Text by: Wednesday Lupypciw
Playing alone in VideoLand is not as fun as it used to be. A solo performance practice based on inclusive community politics and the egalitarian principles of craft and DIY movements has begun to atrophy without outside influences, so it is time to widen the circle, brush up on techniques, and make friends again. The evolving performance and video series Lucky Charmz Clubb (For H'All The Cunttz), is an attempt to display everything in the universe that could inform Wednesday Lupypciw’s art production in one way or another; it is an overly generous display by someone who values everything— especially radical ladies— and edits nothing. Every night, Wednesday hopes to wake up the next morning and find that a new breed of critical cunt art has taken over the universe. Lucky Charmz Clubb is her ridiculous and crafty attempt to realize this in any way, shape, or form that comes her way.
Lucky Charmz Clubb is part of the +15 curated exhibition Rabbit Hole featuring the works of Wednesday Lupypciw, Bogdan Cheta, Thea Yabut, Lisa Benschop, and Maria Raponi in the +15 Windows of Stride, TRUCK, The Untitled Art Society, The Marion Nicoll Gallery, and The New Gallery.
Text by: Caitlin Thompson
It is at this time of year that we all feel our animal instinct to collect our provisions, give in to our intuitions, and hibernate. Stock your pantry and let your leg hair grow. Cold winter months can bring hard times for artists looking for off-site exhibition spaces in high-traffic locations. Fortunately, Calgary artist-run centres are prepared for the weather with the +15 Window Spaces, galleries that actually become busier as the weather gets colder.
This year Stride, TRUCK, The Marion Nicoll Gallery, and The Untitled Art Society have teamed up to exhibit Rabbit Hole. Referencing the physical space of the +15 walkway tunnels, Rabbit Hole is a curated exhibition of four Calgarian artists dealing with themes of collection and location. During the month of January, the +15 Window Spaces will be utilized as performative and installation spaces, with the exhibitions growing and changing up until the opening reception on January 17th.
The act of collecting has become a key concern for artists in a time of rapid change. By appropriating archival strategies, Lisa Benschop has reclaimed objects forgotten and forlorn. Her latest adaptation of her collection has taken a more formal approach in The L.S. Benschop Institute for the Preservation & Veneration of Imagination & Nostalgia. Here can be found objects, books, papers, pictures, and artifacts as part of The Archive of Miscellaneous Obscurities & Anonymous Belongings. Through careful imagination, this archive depicts the lives and events that Lisa has salvaged from flea markets, thrift stores, and bargain bins. Family photographs, self-help books, and signatures scrawled on once treasured mementos provide a glimpse into the past lives of these objects. Simon Crouse's Back Hallway Closet is a narrative installation in which Lisa uses found objects as reservoirs of narrative history and landmarks for the imagination.
With the dutiful consideration of a museum institution, along with conceivable assumptions, The L.S. Benschop Institute is a resource of information for the community. By adopting the didactic archival strategies of a museum, Lisa is working to restore order and preserve histories left to disintegrate.
While Lisa works within the boundaries of an imaginary institution, Wednesday Lupypciw is conducting some fieldwork. With her oversized sunglasses and a scarf obscuring her face, Wednesday looks to be out and about, and up to something. But unlike a true detective, her mission is not so top secret. Wednesday will tell you exactly what her agenda is. This multitasking lady is on a queer quest. Lucky Charmz Clubb (For H’All The Cuntzz) is a monitoring analysis agency devoted to the discovery of off-the-radar Calgarian lady-craft communities.
Wednesday’s +15 window will be transformed into a mock detective office, displaying her exhausting research into the DIY society of self-made ladies that surround her. TV monitors show split screen videos of herself in a Spy vs. Spy fashion while posters, charts, and papers line the walls with updated discoveries.
Inspired by the egalitarian principles of craft, Wednesday is ready to research some new material. Somewhere out there in the four corners of Calgary a new and innovative cunt art is being born, and Wednesday is on the case. Or enjoying a cap nap in her office.
A more interpretive approach to local collecting is the installation Mariella. Gathered from undisclosed locations, Bogdan Cheta transforms found objects into sculptural installations. These incredibly intricate arrangements are constructed from an array of found and altered materials like costume jewelry, porcelain, silk flowers, fabric, paper, foam, and fake hair. Gleaned from nocturnal scavenger hunts throughout Calgary come intimate representations of the ephemeral side of second-hand collecting. Most of the materials used to assemble these sculptures are one-time adornments. The Marti Gras- style beads hang off the focal point like the many necks they once graced. Puddles of spray foam swell over sequins as porcelain gnomes and dolls fraternize in globs of glitter. A faux luxury is created from the tactile combination of color and texture. Through the array of formalist decoration can be found objects that relate back to the locations visited.
Dealing with collection in a more personal way will be Thea Yabut’s Part Recognition. Deriving her work from her imagination, Thea’s work is influenced by materials around her and abstract principles of free-form drawing. Thea’s installations often include recycled images and materials, creating reference to past installations. Comprised of her collection of drawings over the past year, Part Recognition will continuously change throughout the exhibition with additions and alterations to the original works.
Caitlin Thompson is a recent graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design. Raised in the central-Alberta town of Meeting Creek, she has a strong interest in local community art. Caitlin’s practice is primarily in costume and video, and she enjoys parades and pageants. Currently she is the Assistant Director of Stride Gallery.
"Wednesday Lupypciw is a Calgary-based artist working in video and performance. She also maintains a concurrent practice in textiles, but this is done mostly while procrastinating other, larger projects. She is a graduate from the Alberta College of Art & Design, a hyper-involved member of her local arts and activist communities, a proud mother of two cats, and has shown at Truck Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Nuit Blanche, and EMMEDIA. She likes rap music."