Curated by Tejpal Singh Ajji, Rightfully Yours, considers artists' performative insertions into daily activities which implicate themselves in the politics and ethics of institutions, professions, sexuality, and nationalism. The artists included in the exhibition avoid the theatrical stage, choosing instead the public realm— sites regulated by laws, by cooperation with official structures, and encounters with other civilians.
Participating artists: Wendy Coburn, Steven Cohen, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, Alicia Framis, Alison S.M. Kobayashi, Mingering Mike, Mattias Olofsson, The Yes Men, Camille Turner, Sislej Xhafa, Your personal viewing of Borat, Ali G, and Bruno
Examples of works on view:
Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan (Winnipeg, MB) collaborate as the Lesbian National Parks and Services using the tropes of North American nature conservationists to examine sexuality and diversity in human, animal, and plant systems. In the video documentary The Lesbian National Parks and Services: A Force of Nature, the artists appear as park rangers, officers responsible for the preservation and protection of lesbian habitats. They conduct field studies in sites such as lesbian bars, grasslands, and lakes, to “probe every lesbian species”. Ranger Lorri Millan states they, “question the heterosexual model” and consider “what it means to do your own research” to address the ways in which the guardianship of culture and nature has been programmed into sexual divisions. A handbook and field guide accompany the documentary which illustrate flora and fauna found in North America, and suggest handy tips for surviving in the bush.
Making appearances in Canada and abroad wearing a red gown, white gloves, tiara, and a sash proclaiming Miss Canadiana, Camille Turner (Toronto, ON) addresses the ways in which Canada represents visual minorities in the public imagination. Turner examines one particular meaning of the idea of Canada, which she makes explicit through her skin colour and hair rather than through verbal acknowledgement.
Justina M Barnicke Gallery Web Site