Femme4Femme is a love letter. Dedicated to the soft femmes, the hard femmes, the femmes of colour, the loud femmes, the femmes with disabilities, the overworked, underpaid, and exhausted femmes. A collaboration between Morgan Sears-‐Williams and Maddie Alexander, Femme4Femme examines, critiques and honours the existence of queer Femme people, bodies, lives and identities.
The artists explore both the historical and contemporary existence of femme identity through a multi-‐disciplinary and interactive space. Femme4Femme includes work by Alexander and Sears-‐Williams accompanied by a constructed environment calling upon queer aesthetics which provoke and invite viewers into their femme-‐centered living room. Through text, image, sculpture, and environmental installation, the artists reference queer coding, love, lived experiences, cruising, sex, and the intersections of femmephobia or misogyny.
Morgan uses older technologies such as a Rolodex or rotary telephone as an entry point for viewers to engage with the stories of queer femme folks by using interactivity to create a different relationship between object, content and viewer. Personal stories, historical and contemporary events populate the cards in the rolodex, blending time and creating a thread of feminist queer activism and lived experiences challenging the notion that queer feminist activism or femme presence exist within a certain time period. The rotary telephones are used to hold audio conversations speaking as a confessional, a private and intimate space created between the listener and the speaker.
Maddie pulls from pop culture, pornography and queer coding, using oversaturated imagery to explore representation of queer femmes in the media. Alexander explores micro aggressive language in a satirical manner, to break down the subtleties of femmephobia in film and television. The nuances of queer coding are played with in the sculptures, text and found fabrics which speak to the complexities of cruising and dating as a queer femme person. Alexander’s work also explores themes of safer sex practices for queer and trans people.
Maddie and Morgan both explore themes of archiving, documentation, queer bodies, and femme identity. The works interact with each other to display the efforts of archiving queer life from the artist’s perspective, and the importance of visibility and existence as resistance.
Femme4Femme is a multidisciplinary conversation between Maddie and Morgan’s works, both artists investigate contemporary and historical queer narrative, and question the implicit roles expected of queer femmes. While Femme4Femme comments on femme visibility and culture, it also in itself becomes a space of queer femme resistance.
Morgan Sears-‐Williams is a white settler of Irish, English and German descent working in Tkaronto on the lands of the the Anishanaabe, the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudensosaunee, and the Huron-‐Wendat. Morgan is an interdisciplinary artist and holds a BFA in Photography from OCAD University. She is interested in experimenting with image making, installation, publications, and mixed media works as a tool for self-‐exploration, and defining and re-‐inventing perceptions of your self. Her practice often explores larger themes of feminist queer histories, collective memory and questioning institutional archiving practices. Recently she has been conducting interventions with analog technologies, such as rotary telephones, and altering perceptions of their usage and stories they hold. She has exhibited her works in Toronto, Kingston and internationally and was the recipient of the Pandora Y. H. Ho Memorial Award and the Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher in 2017.
Maddie Alexander is a queer, trans non-‐binary artist, arts facilitator, archivist, and educator. Their multidisciplinary practice interrogates experiences of queer sovereignty. They hold a BFA in Photography from OCAD University, and are currently an MFA candidate at NSCAD University. Their work has exhibited locally and internationally and they received the Project 31 Photography Award in 2016. They have participated in multiple residencies, panels, artist talks, and lectures. Their work examines the precarity of queer spaces, and representations of queer and trans experience in pop culture and mass media. They approach this through a community-‐oriented practice and utilize DIY techniques to produce environmental experiences. Their work pulls from sourced materials, as well as personal narrative to explore themes of desire, failure, connection, and dissonance.
This exhibition is made possible through the financial support of the City of Windsor Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund.