refugees run the seas... (2014-15). Rectified readymade, public art project. Billboard, postcard; dimensions variable. Created with the technical support of Kurt Kraler and Manolo Lugo.

A blue colour field captioned with the last line of Wyclef Jean’s rap in Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie.

'refugees run the seas...' is a billboard project that draws and diverts from pop culture as a way to invite the viewer to imagine an incalculable future where justice for migrants exists. The work consists of a blue colour field captioned with the phrase ‘refugees run the seas cause we own our own votes.’ The text plays with the last line from Wyclef Jean's rap in Shakira's 2006 song Hips Don't Lie. Shifting “boats” into “votes” as if misheard or mispronounced, the work simultaneously evokes painful past and present scenes of harrowing escape while allowing the possibility of a time to come when those seeking refuge will make their voices count. The blue that frames the text comes from a photograph of the sky above the billboard taken during the day. 

'refugees run the seas…' inverts the logic dominance that keeps migrant bodies beyond the lines of social mobility. Territory turns to ocean, day turns into night, and displaced bodies turn into agents of movement, rather than victims. The notion of movement is also found in the trace of the phrase's original context, which alludes to sensuality and opens up the work to potential queer readings.

Exhibition History:
Htous / Htron: The New Coordinates for America – Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto. Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio.

Migrations and Movement: Close Together – Voices Breaking Boundaries, Houston, USA
Queering the International, Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver, 2014. Curated by Laiwan.

NEW PRIMARIES (2014). Digital print on canvas; 12 x 12 inches. 

A proposition to expand the field of aesthetic education.

Exhibition History:
Take Home the Unknown – SAVAC, Toronto, 2014. 

true colours (2014). Participatory public art project in collaboration with York University students; commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University for WorldPride Toronto. Acrylic on canvas, two panels; 5 x 48 feet each panel. Photographs by Francisco-Fernando Granados; installation image courtesy of the Art Gallery of York University.

Through a participatory process, the project repurposes the aesthetics of geometric abstraction in order to randomize the palette of LGBT and queer Pride flags.

Exhibition History:
WorldPride Parade, Toronto, 2014. Curated by Suzanne Carte.

The Ballad of _____ B (2014). Rectified readymade script, multimedia performance installation for a stage; created for HATCH 2014, Harbourfront Centre's Performing Arts Residency. Installation photographs by Manolo Lugo. Created with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Concept: Francisco-Fernando Granados
Script: Readymade, rectified by Francisco-Fernando Granados; some sections rectified in collaboration with Cressida Kocienski
Performers: Francisco-Fernando Granados, Manolo Lugo, Maryam Taghavi
Artistic Associate & HATCH Coordinator: Margaret Evans
Lighting Designer: Andy Moro 
Associate Lighting Designer: Melissa Joakim
Stage Manager: Sandy Plunkett

study for The Ballad of _____ B (2013). Fine Art inkjet print on Hahnamühle paper 16 x 24 inches. Photograph by Manolo Lugo. Created with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Exhibition History:

ARTATTACK!, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, 2014. Curated by Suzanne Carte.
Queering the International, Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver, 2014. Curated by Laiwan.
HATCH, Harbourfront Centre Studio Theatre, Toronto, 2014. Curated by Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler.

The Ballad of _______ B: Interactive Script Online, and Images from Rehearsal. Praxis Theatre. April 24, 2014 Online. September 21, 2014. 
The Making of Not-A-Play: All the Stage is a World. Praxis Theatre. April 15, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
Concept Images and Other Sketches for _____ B. Praxis Theatre. April 11, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
The Making of Not-A-Play: Performance Art and Social Media. Praxis Theatre. April 4, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
Randomized Readymade Scripts. Praxis Theatre. March 18, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
Why a Ballad? – Refugee Politics, Poetics, and the Need for Re-distribution. Praxis Theatre. March 13, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
Why _____ B? – Notes on Context. Praxis Theatre. March 5, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.
Varghese, Ricky. Between Appropriation and Entrapment, the Refugee and the Ruin: Notes on the Uncanny and the Cartography of Absence in The Ballad of _______ B. Praxis Theatre. March 25, 2014. Online. September 21, 2014.

contact study (2010). Brown shellac ink on Goldline Watercolour Studio paper 9.5 x 12.5 inches

draw two circles that touch at a single 
point with a pencil on a sheet of paper 
fill one circle with water
fill one circle with ink
ink touches water
neither circle will be the same

contact study (2014) Vinyl text, water, ink, watercolour paper, brushes, pencil, circle template, plastic containers,readymade table and chair; dimensions variable. Installation image courtesy of the Doris McCarthy Gallery. 

Exhibition History:

There and Back Again, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough, 2014.
*Sections of this work are held in private collections.

spatial profiling...  (2011-14). Performance, site-specific drawing; Photograph by Manolo Lugo.

the face touches the wall
repeatedly outline profile using a mark-making tool
movement through space
results in an abstract pattern

spatial profiling… is a durational performance and site-specific drawing project. The action consists of a continuous tracing of the outline of my profile as I move along the contours of a given space. The piece originated as a formal exercise in the studio that opened up ways to explore the relationship between time and space through the body, as well as racial politics and the tropes of identity-based art. The iterations of the project in Vancouver (2011) and Toronto (2013), and Regina (2014) were inspired by and borrowed its colour palette from Margaret Dragu’s Eine Kleine Nacht Radio (1999).  Drawn directly on the wall, the trace of the action forms a pattern that indicates the passing of the outermost edges of the body, through a process that pushes past the boundaries of the identifiable. Although mostly performed as a solo action over a prolonged period of time, a recent version of the piece included the audience as co-performers.

Exhibition History:

spatial profiling...  (2014). Performance, site-specific drawing; performed at Satellite Gallery, Vancouver. Photographs by Caitlin Carr.

spatial profiling – after Margaret Dragu’s Eine Kleine Nacht Radio  (2014). Performance, site-specific drawing; performed at Neutral Ground for Performatorium - Festival of Queer Performance, Regina. Photograph by Jason Cawood. 

spatial profiling...  (2013). Performance, site-specific drawing; performed at TeaK, University of the Arts, Helsinki.

spatial profiling – after Margaret Dragu’s Eine Kleine Nacht Radio  (2013). Performance, site-specific drawing; performed with Margaret Dragu and Jessica Karuhanga for Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, Toronto. Footage by Aliya Pabani.

spatial profiling – after Margaret Dragu’s Eine Kleine Nacht Radio  (2011). Performance, site-specific drawing; performed at VIVO Media Arts Centre for the LIVE Biennial of Performance Art, Vancouver. Photographs by Jesse Birch and Francisco-Fernando Granados.


I wanted to make a _______ (2013). Participatory performance in collaboration with Golboo Amani. Photographs by Diego Rojas.

choose a word
spell it out by making a
_______ connecting the space between
each of the letters in sequence.
notice trajectories they trace,
coincidences and divergences
shapes formed by their intersections




























Exhibition History:
Fucked Up's Long Winter, The Great Hall, Toronto, 2013.

Produced with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.