Sydney Shen and Aleksander Hardashnakov at Roberta Pelan

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Artists: Sydney Shen and Aleksander Hardashnakov

Exhibition title: Shriek wildly and throw yourself into whatever bottomless gulf may yawn

Venue: Roberta Pelan, Toronto, Canada

Date: October 1 – November 5, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Roberta Pelan

They came to the pig-world, ready for nothing.
They asked questions, like: Why the salt? Why the hair?
And we responded with reckless listening.

The boat felt good, carrying us away,
So we proposed a speech: Why were you dying?
They gave it back: Why the temperature? Why the shape?

The rules were tired, but so were we.
Our calves were gripped by spider veins,
Our hearts by erector sets. We had come too early, terrible emailers.

They settled on clarity: Write the events in the order of their occurrence,
and then in the order of their narration (these are different orders).
We nodded, knowingly.

The narrative animates the events, they said. The events
are but poor concretizations of your mood, the landscape,
an idea, whatever. Your plot is a stage, the events are set decorations.

We countered, offering the impenetrable and useless fact of death.
Our requests were simple but impossible.
They said: Facts should be generous.

But the shitty exorcists could only produce from us a round of
inconclusive proverbs: Mother, father, township, etcetera.
The rules, in the end, are only half the work.

– Jack Gross

Aleksander Hardashnakov (b. 1982) has exhibited his work at such galleries as The Loon, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; Tomorrow Gallery, Martos Gallery, New York, USA; Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium; 1857, Oslo, Norway; Le Magasin, Grenoble, France; and Croy Nielsen, The Duck, Berlin, Germany. Hardashnakov currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada, where he co-directs the loon.

Sydney Shen (b. 1989) lives and works in New York, NY. She has exhibited her work at galleries including Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Hester, New York; Springsteen Gallery, Baltimore; Fused Space, San Francisco; Derek Eller Gallery New York; Et Al, San Francisco; American Medium, Brooklyn; Sydney, Sydney; High Tide, Philadelphia; Weekends, London; Hole of the Fox, Antwerp, and Lock-Up International, Frankfurt. Forthcoming projects and group exhibitions include Holy Motors, Hong Kong; Power Station, Shanghai; and New Galerie, Paris. Shen is co-author of Perfume Area, a book of prose published by Ambient Works, New York.

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Sydney Shen, Signs of Struggle, 2016, Glass, tapeworm specimen, clock movements, water, alcohol, binchō-tan charcoal, 27 x 12 inches / 68.58 x 30.48 cm

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Aleksander Hardashnakov, How To Draw a Snake, Sub, 2012, Pencil on paper mounted to plywood, 10.5 x 8 inches / 26.67 x 20.32 cm

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Aleksander Hardashnakov, DOM PET SUB, 2012, Pencil on paper mounted to, plywood in plywood frame, 28.5 x 20.5 inches / 72.39 x 52.07 cm

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Sydney Shen, Thirst is the mother of corvid ingenuity (Perry Index of Aesopica #390), 2016, Punitive boot, erector set parts, engraved rocks, water, D/V

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Sydney Shen, Thirst is the mother of corvid ingenuity (Perry Index of Aesopica #390), 2016, Punitive boot, erector set parts, engraved rocks, water, D/V

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Sydney Shen, Thirst is the mother of corvid ingenuity (Perry Index of Aesopica #390), 2016, Punitive boot, erector set parts, engraved rocks, water, D/V

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Aleksander Hardashnakov, Waiting Her Turn (sketch), 2012, Pencil on paper mounted to, plywood in plaster frame, 10.5 x 13 inches / 26.67 x 33.02 cm

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Aleksander Hardashnakov, Ghost Orchid, 2011, Pencil on paper mounted to, plywood in plaster frame, 28 x 20.5 inches / 71.12 x 52.07 cm

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