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IOKMO_bookcoverThis publication gathers together traces from the first iteration of this exhibition, which took place in Houston in the spring of 2016. It is intended to offer a bridge between that exhibition, and the one at Optica in the spring of 2017.

Cette publication réunit des traces de la première itération de l’exposition, qui s’est tenue à Houston (É-U) au printemps 2016. La publication se veut un pont entre cette première itération et celle qui a lieu à Optica au printemps 2017.

For hard copies, please contact nicoleburisch(at)gmail(dot)com.
PDF copy available to download here.

desire_change
Since 2013, I have been working as Managing Editor on a new publication on contemporary feminist art in Canada, commissioned by Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), and edited by Heather Davis.

In the resistance to the violence of gender-based oppression, vibrant – but often ignored – worlds have emerged, full of nuance, humour, and beauty. Correcting an absence of writing about contemporary feminist work by Canadian artists, Desire Change considers the resurgence of feminist art, thought, and practice in the past decade by examining artworks that respond to themes of diversity and desire.

Essays by historians, artists, and curators present an overview of a range of artistic practices including performance, installation, video, textiles, and photography. Contributors address the desire for change through three central frames: how feminist art has significantly contributed to the complex understanding of gender as it intersects with sexuality and race; the necessary critique of patriarchy and institutions as they relate to colonization within the Canadian national-state; and the ways in which contemporary critiques are formed and expressed. The resulting collection addresses art through an activist lens to examine intersectional feminism, decolonization, and feminist institution building in a Canadian context.

Heavily illustrated with representative works, Desire Change raises both the stakes and the concerns of contemporary feminist art, with an understanding that feminism is always and necessarily plural.

Contributors include Janice Anderson (Concordia University), Gina Badger (artist, writer, editor, Toronto), Amber Christensen (curator and writer, Toronto), Karin Cope (NSCAD), Lauren Fournier (artist, writer, and curator, York University), Amy Fung (curator and writer, Toronto), Kristina Huneault (Concordia University), Alice Ming Wai Jim (Concordia University), Tanya Lukin Linklater (artist, North Bay), Sheila Petty (University of Regina), Kathleen Ritter (curator and writer, Vancouver), Daniella Sanader (curator and writer, Toronto), Thérèse St. Gelais (UQAM), cheyanne turions (curator and writer, Toronto), Ellyn Walker (Queen’s University), Jayne Wark (NSCAD) and Jenny Western (curator and writer, Winnipeg).

Copublished by Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and McGill Queen’s University Press.

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

Hay in a Haystack :: Du foin dans une meule de foin
crafty excerpts from Artexte’s collection :: extraits artisanaux de la collection d’Artexte
A limited-edition bookwork based on my 2012-2013 research residency at Artexte, available for consultation on-site at Artexte.
A small print-on-demand publication that includes a sampling of the excerpts in the bookwork is also available for purchase.

(La version française suit)

strata; transparencies; bonding; bound and buried cores; nervous energy, work energy, calm; body containing, body projecting; logical secrets; fragments meeting on a grid; progressive processes; repetition of gesture, of form, of line, of activity, of action; repetition in time and as time; serial rhythms flexed and measured; motion, muscle, touch; fetishes dissected and respected; abstract ritual; taut/loose, tension/freedom, part/whole, microcosm, macrocosm, distance/intimacy, interior/exterior; structure stretched, geometry thwarted into growth, memory compacted into layers, indoors outdoors, outdoors indoors; empty centers, open spaces; animal, vegetable, mineral, flesh.

Lucy Lippard, catalogue for Strata, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1977

Central to my research over the past few years has been the issue of how craft is perceived or represented. Rather than being a question of definition (what is craft?), this is a question about how craft or a crafted aesthetic is used to represent certain values or affiliations (more like why craft?). In particular, this line of inquiry has focused on the ways that craft, from its position on the margins of traditional art historical discourse, has often been used as a means to signal an affiliation with alternative lifestyles or politicized art practices.

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SKILLSHARE
A day of craft research and discussion at Artexte
Une journée de réflexion sur l’artisanat à Artexte

nburisch_skillshare_promo3

November 16, 2013, 2:30-7PM // Le 16 novembre 2013, de 14 h 30 à 19 h

(le français suit)

2:30-3:30pm: Tour of the Artexte collection and presentation of selected materials and items
A guided tour of the Artexte collection and facilities, followed by a presentation on Nicole Burisch’s research at Artexte.

As 2012-2013 researcher in residence, Nicole Burisch has been investigating the presence and position of craft within Artexte’s collection. Recent developments in craft theory have been marked by a shift away from traditional definitions of craft as necessarily linked to specific materials (such as ceramics, textiles, or glass). Burisch’s research at Artexte builds upon this stance to look at how craft’s qualities appear throughout the collection – resulting in an intuitive and highly personal search for representations of materiality, handwork, labour, skill, process, texture, tactility, pattern, function, rural and “folk” cultures. Using this broader view on where craft might be located, Burisch has gathered a selection of items and excerpts from the collection that together raise and respond to the following questions: How are aspects of craft positioned or deployed within other fields? Which of craft’s qualities or knowledges are useful in communicating certain values or ideas? How has this shifted in relation to other art historical moments or movements?

The results of this research have been gathered together in a new publication: a limited edition bookwork that is half database and half zine. Produced through the repetitive acts of photocopying and (re)arranging, the publication traces the presence of craft in Artexte’s collection, while leaving room for gaps, contradictions, and future additions. Selected craft-based materials and items from the collection will also be on hand for consultation and discussion.

