435 King Street East, Cambridge, ON
What if we existed in a culture that valued consent and embraced a spectrum of identities, where violence towards women and the LGBTQ community did not exist or get shrugged off as “boys will be boys”? What if we lived in a society where everyone was granted agency over their own bodies and was held equally accountable for their actions? In the Thick of It is a group exhibition exploring the social, political and emotional implications of imposed gender binaries. The works in this show blur boundaries, exaggerate male and female tropes using a series of theatrics, highlight animalistic and grotesque behaviours, and suggest an alternative to throwing stones. This exhibition provokes the viewer to consider issues of ownership, identity, and how we can create safe spaces for coexistence, in order to dismantle and remove gender stereotypes.
Artists include: League of Lady Wrestlers (Toronto, ON), Andrea Manica (Toronto, ON), Victor Romão (Windsor, ON), Anna van Milligen (Waterloo, ON)
Exhibition developed by Cherie Fawcett and organized by Iga Janik
Friday Night ART Live Opening: Friday, November 18, 7:00PM
Andrea Manica is an illustrator, sign-painter, mural artist, and craftsperson. She was born in Kitchener, Ontario, and now lives and works in Toronto. Andrea attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, completing her Illustration thesis is April 2012. Her work is inspired by nature and femininity, while often carrying a message that intervenes the daily norm.
Victor Romão is a multi-disciplinary Canadian artist living and working in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His years spent living in rural Southwestern Ontario, have acted as the catalyst for his interest in exploring the topics of otherness and male identity within rural communities. He is interested in a variety of practices which focus on drawing, painting, sculpture, and print media. He has participated in exhibitions across Canada, the U.S., Japan and New Zealand.
Anna van Milligen is a Canadian-American installation artist whose interests include feminism, fake hair, faux fur, and peach. As a recipient of the Kieth and Win Shantz Fellowship, she assisted Dutch film and installation artist Melanie Bonajo with several projects in the Netherlands. Anna recently completed her MFA at the University of Waterloo with an installation called dollhouse—a hyperfeminine fantasy space constructed within the gutted shell of a 1971 Airstream trailer. She now lives and works in Guelph.
League of Lady Wrestlers Toronto Chapter.
The professional wrestling ring, which is traditionally a male-dominated space, is a primed site to explore issues of power and gender stereotypes. LOLW events are more than just simple battles between faces and heels. Our audacious, dynamic spectacles invite every participant to celebrate the desire to push back against oppressive cultural values. We join together to suspend disbelief and hold on to optimism about the possibilities of empowerment, gender equity, and community.
The LOLW ring is an inclusive space. While many of the collective members are artists or curators working in other mediums, we also encourage the participation of people who have no experience with wrestling or performance. We focus much of our energy on creating wrestling personas that embrace a range of characteristics, including those that can be suppressed or discouraged. In the ring, we can be brash, brave, gross, funny, loud, smelly, angry, and exuberant. We are bitches and heroines. We are loveable and not likeable. We support each other in these choices.
We hope to leave our audiences feeling inspired to take on any challenge in any ring like a champion.