Through July Deanna Bowen will visit Western Front to undertake the post-production of her newest work On Trial The Long Doorway. Combining historical research with strategies of reenactment, dramaturgy, and performance, On Trial The Long Doorway continues Bowen’s interest in activating overlooked and forgotten histories of race relations in Canada. It takes as its starting point the 1956 CBC teleplay of the same name: a courtroom drama that tells the story of a rising Black legal aide lawyer assigned to represent a young white student accused of assaulting a fellow Black student that unfolds in locations across Toronto
Deanna Bowen makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, her work has involved rigorous examination of her family lineage and their connections to the Black Prairie pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Creek Negroes and All-Black towns of Oklahoma, the extended Kentucky/Kansas Exoduster migrations, and the Ku Klux Klan.
On Trial The Long Doorway is co-commissioned by Contemporary Art Gallery and Mercer Union.