Whess Harman, UBC Okanagan Gallery Artist in Residence 2021

Defrag Editions, Whess HArman

Defrag editions. During the residency, Harman will embellish laser printed reproductions of these jackets with other materials

What: UBC Okanagan Gallery Artist in Residence and Exhibition
Who: Whess Harman
Residency: May 28 to June 11, 2021
Exhibition: June 11 to September 10, 2021
Where: FINA Gallery, UBCO Okanagan Campus
Artist Talk: June 8 at 1:00 p.m.

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is pleased to welcome Whess Harman as the 2021 UBC Okanagan Gallery Artist in Residence from Friday, May 28 – Friday, June 11, 2021 in the FINA Gallery on campus at UBC Okanagan.

During Whess’s residency, they will experiment with new iterations or multiples of the Potlatch Punk series by thinking about the generational removal between language; linking to thoughts of digital data storage; file formats that will be less compatible with future softwares, how to recover and rebuild those files and look between the gaps.

Whess Harman’s new work will be on view at the FINA Gallery in an exhibition curated by UBC Okanagan Gallery Curator, Stacey Koosel. The exhibition Lossy: How to Save File for Future Transmission will run from Friday, June 11 to Friday, September 10, 2021.

Whess Harman’s Potlatch Punk series showcases their multidisciplinary practice including beading, illustration, text and poetry using denim and motorcycle jackets as mediums of communication. Their ongoing Potlatch Punk series explores broader themes of homage, memory, identity and more specifically celebrates Indigenous identity, resistance, visibility, and interrogations of wealth.

As Potlatch Punk grew in demand, Whess Harman experienced the jackets taking on a life of their own, from requests to purchase, loan, exhibit and commissioning new works the role of the artist morphed from creator to caretaker. A shift was required from the slow process of the traditional handiwork of beading and sewing to digital-age, punk influenced DIY, while preserving the joy of creating and sharing works with a wider audience.

View the Artist talk that Whess presented on June 8 below.

About Whess Harman

Whess Harman is Carrier Wit’at, a nation amalgamated by the federal government under the Lake Babine Nation. They graduated from the Emily Carr university’s BFA program in 2014 and are currently living and working on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh as the curator at grunt gallery.

Their multidisciplinary practice includes beading, illustration, text, poetry and curation. As a mixed-race, trans/non-binary artist they work to find their way through a tasty plethora of some kind of undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, colonial bullshit and queer melancholy. To the best of their patience, they do this with humour and a carefully mediated cynicism that the galleries go hog wild for. Their current projects include the Potlatch Punk series, various text-based works, zines, and comics.

This project is supported by BC Arts Council

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