Witch Bitch Switch
by Dana Buzzee
The Main Gallery . July 26 – September 7, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, July 26, from 7 pm – 10 pm
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton
Witch Bitch Switch by Dana Buzzee, is an installation centred within the intersection of witchcraft and BDSM practices. Through a sculpture-based approach, Buzzee’s work draws on their non-hierarchial research into the printed matter, art, and writing from North American Pagan, LeatherDyke, and Sex-Positive Feminist communities manifested from generations before their own. Finding these community-based documents has been a thirst-quenching experience for Buzzee. It became a flagon for the seeker: assuaging their desires as valid, real, and supported, thus forming the material navigation for the spellwork/ sculptures held within this exhibition.
Witch Bitch Switchconnects desires and magic found in archives, in traces on the internet, in zines, libraries, and secondhand bookshops, considering them through the lens of Buzzee’s own generation and community. Deviance snakes throughout this exhibition tying together a web of meaning which is echoed in the title, Witch Bitch Switch. Appropriated from a personals’ ad found in a 1990’s issue of On Our Backs Magazine (a women-run lesbian erotica magazine) which Buzzee discovered through a post by @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y on Instagram several years ago when they began their journey into this body of work.
Through channelling the forms of cuffs, restraints, and harnesses, Buzzee’s use of leather is a crucial material throughout Witch Bitch Switchthat directly bond queer pasts, presents, and futures around sexuality, desire, and expression. Leatherdyke narrative drive this work; paralleling their own lived experience, Buzzee finds kinship within these stories – which have often been overlooked, underrepresented, disguised, and devalued. Building their sculptures with leather is a spell that creates a space for these narratives to be seen, experienced, and held; drawn together into installation, Witch Bitch Switch forms a liberating ritual of defiance against erasure and silence.
Calgary-based Dana Buzzee’s installations function as sites of resistance and pleasure. Buzzee’s sculpture-centered practice is an overt autobiographical exploration of queer-femme identity, married with a deep longing to create contemporary visions of post-minimalist sculpture-as-meditation around deviance and desire. Buzzee’s installations function as rituals, transforming spaces for empowered moments of dominance and submission, active and informed consent culture, and a profound understanding of power and control.
Since graduating in 2012 with a Bacholeor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design, Buzzee has maintained a dedicated studio-based practice and sibling-practice of feminist community organizing through arts administration and curatorial work. Buzzee’s work has been exhibited extensively within Calgary and Canada, included in several international exhibitions (Finland, Germany, Iceland, and the USA). Buzzee recent solo exhibitions include such venues as LEFT Contemporary (Windsor), The Lily Project Space, and Stride Gallery (Calgary). They have also participated in residency programs at the Icelandic Textile Center and NES Artist Residency (Iceland), Arteles Creative Center (Finland), Artscape Gibraltar Point, and the Roundtable Residency (Toronto), as well as Contemporary Calgary, and the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation. This Fall Buzzee will begin studies towards a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Oregon.