Canadian Art - - Spotlight -

Anne Ri­ley moved to Van­cou­ver in 2013, hav­ing grown up and pur­sued her un­der­grad­u­ate stud­ies in Texas. For Ri­ley, who is of Cree and Dene de­cent, mov­ing to Van­cou­ver marked a re­turn and con­nec­tion to place, but she found that the Van­cou­ver art scene seemed to ex­ist pri­mar­ily in its head. “Since mov­ing back, I’ve been ask­ing my­self, beyond the in­tel­lec­tual, How do I em­body my work? What kind of touch am I re­ally de­sir­ing? In many art spa­ces you for­get you are queer. You for­get you even have a body.” Ri­ley’s that brings the other nearly as close as one­self, in­cluded in the 2015 ex­hi­bi­tion “Ev­ery Lit­tle Bit Hurts” at Western Front, fore­grounded touch, im­pres­sion and em­bod­ied ex­pe­ri­ence. The work’s pri­mary com­po­nents were a se­ries of plas­ter casts of the artist’s hands grasp­ing at each other in a pile on the floor, a wall draw­ing cre­ated by the artist rub­bing, drag­ging and mov­ing her body across the gallery wall wear­ing raw-dyed denim and a video of her ac­tions on the gallery wall set to Donna Sum­mer’s 1977 gay disco an­them “I Feel Love,” which was in­stalled out­side the ex­hi­bi­tion space in the gallery’s bath­room. “I’m in­ter­ested in queer touch as a rad­i­cal act,” she says. “It’s not al­ways pos­si­ble be­cause of fear. But I’m also in­ves­ti­gat­ing first touch be­tween mother and child. I have the same hands as my mother and my great grand­mother.”

Anne Ri­ley that brings the other nearly as close as one­self 2015 Denim mark­ings on gallery wall Di­men­sions vari­able PHOTO MAEGAN HILL-CAR­ROLL

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