Clay, Ceramic & Glass Tableware, Sugar
A multiple is based on a digestive biscuit which describes the tokenization of what are often called “palatable” queers. Yes, I am complicit in my critique.
Self Care, 2019
AeroGarden, OG Kush Clones, Various Herbs, Hemp Mats, Photographs (4x4in)
I thought this work would be about the suburbs, and I suppose it still is. Similar to the clones, I’ve often felt like a transplant, moving from suburb to suburb, school to school, every two years. I have a white mom who looks just like the ones in those images, she even got an AeroGarden from my dad a few years ago for Christmas. I thought this work would be about weed, and I suppose it still is. I was afraid of growing weed in my own home as a black person (still am) despite its legality. I also know that middle-aged women are such large users of cannabis that they make up their own target market. This work was meant to be about that juxtaposition (still is) but, it seems to be doing more than talking about how unfair it is that black people are still in jail for a roach found buried in an ashtray of their apartments while white women in the suburbs are experiment with weed for self-care.
All I know is that I’ve wanted to grow something for a while, but have put off a trip to the nursery for the past year and a half. I’d forgotten how therapeutic it is to take care of something living, especially after neglecting the needs of my body all winter. Care, however, is a relative term; it changes depending on its environment and its support structures. Sometimes living things can have the most supportive system and still need extra care. Sometimes they lack external support and depend on care for growth or survival. Care can prepare for the removal of support systems; care can return once again if needed.
I was curious about what grows here, inside this strange contraption that takes a lot of the actual care out of growing something. I was curious about the act of transplantation from nursery to box to post office to home to automated hydroponics system. I was curious about the landscape that would be created from different stages of growth. What I didn’t plan was how having these plants around and seeing them grow would make me feel. They’ve made me feel productive even though I haven’t really done much aside from maintaining the water level. As cynical as the images of these women began, I have become complicit in my critique as I recreated that pose every morning, doing nothing but noticing the physical evidence of change. Is that care? Is that just self-care? As a symbiotic system, us living beings have grown together, just with the help of some support.
These are the places I intersect, 2019
How do the intersections of my identity inform my value as an artist to be tokenized? How do they create a targeted profile of me as a consumer to advertise to? These are the Places I Intersect is a collection of new assemblage works that explore the multiplicity of my two roles under neoliberal capitalism. How is marketing and online vernacular kept alive by black queer culture as it’s extracted, exploited and re-sold back to those same communities? How do the aesthetics of marketing mimic both itself and the aesthetics of paleness in art making? How do soft structures fit the form of my body because of my class, colour and queer digestibility? Through layering and reassembly, I appropriate stock imagery, Amazon screenshots, iPhone photographs, building materials, household objects and medical supports, often positioning them to extract life and limit the regrowth of living things
Monument to Content, 2019
Engraved acrylic, chip foam block, hardwood floor plank, mini binder clips
A quick Google search following a conversation, on what exactly the canadianness of allcanada is, led to the website brandUNIQ: Your Guide to Strategic Marketing. How would you describe Canada in a single word? Chanelle, on February 7th at 3:29 PM says, “hockey syrup freedom peace home multicultural tim hortons poutine”, omitting commas from her answer through nationalistic excitement perhaps or to say that any one of these terms could describe that “whatness”.
In constructing A Monument to Content, frustration seemed to drive process. Through my discomfort (and lack of experience) in the realm of fabrication, my structure wasn’t sound. I modified immensely, chopping it down to its smallest size in order to stay upright. I started to think about what it meant for a structure to constantly on the brink of its own demise, whether it was aware of it or not. What had its creators relied on to keep it standing. Did it matter?
A yoga bock base of chip foam from Half Moon Yoga grounded this work during the combined 37 seconds that the wind stopped blowing. It fell again and again. Pieces of acrylic fell, again and again. One has a chip on it but they all seem to be left pretty unscathed. Could a structural system be made with the creator’s knowledge of its own demise under external forces but with the reassurance that some of the pieces could be put back together? “The disjointed body…lives where fragmentation flirts with both blood & rubble”, says Domenico de Chirico, describing a group show Body. What casualties are caused through fragmentation of a system? What casualties are caused during the fall?
Tumultuous outdoor install led me from a site-responsive plan to more of a site-specific one. Chirico states, “the world is composed exactly by and only by surfaces on top of surfaces”, and I wanted to see how these natural and fabricated surfaces interacted with one another: soft versus hard, clear versus opaque, cold versus room temperature? Through my exploration, shadows seemed to be the most legible.
In the interior of a condo, I was able to stack the monument to about half as high as it could go, pulled down only by gravity but protected by a thick-layered bubble of class safety. What this represented was: balance or content (in terms of comfort rather than happiness) is synonymous to wealth. Multiculturalism can be used to sell bilingual poutine and home can sell gallons of maple syrup for Sunday breakfast because the branding of the Canadian economy is based on the social dynamics of getting along while it works through the subjugation of others through competition. The most ingenious part of this branding is that, those who are content sell the idea of content through labour to those who are not, giving the outward appearance that it is a favor because we are nice people. All of us. Even the ones built their wealth who by owning “housekeepers” for free or borrowed land by ridding it of its previous occupants.
Pinned to a leftover plank of post-reno hardwood flooring are documentation photos & leaning against it is a new, fragile structure on the brink of falling, but strong enough now to be held up by its own belief system. Placed in front is the plastic Canada, stuck into the block of foam, strong enough to stay upright but cowering far shorter than the words meant to connote it. It is a separate entity altogether in this moment, as branding becomes the whatness of a nation.
on celebrity worship
The Distillation of Cultural Thought, 2018
on cultural appropriation
on public & private spaces
Featured in the University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Exhibtion, 2018
Instructional diagram for a spherical burr wooden puzzle using isometric projection & plan drawings.