January 31 – May 10, 2015
Using performance to embody the detailed descriptions in “runaway slave” and “slave for sale” ads posted by Canadian slaveowners in early newspapers, WANTED presents a embodied archive of slavery. Rather than portraying enslaved people in the past where their lives were constrained by the violence and inhumanity of institutionalized bondage, they are seen in the future spaces of possibility they dreamed about as they set off on their journey towards freedom. At first glance the images appear to be fashion photos but the text on each picture is taken from archival newspaper ads displayed beside them. The video presents Peggy Pompadour with her teenage son Jupiter entering the posh King Edward Hotel. Her owner, who had placed an ad in the Upper Canada Gazette trying to sell the mother and son had previously imprisoned them for resisting slavery. Ironically, the site of the jail is the present site of the King Edward hotel.