October 21 – November 25, 2017
Saturday October 21, 7 pm
Combining iconic imagery, popular media, and tactile objects in the creation of an immersive, set-like environment, The Bitterness of Bad Solitude (or To be Lost in Something you Designed Yourself) emanates a curiously unsettling energy. This uneasy spectre can be accounted for by the forced amalgamation of visual languages borrowed from generally antithetical points of reference; the exhibition shamelessly appropriates interior design elements from ashy night clubs, archetypical religious architecture, haunting Masonic temples, stale basement AA meetings, and subterranean government bunkers.
The Bitterness of Bad Solitude (or To be Lost in Something you Designed Yourself) aims to challenge tacit conventions of morality, acceptability, deeply-held-beliefs, and the power structures which determine value. The installation, a many-headed, visually cheeky, but earnest beast, offers itself as a testing ground for otherwise infrequent conditions for vulnerable, interpersonal connections, spontaneous disruptions to the predictability of daily rituals, and renegade brainstorming for radical futures.
Hannah Doerksen is a Calgary-based visual artist who received a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2012. During her studies, Doerksen attended the New York Studio Residency Program in Brooklyn and the California Collage of Art in San Francisco. Since graduating, she has exhibited in Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States and throughout Canada. Recently, Doerksen has developed installations for the Art Gallery of Alberta, Walter Phillips Gallery and The Art Gallery of Guelph.
February 12 – April 7, 2018
March 15, 2018, 6 pm. Drinks at the Palomino Smokehouse to follow from 7 pm.
Performance at Happenings 11:
February 12, 6:45 pm and 8:30 pm
Witness is a photographic installation that re-examines a recent assault, which took place outside a gay bar in my hometown. When leaving the bar, I witnessed a woman being dragged by her wrists, across the cement by a security guard. I decided to step in and tell the guard to stop, and as a result I was punched in the nose by that same guard. The women on the ground was taken by her friend and I went to the police station. As I sought to press charges, the need for video footage and other witnesses of the assaults on the women and myself, proved vital for the police to believe me. I was encouraged to make the situation public in the hopes of finding video footage. The photograph of my bloody face along with my plea for evidence was shared over 600 times, eventually leading to the surfacing of a video. The photo taken on the floor of the police station became evidence.
This installation looks at and personifies the three types of viewers in this situation, seeking to make a distinction between the witness (a person who actively recorded video or spoke to the police), the bystander (a person who chose to do nothing), and the participant (myself). Through this exhibition I hope to create a dialogue about best practices for action when witnessing violence. What would you do? What should you do when a member of your community is being hurt? Through creating a series of masks and photographs I hope the viewer will distinguish the difference between the three viewers personified in the exhibition and question the use of photography as a tool to validate an experience. As a queer artist I began to question whether or not “safe space” for members of the LGBTQ* exist, or rather if we only have “safer spaces” where patrons have to actively protect each other.
Though an examination of photography that queries its ability to exceed the category of documentation, and become an essential tool needed to prove an injustice, I seek to question the ways in which we employ photography to create truth. Is testimony enough? Do you believe we were assaulted? Is a witness enough? Do you believe we were assaulted? Is a photo enough? Do you believe we were assaulted? Is a video enough? Do you believe were we assaulted?
Humboldt Magnussen is an artist/curator from rural Saskatchewan. In 2014, he completed a MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University, focusing on performance art and masculinity studies. He has exhibited his work across Canada and internationally; notable exhibitions include Every Now and Then, Reframing Nationhood at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Show. 17 at the Idea Exchange. His recent body of work investigates queer community and notions of safe space through a personal perspective. He is interested in how complicated notions of identity and gender/sexuality can be visualized. Magnussen is the co-founder (along with Marjan Verstappen) of Younger Than Beyoncé (YTB) Gallery, a nomadic artist-run centre in Toronto, Ontario.
Fall Fell Felt
January 13 – March 29, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018. 7pm
A bridesmaid in a flowing silk dress descends a set of steps, misses her footing and takes a spill. And this too shall become content.
