07. December 2017 - 19:00 till 22:00
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The Bitterness of Bad Solitude: Publication Launch | Untitled Art Society | Thursday, 07. December 2017

Please join us on Thursday, December 7 at 7pm for the launch of Hannah Doerksen's publication, 'The Bitterness of Bad Solitude,' with a reading by David Balzer.

'The Bitterness of Bad Solitude' is presented in conjunction with Hannah Doerksen's solo project of the same name, currently on view at Untitled Art Society. Including a text by David Balzer, the publication takes inspiration from DIY conspiracy theory pamphlets, religious propaganda on a busy street corner, and elaborate stream-of-consciousness manifestos; it is a material manifestation of the artist's research methodology, and reflects the many influences, and visual and emotional cues present in her exhibition.

"Convincing yet exclusive paradigms—conspiracies, religions, science—impart confidence; they bond us. In 1976, a study in San Francisco on astrology’s adherents, brought to my attention by writer Fiona Duncan, found they were 'among the less well educated, blacks, and women—all of whom have been recognized as relatively deprived of the power, prestige, wealth, and other rewards which society offers.' I am white, male and well educated, yet—mea culpa—I have often considered astrology to be my *** Deep State, an alternate reality running parallel to my own. (An affinity I shared, it should be noted, with my then-boyfriend.)"

- David Balzer

About the exhibition:

Combining iconic imagery, popular media, and tactile objects in the creation of an immersive, set-like environment, 'The Bitterness of Bad Solitude (or To be Lost in Something you Designed Yourself)' emanates a curiously unsettling energy. This uneasy spectre can be accounted for by the forced amalgamation of visual languages borrowed from generally antithetical points of reference; the exhibition shamelessly appropriates interior design elements from flashy night clubs, archetypical religious architecture, haunting Masonic temples, stale basement AA meetings, and subterranean government bunkers.

Doerksen's project aims to challenge tacit conventions of morality, acceptability, deeply-held-beliefs, and the power structures which determine value. The installation, a many-headed, visually cheeky, but earnest beast, offers itself as a testing ground for otherwise infrequent conditions for vulnerable, interpersonal connections, spontaneous disruptions to the predictability of daily rituals, and renegade brainstorming for radical futures.

Hannah Doerksen is a Calgary-based visual artist who received a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2012. During her studies, Doerksen attended the New York Studio Residency Program in Brooklyn and the California Collage of Art in San Francisco. Since graduating, she has exhibited in Brazil, the UK, the United States and throughout Canada. Recently, Doerksen has developed installations for the Art Gallery of Alberta, Walter Phillips Gallery and The Art Gallery of Guelph.

David Balzer is a writer, editor, and teacher. He is the author of Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, winner of ICA London’s 2015 Book of the Year, and the short-fiction collection Contrivances. He has written about art and culture for The Guardian, Modern Painters, Artforum, The Globe and Mail and others, and was the recipient of the 2015 International Award for Art Criticism. He is currently Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher at Canadian Art magazine, and lives in Toronto.