Arts & Culture

Art gallery show addresses violence, marginalization

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:59 PST, Wed January 20, 2021

Last Updated: 11:48 PST, Thu February 4, 2021

Canadian contemporary artist Brendan Fernandes will be highlighted at Richmond Art Gallery starting Feb. 12.

Fernandes’ solo show Inaction explores action and solidarity, as well as addressing violence against marginalized bodies. It will be on display through April 3.

“The social upheavals of 2020 catalyzed the global conversation around human rights and equality,” says Richmond Art Gallery director Shaun Dacey, who also curated the exhibition. “Inaction reflects on the continued visible and invisible impacts of hateful rhetoric on marginalized bodies. More than ever, it is crucial to present work that celebrates the diversity of lived experiences, creating safe and inclusive spaces for dialogue.”

The exhibit has two main components: a commissioned series of nine sculptural works and the Canadian premiere of a video work called Free Fall: for Camera. The video piece is based on a 2017 performance art piece called Free Fall, created in response to the 2016 shooting at Florida’s Pulse nightclub. It features 16 dancers who demonstrate the movements that happen when bodies fall onto a stage.

Free Fall was originally in response to the Pulse shooting, but our bodies are still being marginalized and that means the work needs to continue,” says Fernandes. “As a society, we’re finding out how hard we can fall, but also how to stand up, move forward and move on. With Black Lives Matter and other socio-political uprisings gaining momentum, it’s important to seek out our freedom and rights. This extends to the COVID-19 pandemic—we’re finding out what a safe space is and thinking about what our bodies need right now.”

Live performances will be held in March and April, with the public invited to watch via live-stream per current COVID-19 restrictions. If restrictions loosen prior to performances, they may be available for in-person viewing with limited capacity. An artist talk with Fernandes will also be live-streamed.

For more information about Inaction, gallery hours and COVID-19 health and safety protocols, visit richmondartgallery.org.

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