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The second iteration of I’ve Only Known My Own was presented at Optica in Montreal, from April 21 to June 10, 2017. This group exhibition of performance-based work explores how the materiality of the body is represented through measurements, process, and documentation.

First realised in Houston in the spring of 2016, artists Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Ursula Johnson, Autumn Knight, and Michelle Lacombe were invited to revisit, re-perform, or reinterpret their earlier performances for the second iteration at Optica and to bring forward traces or echoes from the first exhibition. Writer Mikhel Proulx was invited to witness and respond to the performances in Houston, and his first-person account is included in the accompanying publication as another trace. In both iterations, the exhibition evolved over the course of its run, with objects, props, and actions set in motion during the presentation of each of the four works. The exhibition’s title (adapted from the title of Lacombe’s project) evokes the notion of knowledge that derives from a body, and is specific to a particular body; it is intended as a poetic echo of the themes in these works. The title also speaks to the gap between an individual experience of a performance and the traces that (might) be known or circulated afterwards. Together, the artists presented for this exhibition offer multiple positions from which to approach these ideas, and they open new avenues for considering the materiality and presence of the body within performance.

For complete descriptions:
-download the press release
-télécharger le communiqué de presse

All photos above by Paul Litherland.

Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Ursula Johnson, Autumn Knight,
Michelle Lacombe, and Mikhel Proulx

Wednesday March 30 – Saturday April 24, 2016
She Works Flexible: Flex Space 2608 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006
Opening Reception: Saturday April 2nd, 7-9pm

I’ve Only Known My Own is a group exhibition of new performance works that explore how the materiality of the body is translated or communicated through measurements, process, technology, and documentation. This exhibition looks at how the matter of the body might become a tool or force that generates or expresses its own (il/logical) systems, and thinks through how this material embodiment might function as a form of resistance. Rather than presenting a fixed set of works, the exhibition will evolve over the course of its three-week run, with objects, props, and works being set in motion during the presentation of each of the 4 performances. Inhabiting the quasi-domestic architecture of the gallery, the artists will work within the rooms of She Works Flexible’s Flex Space, gradually interacting with the space and leaving traces behind.

Nadège Grebmeier Forget‘s (Montreal, QC) ongoing series One on one’s for so-called fans involves private performances that are then translated through oral accounts and performative re-tellings, highlighting the role of documentation and technology in mediating access to her performing body. Ursula Johnson (Dartmouth, NS) will present a new work that continues her investigations into the ways that indigenous cultural practices such as basket-weaving or leather tanning are now transmitted from body to body, and place to place. Autumn Knight‘s (Houston, TX) new performance Documents will compile a reading of the documentation that serves to legitimize (American) citizenship, while holding space for the embodied specificities of race, class, and gender to contest whether these documents accurately reflect the bodies they are meant to represent. Michelle Lacombe (Montreal, QC) will present excerpts from her project Of All the Watery Bodies, I Only Know My Own, where she used a monthly measurement of the volume of blood in her body to determine the placement of a tattooed water line around her calves. Mikhel Proulx (Montreal, QC), a scholar who has written about the ways in which queer bodies are (re)presented in online spaces and through self-imaging practices such as web-camming and selfies, will be on site to research a text that will be published following the close of the exhibition.

SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES
Ursula Johnson – Saturday April 2nd, starting at 2pm
Michelle Lacombe – Thursday April 7, sunset (approx. 7:45pm) – 9pm
Autumn Knight – Friday April 8th, 8pm-9pm
Nadège Grebmeier Forget – Saturday April 9th, 3:30pm

I’ve Only Known My Own was presented by the Core Residency Program, Glassell School of Art in partnership with Dan Fergus, Brasil Café, and She Works Flexible. Nadège Grebmeier Forget’s project has also received support through Diagonale’s La Soupée event, and Michelle Lacombe would like to thank Centre Sagamie for supporting the production of her images. Sincere thanks to all those who have offered advice and support along the way: Anthea Black, Andy Campbell, Rachel Cook, Joshua Cordova, Lily Cox-Richard, Danielle Dean, Dean Daderko, Taraneh Fazeli, Peter Gershon, Joe Havel, Collin Hedrick, Kerry Inman, Mary Leclère, Val Mayes, Lynne McCabe, Michael Murland, and Olya Zarapina.

SWF_Bold Logo              logo_diagonale

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The Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society (LIDS) was founded in 2006 as a closely-knit affiliation of then-unemployed cultural workers, not working, but still bustin’ ass within Alberta artist-run culture. Their activities made visible and politicized women’s roles in the arts economy through tactical laziness, crafty collaboration, over-performance, and wild hilarity. They announced their intentions to DO LESS in a series of works produced between 2012 and 2014, and to completely withdraw from art-making at the Calgary Biennial 2015. After a decade of non-activity, they officially called in quits in 2016. LIDS was Anthea BlackNicole Burisch, and Wednesday Lupypciw.

An archive of projects can be found on the LIDS site.

The Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society’s limited edition DO LESS WITH LESS / DO MORE WITH MORE cross stitch pattern poster was printed at the Alberta Printmakers’ Society in June 2012. The slogan on the original posters was inspired by a discussion during Artivistic’s Promiscuous Infrastructures project at Centre des arts actuels Skol in Montréal, Québec about how artists and non-profit arts organizations negotiate the constant pressure to do more with less. With this poster reissue for FUSE Magazine‘s last issue, LIDS proposes that we resist the capitalist logic of constant acceleration, productivity, and austerity budgets by reasserting a realistic level of production within our means. Use LIDS’ handy pull out pattern to stitch a banner for your own office and hang in the orientation of your choice! A version of the poster was also printed in PHONEBOOK 4, directory of independent art spaces, programs, and projects in the United States, in 2015; and was included in the exhibition Beginning with the Seventies: Glut, at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC in 2018.

