main space

without repair

tammy rae carland, karilynn ming ho, benny nemerofsky ramsay, evelyn rick, jon sasaki, allison w. wade

curated by robin alex mcdonald

May 19 - August 4, 2018 | Reception: Wednesday, May 23, 6:30-8pm

“Similarly, it seems, for the lover’s anxiety: it is the fear of a mourning which has already occurred, at the very origin of love, from the moment when I was first “ravished.” Someone would have to be able to tell me: ‘Don’t be anxious any more – you’ve already lost him.’” – Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

The discovery of love is always already bound up with its loss. As a new lover once reminded me amidst the fervor of my limerence: “this will end in one of two ways; we will break up, or one of us will die.” Sooner or later, to fall in love is to be forced to reckon with what that love may become; a contemptuous text message, a lonely ride home, the drama of an Elizabethan madrigal...

Perhaps it is in the name of repressing what Barthes names the “lover’s anxiety” that we so rarely explore the terrain of the after-love without redeeming it – that is, without using it as a narrative device for the staging of love’s return (in romantic comedies, for instance, “boy” only loses “girl” so that “girl” may return to “boy.”) Refusing to submit to the tyranny of optimism that posits love as the cornerstone of the “good life,” without repair wonders what kinds of affects, knowledges, and insights might come to light when we actively work to embrace the scene of defunct loving.

Featuring work by jon sasaki (Toronto, ON), evelyn ricky (Montreal, QC), tammy rae carland (Oakland, CA), benny nemerofsky ramsay (Edinburgh, SCO), allison l. wade (New York City, NY), and karilynn ming ho (Vancouver, BC).

robin alex mcdonald is an independent curator, writer, and doctoral candidate at Queen’s University. Their interests span feminist, queer, and trans politics; theories of relationality, collectivity, love, and ‘the social’; art-as-activism; and visual culture theory. They are a co-founder of Turbines Curatorial Collective and Chipped Off Performance Collective.

The curator thanks the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, the Queen’s Student Initiative Fund, the Union Gallery, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre for their support of this exhibition.


Tammy Rae Carland, Imperfect Lovers, 2008, Digital C-Print

tammy rae carland primarily works with photography, experimental video and small run publications. Her work has been screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin and Sydney. Her photographs have been published in numerous books including The Passionate Camera; Queer Bodies of Desire and Lesbian Art in America.

karilynn ming ho is a Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist working with video, performance, installation, photo and sculpture. Her work draws on existential themes as a means to examine formal and conceptual ideas around performativity as it relates to screen culture and technology. Ming Ho has exhibited in solo shows across Canada including the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Trinity Square Video in Toronto, Optica Centre d’art Contemporain in Montreal, and Kyhber ICA in Halifax. Her work has been screened widely in film and performance festivals in Canada, the US, and France.

benny nemerofsky ramsay is an artist, diarist and correspondent. His artistic gestures in sound, video and text contemplate the history of song and the gender of voices, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken or screamed. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors and sirens.


Evelyn Ricky, Untitled (Same Gum), 2018, acrylic on flannel sheet

Using a critically mad framework, evelyn ricky’s practice explores their lived experiences as a diseased, queer and transgender body within and against the conflation of these under medicalizing and pathologizing frameworks. Negotiating the affects, materialities and ethics of care in an optic of digestive “process”, these considerations bring themselves to bear on issues of carceral “care”, rape culture and the intricacies of desire.

jon sasaki’s multidisciplinary art practice brings performance, video, object and installation into a framework where expectation and outcome never align, generating a simultaneous sense of pathos and fun. His work employs reason-based approaches reminiscent of conceptual art while investigating romantic subjects; in this juxtaposition, Sasaki creates humorous, self-exhaustive systems caught in cycles of trial and error.


Allison W. Wade, Break-Up Text Painting (series), 2014, acrylic on canvas

allison l. wade is a multimedia artist whose work speaks to past relationships and problems inherent in contemporary modes of communication. Wade has been investigating her social distance theory for over ten years using found answering machine installations before moving to text message break-up paintings. Her work makes us painfully aware that it is easier in our postmodern world to leave a text message to convey our innermost feelings rather than talk face to face. Wade highlights this new form of communicating by taking private messages and making them public. Wade lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor of Photography at FIT SUNY.