Brendan Fernandes, Adrienne Gaither, Liss LaFleur

Tongues, Ties, October 2016

Grizzly Grizzly is excited to announce its October exhibition, a dynamic three-person show entitled ‘Tongues, Ties.’   Investigating constructs of language and identity, work by Brendan Fernandes (Chicago/NewYork,) Adrienne Gaither (Washington DC,) and Liss LaFleur (Texas) will be brought together for the first time.  The multi-media exhibition – including video, sculpture and digitally manipulated painting – playfully examines shared culture through the lens of family ties and semiotic structure.

Brendan Fernandes, a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, will be screening the video ‘Foe’.  He explains the project: “Foe represents video footage of me receiving lessons from an acting coach hired to teach me the “accents” of my cultural background.  I am not interested in the accuracy of these accents but in the idea of being taught to speak in these voices.” 

Adrienne Gaither will be presenting work from the project Memoirs of Permanence: A Winning Hand, in which she incorporates visual memories of her relatives into a playing card structure – allowing ideas of rank and suit to establish hierarchy and influence.  Reshuffling ideas of portraiture, Gaither says of the project, “You cannot choose your family, and so metaphorically speaking, you cannot change the hand you were dealt.”

Liss LaFleur will be exhibiting the project TIPS, which includes digitally engraved acrylic fingernails, each with a word from Mina Loy’s original 1914 text Aphorisms on Futurism.  The accompanying video shows a performance between a mother and daughter, exploring bonds, “both biologically and historically.”

Artist Bios

Brendan Fernandes completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA (2005) from The University of Western Ontario and his BFA (2002) from York University in Canada. He has exhibited internationally and nationally including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Art and Design New York, Art in General, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Art Gallery of York University, Deutsche Guggenheim, Bergen Kunsthall, Stedelijk Museum, Sculpture Centre, Manif d’Art: The Quebec City Biennial, The Third Guangzhou Triennial and the Western New York Biennial through The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fernandes has been awarded many highly regarded residencies around the world, including The Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Work Space (2008), Swing Space (2009) and Process Space (2014) programs, and invitations to the Gyeonggi Creation Center at the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea (2009) and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011). He was a 2014 recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency Fellowship. A nati0nal Canadian tour of his work recently concluded and will culminate in a monography produced by Black Dog Press in London this fall.   He is currently artist in residence and faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice. 

Adrienne Gaither (b.1987) is a visual artist living and working in Washington, DC. Her works focuses on identity and black imagination, utilizing geometric abstraction, color theory, archival photos and collected objects. She has exhibited at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, The National African American Museum and Cultural Museum, Wilberforce, OH, PRIZM Art Fair at Miami Art Basel, and MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Disaporan Arts) in Brooklyn, NY.

Liss LaFleur is a performance artist and media maker currently based in Texas. Incorporating feminism, body art, and archives, she produces objects as extensions of her own body to queer inherited roles tied to female ideologies. A pupil to the late documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark, she received her MFA in Media Art as a Digital Fellow at Emerson College in 2014, and received a BFA in Photography and a BA in Art History with honors from the University of North Texas. In 2013 she was a researcher exploring transmedia activism in LGBT + Queer grassroots initiatives as part of a Ford Foundation funded initiative called OUT FOR CHANGE at the MIT Media Lab, and she is the Founder of the New England Graduate Media Symposium. LaFleur currently has multiple research projects in progress on the topic of mediated performance, feminism and fabrication, and new media art. She is currently an Assistant Professor of New Media Art at the University of North Texas where she is Program Coordinator and teaches courses in media and performance.