From June 10 2016 to June 26 2016
Try A Little Tenderness
Danièle Dennis (Montréal/Toronto)
Vitrine project fom June 10th to 26th, 2016
Opening Friday June 10th, 7pm to 9pm
This video delves into the intersection of gender and blackness by exploring the stereotype of the angry Black woman commonly depicted in mainstream media. At its core it seeks to question the notion of respectable feminity. In an effort to soften the otherwise “hard and strong” outer shell of the Black woman, cotton candy is applied to the skin to add a layer of softness and sweetness. The process of applying the seemingly soft ’n sweet layer reveals violence and humiliation, reminiscent of the practice of tarring and feathering of slaves. The juxtaposition of the gore with the opera music, a direct association to elitist European culture further trigger the sense of inadequacy.
Danièle Dennis experiences as a black Canadian woman inform her practice and prompt her investigation of racial, cultural and identity issues primarily through performance, material exploration and installation. She actively attempts new ways to disrupt and dismantle social norms and constructs, employing repetition and process-based experimentation to the use of everyday and often abject elements.
Dennis was born and raised in Montreal, and is currently based in Toronto. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her work has recently been presented at a number of art outlets including The New Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, Idea Exchange in Cambridge Ontario, John B. Aird gallery, Xpace Cultural Centre, and the Younger Than Beyoncé gallery. Dennis is also a co-founder of Y+ contemporary, an artist-run project space and studio.