The Beyond Within Constellation Image

20 Jan 2023 - 11 Mar 2023


Thursday January 19, 2023
5 – 8 PM


Tues – Fri, 11 – 6 PM
Sat, 12 – 4 PM

Closed on Sundays, Mondays and statutory holidays

Illingworth Kerr Gallery

The Beyond Within

Organized and circulated by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in collaboration with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.



Curated by Leila Timmins and Crystal Mowry

As a surface with only one side, the Möbius strip resists orientation. To trace its path is to experience left becoming right, outside flipping in, and time assuming the shape of an infinite loop. The perimeter of a Möbius strip is defined, but the twist in the loop prevents predictability. Within static institutions and other familiar containers, is it possible to experience a similar twist – a radical detour – that encourages us to build our worlds anew? 

Underpinned by feminist conceptions of the everyday as a basis for political engagement with the world, Annie MacDonell’s predominantly lens-based practice questions how images are constituted and circulated. Beginning from the photographic impulse to capture and frame, MacDonell frequently uses found images to propose strategies for our personal and political reorientations. MacDonell’s recent work looks to under-recognized sites of experimentation as full of artistic and political possibility: psychedelic experience as a means to dissolve the ego and generate new models of collectivity is central to the works in The Beyond Within. This multi-part video installation is informed by historical and contemporary psychedelic trials performed within research settings. 

Juxtaposing text, drawings and photographs sourced from early psychedelic trials, and architectural sets that recall the institutional examination rooms in which these trials took place, MacDonell’s works propose a boundary between the subject and viewer that is not only marginal, but porous and continuously shifting. By making use of radical and lateral modes of thinking and storytelling, MacDonell affirms how art can be both a necessary clarifier and serve as an essential tool in world building. 

Organized and circulated by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in collaboration with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Curated by Leila Timmins and Crystal Mowry. 



Annie MacDonell

Annie MacDonell is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her early training was in photography, and the image continues to play a central role in her projects. Her work also includes installation, sculpture, writing, and performance. She received a BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2000, followed by graduate studies at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in France. Her films Book of Hours (2019) and Communicating Vessels (with Maïder Fortuné, 2020) have screened extensively internationally. Recent solo shows have been held at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery; Gallery 44, Toronto; Parisian Laundry, Montreal; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. She has participated in group shows at The Art Museum of the University of Toronto; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Recent performances have been presented at Nuit Blanche Toronto, le Centre Pompidou and the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2012 she was short-listed for the AGO AIMIA prize for photography, and she was long listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2012, 2015 and 2016. MacDonell was short-listed for the 2021 Scotiabank Photography Award. In 2020, she and Maïder Fortuné won the Tiger Award for Best Short Film at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, for their film Communicating Vessels. Annie MacDonell lives in Toronto with her family and is an Assistant Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Image Arts. She is a founding member of EMELIA AMALIA, a feminist research and writing group. 


Crystal Mowry is a curator currently based in Treaty 4. She is the Director of Programs at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. 

Leila Timmins is a Toronto-based curator and writer. She is currently the Senior Curator at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and is a founding member of EMILIA-AMALIA. 

Logo for Exposure Photography Festival






All images courtesy Chelsea Yang-Smith