Sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come

The Screening Room, 120 Princess St, Kingston, ON
4 February 2024
2–3:30 pm

Co-presented with ReelOut: Kingston’s queer film + video festival. All are welcome.

Sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come, is a shorts program and performance presented by Wee Bit Off Centre, an embryonic art centre and a gathering place for its own imagining.

SILIDWTC indulges a fascination with failure, something that queer folks have always done deftly and with elan. It brings scenes of refusal and futility and redundancy across several short videos together with live performances of rejections that have been reworked at our public workshop.

All are welcome.

This program is being presented as part of Wee Bit Off Centre’s rethinking of art institutional practices, including how failure helps us articulate visions of working and being together unavailable under current logics of success.

Initiated by Tear Jerkers (Michelle Bunton and GHY Cheung), WBOC is co-stewarded alongside William Carroll, Em Harmsen, Faten Nastas Mitwasi and Mehvish Rather. The project is curated by Nasrin Himada, Associate Curator, Academic Outreach and Community Engagement, at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. WBOC takes up residence across Etherington House and other off-site locations from 1 January to 31 March 2024.

Co-presented with ReelOut: Kingston’s queer film + video festival.

Qingdao Lotus Pond (2018)
Ip Wai

The lotus is the symbol of immortality in humanity, and divine perfection. The lotus is the attribute of sun and fire gods. The lotus’s unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Yet it can be sold for a few dollars. In this ritual performance piece, the artist dresses in a golden spandex suit, as a non-human figure enters the scene. This androgynous figure carries cans of Qingdao beer in a utility belt, while wondering is this pond of immorality and perfection, dousing cans after cans of Qingdao onto the lotuses, and the pond meant to irrigate and nourish everything in sight. Leaves of the lotus plant are ultra-hydrophobic by nature. No matter how hard you pour, it just won’t absorb even a drop of your offering of Qingdao. Yet, the Qingdao will eventually be absorbed by the roots as fertiliser. This artwork serves as a metaphor for the complex relationship between China’s growing financial power and its impact on Southeast Asian countries.

Concepts of identity, immigration social integration and the sense of feeling othered in both Hong Kong and China center largely in Ip Wai’s work. Ip Wai looks at societal issues, taboos and identities in spontaneous, performative ways which can be witty yet full of pathos. Ip Wai has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at Sa Sa Art Projects in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Précédée, Hong Kong and has participated in group exhibitions which include: Stemflow South by Southeast, Osage Gallery, HK; Hong Kong: Tales of the City, Denny Dimin Gallery, NY; Blinking Hard, Bangkok, Thailand; Bad Bodies, Tomorrow, Maybe Gallery, Eaton House, HK; TWINKLE, Barney Savage, NY and has held live performances at ParaSite, HK; C&G ArtPartment, HK and The Gallery Walk as part of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. Ip Wai has partaken in residencies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia and Thailand.

Shahd Itbakhhi

Memory (2023) questions individual memory; its composition; its time of occurrence; and its future impact. This artistic endeavor takes root in the profound depths of memory, the selfsame memory which coalesces and weaves itself with every deliberate and reiterated motion within the solitude of its self-imposed system. These oscillations sway between the system’s ribs, concentrated under the shadow of unique political circumstances.

Shahd Itbakhi is an artist and conservator born in Hebron in 1997. Currently, she is delving into contemporary arts at Dar Al-Kalima University, preparing to earn her bachelor’s degree. Her artistic endeavors revolve around the central concept of time and the accumulated historical strata forming human memory, whether individual or collective. She explores the relationship between humans and their environment, examining how repetitive and extraordinary events influence the experience of stability and turbulence emanating from personal, cultural, and political circumstances. Moreover, Itbakhi exhibits a keen interest in the chronology of the self and psychological composition, investigating the demographic shifts over time within the local community. She perceives the changing impact of these elements as a primary catalyst in shaping a quasi- dystopian image of the present and the future. Employing a diverse artistic language in her work, ranging from video art and composite video to performance art and recycling art, Itbakhi constructs artistic experiences that challenge conventional perceptions and delineate fresh portrayals of meaning and identity.

Paint a Poem
Lauren Thomas

Paint a Poem is an experimental video-study exploring the filmmaker’s mind and body in relation to their camera. The film is intended to prompt thinkings about how our perception of time alters the space we occupy.

Lauren Thomas is an emerging filmmaking artist based in Kingston, Ontario. She makes experimental animations and collects all things analogue cinema.


Still from the film Memory, by Shahd Itbakhh. Photo: Nasrin Himada

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