In a series of quixotic experiments, In and through all things reaches into objects, attempting to touch the intangible stored within and rippling back through them. Drawing both from handmade Shaker technologies and from objects used by early deep-sea divers, these works propose tools for approaching the metaphysical.
The methods of early deep-sea divers are compelling—in order to go where you cannot go, and see what you cannot see, one is required to embark on a lonely, disorienting descent into dark uncertainty. So a diver would carry with them a lamp, a compass, a dagger, helpful and comforting tools for the void. Echoing a diver’s tools for an expedition into uncertainty, these objects quietly probe for flickering signals in the darkness in a unique expression of faith.
Faith becomes bound up in the production or usage of objects through intent. The potency of intention can be felt rippling back through objects made by the Shakers, for whom woodworking or everyday tasks could be spiritual acts. Not unlike Shaker designs, these works inscribe magic on the banal—holiness and spirit suddenly turns up in everything, spooky action peers out from behind every surface. Flowers pressed in a stranger’s bible. Handmade gloves. The eyes of bees.
Through paradoxical and absurd propositions, In and through all things serves to guide the mind and heart of the viewer towards the invisible and impossible. These works contemplate the object as a traversable bridge, intent shifting material at a quantum level. Looking to both Christian mysticism and quantum theories, they grasp at the murky boundaries of human perception with an earnest, and deeply personal approach.
Megan Feniak is an interdisciplinary artist based in London, Ontario and Calgary. Feniak conjures handmade tools with mystical functions, drawing from both quantum physics and spiritual belief systems, her work wades into the depths of the limitations of perception. Feniak received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2018. Recent exhibitions include: Matters In The End at Support (London ON), Hand Pic’d at Viviane Art Gallery (Calgary AB), SPECULOOS at Untitled Arts Society (Calgary AB), Something From Nothing at Truck Gallery(Calgary AB), Nearly As Close As Oneself for Stride’s +15 window (Calgary AB), Two Align//Twin Goal at the Marion Nicoll (Calgary AB), and multiple exhibitions for Sled Island (Calgary AB).
This exhibition is made possible through the financial support of the City of Windsor Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund.
On September 4, 2018 Arts Commons turned off the 3-channel video work being exhibited by B.G-Osborne in The New Gallery’s +15 Window. The reasons cited being that the work contained “a lot of swearing and nudity” that had garnered “a lot of complaints from concerned patrons.” The installation in full was removed the following week. You can find full details about the actions that led to this censorship in TNG’s statements:
The video work, “A Thousand Cuts” can now be viewed at three alternative venues: the University of Calgary Art Department (Calgary, AB), Latitude 53 (Edmonton, AB), and Left Contemporary (Windsor, ON). Please contact these organizations to find out viewing hours. We thank these organizations for their support of this important artwork.
B.G-Osborne has also written an open letter in response to this censorship:
It has been brought to my attention that there have been several complaints against my video work due to “cursing and nudity”. Rather than re-edit and censor my work to comfort certain viewers who are offended by the very banal acts of swearing and non-sexual nudity, I have decided to remove the piece from the space entirely. It is ironic that a video compilation that highlights the far-too-common act of cisgender actors being permitted and feeling entitled to play trans characters in film and television, is too offensive when looked at through a critical/ trans-lens. The entire work is meant to be offensive, but several individuals have chosen to fixate on cursing and one brief scene of nudity. If you are cisgender and you were offended by this work: think about why you were offended. Are you trying to protect your children from what you perceive to be vulgar representations of bodies? Are you comfortable with the violence that is perpetuated against trans people, but offended by five or six swear words (that your children have already heard) and a flaccid penis? If you cannot accept seeing a penis on a woman in a movie (even though the actor is a cisgender woman with a prosthetic)- think about the other types of transphobia you might perpetuate in your daily routines. To me, it seems you are afraid of the questions this video will raise in the minds of your children, or in yourself.
To Arts Commons: I implore you to deal with complaints against challenging art work (especially when the content deals with marginalized communities and bodies) in a more constructive way, rather than shutting down a conversation before it can begin. Trans people are still being murdered at a seriously alarming rate, misrepresentation will continue to happen in mainstream media, we will try to take back our image and tell our own stories, cisgender people will keep being offended, and we will keep fighting.
Deeply disappointed, but not surprised,
A Thousand Cuts
A Thousand Cuts is an in-progress found-footage video compilation of cisgender actors playing transgender roles in film and television. The work confronts transgender cinematic tropes and the erasure of transgender people in mainstream media. The clips that are selected for the compilation are, more often than not, from films and television series produced for cisgender audiences. By editing, arranging, and locating visual and thematic similarities between certain clips and dialogue, A Thousand Cuts creates new meaning through a crescendolike composition ranging from humorous to violent- but always inauthentic- representations of trans individuals. The large poster included in the exhibition lists the names of all documented murdered transgender people in the past two years. Last year alone, there were over three hundred documented murders of transgender people world-wide. The poster serves as a reminder to the viewership of the common consequence of transgender expression, especially for trans women of colour.
