FERMENTING FEMINISMSeptember 14, 2017 - November 26, 2019
Critical Distance is thrilled to launch our landmark 5th year of programming with FERMENTING FEMINISM, curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.
Kombucha, guts, bacteria, vessels, vitalism, effervescence, degradation, and decay. Fermenting Feminism brings together artists whose work fleshes out the intersections between fermentation and intersectional feminisms. As the process of microbial transformation, fermentation becomes both a metaphor and material practice through which to approach feminist practices in the contemporary. Is feminism a relic of the past, something that has soured? Or is feminism still a vital imperative? This exhibition positions fermentation as a vital and viable space to re-conceive feminisms’s pasts, presents, and futures. Working across art, science, performance, and design, the works in Fermenting Feminism make space for multidisciplinary experimentation and conceptual play.
Fermentation symbolizes bioavailability and accessibility, preservation and transformation, interspecies symbiosis, sustainability and futurity, harm reduction and care. Spanning the speculative and the literal, the embodied and the ephemeral, the works in this exhibition revisit questions of importance to feminists—consumption, colonialism, hygiene, wellness, agency, ritual, sexuality, transformation, and tradition—through the theory and practice of fermentation.
Fermenting Feminism is a multidisciplinary project that takes different forms: beginning as a publication in collaboration with Lauren Fournier and the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, it has evolved into site-specific exhibitions, installations, and screenings in Toronto, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Kansas City. This exhibition at Critical Distance marks the Canadian launch of this project. The site-specific evolution of Fermenting Feminism instantiates the context-specificity of microbes and fungi, of fermenting bodies, and of feminisms.
Please join us for an opening reception with the curator on Thursday, September 14th from 6–9 pm.
Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. (This reception is the same night as Koffler Gallery‘s fall exhibition opening downstairs — two for one at Artscape Youngplace this evening!)
Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC)
Suite 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location
Gallery hours are Friday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment September 14–November 26th.
Office hours by appointment only.
Critical Distance is grateful for the support of the National Film Board (NFB) in making the exhibition of commissioned artwork by Walter Scott possible. Thanks also to Artscape Youngplace for their support for the Fall billboard featuring artwork by Sarah Nasby. Sarah would in turn like to acknowledge the Toronto Arts Council for their support of her wall-based works in this exhibition.
image: Sarah Nasby, Living Things (Dorothy Hafner vessel, kombucha, lines pattern), 2017
About the Curator(s)
Lauren Fournier is a writer, artist, and curator currently based in Toronto. Recent curatorial projects include The Sustenance Rite (2017) at the Blackwood Gallery, Out of Repetition Difference (2017) at Zalucky Contemporary, and Fermenting Feminism (2017) at Critical Distance in Toronto, Broken Dimanche Press/Büro BDP in Berlin, Medical Museion in Copenhagen, and Front/Space artist-run centre in Kansas City.Find out more
About the Artists
Agustine Zegers is a Chilean artist, writer, and bacterial community dedicated to the worlds of olfaction and symbiosis. Their work uses text, olfaction, and ritual in an attempt to comprehend and commune with flows of ecological collapse as well to question the pervasive systems that produce them. Their work has been exhibited at Critical Distance in Canada, Galería Metropolitana in Chile, and the Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE. Their work has been published by the Institute of Queer Ecology, the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, DIS Magazine, and Genderfail Press. They currently live on Powhatan land (colonially known as Richmond, Virginia).Find out more