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Aislinn Thomas, Detail of This Being Here, 2013–14. Dimensions variable.

Aislinn Thomas: This Being Here

November 10, 2017–January 6, 2018
Artist talk: Saturday, November 18, 2pm
Location: Open Sesame, 220 King Street West, Kitchener, ON

Artist's Statement:

In my life and work, I am preoccupied with the question of how to be in the world—how to engage with our surroundings, our experiences, and our interactions with other beings and things. And so, at the core of my practice is a focus on relationships of many kinds. Of course, all this is in the context of a complex inheritance that includes fossil-fuelled capitalism, settler colonialism, a status-obsessed culture, institutionalized oppression, and growing inequality—as well as the fact that we inhabit unique and unpredictable bodies that interact with other bodies, which will all someday change and die.

Every morning before the sun rises, I sit quietly for 20–40 minutes. Sometimes this feels boring; sometimes it feels like a radical act, a refuge, or an obligation. Regardless, I sit and try to be open and curious, and simply notice what is.

In the fall of 2013, I set myself the task of recording my daily meditation in visual form, translating the physical sensations experienced during each morning’s sit into colour, line, and shape. I instructed myself to keep this practice for one year; however, the project was halted due to injury after about ten months, resulting in approximately three hundred 4.5" x 6” drawings.

About the artist:

Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, installation, and text-based work. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, exploring themes of vulnerability, empathy, possibility and failure. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Waterloo MFA program and earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several grants and awards including a C.D. Howe Scholarship for Arts and Design, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Masters Scholarship, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. She currently lives and works in Kitchener, Ontario.


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Anna van Milligen, <3, 2017. Photo: Scott Lee.

Anna van Milligen: <3

Through January 2018
Location: Open Sesame, 220 King Street West, Kitchener, ON (King Street windows)

Anna van Milligen's <3 is the first installation for Lèche Vitrine: Open Sesame Project Window, a collaboration between CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area and Open Sesame.

Printed on vinyl and affixed to Open Sesame's King Street windows, <3 reflects the artist's longstanding interest in the construction and performance of feminine identity as well as this medium's associations with advertising and publicity. For CAFKA, the Lèche Vitrine project space is an opportunity to support new art forms and to celebrate emerging artists and experimental work.

About the artist:

Anna van Milligen is a Canadian-American installation artist who lives and works in Guelph, Ontario. Her choice of media includes fake hair, faux fur, and dollar-store beauty enhancements. Van Milligen received her BFA in 2013 from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her MFA in 2016 from the University of Waterloo.

Lèche Vitrine is made possible with the support of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.


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Open Sesame: Art, Books, and Objects
220 King Street West
Kitchener, ON N2G 1A9

Hours through December 23:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 11am–6pm
Thursday, Friday 11am–7pm
Sunday noon–5pm

December 24, 2017–January 6, 2018: By appointment

519-954-7722
info@opensesameshop.com
Facebook and Instagram: @OpenSesameShop
Twitter: @OpenSesameKW
opensesameshop.com

CAFKA—Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area
519-744-5123
cafka.org

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