B.G-Osborne is a Transmedia artist from rural Ontario, currently working in Montreal. Their work focuses on exploring and interrogating the potential of gender-variant embodiment to serve as both a tool for gender deconstruction and revision. They graduated as valedictorian from NSCAD University in 2014 with a BFA in Intermedia. Osborne’s ongoing projects seek to address the complexities of trans representation and violence, mental illness, and family secrets/stories. They place great importance in showcasing their work in artist run centres and non-commercial galleries throughout Canada.
List of clips used in the compilation:
3 Generations (2015)
20 centímetros (2005)
40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
Ace Ventura Pet Detective (1994)
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1998)
Albert Nobbs (2011)
All About My Mother (1999)
Beautiful Boxer (2004)
Boys Don’t Cry Oscar Awards Ceremony (2000)
Better than Chocolate (1999)
Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
The Crying Game (1992)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
The Danish Girl (2015)
Desperate Living (1977)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dressed To Kill (1980)
Ed Wood (1994)
En Soap (2006)
Glen or Glenda (1953)
Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2001)
I want what I want (1972)
In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
La Mala Educacion (2004)
Laurence Anyways (2012)
Ma vie en rose (1997)
Naked Gun 33 1/3 (1994)
Soldiers Girl (2003)
TO WONG FOO Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)
Trich Doan Phim (Man on high Heels) (2014)
The World According to Garp (1982)
Zoolander 2 (2016)
Different for Girls (1996)
Elvis and Madonna (2010)
The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
All My Children, “Zoe: At the Crossroads part II” (2006)
American Horror Story, Season 5 Episode 3 “Mommy” (2015)
The Bold and the Beautiful, Episode 7078 (2016)
Californication, Season 5 Episode 5 “Charlie got a Blowjob from a Tranny Hooker” (2012)
Cold Case, Season 2 Episode 3 “Daniela” (2004)
Cold Case, Season 5 Episode 9 “Boy Crazy” (2007)
Coronation Street: Roy and Haley’s Wedding (1999)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Season 8 Episode 8, “Identity Crisis” (2002)
Dead of Summer, Season 1 Episode 3 “Mixtape” (2016)
Degrassi, Season 13 Episode 7, “Young Forever” (2013)
The Education of Max Bickford, Season 1 Episode 7 “Revisionism” (2001)
Friends, Season 7 Episode 22 “The one with Chandlers dad” (2001)
The Golden Girls, Season 3 Episode 7 “Strange Bedfellows” (1987)
Hit and Miss, Season 1 Episode 3 (2012)
Hollyoaks, Jason tells Bart it’s over (2010)
The Jeffersons, Season 4 Episode 3 “Once a Friend” (1977)
Just Shoot Me, Season 5 Episode 6 “Brandi You’re a Fine Girl” (2000)
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Season 4 Episode 21 “Fallacy” (2003)
Night Court, Season 3 Episode 6 “Best of Friends” (1985)
Nip/Tuck, Season 3 Episode 14 “Cherry Peck” (2005)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 3 Episode 10 “Mac is a Serial Killer” (2007)
Orphan Black, Season 2 Episode 8 “Variable and Full of Perturbation” (2014)
Penny Dreadful, Season 2 Episode 4 “Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places” (2015)
Pretty Little Liars, Season 6 Finale (2015)
Sex and the City, Season 3 Episode 18 “Cock-A-Doodle-Do” (2000)
Sons of Anarchy, Season 5 Episode 5 “Orcha Shrugged” (2012)
Tales of the City, Part 1 Chapter 7 (1994)
Tales from the Crypt, Season 6 Episode 8 “The Assassin” (1994)
Transparent, Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” (2014)
Twin Peaks, Season 2 Episode 11 “Masked Ball” (1990)
Two and a Half Men, Season 1 Episode 18 “An Old Flame with a New Wick” (2004)
Ugly Betty, Romijn and Mabius on Joining the Cast (Interview, 2007)
Wentworth, Season 3 Episode 11 “The Living and The Dead” (2015)
WKRP in Cincinnati, Season 3 Episode 5 “Hotel Oceanview” (1980)
Arcade Fire “We Exist” (2014)
The artist would like to thank The Canada Council for the Arts for their continued support of this project.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with The New Gallery (Calgary, AB)
Over time, a well used staircase will form indentations on its steps from consistent use. The persistent presence of a small activity eventually alters the structure of the staircase, changes how we interact with it, and ultimately how we view it. As the persistent presence of queer people has continued throughout history, we see the work of the community wear into the structure of society and make a permanent impression. As young queer people who have grown up seeing huge shifts in politics, dialogues, and acceptance, as well as huge shifts of technology, medicine, and culture, how have our lives and experiences been influenced by these things? How different are we than generations before? How are we similar? What does it mean to be queer in 2018? A Gently Worn Impression seeks to explore the complexity of queer identity and culture, presenting work by queer millennials which creates lines between the past, present, and future.
