The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s largest annual celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 21-30, 2022. Going into its 12th year, the Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban sphere. The Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary culture, provides opportunities for emerging talent, and engages the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.
‘Your Own Story’ is an exhibition ( https://designto.org/event/your-own-story/ ) by Imran Jatoi about queer identities. The project exhibits the complexity of queer gender identities and relationships in opposition to the complex social standards of heteronormative system.
The intent of ‘Your Own Story’ is to encourage understanding of queer and marginalized individuals. Focus is placed on how every piece is created by sense of design and articulation of imagery. The resulting works deal with the sense of accepting identity in a metaphor of branding personal image. The symbolic representation is created by taking references of objects in such a way, in which observers can engage themselves and relish the intimate fluidity.
The social gender performance is the reflection of decided performance of gender expressions by the heteronormative individuals of the society. Between those social gender performances there are individuals who perform unusual gender expressions similar to queerness, which contradicts the social gender performance. The exhibited work in the ‘Your Own Story’ is presented with the same approach of contradicting social gender performances of heteronormativity. The work reflects the thoughtfulness of the relationships of strength, expression, trust, and fear of intimacy.
The exhibition applying process is deliberately engaged in the performance of sensual and fluid acts of confronting bodies which dominate over one another. The symbolic bodies are designed as identities in a battleground of pleasure and celebrate physical touch. It is colour, applied in splashes and heavy strokes, which conveys the past and present of representation, struggle and intimate spaces of queer and marginalized subjectivity.