Oddities at Gallery Gachet

http://gachet.org/exhibitions/oddities

4x3Gallery Gachet Annual Members Show
Exhibition runs: January 9th- February 22nd, 2015
Opening reception: Fri, January 9th, 7.00 – 10.00pm

Gallery Gachet is an artist-run centre committed to demystifying and challenging issues related to mental health and social marginalization in order to educate the public and promote social and economic justice through artistic means. Our gallery and studio space, precariously balanced in a neighbourhood undergoing advanced gentrification, has emerged as a symbol of creative refuge and artist-driven authenticity.

Gallery Gachet is pleased to present this year’s Annual Members Show, Oddities.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a cabinet of curiosities was a place, or more precisely a wooden piece of furniture with several compartments, where people would exhibit bizarre objects, artifacts and specimens —in a word oddities. Everything from a two-headed cow fetus soaking in formaldehyde to an alleged unicorn horn, these objects gesture towards the complexity of the world and the vastness of the unknown. While these displays were successful in sparking the creative imaginations of many, they exist as a mode of classification, capable of objectifying and subjugating what is different by suggesting a particular and often misguided reading to the viewer.

Classification of the atypical has taken on many forms throughout history; witch hunts, circus sideshows, and in modern medical practices including the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM.

Oddities will set out to answer these questions posed by artists from the Gallery Gachet collective: Can we achieve a more holistic sense of the human experience by assuming or subverting labels such as mad, freak or weird? What parts of our experiences do we want to keep strange? How much do we want to explain? Is there still room for the uncanny or fantastic? Can we, as artists, create an alluring space of wonder while representing ourselves and our experiences?

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