"GYMSICK" featuring Hazel Meyer and Lucy Pawlak
July 20 − August 2, 2018
Curated by Veronika Ivanova

GYMSICK engages in the queer-feminist practice of world-making to create a gym-like drop-in environment that blends the corporeal, cerebral, collective and individual. Home to meetings, sessions, and expanded imaginings of work-outs, Meyer and Pawlak will develop and extend research into bodies as mysterious sites for experiencing pleasure, pain, exhaustion, immediacy, and elation. Meyer and Pawlak's interests push beyond the formal gymnasium, taking cues from the muscular process of hypertrophy, and asking what can be learnt from medical worlds of rehabilitation & chronic illness. GYMSICK functions as an ongoing collaborative project, an itinerant space with no fixed membership or base.

Stepping beyond the figure of ‘The Coach’ into other forms of mentorship such as the OWL (Older-wiser lesbian), Indigenous Elders, chosen families and dom/sub relationships GYMSICK will hold ‘coaching’ sessions at the beginning of August with local makers and thinkers to move through these possibilities. GYMSICK asks how we can come together, move together, sweat together and consider the position of our leaky, desiring bodies. How do we imagine, reimagine and appropriate equipment to fulfill our body’s needs? How do we keep time when the stopwatch no longer holds the time we experience? When time skips, falls, freezes, bends, when “moments drag for days… when linear time unravels, making time seem simultaneously to speed up and slam shut, leaving one behind.”1

1 Alison Kafer, “Feminist, Queer, Crip” Indiana Press, 2013, 38.

Hazel Meyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, drawing and text to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Her work aims to recover the queer aesthetics, politics, and bodies often effaced within histories of sports and recreation. Drawing on archival research, she creates scenarios that bring various troublemakers—lesbians-feminists, gender outlaws, leather-dykes—into the performative spaces of athletics.

Recent exhibitions include Tape Condition: degraded with Cait McKinney at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto, a screening of Slumberarty at the Glasgow International Biennale and a commission to produce the installation and performance Where Once Stood a Bandstand for Cruising & Shelter for Nuit Blanche Toronto. She holds degrees from OCAD University (Toronto) and Concordia University (Montréal).

Lucy Pawlak's body of work aims to make room for improvisation and play within structure. The various mediums Pawlak uses (performance, writing, drawing, chat, time based media) act as frameworks for considering how and why we adhere to systems and what possibilities breaking with patterns might offer.Pawlak is exploring boxing as a medium to think through experiences of falling in and out of time. She is fascinated by techniques of feinting and slipping. When a boxer slips, a blow slips by. Feints are designed to distract or mislead, feinting means always doing something different then expected or even nothing at all, it means performing, jittering, twitching, dancing in and out of time, playing a different game. 

Performances and screenings include: The Jumex Museum (Mexico City), Whitstable Biennial (UK), Videonale (Bonn, Germany) The Showroom, Hollybush Gardens, ICA and National Film Theatre (London), Art Metropole (Toronto), Fogo Island Arts (Canada), Karma International (Zurich), The Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), Kettles Yard (Cambridge), The Palais Kabelwerk (Vienna), Zentrum Paul Klee (Switzerland). Critical Forums: Lux Associate Artists Program 2011 (London), Lux Critical Forum 2010 (London) Screen writing collaborations: Maquinaria Panamericana with Joaquin del Paso. Premier: Berlin Film Festival, awarded Best Script at the Mexican Ariel Academy Awards 2017 and at Raindance Film Festival, London.

Feint*, Slip, Body Shot 
Boxing as writing. Writing as felt. Moving words.A Gymsick session of writing reps and sets with writer, artist and shadow boxer, Lucy Pawlak 
ON: Saturday the Twenty-Eighth of July, 
FROM: fifteen hundred hours to seventeen hundred hours 

This workshop is free and for everyone, come as you are, expect to be in the dark, listen to music, watch 2 short videos, do graffiti, form phrases for banners, and play a different game.

One, two, three, four,
Five, six, seven, eight,
And,
One, two, three, four,
Five, six, seven, eight,

“can a poem be choreographed or improvised the way a dance can? Maybe, if it can be inhabited the way a body is, if each word and phoneme indicates a part of a living system moving through space and time with immortal intentions, if the words populate a vision and also dangle that vision over the ledge of the unknown, testing and establishing its boundaries in the same gesture. If the poem is inside of a syntax that loves it, it cannot help but propel with the grace and rigor of a spinning body.”

Harmony Holiday’s Poetry Manifesto: Somebody who loves me

* The Golden Rule of feinting is: always do something different then expected. Once you feel their rhythm start slipping

Deathnastics 
Eliza Chandler, Kim Collins, Esther Ignagni, Deirdre Logue, and Allyson Mitchell 
August 2, 7-9pm 

Deathnastics is a performative, exquisite corpse-esque death cafe. Different than a traditional death cafe wherein participants are asked questions to provoke personal reflections on death, Deathnastics will take our cue from the Killjoy Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House and ask questions about the death of certain ideas, paradigms, and activisms that are necessary to crip feminist art and activism, as well as intersectional conversations about death and vitality. We position ourselves as one among a series of queer-feminist acts of re-worlding as we enact the necessary ‘death of tropes’ that nullify a crip-feminist coming together. 

This event is barrier-free and will have ASL interpretation.



If interested, please RSVP to workshops by emailing [email protected], space will be limited.




This exhibition was made possible by the Arts Council England.

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