4:00-5:00 Lecture by Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch: From Craftivism to Craftwashing: consuming and co-opting the politics of craft
Craft has frequently been positioned as both a fix and foil for the ills of capitalism and alienating conditions of industrialization. The last decade is no exception, as a recent resurgence of hand-making in the fields of popular culture, design, and art, and the related practices of Craftivism, DIY, urban homesteading, and back-to-the-land, have been dubbed by some as a “craft revolution.” However, this fascination with all things handmade places emphasis on a romanticized notion of crafting (and often textiles in particular) as simple, fulfilling, and politically significant work. These assumptions about the status of craft operate in what is often a false opposition to mass production, consumer culture, and an increasingly technologized world.

In the almost-decade since the word “craftivism” has been used to describe the blending of craft and activism, a number of forces have complicated this relatively emergent dialogue and set of practices. We investigate how the particular qualities of craft have been conflated with notions of authenticity, individuality, and radical politics, and what this might mean in regards to changing notions of activism. If “greenwashing” refers to the use of branding to make a product seem eco-friendly while concealing its negative impacts, we introduce the term “craftwashing” to refer to instances where craft is used to market and perform political and social engagement while obscuring similarly sticky ethical, environmental, and economic impacts of global production and consumption.

-5:00-7:00pm: Book launch for Hay in a Haystack

This event is presented as part of The Deskilling/Reskilling of Artistic Production research-workshop and lecture series held at Concordia University, organized by the FoFA Gallery, and the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Heartfelt thanks to Sylvie Gilbert, John Latour, Felicity Talyer, karen elaine spencer, Eduardo Ralickas, Julie Fournier Lévesque, Éric Legendre, Sarah Watson, Jo-­Anne Balcaen, Anthea Black, Mikhel Proulx, Olya Zarapina. I am also grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of the research phase of this project.

//

14 h 30 : Visite de la collection d’Artexte et présentation de livres et de documents sélectionnés par Nicole Burisch

Chercheur en résidence à Artexte en 2012-2013, Nicole Burisch a enquêté sur la présence et le positionnement de l’artisanat au sein de la collection d’Artexte.  Sous une notion élargie de l’artisanat, Burisch a réuni un ensemble d’objets et d’articles qui, à la fois, soulèvent et répondent aux questions suivantes : comment voit-on certains aspects de l’artisanat dans d’autres domaines artistiques ? Quelles qualités ou connaissances artisanales sont utiles pour communiquer certaines valeurs ou idées ? Comment cela a-t-il changé par rapport aux autres moments ou mouvements de l’histoire de l’art ?

Le résultat de cette recherche est rassemblé dans une nouvelle publication : l’édition limitée d’un livre d’artiste sous la forme hybride d’une base de données et d’un zine. En utilisant le processus répétitif du photocopieur et du réarrangement, cette publication trace la présence de l’artisanat dans la collection d’Artexte, tout en laissant la place aux lacunes, aux contradictions et aux ajouts futurs. Le lancement officiel de cette nouvelle publication aura lieu à 17h, après la conférence.

16 h à 17 h : Conférence d’Anthea Black et Nicole Burisch : From Craftivism to Craftwashing : consuming and co-opting the politics of craft

Dans la quasi décennie faisant suite à l’apparition du mot « craftivism » pour décrire la fusion de l’artisanat et de l’activisme, plusieurs forces ont brouillé ce dialogue alors émergent et l’ensemble de ses pratiques associées. Burisch et Black examinent comment les qualités particulières de l’artisanat ont été confondues avec la notion d’authenticité, de l’individualité et la politique et ce que cela signifie en regard de l’évolution de la notion de militantisme. Si l’écoblanchiment (greenwashing) fait référence à l’utilisation de la marque pour donner une image écologique responsable à un produit – tout en dissimulant ses impacts négatifs – est introduit ici le terme « craftwashing » pour désigner des cas où l’artisanat est utilisé pour commercialiser et effectuer l’engagement politique et social, tout en masquant les impacts éthiques, environnementaux et économiques de la production et de la consommation globale.

Cette conférence est présentée dans le cadre de l’événement The Deskilling/Reskilling of Artistic Production (la déqualification et la requalification de la production artistique), un atelier de recherche qui aura lieu à l’Université Concordia le 14 novembre, organisé par la Galerie FoFA et la Faculté des Beaux-Arts.

Merci à: Sylvie Gilbert, John Latour, Felicity Talyer, karen elaine spencer, Eduardo Ralickas, Julie Fournier Lévesque, Éric Legendre, Sarah Watson, Jo-­Anne Balcaen, Anthea Black, Mikhel Proulx, Olya Zarapina et au Conseil des arts du Canada pour leur soutien de ce projet.

extra_cover“In Craft Hard Die Free: Radical Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism, Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch provide a brief international survey of activities which seek to deploy craft for the purposes of protest. Knitting, and other textile arts traditionally associated with communal crafting, plays the leading role. The concept of the ‘revolutionary knitting circle’ recalls the 1970s feminist use of a similar group exchange as a form of consciousness raising. Black and Burisch also cite the AIDS Quilt project of the 1980s as an important precursor for the present moment. So much for precedents, what about the future? Clearly, efficacy and identity are interwoven in this essay, which takes for granted another 70s concept–that the personal is political–and offers real-world strategies for [maintaining] the efficacy of symbolic craft. It is too early to say whether craftivism will have staying power in the cultural imagination, like the Arts and Crafts, studio and countercultural craft movements before it. But there is little doubt that Black, Burisch and their peers have breathed new life into this old set of ideas.”
-Glenn Adamson, The Craft Reader

Extra/ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art has been reviewed in BUST Magazine, Bad at SportsAmerican Craft, Liminalities and will go to its second printing at Duke soon.

For a copy: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Extra-Ordinary/