For our inaugural fundraising event – Breaking Ground –  in house Curator, Connor Buchanan planned an exhibition of Albertan artists. Collectively the work is concerned with marginalization, sexuality and gender norms. The curatorial cue is taken from the Edmonton Pride Festival which is taking place on the same date – June 7th, 2014.

Participating Artists:

  • Trevor Anderson
  • Devon Beggs
  • Terrance Houle
  • Mika Hykowsky
  • Sam Pearson

This exhibition features works from emerging and established artists.  This collection of film and 2d works will be on display for the duration of the event in two un-occupied studios spaces at CPI.

Three films will be screened in an unoccupied top floor studio. Terrance  Houle’s self-deprecating sense of humour is showcased in his film The Metrosexual Indian (2005). The work has a jovial tone while effectively highlighting the conflicting identities faced  by males of Houle’s generation. Also shown in this room are The Island (2009) and Rock Pockets (2007) by Trevor Anderson. The Island contemplates a rather nasty letter Anderson received. Clever animation adds a level of play and fantasy to the unfortunate phrase ‘you should all be put on an island…’ Rock Pockets reflects on Anderson’s childhood experience of hetero-envy and adult reaction years later. A two-dimensional work from Devon Beggs is also displayed. Part of his Homo Sculptures series, this piece is crafted from found fabric and plexi-glass. The series playfully addresses sexuality and androgyny.

The second half of the pop up is located in the wood-lined garage. More of Beggs’ Homo Sculptures precariously adorn the walls protruding in suggestive ways. Hanging in a semi-circle towards the back of the space is a suite of portraits by Sam Pearson. Photographed by Tom Merklinger, these works feature two muppet-esk characters named Jax – a gender-queer hipster, and Marlo- a female-identified femme. Pearson states that the work plays with “ideas of gender, sexuality, and performativity while embracing whimsy and a sense of the strange”. A colouring book by Mika Haykowsky is also present. Like Pearson, Haykowsky’s staging is
lighthearted while the content serious – referencing the photographic series Immediate Family  (1992), by American artist, Sally Man.  The pieces in this exhibition have humorous and inviting qualities. I hope you enjoy a few chuckles while having enough room to contemplate the larger concepts of societal gender norms, expressions of sexuality and the freedom to be who you are – no holds barred.

– Connor Buchanan

For a pdf of the curatorial text please click HERE!