Fermenting Feminism is an ongoing, site-responsive curatorial experiment led by artist-curator Lauren Fournier. The concept of the project is that fermentation, or the process of microbial transformation, becomes a material practice and speculative metaphor through which to think through pressing issues related to feminisms. The project takes shape across media and forms, from exhibitions and screenings, performances and listening sessions, experimental colloquia and outreach programs, and publications. Fermenting Feminism began in 2016 as a publication made in collaboration with the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, and has since bubbled up in Kansas City, Copenhagen, Toronto, Montréal, and Berlin. In fall 2019, Fermenting Feminism is bubbling up on the coastal, colonized lands of Vancouver, on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
The artists in the exhibition work through issues like harm reduction and intoxication cultures, settler-colonialisms and decolonial possibilities, queer family-making, inter-species communities, fraught symbiosis, labour and land, food and accessibility, and the omnipresent politics of health, wellness, and care.
Bringing the project to Access Gallery, located where the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood meets Chinatown, introduces a richly complicated environment for fermenting feminisms on the west coast. Riffing on the specificities of Vancouver, one of the first places to have kombucha on tap(!), this latest iteration of the project brings with it a new publication: CRITICAL BOOCH, which Access will launch at the Vancouver Art Book Fair in October 2019. Sour and effervescent, ambivalent and refreshing, multi-sensorial and potentially explosive, Fermenting Feminism taps into the fizzy currents in critical and creative feminist practices today.
LAUREN FOURNIER (b. 1989 Treaty 4 lands) is an artist-curator, writer, editor, and fermenter. She works at the intersection of contemporary art and theory, philosophy, experimental writing and art writing, gender studies, and environmental humanities. She is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto. Her writing appears in journals and books like C Magazine, Canadian Art, West Coast Line, Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, Contemporary Women’s Writing, Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts, Comparative Media Arts Journal, and Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada. As an independent curator, she has organized exhibitions and programs at such spaces as the Blackwood Gallery, Vtape, Zalucky Contemporary, and the Medical Museion. Her monograph on “autotheory” is forthcoming.
ANDREA CREAMER is an artist, a worker, a renter, an organizer, an activist, a collaborator, and a co-producer; all of these identities are a part of how she thinks about art and her relationship to place. Through her practice, she investigates themes of community, spaces of contestation, counter publics, site-specificity, spatial justice, and collective memory—in the context of being a settler on unceded Coast Salish territory, Vancouver, BC. Often articulated in the form of text, painting, sculpture and video, her material practice reflects on the ephemeral and always shifting character of socially based practices, forms of protest, and the mechanisms that produce social spaces. Based in research and lived experience, her work creates a platform to discuss the production of social conditions and divergence of discarded pasts and imminent futures.
CHRISTINE TIEN WANG (b. 1985 Washington D.C) received her BFA from The Cooper Union and her MFA in painting from UCLA in 2013. Wang completed residencies at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, VCUQatar, Chashama North, and Skowhegan. Wang's solo exhibition Crypto Rich is currently on view at Galerie Nagel Draxler Kabinett space in Berlin. Selected group exhibition venues include Rachel Uffner, Magenta Plains, The Prince Street Gallery. Wang is represented by Night Gallery in Los Angeles and Galerie Nagel Draxler in Cologne and Berlin. Wang is currently Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at California College of Art and lives and works in San Francisco.
ALANNA LYNCH is an artist and researcher currently based in Berlin. She works with living organisms, biological materials, smell and performance, examining the politics of affect and questions of agency. She has exhibited and performed internationally and is a founding member of the artist collective Scent Club Berlin. She has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and was awarded the 2018 Berlin Art Prize.
SARAH NASBY is an artist working primarily in sculpture and drawing. She received an MFA from NSCAD University and a BA from the University of Guelph. Her work has been shown recently in Para//el Room at DNA Artspace, London; Taking [a] part at Mercer Union, Toronto; Who's Afraid of Purple, Orange and Green? at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina. She lives and works in Toronto. Nasby and Ella Dawn McGeough, are Ray Ray editions.
WALTER SCOTT is an interdisciplinary artist working with writing, illustration, performance and sculpture. In 2011 while living in Montreal, he began a comic book series, Wendy, exploring the narrative of a fictional young woman living in an urban centre who aspires to global success and art stardom but whose dreams are perpetually derailed. The position of the outsider and shape-shifter is central to this body of work, as is the influence of feminist icons such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and artist, punk poet, experimental novelist and filmmaker Kathy Acker.
ELEONORA EDREVA & LEO WILLIAMS are artists who found themselves and each other in Chicago by way of Miami, Florida and Burgas, Bulgaria. Their solo and collaborative work spans the mediums of video, scent, food, digital fabrication, and fiber, each seeking to explore the themes of waste, gender, food, technology, sensory education, and environmental catastrophe. They live happily together with their family of worms, kefir, sauerkraut and kvass in Chicago, where they are constantly growing their domestic sphere and altering how they relate to one another and the world around them. Their work emerges as a response to confronting and feeling the dense and leaky weight of growing landfills, mass consumption, and unequal access to dwindling resources; which they address by calling into question myths of individualism and upholding the necessity of community-based resilience in the face of apocalypse.