The exhibition will feature work from Daniel Cardinal McCartney, Ryan Danny Owen, Lucas LaRochelle, Nour Fakih, Nicola Wilting, Brandon Geissmann, Nikki Alex Basset, May G N, Adrienne Crossman, Dana Buzzee, and the Windsor Youth Centre’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance.
A Gently Worn Impression is presented with support from Windsor Essex Pride Fest.
Windsor-Essex Pride Fest (WEPF) is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the Province of Ontario. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, WEPF brings together members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Questioning and Two Spirit (LGBTIQ2S) community, their friends, allies and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of our community by providing advocacy and producing inclusive and safe events, initiatives and social programs. WEPF strengthens the sense of community and contributes to the vibrancy, health and overall well-being of LGBTIQ2S individuals in Windsor-Essex.
Windsor-Essex Pride Fest’s goal through its QConnect Program is to empower Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Two Spirit (LGBTIQ2S) individuals through social and recreation programs and facilitate opportunities for connection and belonging to reduce social isolation. This is done through age-specific activities, peer-facilitated groups, workshops and special events/initiatives.
Members of the LGBTIQ2S community experience unique social isolation compared with other marginalized groups. Research indicates that the individuals in the LGBTTQIA community are 2.5 times more likely to live alone. The lack of peer or social supports, activities, gatherings or other opportunities to engage with peers in the community may cause social isolation that often escalates into a number of other problems, including homelessness, depression, violence, suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol abuse and dropping out of school for some LGBTIQ2S youth.
LEFT Contemporary is a grassroots arts organization in Windsor, ON. It is located in the garage behind 781 Gladstone Av. It is open for events and by appointment and accessible only through the alley between Moy and Gladstone.
VIDEOSTORE is a one night DIY video art festival, based off the widely successful Bring Your Own Beamer events produced by Rafaël Rozendaal. The festival is currently seeking submissions of video art, and is open to all participants on the condition that they provide their own projector, monitor, installation equipment, etc. Artists must be present for and prepared to install and de-install their work on May 18, 2018. The event will take place in Windsor, ON.
The event will take place for one day at the School of Creative Arts Armouries Building (37 University Ave. E), with installation in the afternoon and a reception in the evening at 8pm. The work will be installed in the building’s public spaces. The work will be de-installed following the reception.
BADLIGHT is memory, blindness and gestures of care. It is what is felt and what is lost.
Rooted heavily in craft theory and ontology, BADLIGHT is the relationship mother and daughter in times of light and of darkness.
Natalie Lauchlan is a daughter. She is an emerging artist from Canada, where her mind still goes to wonder the forests and mountains, no matter where her body is. She collects fragments of text that come to arrange themselves in her memory. She reads the tenderness of objects and transcribes the poetics of space.
Exploring the ephemeral, she is the ghost haunting all her memories.
These works are a continuation of a series of chimeric explorations questioning the threshold between the ‘human’ and ‘natural.’ Through them, I seek stories of interconnectedness, of bodies whose boundaries are permeable and overlap; to memorialize, engage, and bring this permeability into presence.
Sheri Nault is a multi-disciplinary artist of Métis and mixed European descent. Situated within personal and political contexts, their art practice and research are grounded in queer, feminist, and Indigenous world-views. Through their work they strives to elicit a sense of social and ecological responsibility to one another on a damaged planet, exploring the connections between humans and nature. They completed their MFA at York University in 2017, were an Indigenous Practicum Participant in The Banff Centre’s Visual Arts department from 2014 to 2015, and received their BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2012. Recent exhibitions include Kin, the presentation of their thesis work; Entangled Bodies at the Art Gallery of York University (agYU); art( i f)ACTS curated by Belinda Ho-Yan Kwan in response to the agYU collection; and Where the Weather Happens at the Niagara Artists Centre, curated by Jessie Short and Amy Malbeuf. They are a member of the 2017 cohort of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency based at Artscape Gibraltar Point (postponed to 2018 due to flooding).
Via a convolution of print and perception The Traverse seeks to make apparent the division between the normative and queer understanding of the self. Providing the choice to move beyond a curtain, standing in for the edge of queer territory, the viewer is confronted by an inverted gaze. An artwork directly expressing its agency, the multitude of eyes and grimacing mouths that compose the interior of the installation enforce the viewer’s position as an outsider in this differentiated place. In the focused gaze beyond its surface the work desires a token of understanding from the viewer, offering a point of empathetic contact through a text offering. This desire, however, is no guarantee of a deciphering taking place.
My transitional intent is geared towards generating new meaning, ways of living, a bodily existence. These modes are supposedly beyond legibility to normative visions and so the forcing an action of traversal (physical, geographical, societal and cultural) becomes essential.
Outcomes in trans living are immune to any attempt at foresight and demand a unique journey and relationship with the subject of change. This relationship and the conclusions drawn from it lie beyond some form of barrier and The Traverse is meant to present that.
May G N is a Trans Albertan Artist that works with new media print technologies to produce work engaging with their personal navigations of territories that span the emotional, physical and societal. Through layering image, text and material, May G N provides scenarios where the decisions of the viewer are interrogated surrounding their relationship with queer identities.