without repair

may 22-aug 4, 2018
the union gallery, 1st floor of stauffer library, kingston, ontario
opening reception wednesday may 23, 6:30-8pm

curated by Robin Alex McDonald

“Similarly, it seems, for the lover’s anxiety: it is the fear of a mourning which has already occurred, at the very origin of love, from the moment when I was first “ravished.” Someone would have to be able to tell me: ‘Don’t be anxious any more – you’ve already lost him.’” – Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

The discovery of love is always already bound up with its loss. As a new lover once reminded me amidst the fervor of my limerence: “this will end in one of two ways; we will break up, or one of us will die.” Sooner or later, to fall in love is to be forced to reckon with what that love may become; the drama of an Elizabethan madrigal, a contemptuous text message, a lonely ride home.

Perhaps it is in the name of repressing what Barthes calls the “lover’s anxiety” that we so rarely explore the terrain of the after-love without redeeming it – that is, without using it as a narrative device for the staging of love’s return. (In romantic comedies, for instance, “boy” only loses “girl” so that “girl” may return to “boy.”)

Refusing to submit to the tyranny of optimism that posits love as the cornerstone of the “good life,” Without Repair wonders what kinds of affects, knowledges, and insights might come to light when we actively work to embrace the scene of defunct loving. Featuring work by Jon Sasaki (Toronto, ON), Evelyn Ricky (Montreal, QC), Tammy Rae Carland (Oakland, CA), Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Edinburgh, SCO), Allison L. Wade (New York City, NY) and Karilynn Ming Ho (Vancouver, BC), Without Repair explores the breakdown of bonds and the queer potentialities of losing, spoiling, detaching, and forgetting. Remember Barthes’ amorous sentiment: “nothing works out, but it keeps going on.”