EXHIBITION: Access is Love and Love is Complicated

October 3, 2019 - December 8, 2019

Co-curated by Emily Cook and Sean Lee
and presented in partnership with Tangled Art+Disability

Opening October 3rd from 6–9 pm / On view October 3–December 8, 2019

CRITICAL DISTANCE and TANGLED ART+DISABILITY are pleased to present ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED, an exhibition and event series featuring Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Kat Germain, Wy Joung Kou, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Andy Slater, Aislinn Thomas, and Adam Wolfond and Estée Klar. This program is co-curated by CDCC Education and Accessibility Coordinator, Emily Cook, and Tangled Art + Disability Director of Programming, Sean Lee and represents the next level in our ongoing series of programs providing opportunities for curators and artists to consider new and more collaborative aesthetic and conceptual approaches to accessibility within and beyond the gallery context.

ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED takes inspiration not only from disability activist Mia Mingus’ idea that accessibility should be understood as an act of love, but riffs on a pop cultural understanding that love is complicated—and thus, if we truly wish to move towards an accessible future then we must embrace the frictions of it. A lived experience that is often as political as it is relational, disability is a springboard from which access is entangled in the political alterities of our bodies; how they move, navigate and shape the world.

We–disabled people–are, as Kelly Fritsch notes, effective agents of world building and dismantling towards more just relations. But as we dismantle the world and work towards access as an act of love, we must also recognize that this act is complicated. Crip, Mad, Spoonie, and Deaf people are woven together in a tangled through-line of embodied difference, but more often than not our experience of negotiating access (or lack thereof) is performed alone. This is because our experience of disability has been something we’ve been told is located exclusively in our bodies. As we move towards access as love, and our understandings of disability shift towards relational, social and political frameworks, access, like love, becomes complicated—but in a good way. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, this kind of love is “ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

About the Curator(s)

Emily Cook

Emily Cook has been pursuing research in papermaking since for over a decade. She continued her studied in Toronto, at OCAD and in Louisiana at Louisiana State University where she completed her Masters by creating an installation of sculptures that used the properties of high shrinkage flax and abaca fibres.Find out more

Tangled Art + Disability

Sean Lee is a part of a new generation of artists, curators, and arts leaders bringing fresh perspectives to the contemporary art field through an intersectional Disability Arts praxis. His methodology reframes embodied difference as a means to resist traditional aesthetic idealities. Orienting towards a “crip horizon”, Sean leads with disability in his curation for its transformative possibilities.

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About our Partners + Co-presenters

Tangled Art + Disability

Tangled Art + Disability is a registered charitable organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities for artists with disabilities to contribute to the cultural fabric of our society.

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