Our fall issue cover features the incredible work of artist Lesley Loksi Chan from her series “ACCORDING TO WHETHER.”
As the curatorial statement for the exhibition notes: “Chan looks at educational materials used in North American elementary schools to reflect on broader issues of identity formation and to think through processes of knowledge, learning, and decision-making. The particular sets of felt cut-outs used in this series were manufactured/printed during the late 1960s-1980s, a time when discourses of “diversity” were shifting but not yet normalized across dominant teaching methods.”
In his essay, “A Felt Sense of Whether,” which accompanies Chan’s work in the issue, Phanuel Antwi writes: “The cut-out clothes at times stand on their own or overlap each other; at other times they lie on close-to-identical-figures, distinguishable only on a spectrum of colour progression (yellow, green, blue, violet, orange) across each felt set and discernible only due to expected gendered markers. The clear-cut contours of each figure’s outline suggest anything but “neutral” figures, pointing to the violence of repression and erasure while provoking a consideration of the complexities that rest in children’s bodies. What details, for example, are withheld and excluded in images of appropriate dress, what contours of children’s experiences are left out alongside forcibly abandoned clothing?”
Lesley Loksi Chan is an artist, educator, and artistic director of Centre for Artistic + Social Practice which is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the Dish with One Spoon wampum agreement.