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Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society, DO LESS WITH LESS / DO MORE WITH MORE, FUSE Magazine 31-1 WINTER 2013-14 PATTERN PULLOUT.

Photo credits: Olya Zarapina

Ever feel like your job has started to take on a somewhat performative quality? Tired that artists and athletes are getting all the recognition and the fun? Want to put your over-developed administrative skills to the test and show off your hidden talents for organizing, planning, and figuring out brilliant last-minute solutions while working under pressure with a tight budget? Have we got a race for you!

The Art Administrator’s Race is a day-long game based on popular television programs like The Amazing Race or Survivor, childhood memories of Capture the Flag, and the absurdity and humour in our day-to-day lives as arts administrators and cultural workers.

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Avez-vous déjà eu l’impression que votre travail comporte un aspect performatif? Êtes-vous tanné-e du fait que les artistes et les athlètes sont les seul-es à recueillir la gloire? Avez-vous envie de tester vos habiletés surdéveloppées en matière d’administration des arts et de pavaner vos talents cachés pour l’organisation, la planification et la résolution de problèmes de dernière minute tout en travaillant sous pression selon un budget limité? Eh bien, nous avons une compétition pour vous!

La Course annuelle des administrateur-rice-s des arts est une compétition d’une journée, basée sur les populaires émissions de télévision telles Amazing Race et Survivor, les souvenirs d’enfance de capture du drapeau et le côté absurde et humoristique de notre quotidien d’administrateur-rice-s des arts (AA) et de travailleur-euse-s culturels.

Organised by Amber Berson and Nicole Burisch, the first race took place in Montreal on May 20th, 2013, from 2-5pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/113142445556510/). Four teams met at Eastern Bloc and then raced throughout the Mile Ex/Little Italy/Mile End neighbourhoods to complete a set of arts-admin related challenges.

The rules were:

  • The whole team must do the challenge at the same time. No splitting up.

  • You must take a photo at each station (and try to upload it to Facebook for good PR and communications)

  • You must begin and end at Eastern Bloc, but otherwise can do the challenge in whatever order you want.

Challenges included:

  • Translate a text that was written in English by a non-native speaker, to actual English. In less than ten minutes so it can go to press.

  • Bring Your Kid to Work Wild Card Challenge (30 mins max)

  • Schmooze with a Collector + Bonus Point Round! (30 mins max)

  • Old technology / equipment pickup / installation challenge (30 mins max)

  • Visit two board members who work on opposite ends of town to sign a document and then drop it off at an art council office (i.e. with the judges), in less than two hours.

  • Photocopy challenge. Make a posters with images from your challenge stations. Make enough copies for every team.

  • Explain your financial statements to your membership. You must be back at Eastern Bloc by 4:45 for this challenge.

The race concluded with after work drinks/judging at Alexandraplatz, where celebrity judges/board members Libby Shea, Anne Bertrand, and Saelen Twerdy evaluated each team’s performance, and tallied scores from the various challenges.

After thorough consideration (and a shocking last-minute disqualification) the results were announced:

1st place: Michelle, Anna, Sheena
2nd place: Florence, Virgine, Pedro
In a category of their own: Chris and Rose
Disqualified: Amber and Nicole

Thanks to all who participated and offered their homes, resources, and ingenuity. If you are interested in participating, contributing, or suggesting potential future challenges, please send an email to citiusaltiuspervilis(at)gmail(dot)com.

Merci beaucoup à tous les participant.e.s: Anne, Saelen Libby, Olya, Florence, Virginie, Pedro, Claudine, Chris, Rose, Sol, Michelle, Anna, Sheena, Eliane. Vous êtes toutes et tous des gagnant.e.s!

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The Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society (LIDS) and friends will be converging in Toronto at the end of May for a performance by Wednesday L AND an official BBQ book launch with our feminist pals! Join us on Sunday May 26th at 3pm at the Feminist Art Gallery for the launch of our new publication.

The publication documents our 2012 residency, the Incredisensual Panty Raid Laff Along and is now available through local LIDS distributors near you! This handy volume gathers together materials produced during the residency: photographs, texts, recollections, and ephemera. Designed by Olya Zarapina, this publication also features 3 new texts by feminist scholars Jennifer Kennedy, Mireille Perron, and Amy Fung.

Sixty of the books are covered in limited edition dust jackets/posters that we printed at the Alberta Printmakers’ Society in June 2012. The slogan on the posters: “Do More With More, Do Less With Less,” was inspired by a discussion about how non-profit arts organizations negotiate the increasing pressure to participate in business-based models and the “cultural industry.” A PDF excerpt of the publication, with an edited transcript of one of our Sunday Tea n’ Chats discussions, The Value Of Our (Collective) Work is available as a free sneak preview.

UNIDENTIFIED…ENIGMATIC, PERHAPS EVEN ROMANTIC
(with the Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society)

This informal exhibition offers up a small selection of documents, photographs, texts, publications, correspondence, and art works chosen by the members of the Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society during our summer 2012 residency at the John Snow House. Spanning the years of 1974 to 2010, these selections are the result of our collective meanderings through The New Gallery’s archives and library. The title of our exhibition is drawn from a note left in a binder of slides in 1988 by then-administrator Nelson Henricks that reads: “The following slide are unidentified, which is kund of enigmatic, perhaps even Romantic. Nevertheless, I have identified them as Clouds ‘N’ Water because of the remarkable amount of wood paneling…They are coalated into groups that are from the same film, so please don’t mix them up, not that anyone will ever look at them, or even read this.”

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