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Split Bind2017


[Hand-made rope; bricks, rocks, and asphalt found in Montréal]

Split Bind is an interactive and mutable installation, conceived for the exhibition area codes, a partnership between QPIRG McGill, the non profit organization Women and Cities, and curators Leah Schulli and Madelyne Beckles. The exhibition aims to “raise awareness on issues surrounding the right to public space, and navigating it as women and gender non-conforming people”1. Viewers were instructed to pick up an object by the handles, and carry it around for as long as they like, then put it down somewhere else; scatter the objects around the space.

The work refers to the large and small burdens women carry with them through the city, the emotional labour demanded of us when we enter public space. Materialized, made heavy, our labour is physically validated. Made visible, the burden draws gazes to its carrier, the sensation of being looked at is concretized.

The othered persona is split: women exist in a state of personhood and agency, but also as objects of sight (we watch ourselves being looked at). Split Bind empowers the participant to enact on the work and shape its form, but also objectifies the participant as they become part of the spectacle for other viewers.

1 Leah Schulli and Madelyne Beckles, exhibition statement: 2017.

Photograph 1 by Tess Roby


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