Long in the Tooth … Yadda Yadda

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curated by Christine Negus

November 29-January 30, 2017-18.

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“I like the idea of the persistence of teeth. In true crime shows, for instance, a body is often found, and eventually identified through the dental records. There’s some kind of permanence to these tiny things that require so much care, that need flossing and cleaning every day. But ultimately, they are the last thing standing. Over the years I’ve collected human teeth, I’ve made teeth from ceramics, I’ve collected tooth-themed jewellery, and I’ve found toothy animal remains in “death flea markets” in the Western United States, where you can buy bits and parts of things.” Unsettling and funny at once, Long in the Tooth … Yadda Yadda is a toothy-assed grin, a jaw breaker, a chatterbox, a gummer, the whining echo of the dentist drill. Some discomfort may be expected.

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Natural Histories: the Collection as Narrative

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March 8, 2017-April 12, 2017

Helen Gregory presents a selection of bookworks and objects drawn from her own collection to explore the relationships among the souvenir, the natural history collection, the cabinet of curiosities, and the travel diary. Bones, skulls, molted carapaces, and disembodied chicken feet are not only metonymically connected to the animals that they were once a part of, but also act as souvenirs of the circumstances under which they found their way into Gregory’s collection. Lacking any sort of collection data, these specimens are scientifically irrelevant and their value exists only in their nostalgic connection to an increasingly ephemeral set of memories. Each object is a souvenir of a particular moment in time, associated with a place, a person, and a shifting emotional response. The bookworks are an extension of the collection and are part of a project that has been ongoing for over 25 years. Constructed from handmade paper, silk, acrylic mediums, soil, plants, small bones, and other found objects from nature culled from the places where Gregory has lived, they function as both reliquaries and travelogues.

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Joy of Atleigh and catalogue launch

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Join us on January 25th for the opening of the exhibition “Joy of Atleigh,” guest-curated by graduate student Beatriz Asfora, and for the launch of the first Bookcase catalogue, featuring essays by Genevieve Flavelle and Keely McCavitt.

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“The Joy of Atleigh” is a conceptual YouTube video project begun by artist Atleigh Homma in 2016. “The Joy of Atleigh” uses the format of the popular make-up tutorial to question stereotypes of race, gender, and identity, both in terms of the artworld and in terms of the consumption of YouTube videos. In each video, Homma uses the tutorial format to talk about art supplies, or to instruct the viewer on how to paint a representational portrait, all the while simultaneously (though subtly) encouraging the audience to question popular culture’s relationship to high art and kitschy “girly” objects. The format of the videos is instantly recognizable to those familiar with popular phenomena such as “Beauty Hauls” and “The Boyfriend Tags.” Homma plays on these tropes in the titles of videos such as “My Boyfriend Does My Portrait,” referencing the popular “My Boyfriend Does My Makeup,” and “Five Favorite Art Supplies,” which references “Five Favorite Makeup Products.” Homma is intentional in creating a character with a “girly” sensibility in order to criticize how people associate “likes,” “subscribers,” or “pink backgrounds” with her status as both a woman and an artist. The work challenges us to analyze our own stereotypes of gender and femininity and their relationship to art.