Happy "Birthday" Gendai

Nov 29, 2013 - Nov 29, 2013 @ Dufferin Grove Park

Celebrate with us at Dufferin Grove Park on Friday, November 29, 2013 from 6 – 9:30pm.

We meet to celebrate the 13th year of Gendai’s existence, to celebrate its past and look forward to its future.

Join us for a birthday drink, some homemade s’more kits, campfire ghost stories, and a very special introduction of artist Gina Badger’s “Magical Faggots”.

In celebration of the late-fall season of death and dying, artist Gina Badger will lead a collective ritual that will culminate in the burning of an effigy to cultural misappropriation. Badger’s Magical Faggots, bundles of medicinal herbs that resemble giant new-age smudge sticks, embody and exaggerate the acts of cultural misappropriation that are so endemic in pop culture and new age spiritualism. Highly visible examples abound—sweatshop-produced moccasins, power yoga workouts, geisha Halloween costumes, queer settler claimings of two-spirit identity, and rich kids in ratchet style—participants in Badger’s playful performance will call them out only to heap them on the bonfire.

As the ghosts of misappropriation go up in smoke, we’re able to connect with our own ancestries, whether easy to trace or fractured and confused. Badger’s Magical Faggots are made from medicinal herbs indigenous to a wide range of geographies, including Turtle Island: melissa, rue, wormwood, vervain, lavender and wild bergamot. They were harvested from Badger's garden Swallow, which is a permanent offsite project of the Gendai Gallery. Burning these plants is an invitation for settlers and Indigenous people alike to call on the wisdom of our diverse ancestors while symbolically banishing the racism, homophobia and misogyny of the colonial culture we occupy.

Gina Badger is an artist and writer based in Toronto. Working in the expanded field of sculpture and installation, her favoured research methods include listening, walking and cooking. At the heart of her practice is a critical engagement with the time and material of colonial ecologies from a settler perspective. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Badger is the descendent of farmer settlers in Treaty 6 territory. She holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and a Master of Science from MIT (Cambridge MA). Badger currently acts as Editorial Director of FUSE Magazine.

Swallow is a recipe for herbal bitters, in the form of a living medicinal herb garden. It contains five perennial plants: Melissa officinalis (lemon balm); Ruta graveolens (rue); Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot); Artemesia absinthum (wormwood) and Verbena officinalis (vervain). Swallow is located inside Dragon Alley Community Gardens, north west of College and Dufferin streets in Toronto, ON, and is open to the public. The artist acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council’s Exhibition Assistance Grant.

Join in on the bonfire, a perfect escape from the city drone and the cold!

(All food and refreshments will be available by donation, so pack a pocket full of cash!)

Hope to see you there,