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Visual arts review: Poems for Impending Doom

Text prompts spark poetry, video and photography in this new online show.

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Rojas performs in Doom. - CAMILLE ROJAS
  • Camille Rojas
  • Rojas performs in Doom.

Poems for Impending Doom
Art Bar, 1873 Granville Street
March 29, 7pm
cfat.ca/poemsforimpendingdoom


"The world is pretty fucked up right now—let's write some poems about how we would do it if we could do it all again," reads the opening statement for Poems for Impending Doom, launching March 29 at Art Bar. In this spirit, co-curators Lucy Pauker and Alessia Oliva wrote a series of prompts (such as "a poem with each word deconstructed" or "a poem for future possibilities of decolonial love") and invited four artists, whom they grouped into pairs, to create poetic responses to these prompts with text, video and photography.

One of the prompts that collaborators Camila Salcedo and Arielle Twist reflected on instructed them to consume a fruit with their bare hands. Salcedo would tag Twist in Instagram stories at grocery stores when she saw fruits that were indigenous to her home, or eating strawberries with her sister Cecilia. Working with her sister, Salcedo created a video where she considered the fruits of her childhood in Venezuela and the complexities of consuming them now in Canada. She bites into a stiff winter mango, recalling the yielding flesh and dripping juice of ones picked straight from the tree, or mimes eating fruit that couldn't be found in this colder climate.

Twist's photographic tableaux of Indigenous femmes with antlers and piles of berries also consider fruits of her homeland, while an accompanying poem speaks to the destruction required for rebirth. In considering the prospect of doomsday, both artists consider: What do I want to remember? What might I be remembered for?

The works by Camille Rojas and Madeleine Scott are a bit more gestural. Rojas sets up a camera in front of a mirror and performs a series of movements and dances, the camera on its spindly dancer's legs becoming an unwitting partner. Scott also engages with technological props: Revisiting familiar childhood experiments with electrical currents, plugs are pinched into the skin of an onion while various narrators speak about the internet, time and borders.

Rather than being shown in a physical gallery setting, Poems for Impending Doom can be viewed online via the Centre For Art Tapes, after Friday's launch, at cfat.ca

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