Biography

Over the last forty years, Leila Sujir has been building a body of video art works using a mix of fiction, fantasy and documentary with visual and audio collage techniques. Her video art works have been shown in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Tate Gallery  (Liverpool), as well as galleries all over the world. Her work is in collections including the National Gallery of Canada and the Glenbow Museum.

She is working on a new video installation, forest documents, with technical director Jorge Zavagno, through the support of a Canada Council for the Arts Concept to Realization grant. For two weeks July-August 2023, they participated in a residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists Studios working on the exhibition plan.

Recent exhibitions include:

-Sujir’s IMAX video experiment, Aerial (2019) will screen as part of the Outer Worlds commission with curator Janine Marchessault at Queen’s University, Thursday March 7th, 2024 with a panel following Friday March 8th; previously it screened at the Montreal Science Centre IMAX theatre (October 19, 2023) as part of the Thinking Allowed colloquium with Elastic Spaces at Concordia University October 19-21, 2023; and prior to that, at the Cinesphere IMAX theatre in the Images festival (April 2019); 

-Those That Came Before Us, with Sujir’s video work Peacocks Dream (2018) exhibited at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, June – September 2023, curated by Ana Ferguson;

-Super Women: Conversations with Real Action Figures with curator Midi Onodera  in the CFMDC symposium The Breadth of (2021), screened her video work, The Dreams of the Night Cleaners (1995);

– The Fotofest Biennial in Houston, Texas, in INDIA – Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art (2018) with curators Sunil Gupta and Steven Evans, exhibited her video installation, Peacocks Dream (2018);

-Forest Breath (2018) exhibited  in the Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest exhibition (2018), with curator Haema Sivanesan at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia and in the exhibition, The Garden in the Machine (2019) with curator Jordan Strom at the Art Gallery of Surrey, British Columbia.

Leila Sujir is a professor emeritus in the Studio Arts Department, Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University. She works with an art research studio-lab based at Concordia University, Elastic 3D Spaces, that most recently received a SSHRC research grant, Thinking Allowed (2022); a Canada Council production grant (2022) for forest documents, and prior to that,  a SSHRC research grant, Elastic 3D Spaces: the old growth forest as ‘home’ space with an emphasis on land, healing, home, communities (2019). In a recent publication from Oxford University Press, Practices of Projection (2020),  she co-wrote a chapter with fellow researcher and artist Anthony Head, “Researching virtual, augmented and mixed realities, or how the Elastic 3D Spaces project emerged from an outdoor projection event.”

Select publications on her work include the following:

Peacocks Dream in Moving Focus, India (2022);

-India Hearts Beat and Forest Breath in a book project from the Surrey Art Gallery, TechLab: Experiments in Media Art 1999-2019 (2022));

-an essay by Haema Sivanesan in the Journal of Transcultural Studies, “Unsettling the Picturing of the Canadian Old Growth Forest: Consent, Consultation and (Re)conciliation in Leila Sujir’s Forest!” (2021);

 –a chapter by Nancy Tousley,”Leila Sujir’s forest of pixels,” in the book Intertwined Histories: Plants in Their Social Contexts from the University of Calgary Institute for the Humanities (2019);

-Sunil Gupta and Steve Evans’ book from the Houston, Texas Fotofest Biennial:  India: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art by (2018);

-Srimoyee Mitra’s book Border Cultures (2016);

-Katherine Ylitalo and Nancy Tousley, with Melanie Kjorlien’s book Made in Calgary: An Exploration of Art from 1960 to the 2000’s (2016).

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