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Pussy art with purpose

Pussy art with purpose

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Allyson Mitchell's new exhibit is best suited for those with a foundation in queer theory
Allyson Mitchell wonders whether it’s possible to make “pussy art that’s not offensive.”
 
So don’t be offended by the title of her new exhibition, Creep Lez, which will run until Sept 30 at the Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects.
 
“It’s made for a queer audience who already understand the imagery and ideas,” she says.
 
Consider yourself warned. Mitchell’s works are complex, and she admits that they’re best suited to those who are studied in queer and feminist theories.  
 
Her exhibition depicts some of the hardships women and members of the larger queer community face trying to take part in aspects of mainstream culture.
 
Creep Lez is a product of Mitchell’s vision of lesbian identity that she calls "deep lez." She has developed the idea over 10 years.
 
“It’s about strategizing to remain radical,” she says. “I’d rather be a creep than a good lez.”
 
Mitchell, who is also an assistant professor in the School of Women's Studies at York University, says Creep Lez was developed through discussions with students about the challenges feminist histories pose today. Those talks inspired Mitchell to create and display “pussy art” that does not offend the sensitivities of mainstream audiences.
 
Alongside several of Mitchell’s earlier works, Creep Lez showcases six new pieces. “I’m really invested in what feminist cultural production is and what it can be,” she says.
 
A self-taught artist, Mitchell has been practising her craft for more than 16 years. She prefers to work with materials accessible to the average person.
 
Gallery-goers get a glimpse of this with Sorry Butt This Venis Is a Pagina, which was created on a plastic canvas. The play on language of its title highlights how appearances can be deceiving.
 
“It’s meant to be a freeing statement around sex and gender,” Mitchell says. “Gender is so tied to sex that people have a hard time separating the two.”
 
The exhibition also features a series of paintings titled Sheila Pepe’s Moustache, inspired by the out artist and educator of the same name. “The series is largely about self-care and how we take care of each other and ourselves,” Mitchell says.
 
It also pays homage to its namesake. “She lives in a way that’s very unapologetic,” Mitchell says. “And she has an awesome mustache.”
 
Curators at the Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects are no strangers to queer art. “We do show a number of gay works at the gallery,” says Katharine Mulherin, the gallery's director. “With Allyson, there is a nice academic approach to her work.”
 
Mitchell and Mulherin have worked together in the past, but this is Mitchell’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
 
“People are really looking forward to it,” Mulherin says. “They just love her and her humorous critique.”
 

Creep Lez
Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects
1082 & 1086 Queen St W
Runs till Sun, Sept 30
Thurs-Sat, noon-6pm; Sun, 1-6pm
katharinemulherin.com
  

Comments

Publicizing stupid unskilled krapp is disturbing
I actually went out of my way to see this shit. It looks like C- quality, grade-5 art class stuff. Is this “Intellectual-Naive” art? Or was it done by someone who is actually developmentally delayed? (I'm being kind) But it is not art !! The colours and shapes are amateurish, garish and unimaginative. That leaves the text. Calligraphy is an art form --but not in this case. Why did XTRA even bother to write this up ?? !! I am ashamed of some of the crap that LGBT-Queer practitioners of various media call “ART.” Luckily there are many creative and “highly skilled” LGBT artists around the world. I have met some. Why not publicize those? The idea that stupid, unskilled kkrappp like this gets written up is disturbing on so many levels. “Academic approach” ??? The “approach” may be academic, but the finished product is bland meaningless shit --more simpleton than complex. Concept v/s Percept. Like most conceptual academic art, the write-up is more interesting than the visuals. She has no skills and no talent and no ability to communicate a message visually nor symbolically !!! Why waste our time ?? !!
You know nothing about male born penised homos
As a gay man, I and the thousands of gay men I have known over the past 40 years have never had ANY problem separating gender and sex. We like men with penises who were born and raised as men and like being men born men with penises who like to have sex with other such men. No ambiguity, fluidity, womencentrism, complicated genitalia, or any such GARBAGE. So stop generalizing about things you know nothing about!
Queer theory vomitorium
The very inclusion of the words "queer theory" inform me that this "show and tell" will be VOMIT. Crap. Rubbish. A waste of human time. Have no idea who the twerp is who did the shit or what it is about or anything, but the framing as queer theory means more gender drivel from creche stage self-important brats. GARBAGE! Avoid like the plague! Where are these waves of infantilized gender children coming from? Or does it just seem like waves because they are the only people Xtra is interested in. Got it.
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