how many of the things i do are conscious decisions and how many are coping mechanisms 

emily macdonald and caitlin mccann

November 27, 2017-January 26, 2018

Closing reception is Thursday, January 18 at 6:00 PM, followed by drinks at the Palomino (109 7 Ave SW) from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. All TNG reception guests will receive 15% off their bill when presenting the exhibition postcard. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Exhibition Description

how many of the things i do are conscious decisions and how many are coping mechanisms is a collaborative trash installation by emily macdonald and caitlin mccann. The work begins with moments of emotional turbulence and identity disturbance caused by mental illness, freezes them, and makes them physical. It is meant as a diorama of the artists’ individual facets of femme/queer/(anticapitalist?) self-inventory, set against an ever-shifting landscape of distorted perception. Materials are mostly found, thrifted, or repurposed, requiring impulsivity to be acquired at all. Then, they are frenetically edited into their final forms, burying reserved, cryptic questions about who we are in each cathartic snarl of neon. Components are visibly held together by zip ties, tape, and muttered prayer; any minor slippage must be radically accepted by the artists. A video on a laptop is bundled to a table in a tender act of overkill, casting Google and YouTube as public sites of private self-affirmation. The result is an impactful cross section view of a moment between two friends with borderline personality, sharing constant re-negotiation of uncertainties through art and self-healing.

The artists would like to note that the title of this exhibition was named after a meme created by Lora Mathis.


emily macdonald is a queer artist and curator from Edmonton, AB, Canada studying Sculpture at Concordia, Montréal, QC, Canada. Her sculpture and performance practice engage both mindfulness and impulsiveness to untangle the vulnerable voice from the heavily curated voice. Her work talks about both life with mental illness and art-making under capitalism. She works to foster radical accountability and radical acceptance in community and in discussions of bpd, ptsd, addiction, trauma, and recovery.
@michelleduchamp / Instagram 

caitlin mccann is a video & trash artist living in Calgary, Treaty 7 Territory. They recently graduated from Alberta College of Art + Design, and their recent work highlights connections between pop culture, online presence, and identity disturbance. They can often be found waving, dancing a lil bit, being shy or leaving candy at a party. 🙂 🙂 🙂
@prdct / Instagram