Mattered: Vasuki Shanmuganathan

Glass jars displayed in a small wooden curio contain substances we wash away, hide, let decay, try to get rid of, or forget about in the intimacies of our home. Conduits of care transferred and received as represented by those most in touch with us in South Etobicoke. Be it the cleaner’s supplies used to disinfect hotel rooms, water puddles on the bathroom floor after a redeeming shower, the factory worker hands holding oily residue, a parent’s night sweats of worry, the wet sponge you squeezed hard because it was too much, grease from a kitchen, melted gelato but once enjoyed after a long shift, a teenager’s tears from friendships lost, or dried toothpaste from the day, you exhausted, wondered if it all mattered anymore.
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Vasuki Shanmuganathan is a researcher, artist and educator. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. In 2016, she started the Tamil Archive Project (TAP) collective, which combines art, knowledge translation, and archival practices into accessible events that centre care. She previously worked as Assistant Director of Mayworks Festival of Working People & the Arts and is on the board of Whippersnapper Gallery. Her art practice engages with the archiving of the mundane and symbiotic forms of engagements such as communal care. Instagram: @manikudu