Tangled Art Talks: Persimmon Blackbridge

Video (11:22): Tangled Art Talks by Persimmon Blackbridge is a video performance.

Text and Performance by Persimmon Blackbridge
Camera: Della McCreary
Editing. Danny Winchester
A collaboration between Tangled Art + Disability and the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario)
In loving memory of Geoff McMurchy.

About Persimmon Blackbridge

Excerpt from the video description: “For the past 45 years, Persimmon Blackbridge has worked as a sculptor, writer, curator and performer, as well as being a fiction editor, cleaning lady and very bad waitress. Blackbridge’s pioneering contribution to queer art in Canada began with Still Sane, a 1984 collaboration with Sheila Gilhooly, inspired by the latter’s three-year psychiatric incarceration for being a lesbian. In the 1990s, Blackbridge was a member of the lesbian sex/art collective Kiss and Tell. Their touring erotic arts exhibition Drawing the Line helped turn the tide in the feminist sex wars—pro artistic sexual expression, anti-censorship. Kiss & Tell’s ground-breaking exhibition, True Inversions, presented at the Banff Centre in 1992, sparked a political confrontation in Alberta around arts funding and censorship.

Blackbridge has also been a seminal figure in the disability arts from the 70s until the present. Sunnybrook: a True Story with Lies is a visual art show and book about abuse in Woodlands Institution, which won New York’s Ferro-Grumley Prize. In 1998, Blackbridge was invited to collaborate with 28 former inmates with intellectual disabilities on From the Inside/Out, an art exhibit chronicling their lives in BC’s big institutions. This exhibit traveled widely and was one of the factors gaining reparations for former residents of Woodlands. Blackbridge’s most recent show, Constructed Identities, uses mixed media wood carving with found objects to question how disability is framed as a fracturing of ordinary life rather than a central part of it.” – Art Gallery of Ontario

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