"Vacancy" featuring work by Joe Chamandy, Aidan Cowling, Adam Chuck, Todd Fraser, Marlon Kroll, Kayla Polan, and Victor Vazquez

Curated by John Elammar

On view June 8th − July 9th, 2017

"Vacancy," 2017 (installation view)

Often acting as sites of cultural purgatory, motel rooms can encourage a manifestation of latent sexual, domestic, and personal attitudes. As a transient and ephemeral space, the motel room can offer an environment ripe for sexual liberation within temporary intimate chambers.

Historically, these rooms have afforded a safe space fo rnon-normative sexual practices, away from prying eyes and traditional views. Differing from a domestic bedroom, the motel room creates a cathartic space allowing for the formation and expression of new sexual identities, free from judgement.

What can a motel room symbolize in a contemporarysociety?

Joe Chamandy and Todd Fraser’s film, Submission to Pleasure, is a “trash” cinema spectacle that pairs a DIY hand-processed approach with frenetic destruction and then reconstruction of the celluloid to complete the narrative . The shots careen between vivid ashes of consciousness and woozy psycho-sexuality using formal experimentation on the filmic image and symbolism to set the tone.

Aidan Cowling’s Portions of a quilt, is a collage of patchwork colour-grid stills from amateur porn, heavily ltered as to only show a grid of ambiguous colours. Interested in the intersection of online sexuality and surveillance, he decides to use anonymity on the internet as a mechanism to create this patchwork of pixels. In a response to The Aids Memorial quilt, this blanket lies here unfinished, contemplating in a time of PEP and PrEP. How do we care for people living with HIV in a country that increasingly criminalizes the disease?

Adam Chuck takes found images from the internet to create his intimate and explicit portraits on reactive mylar. The works, Cunetto, Samuel, Grayson, Dancer, Hercules, and Javier, function together similar to a news feed on a social media site, or as personal vignettes of human experiences that examine the indiscretion and identities people present themselves as on the internet. 

Marlon Kroll’s work is inspired by a period of distance in the relationship between himself and his partner. He uses beds as a mark maker and draws from the stains, the patterns, and the memory. As well as, appreciating the fat folds and hidden parts of your partner’s body as a complete way of love and understanding. Kroll’s images on the exterior of the Bunker and the works inside create a dynamic conversation of hidden and exposed sexuality, showcasing the difference between public and private spaces.

Kayla Polan’s Pancakes for one aren’t always depressing and Frosted Flakes, imagine the home as a space of mutual pleasure for all parties, rejecting a utilitarian (and patriarchal) domestication of sexual liberation. Polan’s work acts to redeem the domestic sphere, and expand upon normative understandings of sex and sexuality. Humour is an especially important part, as it can enable a break in the established social culture, eliminate taboo, and destabilize basic values of society. 

Victor Vazquez’s, Host, calls attention to the crisis of the treatment of gay men in Chechnya and the possibility of violence that can happen in motel rooms through Craigslist. Mickey Mouse references the loss of innocence through the deviancy and questionable practices that come from anonymous motel room encounters. 

A Featured Exhibition in the Nuit Rose Festival.

Joe Chamandy, Todd Fraser
“Submission to Pleasure”
2016
film, 4:44

Joe Chamandy, Todd Fraser
“Submission to Pleasure”
2016
film, 4:44 

Aidan Cowling
“Jocks” 
2015
aluminum cast 

Kayla Polan
“Pancakes for one aren't always depressing”
2017
oil and acrylic on canvas

Kayla Polan
“Frosted Flakes” 
2017 
oil and silicone on cardboard 

Marlon Kroll
"Untitled" 
2016-2017
wood, suede print, vinyl,vaseline 

Marlon Kroll
"Untitled" 
2016-2017
wood

Using Format