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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (22)     +     OPENINGS (7)     +     DEADLINES (12)     +     CLOSINGS (6)
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Lindsay Sorell
Dana Buzzee at The Lily
September 20, 2017

We’ve descended into a 1970s leather session: grainy black and white posters curling at the edges, leather strap-ons, chokers, O-rings entangled. Leashes hang from black screws. Harnesses hold pointy and twisted black tree branches erect. Sessions – BDSM and Ouija – are conducted with a certain ritual and specific vocabulary: safe words, commands, spells to access this shared trust-state. Dana Buzzee writes with this vocabulary a chucklingly occult spell. Adopting the Canadian landscape into lesbian art history, FEMME TOP OF YOUR DREAMS, now on display at The Lily, introduces the artist’s new series of sculptures as a sort of consensual craft.

Dana Buzzee

Erotic fetish illustrations (gleaming wet leather, chains) hang off the gallery wall. They are rough black-and-white prints taken from Coming to Power: Writing and Graphics on Lesbian S/M, a 1983 anthology published by the San Francisco-based lesbian-feminist BDSM organization Samois. Photographs of ponds reflecting treed landscapes and starry skies hang nearby; one is paperweighted by a Sculpey clay (the cheap man’s marble) planchette on a plinth by our feet. Two landscapes appear simultaneously in the images – that of the pond itself and the reflected landscape in it – a shared state of consciousness between two unique scenes: dry and wet, above and below, top and bottom.

Branch appendages, extended in places with horn-like accoutrements, sit in Buzzee’s meticulously and beautifully handcrafted harnesses. The branch (and by extension the landscape) is presented as an unlikely penetrator – jagged, brittle, spray-painted scraps of a fallen tree. Implicating Calgary’s geographic and cultural present as FEMME TOP, the exhibition initiates a session, a ritual exchange, with nature. The female-ness of our landscape is empowered; maybe Mother Nature is a dyke.

Dana Buzzee: FEMME TOP OF YOUR DREAMS continues until October 31.
The Lily:
The gallery is partially accessible.

Lindsay Sorell is an artist and writer who recently collaborated with the Advanced Toastmasters of Calgary for the IKG Live 1 performance festival and completed two solo exhibitions of new work: Exercises in Healing at Contemporary Calgary and Buddha, Why Am I Alone? at AVALANCHE! Institute of Contemporary Art. She is currently working on a large-scale watercolour painting of food and is the editor of Luma Quarterly. She is Akimblog's Calgary correspondent and can be followed on Instagram.



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