Agnes Gets Hysterical, featuring Definition of Knowledge
SPEAKERS Hannan Younis and Bryn Pottie
Hannan Younis: Yo, yo, yo, yo. What up Agnes.
Bryn Pottie: Yo. We are Definition of Knowledge.
Hannan Younis: That’s right. I’m Hannan Younis.
Bryn Pottie: I’m an ally. We’re normally a slam-poetry duo —
Hannan Younis: That’s right.
Bryn Pottie: but today we wanted to give context for some weird, old drawing that we got sent. This piece is called “The Sleeping Congregation”.
Hannan Younis: By William Hogarth.
Bryn Pottie: This is an accurate depiction of what happens when a chesty lady with a low-cut dress falls asleep in church. You get the guy up top. He’s got a little magnifying glass. He’s taking a peek through the reflection, a bit of a pro move in my opinion.
Hannan Younis: And then you got the clerk guy doing a little side-eye which is a good move. Not as good as your guy.
Bryn Pottie: He’s trying. And this one’s from 1858.
Hannan Younis: Yep. It’s by Honoré Daumier.
Bryn Pottie: We’ll say F, marry, kill —
Hannan Younis: Exactly.
Bryn Pottie: — the three guys in this drawing Hannan, what do you do?
Hannan Younis: That’s rough. It’s hard. I think I’m going to kill the banker because look at him. He gots all this money but he’s still so skinny and so starving. Marry the guy in the middle.
Bryn Pottie: Okay.
Hannan Younis: I like how secure he seems. And then probably kiss the guy on the right.
Bryn Pottie: I would kill the banker, anti-capitalist. Marry the guy with the big, shadowy back on the right. F the guy in the middle because like if you look close at the trunk, see he’s packing.
Hannan Younis: Oh, he’s got some — yeah, yeah, he is packing heat.
Hannan Younis: So we’ve got another one from Honoré Daumier.
Bryn Pottie: And this one we see somebody has got a black-eye because they were in the streets saying —
Hannan Younis: Vive la République and that somebody was a child.
Bryn Pottie: Okay. To be fair, I don’t know if that’s a child.
Hannan Younis: That’s a child, man.
Bryn Pottie: No, like look. If you look at his face, that’s like a 50 year old man.
Hannan Younis: No, that’s how they looked back then.
Bryn Pottie: That is a small man in a dress and if people are punching him for that, yes, I would have a problem with it. If people are out there getting punched for marching around saying v-la-r then, you know, you get what you get. I’m sorry.
Hannan Younis: Then you’re a hypocr– so called tolerant left here. Vive la République!
Bryn Pottie: So this one’s called “Scottifying the Palate”
Hannan Younis: Yep, by Thomas Rowlandson.
Bryn Pottie: 1786. I’ll be honest Hannan I didn’t really get this one. Putting a fish on the guy, I don’t —
Hannan Younis: Scottifying the palate.
Bryn Pottie: No, that’s more confusing. He’s scottifying the — like is he from Scotland? What is —
Hannan Younis: No, man. That’s racist. Yo, you just got scottified.
Bryn Pottie: I’m not wrong for not knowing what that means. What are you talking about?
Hannan Younis: You’ve never been scottified?
Bryn Pottie: You mean like getting into ska music like I’m skaified?
Hannan Younis: No.
Bryn Pottie: Okay. Well, it must have just been something from the time because like you can see in the background these women are laughing about it so maybe it was a common thing then. Doing some kind of laundry.
Hannan Younis: You just got scottified.
Bryn Pottie: Well, thank you very much for letting us look at these paintings and explain them to you.
Hannan Younis: Absolutely. We’ve been Definition of Knowledge.
Bryn Pottie: Peace.
Hannan Younis: Peace.
Agnes Gets Hysterical is a collaboration between Agnes and Kingston’s Hysterics Collective. Aligned with the Collective’s mission, this initiative seeks to disrupt the mainstream comedic narrative with diverse voices and punch-up comedy that raises feminist consciousness and strengthens community. Getting hysterical also ensures Agnes doesn’t take herself too seriously either! This series of video performances “riff-off” artworks in Agnes’s exhibitions and permanent collections.
Definition of Knowledge: Explaining Art
Definition Of Knowledge is a Toronto-based comedy duo who has performed at festivals like Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival and Toronto’s JFL42. Their comedy uses spoken word to satirize topics like race, gender, identity and 90s rap. In 2020, they released their album Gentrify This with the female-centric comedy record label Howl And Roar.
William Hogarth, The Sleeping Congregation, State IV, 1762, engraving on paper. Gift from the estate of Mabel E. Segsworth, through the Queen’s University Art Foundation, 1944
Honoré Daumier, -Monsieur le Baron…, j’ai l’honneur de vous présenter monsieur Mérouet, un de nos plus gros banquiers!, 1858,
lithograph on paper, state 2 of 3. Gift of Ross H. Branston 1994
Honoré Daumier, -Oh ciel, Madeleine!… je suis sûr que vous avez laissé cet enfant-là crier dans la rue vive la République!, 1850, lithograph on paper, state 2 of 2. Gift of Meredith Fleming 1984
Thomas Rowlandson, after Samuel Collings, Scottifying the Palate, (Print 10 of 20 of Picturesque Beauties of Boswell series)
1786, etching on wove paper, 1/1. Gift from the estate of Mabel E. Segsworth, through the Queen’s University Art Foundation, 1944
This program is made possible through the generous support of George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund and the Bader Legacy Fund.
Videography and Editing by Steven Griffin