Printed in conjunction with the exhibition Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy March 23rd-April 27th 2018.
Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy proposes a re-consideration of melancholia defined through our contemporary condition. Resisting the historical definition of melancholy as an affliction that creates disorder or inactivity, this exhibition reimagines passive sadness as powerful refusal, a conscious (or unconscious) “standing aside,” a willful production of generative failures and resistant potencies. Each of the contributing artists begins with the idea that outside the boundaries of “contentment” resides a potent flourishing. Unwilling is a resistance and a proposition: it responds to the profound cultural reckoning we are witnessing in this moment in time, as the boundaries and exclusions of state-defined citizenship become increasingly fraught.
Contributors include: Billy-Ray Belcourt Mike Bourscheid Ginger Brooks Takahashi Justine A. Chambers Noa Giniger
About the authors
BILLY-RAY BELCOURT (he/him) is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. His debut book of poems, This Wound is a World, won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and was named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. It was named by CBC Books as one of the best Canadian poetry collections of the year. Billy-Ray is a Ph.D. student and a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He is also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Wadham College at the University of Oxford.