This exhibition was part of the University Arts Association of Canada on disability arts and culture; and the Common Pulse Festival and Symposium funded through SSHRC.
Curatorial statement by Eliza Chandler
In Fragments presents us with close-up displays of fragmented performances of self. By looping a few seconds of animated video in the style of a gif and by mimicking an online genre of ‘how to’ videos, the artist turns personal and intimate movements into something formulaic and, over time, predictable. The flicker of these media works reminds us that what was once private bodily knowledge is now public information, transforming us from a voyeur into an audience of something that was meant for us to consume.
This body of work harkens back to freak show culture in which differently embodied people were put on display, forced to expose some of the most vulnerable parts of themselves. Fisher offers us intentionally rendered self-portraits that disrupt common understandings of ‘private acts,’ femininity, and embodied difference.
A person with stiff, awkward movements pulls stockings over outstretched legs and, in another video, two sets of hands paint their nails following vague and cripped voices reciting instructions that fill the gallery’s soundscape. In a third video of three looping images, a hand grazes pubic hair, the same hand caresses a knob of skin, and, in the middle, an eye frantically shifts from one image to the other. In the way that this unfamiliar knob of skin references a clitoris, and for the way it is being touched, this ambiguous bit of flesh, is easily identified as a site of pleasure as much as it might be a site of reservation.
In these works, bodies of difference perform acts traditionally associated with being desirable and through them, difference is not transformed into normalcy (nor is normalcy transformed into difference)-these works compel us into difference.