Dina Del Bucchia lives in Vancouver and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her recent book of poetry Coping with Emotions and Otters (2013) was published by Talon Books and she was a finalist for the 2012 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. She writes a monthly column for Canada Arts Connect magazine, and her writing has appeared in literary publications across Canada.
Becky Kolsrud holds an MFA from the University of California (2012) and a BS from New York University (2006). She has recently presented solo exhibitions at JTT, New York, Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, and Karma, New York. She has participated in exhibitions at ACME, Los Angeles; White Flag Projects, St. Louis; Luxembourg & Dayan, New York; Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; and Cleopatra’s Berlin. She is based in Los Angeles.
Kalup Linzy received a BFA in 2000 and MFA in 2003 from the University of South Florida in Tampa and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2002. He has had solo exhibitions at The Breeder Gallery, Athens, Greece; Taxter & Spengemann, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; LAXART, Los Angeles, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Elizabeth Milton holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia (2007) and a BFA from Simon Fraser University (2003). Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada including exhibitions and public performances at the Surrey Art Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery, FUSE; Access Gallery, Vancouver; Neutral Ground, Regina; PLATFORM, Winnipeg; and Gallery TPW, Toronto. She is based in Vancouver.
A curator and writer based in San Francisco, where she is Curator and Head of Programs at the CCA Wattis Institute. Nguyen was formerly Director/Curator of Artspeak from 2011-2016. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals nationally and internationally, with recent texts in catalogues published by Pied-à-Terre (San Francisco), Gluck 50/Mousse (Milan), and the Herning Museum of Art (Denmark). Nguyen is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing.
Back to the Door
BECKY KOLSRUD, KALUP LINZY, ELIZABETH MILTON
November 16–January 18, 2014
Opening: November 16, 8pm
Based on the telenovela, Back to the Door takes its title from a common soap opera trope—where a character is speaking ill of another, and the subject of their derision is standing in the door behind them. Unlike its counterpart, the soap opera, the telenovela is a fictional serial with a predetermined duration, depicting both the development and conclusion of a central plotline. Subjects range from romance to comedy, the supernatural to the erotic, to murder mysteries, all with a heavy integration of melodrama. Originating in Latin America in the 1950s, the telenovela has played a role in the construction of nationhood and collective identity, acting as a platform for individuals from varying backgrounds to engage with social and political issues while generating a shared public space and vernacular across geographic, class, and social divides.
The works in Back to the Door reference the complexities of melodrama, camp, and stereotypical portrayals of gender, weaving together issues of class and identity with emotional rigour and self-reflexivity. For her portraits of anonymous women, Los Angeles-based Becky Kolsrud draws from her collection of found photographs of sorority girls, school portraits, and glamour shots. Her subjects range from historical re-enactors to stand-up comedians and athletes, and Kolsrud creates awkwardness through composite poses and unusual settings. The works emphasize the body language, clothing, and gaze of her source material, extending these representations of women beyond the decades from which they originate.
In his telephone-conversation-based soap opera, Conversations Wit de Churen (2002-present), Kalup Linzy (New York) constructs an irreverent narrative of sex, family, and violence, performed by the artist and a cast of friends, routinely dressed in drag. Inspired by the soap operas of his youth, Linzy replaces the predominantly Caucasian, upper class, and heterosexual characters with individuals representative of his own upbringing in the rural American South, employing a lo-fi aesthetic and regional dialect to create an ironic and humourous complication of race, class, and gender. Presented in the exhibition is the third installment of the series, Da Young and Da Mess (2005), in which the lead character is consulting a telephone psychic about a marriage proposal.
For Cotton Candy Insulation Keeps You Warm and Cuts Like Glass (2013), Elizabeth Milton (Vancouver) will work with a procession of participants—including soap opera fanatics, drag queens, and magicians—to destroy prop-glass (traditionally made with sugar in the theatre and movie industry) in a series of private performances. Toying with gestures and actions pulled from various performance referents (including Hollywood film, musicals, opera, and punk rock), the performances will take place after hours in the closed gallery, with the accumulated residue of the events altering the installation. The work will culminate in a video presented the last week of the show. As a critical examination of gender roles and the boundaries between comedy, tragedy, and emotional authenticity, Milton aims to articulate the cultural lust for spectacular “breakdown” and the commodification of psychic rupture.
January 11, 2014
Artist Elizabeth Milton will discuss her work in the exhibition Back To The Door at Artspeak. The talk will include a screening of the film component of Cotton Candy Insulation Keeps You Warm and Cuts Like Glass (2014), produced over the duration of the exhibition.