Anna Hawkins’s most recent project Fall Fell Felt dissects, remixes and re-enacts the popular online genre “girl fails” in an exploration of schadenfreude, voyeurism and empathy. A fraught but incredibly popular genre, “girl fails” encompasses online video compilations of women in various states of accidental or self-inflicted peril—unsuccessfully backflipping off a trampoline, falling over a slippery banister, tumbling out of a complex yoga pose. These fails are wince material arranged and cut in a succession of bite-size clips hurtling forward into the void of an internet black hole (or “content hole”), where time is elasticized. Content is a portal that consumes hours hungrily, and scrolling is the vehicle that drives it vertically—a slow and prescribed form of free-falling.
Combining found and original video fragments, Hawkins’s video installation interrupts the typical rhythm of fail videos, stratifying their parts using a masking technique that isolates figures or maintains only a cutout of their bodies. In some cases, the fail moment has been incised and we see only the aftermath. Alternately, videos are pared down to their most basic elements: a gasp, the rev of an engine, or a disembodied leg in space. By staging slow and pliant re-enactments of the bodies on-screen with her own body, Hawkins demonstrates a groundlessness, situating herself in weightless limbo between subject and spectator. Her body leaves an impression in medium-pile taupe carpet, mimicking the shape of her found-footage counterpart, indicating an empathetic channel between subjects who feel pain. In popular media, women have historically been the ciphers onto which chaotic emotions are cast—from ecstatic pleasure, to fear, to abject suffering. Does this witnessing defer our own ugly experiences, or provide a safe form of falling? Fall Fell Felt obstructs the tradition of placing women’s bodies at the centre of violence and desire to be consumed from an objective distance, as Hawkins seems to gently break her subjects’ falls over and over again. Rather than written off as sheer spectacle, the gut-wrench moment is posited as a site of empathetic physical interconnection, the falling felt deeply.
Anna Hawkins is a Montreal-based artist who works primarily in video. Her work is concerned with the ways in which images, gestures, and information are transmitted, transformed, and experienced online. Group exhibitions and screenings include those at the UCLA New Wight Biennial (Los Angeles), X+1 at the Musée d’art Contemporain (Montreal), the WRO Media Art Biennale (Wrocław), and The Laocoön Dilemma at Galerie Sturm (Nürnberg). She has had solo exhibitions at Artspace (Peterborough, 2015), Centre Clark (Montreal, 2016) and Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s, 2016).
Text by Nancy Webb.
Prospect Human Services
December 5, 2017 - January 31, 2018
January 18, 2018, 6 pm. Drinks at the Palomino Smokehouse to follow from 7 pm
Silk Screenings is a collection of prints from our eponymous silk screening program, wherein the theme of “inspiration” took on many colorful and creative forms. The artists—some of whom were first time practitioners of this form of printmaking—were challenged to brainstorm and gather inspiration from all aspects of their lives including, but not limited to, dreams, nature, emotions, memory, and imagination. Each print was carefully made with layers of tracing paper, stencils, and many weeks of work developing compositions. Through the thoughtful and meticulous practice of silk screening, the artists made material their greatest inspirations.
Prospect Human Services is a not-for-profit that helps people who face barriers to employment, including adults with developmental disabilities. Prospect uses art as a creative teaching tool to further develop individuals’ employment skills and readiness. This includes designing and teaching community based art programs, collaborating with community partners and developing connections in the arts community to support exhibiting these artists’ works.
Survival of the Fitness (Quenching Your Inner Fire)
Matthew Palmer and Tim Messeiller
October 5 - November 30, 2017
November 16, 2017, 6 pm Drinks at the Palomino Smokehouse to follow from 7 pm
Survival of the Fitness (Quenching Your Inner Fire) by artist duo Palmer and Messeiller is a series of survival tools that manipulate, enhance or improve upon minimalist sculptures. This project casts survival as a marketable concept used to sell all-wheel drive jeeps and adventure gear to those in search of a thrill. From the concept of survival as central to human existence to television survivalists, this exhibition plays with what it means to survive by simply adapting to change.
In this exhibition, the artists focus on the concept of survival through the creation of tools and understanding their ideal uses. The forms and tools made of materials like plaster, wood and textiles are placed upon plinths and are accompanied by digitally printed vinyl banners and a life-size cardboard cutout. These elements not only signify the most basic elements of a contemporary art installation, but also play on the idea of a commercial window display; they transform the vitrine into a strange promotional stage for products of an esoteric use and questionable value. In the process of suggesting the utilitarian function of the tool, a dialogue is created wherein the minimalist shape is no longer a prop, but part of a whole, where both the prop and the tool are equally important for each other’s existence.
