Image still from Family Matters, 2017
In their engaging Afrofuturist video and sound installation Family Matters (2017), Camille Turner and Camal Pirbhai invite visitors to encounter silences haunting Canadian history. Realized during a residency with Charles Street Video, the work was inspired by an advertisement posted in the Upper Canada Gazette in February, 1806 by Peter Russell, an administrator in Upper Canada, offering Peggy Pompadour and her son Jupiter for sale. The mother and son are two of the enslaved people that Russell legally claimed as his property. In Family Matters Peggy and Jupiter travel through time to visit contemporary Toronto, where their plight illuminates the ongoing co-constitution of past and present. Like the earlier series Wanted (2016), Family Matters humanizes the enslaved people described in historical advertisements by challenging linear constructions of history—opening up the past to unexpected futurities.
Family Matters, installed at McIntosh Gallery in Futurisms curated by Adam Lauder, September-October 2017
Peggy: Camille Turner
Jupiter: Rajean Hoilett
Composer: Ravi Naimpally
Audio Recording Engineer: David Travers-Smith
DOP/Editor: Jalani Morgan
Camera Operator/Motion Graphics Designer: Juan Angel
Gaffer: Q’mal Labad-Workman
Welder: Dawson Calvert
Many thanks to: Charles Street Video, Jovana Pirbhai, Heidi Pirbhai, Luka Prince Pirbhai, Natasha Douglas and Memengwaans Isaac-Sands.