Stages Speaker Series: Artist Talk with Divya Mehra

  • Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
  • Time: 7:00pm
  • Venue: Globe Cinema, 3rd Floor, Portage Place, 393 Portage Ave, Winnipeg
  • Admission: Free

In continuation of our Stages Speaker Series, on Thursday, April 27th at 7pm, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art hosts a performative talk by Winnipeg-based artist Divya Mehra. She will present a series of short stories in lieu of speaking directly to her artwork. 


Mehra’s work is an astute example of how art can destabilize our collective and individual perceptions about race and gender. She does this through pop cultural lines, manipulating common signs into pointed and at times barbed commentary that references the caution and insincerity of a forced political correctness. Mehra’s work carries a relevance that aims to be transformative, advancing a conversation surrounding identity. How our behaviors and responses contribute to a status quo that gives voice to diversity but remains steadfast in old hierarchies. 


Working in sculpture, print, drawing, artist books, installation, advertising, and most recently film, Mehra is known for her meticulous­ attention to the interaction of form, medium and site that together produces an acerbic body of work, addressing the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism. Re-contextualizing references found in hip-hop, literature, and current affairs, she contends with contemporary expressions of societies (India, America, Canada) continuously formed by their colonial roots.


Mehra’s solo exhibitions include It's Gonna Rain, The New Gallery, Calgary; Pouring Water on a Drowning Man, Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto; You have to tell Them, i’m not a Racist, La Maison Des Artistes, Winnipeg; The Party is Over, Artspeak, Vancouver; and Turf War, Platform: center for photographic + digital arts, Winnipeg. 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. She currently divides her time between Winnipeg, Delhi, and New York. Divya Mehra (b. 1981) year of the Rooster.


This performative artist talk with Divya Mehra is part of Stages Speaker Series, featuring artists from Canada and the world. The series is offered in anticipation of Stages: Drawing the Curtain, a constellation of public artworks to be launched in August 2017. This large-scale public art project asks artists to locate a site within the city of Winnipeg from which to contemplate the stage - its function as a platform; its meaning as a point of attention; and its physical design. Directed by their individual interests and material preferences, the artists will build sculptural ‘stages’ ranging in shape and form, connected as platforms for audiences to occupy, physically engage with and contemplate.


In keeping with the drive of Stages to bring art beyond our walls, all talks for Stages Speaker Series will be held at an off-site location. This presentation will be held at the former Globe Cinema, 3rd floor, Portage Place Shopping Centre, 393 Portage Ave, Winnipeg.


*Artists for Stages: Drawing the Curtain include: Abbas Akhavan (Toronto), Pablo Bronstein (London, UK), FASTWÜRMS (Toronto), Toril Johannessen (Tromsø, Norway), Kara Hamilton (Toronto), Federico Herrero (San José, Costa Rica), Divya Mehra (Winnipeg), and Krista Belle Stewart (Vancouver).


**Previous talks from Stages Speaker Series are now online at


Stages Speaker Series and Stages: Drawing the Curtain are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts through its New Chapter Program.


Our community partners include Winnipeg Tourism, Alliance Française Manitoba, Urban Ink Design, Cityplace Mall (Triovest), Portage Place Shopping Centre and Fillip Publishers.