DOC NOW Festival 2021: Katherine Imelda Green and Tenzin Dorjé

A Space Main Gallery

August 5 – 28, 2021

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Gallery hours during the exhibition: Thursday to Saturday, 11AM to 6PM

Tenzin Dorjé

Everyone Rides a Bicycle in Heaven is a documentary project highlighting cycling fatalities in the city of Toronto. The work centers around memorial ghost bikes and other memorial forms installed near sites of cycling fatalities. These roadside shrines are placed either by the cycling community or by family and friends of a loved one but most sites lie unmarked today since these installations are considered temporary by the city. Using the memorials as a motif for fallen cyclists, the project weaves a thread of continuity between the past and present, making visible the collective acts of mourning, remembering and forgetting.

Intended as a visual elegy, Everyone Rides a Bicycle in Heaven attempts to give light and form to tragedies that are often overlooked or considered inevitable, given the lack of cycling infrastructure and equity on our streets. It calls on the viewer to reflect on the nature of our city and our place, or lack of, in it. Lastly, the project honours the resilient work of the people behind Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, the mainstay behind the commemoration and installation of ghost bikes for cyclists killed in Toronto.


Katherine Imelda Green

DIS/CLOSURE: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TELL is a multimedia documentary installation incorporating sound, textile and artifact to represent the haptic and sensorial qualities attributed to childhood sexual trauma and recovery. More specifically, the project deals with sibling sexual abuse (SSA) and the power structures that make this form of abuse uniquely difficult to address, process and recover from. By interrogating systems of power—e.g. gender roles in the family, family hierarchies, cultural norms, patriarchy and religion—the work sheds light on how they enable abuse and how they distract attempts to confront and rectify wrong-doing. The overarching aim of this project is to represent the various ways survivors have dealt with SSA and facilitate further processing by airing this subject, inviting viewers to shoulder some of the stigma of their trauma through embodied spectatorship.

Dis/closure includes interviews with four adult survivors of SSA as they speak about their personal experiences in dealing with their trauma. Key points of the audio interviews are embedded into textile works such as embroidery, quilting, and soft sculpture that require the touch of the viewer to be activated. Each piece represents the absurd and uncanny qualities of a home and body violated by abuse and secrecy—what ought to be comforting is disturbing, where there should be safety is peril and what was once innocent becomes perverse.

Because trauma is a physical experience and because our relationship with textile is so interwoven with our childhood domestic lives, I utilise this dichotomy to confront viewers with their own complicity in allowing abuse to take hold in our society through their continued silence and discomfort. Asking the audience to engage physically with what is usually meant to be left undisturbed urges us all to consider the duplicity of something as basic and natural as human touch.