Mani Mazinani and Sanaz Mazinani, Dastgāh, 2024
Mani Mazinani and Sanaz Mazinani: Dastgāh
Jun 4 – Oct 31, 2024
Evergreen Brick Works
Toronto, Canada

How do you listen? What do you hear? Nestled in the Don River ravines amidst urban trails and the Don Valley Parkway, Dastgāh is a sound sculpture that asks visitors to open their ears and listen differently. Created by the brother and sister duo Mani Mazinani and Sanaz Mazinani, the instrument takes its title from the Farsi term “dastgāh,” and can be literally translated as a “hand” (dast) and “gāh” (way) or “set of directions,” a modal system that serves as the foundation for composition and improvisation in Iranian music.

On the unceded territory of Toronto, a space named by Wendat peoples as “a meeting place” and home to the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishinaabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat peoples, Toronto has also become a city of diaspora and refuge. Dastgāh bridges time and distance between the many histories that exist on Turtle Island to date, whether from perspectives in Toronto, the land known as Canada today, across the continent or over the oceans. The work playfully reimagines the chang, an ancient Iranian harp as a giant, walk-in instrument, replacing traditional strings made of sheep gut and goat hair with piano strings. Riffing on the historical instrument, the sculpture is all angles and contains several changs, each with its unique voice. Played together in any number of combinations, the changs form a collective whole, an ensemble that serves as a metaphor for our social fabric.

Dastgāh introduces musical intervals found in traditional Maqam practice, the modal music system stretching between Central Asia and North Africa to the Don River Valley ravines, decentering the 12 tones used in classical and contemporary music. While these tones are pervasive, the sound sculpture creates an opportunity to hear and play with more nuanced tones exposing audiences to different frequencies and expanding what they hear. Stitching sounds together as a quilt, the sculpture generates a sound montage of the city, a sonic landscape that blankets the land. Like the river and creeks that flow nearby, sound is fluid, literally and figuratively traveling across borders, leaky and uncontainable.

In a moment where we can easily be ensconced in our own worlds: plugged into our mobile devices, tuning out wailing sirens or the rumblings of public transportation, Dastgāh encourages active listening. Through collective music making, it broadens the experience of participatory listening in concert with the sonic environment at Evergreen Brick Works and more widely throughout the ravines. The surrounding area becomes a sound stage where the audience is also a player, a listener, a maker. In any one moment, we might hear the many textures of sound in the ravines coming together: cars zooming by on the Don Valley Parkway and Bayview Avenue, birds chirping, families picnicking, vendors hawking their wares at the farmer’s market. If only for a moment, Dastgāh asks us to consider what we sound like, and invites listeners to make a soundtrack of the Don River Valley, to feel the vibrations of another land.

  • Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud
    Jun 4 – Aug 4, 2024
    Art Sonje Center
    Seoul, South Korea

    Art Sonje Center is delighted to present Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud, a comprehensive solo exhibition showcasing the artistic journey of Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen. Spanning two decades of his practice, this expansive exhibition explores complex layers of modernity in the postcolonial contemporary Asia. Ho’s exploration transcends geographical boundaries, delving into social, cultural, political, and economic realms across Southeast Asia and beyond. (more…)

  • Bastardie
    Jun 7–30, 2024
    Paris, France

    How can speech practices that trouble official languages disrupt the established social order and open up other configurations? Do they have the potential to impact the way we look or act? Its title pays tribute to Alice Becker-ho, a linguist associated with the Situationist International, known for her interest in the lexicons of gypsies and Roma. (more…)

  • Artadia Awards 2024
    Deadline Nov 1, 2024

    The Artadia Awards provide financial support, exposure and recognition to artists. The awards are unrestricted, allowing artists to use the funds in any way they choose. Each year, an open-call application is made available in each of the seven active partner cities. Supporting artists equitably is a critical part of the Artadia Award process (more…)

  • Chantal Joffe
    Featured Profile

    Chantal Joffe brings a combination of insight and integrity, as well as psychological and emotional force, to the genre of figurative art. Hers is a deceptively casual brushstroke. Whether in images a few inches square or ten feet high, fluidity combined with a pragmatic approach to representation seduces and disarms. (more…)

Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >