Image: Divya Mehra, Currently Fashionable, 2012/2017, acrylic vinyl and latex deep base paint, dimensions variable


DIVYA MEHRA: You have to tell Them, i'm not a Racist.
September 7 - October 14, 2017
Georgia Scherman Projects

Georgia Scherman Projects Opening Reception: Thursday, September 7, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Art Metropole Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Artist in attendance.


Georgia Scherman Projects is proud to present Divya Mehra's You have to tell Them, i’m not a Racist., the artist's second solo exhibition at the Toronto gallery. The exhibition includes 23 text-based works and one satellite work on view at Art Metropole (1490 Dundas Street West).

Mehra is known for her meticulous attention to the interaction of form, medium, and site to investigate dynamics of language, race, identity, and gender. The artist is currently shortlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award.

With a focus on overlooked aspects of art exhibitions — white gallery walls, lighting, and vinyl lettering, You have to tell Them, i’m not a Racist. redirects jokes, syllogisms, aphorisms and media coverage of recent events to offer an acerbic body of work that addresses the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism.

Published to accompany You have to tell Them, i'm not a Racist. are two newly commissioned texts, both personal and theoretical, by art writers Amy Fung and Kendra Place. The texts discuss the nuanced approach Mehra has taken with this particular body of work.

Presented in conjunction with this exhibition at GSP is a new window work by Mehra at Art Metropole. Mehra’s piece, Emerging Powers and Conflict Management (Toppling over statues, hate amid radical new platforms) will be on display in their shop window for the month of September.

A version of this exhibition was first presented at La Maison des artistes visuels francophones in St. Boniface, Manitoba in 2012.

Mehra’s work has been presented as part of exhibitions and commissions with MoMA PS1, Creative Time, and the Queens Museum of Art, New York; MASS MoCA, North Adams; Latitude 28, Delhi; and The Beijing 798 Biennale. Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects.

Amy Fung is a writer, researcher, and curator currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in criticism, poetics, and the moving image. She has published her writings in Canadian Art, Art Papers, C Magazine, Fuse, and Frieze, among other publications, and is a co-founder of MICE Magazine. She is currently writing her first book.

Kendra Place is an artist and writer and femme of settler cultures living at Tio’tia:ke/ Mooniyang (Montreal). She would like to thank Macho, Jane, and Divya for their useful comments regarding versions of this text.

  Texts and essay from the exhibition (pdf)