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This month, we feature Keeley Haftner, Artist In residence from Saskatchewan. This is your only chance to see this extraordinary new work which has transformed her studio. The next day it gets painted over.
Waste Warrior Women of the Post-Saskatchewan Apocalypse
Vernissage (reception): Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at 7 pm.
Artist in attendance
If society can be relied upon to produce impeding and harmful stereotypes about women, and if women themselves, through the subconscious and through socially inscribed subliminal pressure, can become them, then perhaps the task is not to focus solely on being critical of these structures of which science and society are becoming more acutely aware, but to capitalize on them. To create a woman spectacularized by the entire stereotypical arsenal she is given.
Keeley Haftner is a Saskatoon-based visual artist whose work is emerging through notions of waste, tradition, satire, gender, archive, labour, and transience. Though seemingly eclectic, her work consistently reevaluates diametrical extremes and amplifies grey areas in everyday spaces, objects or images. During her residency at Ross Creek, Haftner has taken over a studio space with a mural and installation that will have a one night viewing open to the public. Ross Creek Centre for the Arts will open its doors on the evening of Tuesday, May 29th.
Waste Warrior Women of the Post-Saskatchewan-Apocalypse is a body of work centered on female characters working with the aftermath of a consumption-induced apocalypse in Saskatchewan, with only part of a cultural memory of the matriarchal forbearers. As such, these women are forced to interpret feminine signs, methods, and roles through not only the essentialist imperative that their survival situation demands, but also through a powerful female lens without social cues of gendered ‘place’, such as domesticity or sexual passivity.
These characters were developed in April and May of 2012 over the course of two residencies. Haftner developed these characters through reading specific relevant short novels and comics on the topic of post-apocalypse such as Vaughan and Guerra’s Y: The Last Man, and McDevitt’s Eternity Road. Using imagery derived from super heroes, warriors, goddesses, fashion trends, housewives and aboriginal ceremonial dress, multiple costume combinations were designed through a series of drawings, and physically made using found waste materials, such as plastic caps and thermo packaging. Once complete, documentation of women wearing the costumes in both official and unofficial ‘waste’ or ‘dump’ sites acted as subject matter for a series of paintings. The images, costumes, and paintings serve as the cosmology for this installation and future performance, print and animation.