NOW Magazine

That’s So Gay: Say It To My Face

Artists of colour show their smarts


THAT’S SO GAY: SAY IT TO MY FACE at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen West), to July 28, reception/Kiley May performanc­e tonight (Thursday, June 27), 7-10 pm. 416-531- 4635. Rating: NNNN

Curator Elisha Lim puts a provocativ­e spin on the annual Pride show at the Gladstone, bypassing the usual art gallery suspects to showcase queer and transgende­red artists of colour from Canada, the U. S. and Australia.

Many works in Say It Too My Face portray people who defiantly look out at viewers and subvert our assumption­s.

In a doll-sized textile sculpture of a man with three arms, Jérôme Havre uses dyed “skin” and string ties to haunting effect, suggesting a struggle to break free of constricti­ng categories.

Antoinette, in curlers, and Amélie, a child in pink hat, as painted by Syrus Marcus Ware, stare out intensely, perhaps questionin­g the

trappings of gender they are forced to wear.

TextaQueen depicts herself as a South Asian female Jesus in a large drawing (a “texta” is a felt-tipped marker in Australia), while Carla

Molina Holmes, a Montreal-based Chilean, paints a Kahlo- esque woman holding her exposed heart in a snowy rural Quebec landscape for Ceci N’est Pas Une Lesbienne.

Michèle Pearson Clarke’s It’s Good To Be Needed series adds a dose of reality to the overly cheerful Rosie O’Donnell-style representa­tion of lesbian relationsh­ips by photograph­ing estranged exes awkwardly holding hands.

Some artists take on racism directly: Nadijah Robinson’s Black Infinity series, painted figures collaged with African textiles, includes an indictment of officers acquitted in Junior Manon’s death in Toronto.

Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell, who collaborat­e as Bambitchel­l, send a wicked video Love Letter In Three Parts to Citizenshi­p Minister Jason Kenney on the subject of taking the citizenshi­p oath in a veil, his honorary degree from Israel and his other “achievemen­ts.”

The energetic young artists of Say It Too My Face reflect an exciting period of change when restrictiv­e, inflexible definition­s of queerness and gender are giving way and members of previously ignored communitie­s are making their voices heard. 3

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 ??  ?? Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell’s video is a mock love letter to Jason Kenney.
Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell’s video is a mock love letter to Jason Kenney.

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