Borrowers and Bullies
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Borrowers and Bullies is an exhibition of sculpture, installation, and video. I was highly impacted throughout the making of this work by the Covid-19 pandemic, which began immediately preceding my acceptance into the UW MFA program and has endured to the present at the time of writing. By walking the same paths daily, in my home and in the park behind my home, I more clearly saw my own habits in settler-colonial greenspaces and the built environment. Central to this work is my understanding of a habit as not just a set of repeated behaviours but as a central, life-configuring scaffold for building and maintaining relationships to one another, the built environment, and the land. During the summer of 2021, my collaborative partner and I harvested materials, documentation, and experiences from settler-colonial greenspaces in Southern Ontario and The Maritimes, while asking myself: How does my social muscle memory inform how I understand my home, my neighbourhood, my nation? And do these habits inform my ethics? I see my collaborative art practice as an opportunity to manifest anti-colonial and anti-capitalist ethics by tugging at relationships between subjectivity and materiality. Borrowers and Bullies is an exhibition with its eyes turned to the colonial-capitalist enclosure of time and land, and how that enclosure configures the knowable, the thinkable, and the imaginable. This exhibition, Borrowers and Bullies, is a document of work that took place in very interior spaces. What is in the gallery is residue from the work embedded in my body and my collaborator’s; I proceed from this thesis work transformed.
Cite this version of the work
Jacob Irish (2022). Borrowers and Bullies. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18289