Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge, The Gallery at Casa

held on for dear life – Cindy Baker

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held on for dear life – Cindy Baker

held on for dear life – Cindy Baker

As an interdisciplinary performance artist with a background in object-making, my work explores human relationships to “things” – my relationship to things as object-maker and artist interacting with the objects of my creation, and the audience’s relationship to those things, emotional and physical/tactile.

My work relies heavily on an ability to integrate theories of the “other” with a strong popular culture vocabulary. The theoretical background for my research originates in queer theory, fat studies, disability theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, and art theory. Key methods I employ include intervention and collaboration, allowing me to work simultaneously from without and within the cultures/subcultures that form my communities. Building this cross-disciplinary framework into a strong studio practice facilitates destabilizing the centre that I am intervening into, making room for the other.

Coming from the ‘outsider’ position of a queer woman with a fat disabled body, I make work that challenges normative standards of the body, beauty ideals, gender and sexuality. Coming from the ‘insider’ position of an artist who’s worked for 25 years within the gallery system, my work addresses the presentation context and the roles people play within it, including the performance of expected viewership behaviour. I also recognize my position as a white cisgender woman with relative class and educational privilege, and want to use that privilege to make space for those who do not. Curatorial and collaborative projects are thus essential facets of my creative practice.

Proposing methodological approaches that provoke risk, transgression, distance, and intimacy, I hope to enable a shift in focus from my body to others’ bodies, the othered body, and embodiment as a concept. So doing, the work can effectively build empathetic relationships within the presentation space while simultaneously creating room for a careful examination of audience response to the work.

Cindy Baker is a contemporary artist based in Western Canada whose work engages with queer, gender, race, disability, fat, and art discourses. Committed to ethical community engagement and critical social enquiry, Baker’s research-based practice draws upon 30 years working in the communities of which she is part.  Helping found important community and advocacy organizations over the course of her career, including the Saskatoon Diversity Network and the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Coalition of Canada, notable awards include Toronto International Body Image Film & Arts Festival’s Body Confidence Canada Award, and Toronto’s South Asian Visual Arts Collective’s Collaborator of the Year Award.

Date:June 15th, 2024  –  August 24th, 2024

Location:Casa – Main Gallery

 

Date And Time

Saturday, June 15 at 9:00 am to
Saturday, August 24 at 9:00 pm
 

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