Laurie Kang, A Body Knots (production still), 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.
A Body Knots
May 5–June 9, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5, 2:00–5:00pm
Exhibition Text: Laurie Kang and Martha Kenney in conversation with Daniella Sanader
A Body Knots is a new site-responsive installation by Laurie Kang that coalesces several threads of the Toronto-based artist’s research into studies of genetics, science fiction, feminist theory, and her personal and cultural history. Kang considers how these discourses impact our understandings of bodies as entities that are individual and situated yet share micro-level blueprints.
Most known for her camera-less images, Kang deliberately misuses photographic materials in order to highlight their expansive nature, allowing them to perpetually evolve in relation to their environment. Bringing light-sensitive photographic papers into relation with organic materials, darkroom chemicals, and uncontrolled natural light, each image is processed without fixative, allowing her work to remain continually sensitive.
With A Body Knots, photographs are supported by a large-scale apparatus that exists somewhere between sculpture, architecture, and skeleton. By turning her images into responsive skins—stretching across an industrial body of metal and rubber—Kang produces moments of encounter between sculpture and photography, surface and flesh, bodies and environments. Foregrounding a deeply receptive and intuitive approach to collaborating with matter, A Body Knots works to expand our thinking about what constitutes a body.
Fermenting Ourselves (metabolize/in search of a container to hold it)
Saturday, June 2, 2:00–4:00 pm
In this performance lecture, curator-artist Lauren Fournier responds to Laurie Kang’s A Body Knots through the perspective of her own ongoing curatorial research project Fermenting Feminism (2017-). The lecture takes shape as a series of fictocritical propositions on microbial life and death; the esoteric affects of chemicals; the tensions between preservation and transformation; the hazards of sincerity; and what it might mean to compost white feminism. Playfully citational and vaguely psychoanalytic, Fournier opens up space to process Kang’s exhibition in relation to larger ideas, problems, and trends in contemporary feminist, materialist, conceptual, and speculative practices.
Laurie Kang (b. 1985, Toronto) works in photography, sculpture, installation, and video. Kang has exhibited internationally at Topless, New York; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Cooper Cole, 8-11, The Loon, and Franz Kaka, Toronto; L’inconnue, Montreal; Carl Louie, London; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, Poland; Raster Gallery, Warsaw; Camera Austria, Graz, Austria; and Tag Team, Bergen, Norway. She was recently artist in residence at Tag Team; Rupert, Vilnius; The Banff Centre, Alberta; and Interstate Projects, Brooklyn. Kang lives and works in Toronto and holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.
Lauren Fournier is a curator, writer, artist, and PhD candidate. Her research is focused on the histories and practices of “auto-theory,” contemporary feminist art and literature, and experimental approaches to theory, literature, and art writing. Born and raised in Regina/Treaty 4 Territory, Saskatchewan, she is currently based in Toronto where she is completing her PhD in the Department of English at York University. She has published widely on contemporary art and literary practices, and her writing appears in Canadian Art, Magenta, Contemporary Women’s Writing, a/b: Journal of Autobiography Studies, Comparative Media Arts Journal, Canadian Journal of Woman Studies, and West Coast Line, and in the edited collection Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada. Recent curatorial projects include MENTAL HEALTH (White House Studio Project), Autotheory (Vtape), The Sustenance Rite (Blackwood Gallery), Fermenting Feminism (CDCC, Front/Space, Büro BDP), and Out of Repetition, Difference (Zalucky Contemporary). She is the recipient of the 2018 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators, and her exhibition epistemologies of the moon will open at the Art Gallery of Guelph in September 2018.
A Body Knots is presented in conjunction with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, with in-kind support from Gallery 44, Toronto Image Works, and Bailey Metal Products, and with additional support from Variant Path and Ann and Harry Malcolmson.