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Public Curator Talk by Mariam Zulfiqar | part of At the Transit Bar: An International Visiting Curators Series

Co-presented by the Art Gallery of York University and the Bentway:

A Public Curator Talk by Mariam Zulfiqar
Wednesday, May 29, 6 to 7 p.m.
In-person at the Bentway Studio (55 Fort York Blvd, facing Canoe Landing Park)

A tour of the Bentway’s current exhibition, Softer City, will precede the talk from 5 to 6 p.m., beginning at the Bentway Skate Trail (250 Fort York Blvd.)

We are excited to launch At the Transit Bar: An International Visiting Curator Series with a public talk by Mariam Zulfiqar, director of Artangel, London, U.K. Zulfiqar’s curatorial focus delves into the complexities of public spaces, questioning notions of “public” and “space” in relation to democracy, politics and identity formation. She collaborates closely with artists to explore alternative connections and perspectives, often engaging in long-term projects that challenge ideological and conceptual boundaries, self-discovery and interpersonal relationships.

For this talk, Zulfiqar will present her forthcoming curatorial program Hobby Cave, a colossal project by London-based artist and filmmaker Hetain Patel. Hobby Cave is presented by Artangel in collaboration with 13 art organizations across the U.K., collecting and presenting lovingly made and used objects produced across far-reaching communities to showcase the creativity and dedication of hobbyists.

Zulfiqar is the first visiting curator for At the Transit Bar, a program bringing 10 prominent international curators to Toronto over two years to support curatorial research and to further propel Toronto’s contemporary arts and cultural scenes into a global network of artists, curators and art institutions. Each visiting curator will give a public talk on their research, conduct studio visits with local artists and host a curatorial workshop for emerging curators. AGYU has partnered with 10 Toronto arts organizations to host each curator and present the talks in various locations across the city. We are thrilled to partner with the Bentway in presenting this public talk by Mariam Zulfiqar.

*The title of this series refers to Vera Frenkel’s multi-channel video installation … from the Transit Bar (documenta IX, 1992), drawing from this seminal artwork’s expression of movement and its embodiment as a meeting point.

For more information on the AGYU, email
For press inquires, contact Michael Maranda,
For information on location and the Bentway, email

Mariam Zulfiqar is primarily interested in commissioning art in contexts that challenge conventional practices of display in museums and galleries. She has an extensive history of academic and professional mentorship both in the U.K. and abroad, including guest lectures at the Royal College of Art, U.K.; McGill University in Canada; and the National College of Art in Pakistan.
She was instrumental in the development of projects and programs for Art in the Underground from 2010-15 in London, commissioning and presenting artworks in the city-wide public transport system. Zulfiqar was invited to provide her insights on the complex role for artists in making public art on public transit by the City of Markham in 2020. Prior to joining Artangel, she led the art program for Forestry England.

The Bentway (est. 2018) leads a creative movement to reimagine the possibilities of Toronto’s downtown elevated highway, the Gardiner Expressway. As a new type of public space and programming platform, the organization is dedicated to exploring the city as site, subject and canvas. The Bentway firmly positions its creative partners at the centre of urban change, working with artists, designers and educators to present free public art interventions, performances, learning and recreational programs.

At the Transit Bar is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; and the Toronto Arts Council, with the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund, U.K., and Partners in Art, Toronto. Our core operations are supported by York University.


May 29 2024


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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