In 1476, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer penned the word femynynytee for the first time. A term of Middle English origins, it described one who is free from evil – free, in fact, from all independent desire or autonomous action. We reach back in time, pulling into present this term in order to address that which has been built upon and decolonize our understanding of it.
The exhibition Femynynytees reimagines the term outside of its moralistic confines, and rather, aims to explore a multiplicity of incarnations in which the “feminine" can be reframed, reworked, broken and queered. The diverse media and multiple modes of encounter between technology and art in this exhibition question what it means to be, or to have, a body that is not bound to gender. The intimacy of the works presented asks us to consider our understandings and assumptions of what it means to be feminine, to enter into the personal stories of the artists and to explore their experiences, celebrations and failures related to their own, and other’s, experiences of femininity. We invite you to consider the failings of the feminine through instances of care and violence, complicity and intrusion, celebration and critique in order to defy and bring into dialogue long standing assumptions that the feminine is inherently bound to a female identity. More than five centuries after the word first appeared, this exhibition questions; what can a multiplistic view of femynynytees become?
We acknowledge this exhibition is being held on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations.
curated by Treva Michelle Legassie and Renata Azevedo Moreira.
featuring the work of: Heidi Barkun, M.C. Baumstark, Eileen Mary Holowka, Jojota, Karla Keiko, Kinga Michalska, Faye Mullen & Mailis Rodrigues.