I was thrilled when I was invited to facilitate a residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point. I decided the theme would be about how bodies are culturally and aesthetically constructed, displayed and controlled ~ an area of great interest to me, and one that is central to my current work. I realized this theme while delving into the pages of feminist books at the neighbouring clothing optional beach at Hanlans Point. Here I began to peal away the layers of culture that hyper-sexualizes, shames, excludes and normalizes the body – a culture that dismisses the whole genuine person in favour of idealized body forms and behaviors. I entitled the residency “Luminous Bodies,” a metaphor for shedding light onto heterogeneous bodies.
Teresa Ascencao is a media artist whose work deals with gender and sexuality constructs through unique cultural perspectives and technological approaches. Ascencao was born to Azorean parents in Sao Paulo, Brazil and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She graduated with distinction from the University of Toronto’s Honours Fine Art Studio program, and received her MFA from OCADU University specializing in Media Art and Sex-Positive Feminism. Her work has been exhibited widely in Canada and internationally. Ascencao lives and works in Toronto and teaches Experience Design and Photography at OCADU.