We Are Woven Through with Strangers and Strangeness

When 4 Jun 2015 - 4 Jul 2015
Where Centre A
229 East Georgia St.
Vancouver V6A 4A6
Enquiry (604) 683-8326

Opening reception: Thursday, June 4, 7pm

Richard Heikkilä-Sawan | Deborah Kisiel | Bianca Lee | Ceri Richards | Risa Yokoi
Curated by Alex Cu Unjieng

We Are Woven Through with Strangers and Strangeness is a group exhibition highlighting the works of five emerging artists chosen from this year’s graduating exhibitions of Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Richard Heikkilä-Sawan, Deborah Kisiel, Bianca Lee) and the University of British Columbia (Ceri Richards, and Risa Yokoi). The exhibition also marks the first curatorial project for Centre A’s exhibitions intern, Alex Cu Unjieng, and is part of Centre A’s commitment to young and promising artists.

The title takes its name from a line in L’Intrus, an essay by philosopher Jean Luc Nancy which suggests a view of our own bodies as strange even to us, questioning where the ‘outside’ ends and the self begins, considering where identity is found, and to what extent it is tangled up in the world our bodies inhabit. Through the works of this exhibition we see these concerns along with notions of identity politics, labor, and different ways of seeing come together in a manner that tackles questions of ambiguity, identity, community, and the body.  Among these works a space is created where we may explore the ways in which our lives are, as Nancy puts it, “woven through with strangers and strangeness.” The strangeness of inhabiting a body; of the simultaneous necessity and impossibility of communicating the experience of that body; of the process of coming to know one’s self and one’s relation to others; and the strangeness of certain identities being automatically deemed ‘normal’ while others must continuously fight to attain the same status.

In creating a platform for the exploration of these ideas, the show seeks to sustain a vision that expects differences of sex, skin, desire, and knowledge, while being invigorated by the ability of these differences to threaten, through their perceived strangeness, powers that organize the ordinary. ‘Strangeness’ then becomes a productive tool for questioning the systems of norms that created the term to begin with; a way to shift our angle of vision and find other ways of understanding.

 The works featured in this exhibition include Deborah Kisiel’s wall-mounted ceramic text piece written in shorthand, an interactive installation of an unravelled thrift store sweater by Risa Yokoi, an organically sprawling soft sculpture by Ceri Richards, Bianca Lee’s blanket of bright pink faux fur on which rest folded reddish-brown clay forms drizzled with glaze, and a rainbow-dyed buffalo hide flag by Richard Heikkilä-Sawan. Through its public programming, this exhibition will seek to act as a space for cultural producers to meet and explore their own and each other’s practices.

The curator would like to acknowledge with great thanks the support and assistance she received from Centre A’s Natalie Tan, Tyler Russell, and Julia Dahee Hong, as well as Anton Cu Unjieng and Nelson Tully.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

For more information, please click here.