Toronto || Feminist || Queer

Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another. Judith Butler, Undoing Gender


Who Counts?: A Feminist Art Throwdown A symposium about art and feminism in Canada today

Friday, October 3 – Sunday, October 5

 Multiple venues, Winnipeg

No need to register… just show up! Everyone is welcome! Free
Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) and Manitoba Artist-Run Centres Coalition (MARCC) present three days of lectures, debates and exhibitions that will bring together feminists, artists and cultural workers from across Canada to discuss feminist art in Canada now. There are so many things we need to talk about! Has gender equality in the visual arts been achieved? How have images by women evolved? Images of women? Is the male gaze still omnipresent? Is there a corresponding female gaze? What is it looking at? What is the impact on art of a shifting object/subject position? How does the visual representation of women reflect (and construct) the position of women in society? Has feminist art been co-opted into old structures of race and class hierarchies? How have different cultural perspectives shifted first world, white feminism and artmaking? What is the relationship between neo-liberalism, feminism and the art object? And more!

Contact Shawna Dempsey at dempsey_millan@mawa.ca or 204.949.9490 for further information and access to a preferred rate at the Marlborough Hotel ($85). And check out mawa.ca for a complete listing of exhibitions and events. We look forward to seeing you in Winnipeg!

This symposium is supported by ARCA, Artist Run Centres Association of Canada. 

Schedule at a glance: 

Friday, October 3 

noon-1:00 pm at MAWA, 611 Main St. 

On knowing When to Shut Up and Listen, an intergenerational First Friday lecture about the future of feminist art by Sigrid Dahle and Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler.

7:00-10:00 pm

Winnipeg galleries open and exhibiting Manitoba and Indigenous women’s artwork in recognition of MAWA’s 30th birthday and contribution to the community. Jump on the free party bus roaming between exhibitions!

Saturday, October 4

noon-5:00 pm

Winnipeg galleries open and exhibiting Manitoba and Indigenous women’s artwork

3:00-5:00 pm

“What Is Feminist Art?” — panelists duke it out, presenting examples of artworks they believe are feminist, artworks they believe are not, and why. Featuring down-and-dirty Sharlene Bamboat (Toronto), Keepin-it-Riel Cathy Mattes (Brandon) and lay-it-on-the-line Joan Borsa, refereed by Dominique Rey (Winnipeg). The Garrick Theatre, 330 Garry St.

8:00-10:00 pm

“Is Art Gendered?” — an Oxford-style debate pitting two teams of opinionated art divas: Amy Fung (Vancouver/Toronto), Seema Goel (Winnipeg), Kristin Nelson (Winnipeg) and Praba Pilar (Winnipeg), refereed by Diana Thorneycroft. The Garrick Theatre.

10:00 pm- 2:00 am

“The Throwdown Hoedown!” Winnipeg arts administrators go head-to-head, spinning all-women’s dance music at the Garrick Theatre assisted by DJ Mama Cutsworth. The Marlborough Hotel, 331 Smith St. $10.

Sunday, October 5

2:00-3:00 pm

The Wendy Wersch Memorial Lecture: Possibility: Art, Community and Changing the World by Sheila Spence at University of Manitoba School of Art’s new ARTlab. Free!

3:00-5:00 pm

They Made a Day Be a Day Here exhibition closing reception at University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery. 

Conference participants: 

Sharlene Bamboat is a multi-disciplinary artist. She often works collaboratively with artists and academics, including Alexis Mitchell with whom she forms Bambitchell. She currently sits on the Pleasure Dome Experimental Film & Video programming collective and is the Artistic Director of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto. 

Joan Borsa
 is an independent curator, art critic and Associate Professor at the Department of Art and Art History and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, University of Saskatchewan. 

Amy Fung is a writer and curator. She is known for her blog Prairie Artsters (2007-2012) and her contributions to publications such as Canadian Art, Fuse and Blackflash. Her most recent curatorial project, They Made A Day Be A Day Here, has been touring for the past two years. 

Seema Goel’s work focuses on human-animal, human-place and human-human relationships, with particular emphasis on our abilities to engage with, change and manipulate these things. Using an eclectic range of materials, she draws from her dual background in the arts and sciences. 

Cathy Mattes is an all-round art maven. In her curatorial and writing practice she focuses on Aboriginal issues and art. She is now Assistant Professor in the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Department, Brandon University. 

Kristin Nelson has exhibited her work from Montreal to Vancouver, from Winnipeg to Oaxaca, México. Her work is represented by Actual in Winnipeg. She recently completed her MFA at Concordia University and is active in MAWA (as a mentor), Manitoba Printmakers Association and the Arts and Disability Network of Manitoba. 

Praba Pilar is a Colombian multi-disciplinary artist exploring the intersections of art and emerging technologies through performances, installations, street theatre, writing, websites and digital art. Her wildly diverse work has been presented internationally at museums, galleries, universities, festivals, public streets and radio airwaves. 

Dominique Rey is a multidisciplinary artist whose work appears in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. She has been exhibited across Canada and internationally, and was recently featured in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. 

Sheila Spence has exhibited her photographs nationally and internationally. As an activist, she has conspired overtly and covertly to foster dialogue and change on feminist and queer issues. And as an arts manager/administrator, Spence directed the rebirth of Manitoba Printmakers Association’s Martha Street Studio and has recently been appointed Administrative and Development Director of Plug In ICA. 

Diana Thorneycroft is known for making art that hovers on the edge of public acceptance. In her photo-based work, sculpture and drawing, she relentlessly pursues subject matter that challenges her audience. Her most recent work is a series of altered toy horses.

…and artists, activists, academics, art lovers, writers, curators and feminists from across the country.

I was the kind of child who always looked for fairies dancing on the grass. I wanted to believe in witches, wizards, ogres, giants and enchanted spells. I didn’t want all of the magic taken out of the world by scientific explorations. V.C Andrews, Flowers in the Attic  (via owls-love-tea)

(Source: blushingbreathless, via glittertomb)