It Can Only Be This Place

Hiba Abdallah with Steven Beckly, Alyssa Bistonath, and Patrick Cruz
Doris McCarthy Gallery
September 4 – November 3, 2018

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 19 from 6-8:30pm

It Can Only Be This Place is an open collection of stories, impressions, and speculations of Scarborough developed by artist Hiba Abdallah. Generated in conversation with local residents, Abdallah produced a series of projects specifically for the Doris McCarthy Gallery. Texts, images, and stories gathered throughout an extended research period were transformed into objects and installations that consider the ways in which place is remembered and commemorated.

Alongside this new body of work, Abdallah has invited artists Steven Beckly, Alyssa Bistonath, and Patrick Cruz to contribute to the exhibition. Engaged in various approaches to myth-making and story-telling, their responses inscribe fiction onto Scarborough’s natural, cultural, and diasporic landscapes. Each work provides an intimate look at Scarborough and the various communities that have come to call it home. Through complex, intersecting, and often unresolved narratives, It Can Only Be This Place makes space for past, present, and future versions of Scarborough previously untold.

Download curatorial essay

Programming Highlights:
Jollibee Talk & Lunch with Patrick Cruz
October 20, 2018 from 1 – 3 pm
Jollibee Scarborough, 15 William Kitchen Rd

On location at Jollibee Scarborough, Patrick Cruz delivered a talk on the cultural significance of the fast food chain, particularly within the Filipino diaspora, followed by a family-style lunch from the menu.

the stories we tell each other
Workshop led by Hiba Abdallah
October 30, 2018  from 1 – 3 pm

Hiba Abdallah led a seminar that explored some of Scarborough’s narratives, myths and secrets. Participants were asked to bring a piece of writing to contribute to a public reading of Scarborough-inspired texts, that explore the identity of place, the motifs of memory, storytelling and fiction.

The workshop concluded with a writing exercise where participants contributed an open letter as part of Abdallah’s project Dear Scarborough.