Never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon
Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens, Kelly Mark
members of (F)NOR (Donna Akrey, Margaret Flood & Svava Thordis Juliusson)
Hazel Meyer, and Jo-Anne Balcaen
Curated by Caitlin Sutherland
June 17 – August 12
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 17, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Catalogue Launch: Thursday, July 20, 7:00 pm
Never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon employs satirical and somewhat humorous work to bridge issues that permeate artists and the art world: self-doubt, overly academicized discourse, artistic labour and the pressure to produce, situating one’s practice within or acting against an art historical canon, systemic proliferation of a commercialized system, art world pretensions. Rather than a cut straight to the heart, the artists’ playful approach creates a platform to evoke immediate visceral response; a gut reaction that encourages viewers to unpack the works on display and allow for these more complex narratives to emerge. What appears light on the surface may actually be an effective means of institutional critique; to quote Andrea Fraser, “The institution is inside of us, and we can’t get outside of ourselves.” We exist in social strata, shared understandings predicated on the choices made by artists, patrons, and institutions alike – not dissimilar to the necessity of shared social understandings for a joke to work. The exhibition likewise takes a self-reflective, and perhaps self-deprecating look at the mechanizations of artist-run culture within an institutional frame. A reflection on what, historically, artist-run centres championed in relation to established institutional counterparts – paying artists for their labour, developing critical discourse, providing platforms for artists to experiment, take risks, test boundaries – all the while critically acknowledging the limitations of this system and questioning where can we go from here. It’s kind of an inside joke… Or is it?
Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens live in Durham-Sud, Canada. Most recently, their work was presented in solo exhibitions at Jane Lombard Gallery, New York (2017), the Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, Canada (2017), the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York (2016), Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery, Calgary (2016), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal (2016), VOX, Montreal (2014), and Trinity Square Video, Toronto (2014). They have participated in a number of group exhibitions, including the XIII Bienal de Cuenca, Ecuador (2016), 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), La Biennale de Montréal (2014), Manif d’art 7: Quebec City Biennial (2014) and 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011).
Kelly Mark has exhibited widely across Canada, and internationally. Such venues include: The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Darling Foundry (Montreal), Musee d’Art Contemporain (Montreal); MSVU Art Gallery (Halifax), Bass Museum (Miami), University of Houston (Texas), Real Art Ways (Hartford), The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Ikon Gallery (UK), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), The Physics Room (NZ), Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art (Belgium) … Represented Canada at The Sydney Biennale (1998) and Liverpool Biennale (2006). She is represented in the public collections of The National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Foreign Affairs, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Musee D’Art Contemporain and many other public, corporate and private collections. Recipient of numerous Canada, Ontario & Toronto Arts Council grants as well as the KM Hunter Artist Award, and Chalmers Art Fellowship.
(F)NOR Collective (established 2013) is based in Hamilton, Ontario and is made up of Donna Akrey, Andrea Carvalho, Margaret Flood and Svava Juliusson. (F)NOR is a lunch date, a misunderstanding, a costume, a consultation, a debate, a photograph, a gentle disruption. We’re not this way or that way or which way, just anyway, no way. (F)NOR as compared to a sour dough starter is a sticky, sweet, lump of potential to be mostly left to its own devices, but if it’s not regularly tended and/or shared, it will die.
Hazel Meyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and textiles to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Hazel holds degrees from OCAD University (Toronto) and Concordia University (Montréal), and presently serves as the lead-amateur textile banner custodian at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto.
Jo-Anne Balcaen (b. 1971 in La Broquerie, Manitoba) is a Montreal-based artist whose art practice extends across a variety of media including installation, sculpture, photography video, and text, bringing together references as diverse as popular music, the art world, and cultural management. Her work has been presented throughout Canada, the US and Europe, including solo exhibitions at venues such as Truck (Calgary), AceArt (Winnipeg), eyelevel gallery (Halifax), and Galerie Clark, La Centrale, and Galerie B-312 (Montreal). She has received several provincial and national arts grants, and has attended residencies at the Banff Centre, and the Canada Council’s International Residency at the ISCP in New York.
Hamilton Artists Inc. would like to acknowledge the support of Canada 150 – Hamilton 2017 in mounting this exhibition and related public programs.