Susan Hobbs

Zinnia Naqvi and Althea Thauberger: the pilgrim is always in danger of becoming a tourist

29 Feb - 13 Apr 2024

The pilgrim is always in danger of becoming a tourist. But equally
true the tourist is constantly running the risk of becoming a
pilgrim. For anything that upsets the fixed programme of the
tourist brings a threat of insecurity. And it is from the streets of
insecurities that the pilgrims gather, in in the market-places of the
world, seeking fountains of 'maybe" faith"

- Frank Fahey’s “Pilgrims or Tourists?”

In this two-person exhibition, Althea Thauberger and Zinnia Naqvi respond to questions brought on by their own familial histories, archives and sites of significance. What is the equation between tourism and pilgrimage? If visiting tourist attractions can be seen as a rite of passage, how do they inform our understanding of identity? What does it mean to return to sites of ancestral settlement? And, how do probing words like "pilgrim" and "pilgrimage" interrogate our own position?

Thauberger and Naqvi revisit photos from their family archives that document visits to tourist attractions and sites of familial reverence. In doing so, they both aim to unpack family narratives and their differing and respective roles as immigrants and settlers within the Canadian colonial state.