Just as language can be used as a means of control, it can also be wielded as a tool to open up and break down structures of power. This exhibition, which borrows its title from a poem by Layli Long Soldier, brings together artists who negotiate the distance between the seen and the unseen. Using word, image, and action, these artists engage in an insistent gesture of making visible the legal, political, social, and economic systems which govern our lives.
Mercedes Eng is a prairie-born poet of Chinese and settler descent living in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She is the author of Mercenary English, a poem about sex work, violence, and resistance in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver, Prison Industrial Complex Explodes, winner of the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and my yt mama, which documents a childhood under white supremacy in Canadian prairies. Her writing has appeared in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, Jacket 2, Asian American Literary Review, and The Abolitionist.
Emma Hedditch (born 1972, UK) is an artist, living in New York. Their work focuses on daily practice, materiality, and distribution of knowledge as political action. They have been a member of the Cinenova Working Group (1999–present) The Copenhagen Free University (2001–2008), No Total, a site for performance (2012–2017) and Coop Fund (2018- present). Their exhibition projects include +49 30 243459-53, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (2019), Finesse, Wallach Art Gallery, (2017) and Claim a hand in the field that makes this form foam, Outpost, (2016). Their video work has screened at the Oberhausen Film Festival, The Elizabeth Foundation, Goethe Institute, MACBA, Galería Macchina, Artists Space and Haus der Kunst. Hedditch is faculty in Film and Video at The College of Staten Island and The Cooper Union.
Lis Rhodes (born 1942) is a British artist and feminist filmmaker, known for her density, concentration, and articulate sense of poetry in her visual works. She has been active in the UK since the early 1970s. She was cinema curator at the London Film-Makers’ Co-op from 1975–76. In 1979, Rhodes co-founded the feminist film distribution network, Circles. She was a member of the exhibition committee for the 1979 Arts Council Film on Filmevent, and international retrospective of Avante-Garde cinema. Rhodes was Arts Advisor to the Greater London Council from 1982 to 1985, and since 1978 has lectured part-time at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.