Blinkers Art and Project Space: Gabi Dao Exhibition, June 22 - August 3

Gabi Dao

Exhibition: A knife to wither your petal fingers

June 22 - August 3, opening reception Friday, June 22 at 7pm.
Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday, 12pm - 6pm.

In the 1931 Paramount Picture's release of Daughter of the Dragon, the protagonist Ling Moy (played by Anna May Wong) pledges her time to the revenge her family by assassinating her aristocratic adversary. Despite her determination with the task at hand, her father doubts the capabilities of his daughter, a character who earns her wages as a dancer. In anguish, he cries 'the knife will wither your petal fingers'

Referencing this instance in western cinematic history, the exhibition is a conflation of themes surrounding the intersections of cinema and conflict, time and labour, memory and representation. Throughout the hypnagogic landscape of the exhibition, the associative and symbolic imagery aims to complicate these theme — it proposes a subtext that allegorizes the movement within moving images to diasporic experience: The image of the hand— on a clock, on a metronome, the hands of the artist's family members, the hand of an open-source robot, persists as a motif of measured work and care. They vary between articulate and purposeful, clumsy and inefficient, occupied and then encumbered, keeping time then skipping through it. These hands are then connected to working bodies as family members weave in and out of the frame, preferring not to reveal their faces when going about their day. Explosions and coloured smoke in their suburban garden interrupt the household's ongoing activities. An unfurled VHS tape and a rapid succession of family photographs refuse the nostalgia inherent in their format. Sampled video and audio clips from Vietnam war movies, a viral video impersonation of a nail salon technician and user uploaded Youtube video essays collage and 'conflict' amongst one another and throughout the scenes of the household. Outside the frame of the video and in the exhibition space, the robotic hand is seen static, accompanied by a leather glove decked with wires and a copper chip— perhaps the artifice responsible for its on-screen articulation. In the exhibition, the hand is a puppet in repose.

Blinkers Art and Project Space
520 Hargrave St., Winnipeg, MB

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