Messeiller and Palmer are a collaborative duo who have been working together since 2013. They have shown at RATS Collectif, Vevey, Switzerland Lokal-Int, Bienne, Switzerland and Circa in Montréal, Quebec. Their work is concerned with artistic labour, commodification of the art object and the performative elements of professions. Their multimedia works incorporate sculpture, textile, video, silk screening and relational projects.
This exhibition was generously supported by Resolve Photo and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Maryse LarivièreUnder the Cave of winds
June 30 – September 23, 2017
June 29, 7 pm
By the time we talk face to face again in the city of fog and spasm, feminine sovereignty will be on the table, next to my pen and ashtray. So I better rush over, just in case the tunnel that connects us curtains off before my eyes. This passage looks like a futuristic set for a Beckett play, except he would completely disagree with this vision. But failing in the eye of such a Master can only be a good thing you might say.
In a matter of hours, I awaken, still slightly sedated, trapped in a cinder block cell surrounded by my work. "I am here to write, and fall into his arms," I say to myself cautiously. Minutes later, I am on the inner phone with you. "I’m gonna lick French all over you and make your freckly skin iridescent." you purr. "Wamp Wamp Wamp," trembles the receiver.
There is a knock at the door...
Initiated through a residency at CCA Glasgow, Under the cave of winds functions like a portal, wherein art, ecology and politics collide. The overarching script of the project narrates the tribulations of a fictional female protagonist, an artist, scholar and whistleblower detained on Staffa island. She is held captive on the Scottish island for initiating a new trend in research, where knowledge production goes beyond linguistics and graphicism to become pure sound—singing and humming, like birds. A kidnapping, love letters, an Antonionesque reverie.
Including a new 16 mm film and suite of sculptural works, Under the cave of winds will be accompanied by Larivière’s forthcoming epistolary novel, and an original sound work by Cosima Friesen.
Maryse Larivière is an artist, writer and scholar whose work re-imagines how we engage with the textual, visual and social through bodily and emotional encounters. Her practice crosses art, literature and theory, taking the form of text, performance, sculpture, and collage. Recent projects include: Echoes from the Bosom (DNA art space, 2017), In Some Far Place (The Rooms, St.Jonh’s, 2017), A Pool Is Water (Galerie Division Montreal, 2016), Down to Write You this Poem Sat (Oakville Galleries, 2016), Talking Back, Otherwise (Art Museum University of Toronto, 2016), Where Wild Flowers Grow (Kunstverein Toronto, 2015), and L.S.D. Your Delusion, My Reality (8Eleven, Toronto, 2015). Her books of poetry include Hummzinger (2016) and Where Wild Flowers Grow (2015). Lariviere is the 2016-2017 writer-in-residence at Gallery 44, and has contributed experimental writings to a variety of platforms including C Magazine, Esse Art+Opinions and Organism for Poetic Research.
Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe
June 5 - July 31, 2017
July 20, 2017, 6 pm. Drinks at the Palomino Smokehouse to follow from 7pm
Referencing kinetic department store window displays, no-fluke/no-feed/no-swim/no-play/no-fun employs the materials and techniques of advertising to reflect on the role of technology in contemporary culture. The artists take an ambivalent position on reality, behaving a bit like amateur archaeologists from an imagined future.
In both form and symbolism, no-fluke/no-feed/no-swim/no-play/no-fun draws on Mannerist painter Jacopo Pontormo’s famous altarpiece, The Deposition from the Cross (1528). Renowned for its bright colours and flat composition, Pontormo’s painting veered away from naturalistic representation, employing instead aesthetic strategies to heighten the emotional and religious content of the scene. Likewise, no-fluke/no-feed/no-swim/no-play/no-fun uses the form, palette, and two-dimensionality of the altarpiece to evoke ideas of the mystical. Rather than adhering to a Christian narrative, however, this work questions the relationship between spirituality and technology in a contemporary context.
As the positions of the rocks change from moment to moment—while also varying in speed—they provide a tangible sense of the passage of time. Their movement also recalls the shifting of tectonic plates, thereby conflating day-to-day change with a geological sense of time. In so doing, no-fluke/no-feed/no-swim/no-play/no-fun reflects upon our impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, offering a poignant yet critical reflection on obsolescence and our material legacy.
