VICTORIA ARTS COUNCIL, 1800 Store St, Victoria BC – Nov 1 – 30
by Christine Clark
Kegan McFadden, curator and artistic director at the Victoria Arts Council, has organized an exhibition of textile-based work, comprised of beadwork, soft sculpture, quilting, weaving and installation. Seven artists described as queer and male-identifi ed were invited from across Canada and the United States: Ryan Josey, Lawrence Mandes, Aay Preston-Myint, Carl Stewart, Victoria artist Dale Roberts, who is well known for his needle felted portraits, Nico Williams and Jade Yumang of Chicago.
About this exhibition, McFadden says, “Invoking the classical form of contrapposto (made most famous by Michelangelo and his David), I wanted to point to that history explicitly and say, ‘Look, here are seven queer artists working in the opposite of rigid marble or bronze and denying the fi gure but also recognizing that nothing is made in a vacuum.’
“Usually when such a show takes shape it is heavily figurative (for good reasons!), but with contrapposto I wanted to refer to the larger socio-political moment we find ourselves in – grappling with what to do about histories that have subjugated many and that continue to oppress many more still – and looking to the personal as a counter-narrative.
“It is always important to recognize what is being produced in and around you,” says McFadden, “especially in a climate that is increasingly conservative under the guise of progress. Queer male-identifi ed artists bring various perspectives to the conversation, [and] we can’t forget this is also 50 years since the Stonewall riots/rebellion and what is often cited as the birth of the gay rights movement in North America.”
Opening reception Nov 1, 7pm
Artist talk with Carl Stewart, Nov 6, 7:30pm, University of Victoria Fine Arts Building
Curator’s tour with Kegan McFadden, Nov 23, 3pm
Artist talk with Jade Yumang, Nov 27, 2:30pm, Camosun College Visual Arts Department