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resistance and respiration

Disabled artists tackle the act of breathing as resistance.

A person standing inside a large transparent ball in a room full of leaves.
Darrin Martin. Take Breath is Breath (still), 2023. Video diptych. @Contemporary Calgary

If you're in Calgary, do check out Amanda Cachia's new show Resistance and Respiration which is being exhibited at Contemporary Calgary from November 30 to April 14.

This exhibition aims to imagine breathing, and breathlessness, as a productive cause for giddiness, a sensation for whirling, and a tendency for staggering.

Inspired by Jean-Thomas Tremblay's book Breathing Aesthetics (2022), Amanda presents the work of artists who illustrate the complexity of breathing and “breathing aesthetics” in new form and function.

"Breathing as it relates to disabled bodies might stereotypically be associated with 'spasmic bodies' – sharp inhales, gasps, gurgling, coughs, and laboured muscle contraction, and breathing aided by technological apparatuses. Breathing is also greatly stigmatized through black bodies and police violence, and the literal physical struggle beset by our pandemic era."

Contemporary Calgary
Artists: Anna Berry, Erik Benjamins & Finnegan Shannon, Atanas Bozdarov, Hannah Bullock, Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose, Andrew Gannon, Darrin Martin, Dylan Mortimer, Liz Nurenberg, Dominic Quagliozzi, Aislinn Thomas, Alice Wong & Georgia Webber. How do contemporary disabled ar

Based in the US, Amanda Cachia is a curator, consultant, writer, and art historian who specializes in disability art activism across intersectional axes of difference, including gender, race, and sexuality. You can read more about her work here.

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