Frances Adair Mckenzie
Private Life

Paul Lofeodo
Fonderie Darling, Montréal
June 15 – August 20, 2023
Frances Adair MckenziePrivate Life, exhibition view, Fonderie Darling, Montréal, 2023.
Photo: document original
Fonderie Darling, Montréal
June 15 – August 20, 2023
[En anglais]

Sprawled across the Fonderie Darling’s concrete floor, Frances Adair Mckenzie’s exhibition Private Life sets reclining, squatting, and straddling sculptures on the floor itself, on plinths, on cinder blocks, or pinched under mesh screens that frame and divide the space of the Fonderie’s main gallery. These sculptures morph and merge limbs, pillows, and sometimes camcorders into bodies; abstracted camgirls in strained positions (porn always did have something of the circus to its acrobatic stances), reminding me that sex work is labour and always confuses boundaries between public and private — a case study of the modern social fabric as a whole.

Creating a sort of sub-room in the centre of the cavernous gallery, the central open circle of bronze mesh partitions teases me with visions of cage matches; there’s something of the arena about this structure that cordons off the audience from bodies wrangling for show. Informed by Paul B. Preciado’s Pornotopia (2014), the exhibition puts sexuality on display, but the dynamics of surveillance and the image or screen from Preciado’s essay inspired work that is emphatically material, instead of image-like. The figures are made of resin, wax, plaster, and stained glass, with traces of their making extended onto the floor around them: drops of solder like precum, the product of the unconsummated labour of the camgirl.

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