Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Herstory of Punk in Ottawa

As part of the She Wants an Output exhibition, I organized a series of events that included a panel discussion on October 5th and a night of performances on October 6th, 2017.

The panel discussion took place in the Alumni Association Reading Room at the MacOdrum Library on campus in conjunction with a reception for the exhibition. The panel was comprised of artist and musician Mary Anne Barkhouse, musician and arts administrator Keltie Duncan, and writer and curator Julia Pine, while I acted as a moderator. Prominently featured in the exhibition, Barkhouse and Pine spoke about their experiences in the punk rock scene in Ottawa in the late '70s and early '80s, while Duncan, who is currently in the band Bonnie Doon, brought the panel up to the present.

Similarly, on the following night, a series of performances established a continuity between the spirit of the past with today's practitioners. Setting the mood, DJ Jas Nasty played a selection of records featuring punk women throughout the night.

Steve Bates and jake moore presented Trilogy x:y:z, a performance consisting of three sound-based works drawing from their histories in punk and post-punk music, art, DIY culture, anarchist and leftist politics. Steve Bates is an artist and musician living in Montréal, His work has been exhibited and performed in Canada, the United States, Europe and Senegal. jake moore is an intermedia artist whose primary medium is space. She works at the intersections of material, text, and vocality to make exhibitions, events and other kinds of public interventions. She gained early art and life experience as the singer in the all-female punk rock band, The Ruggedy Annes, out of Winnipeg. The Ruggedy Annes are featured in the MATRAX compilation, a key document in the She Wants an Output exhibition.

Bonnie Doon closed the night with a fiery set. They are an Ottawa-based post-punk foursome drawing inspiration from spooky beaches and pizza joints. Dooner Nooner, their debut LP, is out now and available at finer record stores. Bonnie Doon melts faces with waves of controlled dissonance and unabashed wolf calls to the moon.

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