian zones in the Greater Toronto Area, imagining these liminal spaces as points of queer emergence, places where the lines between urban and nature, access and trespass, and human and non-human are blurred.
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