Wed, Sep 6, 2017 - 12pm
Photo: Jennifer Remenchik, IndexA: PowerTrouble (2016), cinematic clip from La Souriante Madame Beudet, Dir. Germaine Dulac, 1922
Elizabeth Milton (Vancouver), Jennifer Remenchik (Los Angeles) and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Edinburgh) Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg)
Curated by 2017 Curator-in-Residence Derrick Chang
Opening Thursday, September 6 for Swarm 17
Love and Rockets* is an exploration of longing and everyday feelings that provide an outlet for tensions and power dynamics that exist within interpersonal relationships. As a trope, the overwrought emotion of love is normally associated with cinematic melodrama that often results in an excessive display of feelings from both the actors and the viewers. Within the dynamics of music, film and video, an intimate relationship emerges that crosses between the individual and the screen. L&R represents a crucial understanding of how these ideals are transmitted from the screen to reality and back again and conversely reified through slippages in fiction and autobiographical narrative. The artists in the L&R screening series confront the way in which we control the inner monologue that tells us, “Don’t get so emotional,” and minimizes what are important issues such as respect, freedom, dignity and power that accompany tensions within relationships, broken affairs and emotional recovery. As some of the artists in the screening state, their work often reflects on states of tragi-comic emergence, emotional growth and medicines for acceptance, connection, intimacy and love.
Elizabeth Milton is a performance and media artist who lives as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations in Vancouver, Canada. Her video and photo-based works utilize absurdist character-play and camp materiality to explore identity and affect. Involving a range of participants, from family members to opera singers, her interdisciplinary and collaborative works aim to critically investigate the visual language and power structures of amateur spectacle. Through hyperbolic expressivity, comedic excess and processes of endurance, Milton examines the performative potential of maximalist femininity, novelty store glamour and the garish refuse of commercial culture.
Her work has been exhibited and performed in Canada, The United States and Europe at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Artspeak, Access Gallery, the Grunt Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, the Western Front (Vancouver); the Surrey Art Gallery; the Nanaimo Art Gallery; Gallery TPW, Nuit Blanche (Toronto); Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts (Winnipeg); Neutral Ground (Regina); Deconstrukt Projects (Brooklyn), Dynasty Handbag’s Weirdo Night (Los Angeles) and Altes Finanzamt (Berlin).
Milton holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University. She is a faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts at Langara College where she instructs studio courses in Media and Performance.
Jennifer Remenchik received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. Her works have been exhibited in a number of institutions and galleries including Industry Lab, Boston, MA; HILDE, Los Angeles, CA; BEEFHAUS, Dallas, TX; and the Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX, among others. Recently, she completed residencies at the Performing Arts Forum in St. Erme, France, Toni Areal in Zurich, Switzerland, the Banff Centre in Alberta, CA, and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Remenchik lives and works in Los Angeles.
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is an artist and diarist. His artistic gestures in sound, video and text contemplate the history of song and the gender of voices, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken or screamed. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors and sirens.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist, musician, poet and writer, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the boundaries between story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form, in the Walrus, Arc Poetry Magazine, Geist, and C Magazine. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost will be published by House of Anansi Press in Spring 2017. Her work presented in this exhibition features music videos by Cara Mumford (Métis / Chippewa Cree) and Amos Scott (Tlicho/ Dene).
Derrick Chang is a curator and writer, whose research critically examines the nature of ethics and politics in artistic practice. His current research and writing extends this examination to consider the personal and its formal associations in the context of diverse archeologies of love as mixed subcultures of feeling and emotion.