Anna Eyler is a multidisciplinary artist based in Montréal, Québec. Working in performance, new media, and installation, Eyler investigates new forms of subjecthood emerging in our increasingly technologized world. Eyler holds a BA in Religious Studies and Art History from Carleton University (2010) and a BFA from the University of Ottawa (2015). Recent awards include the Sparkbox Residency Award (2016) and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her work will be included in the upcoming FILE: Electronic Language International Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil (2017).
Working in sculpture, new media, and performance, Nicolas Lapointe prefigures hybrid structures situated between the physical and the virtual. Material objects recall digital processes, while virtual structures replicate tangible forms. Objects linger in virtual nonspace, transmitting messages from the void. Lapointe’s structures push the boundaries of sentience, functioning both as inquiries into the absurd and explorations of the poetics of motion.
Eyler and Lapointe maintain a collaborative art practice that touches on concerns of Minimalism, materiality, and technology. Their work was recently featured in the exhibition beyond différance, and now, at Ace Art Inc. in Winnipeg, Manitoba (2016)
"Those isles of yours that wait for me"
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Nicole Kelly Westman
May 20 to May 25, 2017
Cultural Centre, Charilaou Trikoupi 121, Athens, Greece
Curated by Natasha Chaykowski + Tarin Hughes
AKA artist-run + Untitled Art Society
"Those isles of yours that wait for me", an exhibition of work by Calgary-based artist Nicole Kelly Westman and Ediburgh-based artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, takes up the irresolute feelings of longing for a place, a time, a connection, a person. Romance – but not just romantic love, to be clear – threads the works in this exhibition; Westman enkindles notions of running away, the impossibility of being in a place, and the unrelenting impetus to connect to those afar, despite the unbreachable distance between her and such imaginary others, while Nemerofsky Ramsay unfurls the inherent intimacy of exchanges across time and place, both written and floral.
This project is generously supported by Secret Garden http://www.secretgarden.gr/
The blind pale distances
Untitled Art Society +15 Window
April 5 – May 31, 2017
May 11, 2017, 6 pm. Drinks at the Palomino Smokehouse to follow from 7pm, guests of UAS receive a 15% discount on food and drinks.
"The blind pale distances" keeps people apart. It configures moments of connection and separation along ideological lines.
The works presented in the exhibition formalize notions of isolation and encounter. Referring to visual and physical barriers limiting sight and bodily movement, they position the viewer in relation to an imagined interloper as a way to consider the affect of their imposition and the potential of nearness.
Andrew Rabyniuk lives in Lethbridge, Alberta. He holds degrees in
environmental design from the University of Manitoba, textiles from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and cultural studies from Queen’s University. He has exhibited or performed in group and solo exhibitions across Canada including those at the Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax), Eyelevel Gallery (Halifax), Modern Fuel (Kingston), Afterhours Projects (Toronto), and the Queen’s University Art and Media Lab (Kingston).
SPECULOOS (Search for Planets Eclipsing Ultra-cOOl Stars)
Brett Bonk / Eva Cournoyer / Megan Fen / Taylor Harder / Kerry Maguire
Curated by Ashley Scarlett and Justin Waddell
Exhibition: March 11 - April 29, 2017
Opening: March 10, 7pm
Earlier this year, NASA announced the discovery of TRAPPIST-1, a potentially habitable system of planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth. In an age of relentless environmental assault, mass deterritorialization, and impending catastrophe, such discoveries offer both a potential escape hatch and the amnesiac promise of a future departure. Disconcertingly, much of the cultural rhetoric initiated by the appearance of new planetary realities echoes the historical terms of colonization and capitalization, threatening a repetition of the exact conditions under which mass departure has become such an appealing option. This realization calls attention to a growing general need for new methodological approaches that are better equipped to respond to emergent realities and the alternative ways of knowing that they might offer.
The works presented in SPECULOOS materialize an intersectional constellation of weird, counterfactual, and preternatural methodologies for discordant speculation. Less a question of futurity than one of alternative epistemologies, each of the contributing artists positions creative practice as a means of imagining and in turn investigating the other-worldly, whether distant or imperceptibly near. Standing in relation to one another, their works operate as trace effects—investigatory indexes that gesture toward speculative ways of knowing and being through aesthetic experimentation. It is precisely the kind of methodological, epistemological, and aesthetic reorientation materialized across this exhibition that is required to counter the historically entrenched practices that have made planetary exodus a desirable option within the contemporary context.