These limited-edition (edition of 7) Surprise Bags are comprised of ten parts. Each handcrafted, archivally-printed bag contains eight small artworks and comes with a corresponding limited-edition print.
- Soapstone sucker
- Soapstone candy roll
- “Mystery” tiny wall hanging
- Butt plug keychain
- It Never Ends, sticker
- Crying Smiley Face, sticker
- Itkin Sanimun Gunigun (translation: Kiss My Ass Backwards), temporary tattoo
- Dollarama, temporary tattoo
- Limited-edition digital pigment print on archival kozo blend paper | signed + editioned (unframed)
- Limited-edition archivally-printed bag | signed + editioned
Price upon request
What is the value of a memory?
Missy LeBlanc / Curator, Researcher & Writer
The anticipation was palpable whenever I got my hands on a surprise bag; nothing seemed more exciting at that moment than ripping the top off with a long, drawn-out tear and finally taking a peek inside. You know the ones; the red, yellow, and blue paper bags filled with mass produced cheap plastic tchotchkes and off-brand candy that sat near the register at every convenience store tempting you with unknown treasures. A super surprise of instant gratification. Yeah, those ones. The chalk-like candy would be gone in a few minutes and the trinkets and toys would be pushed to the side and forgotten. Surprise bags were usually only a dollar or two, cheap enough that kids like me could use our pocket change or chore money to get ourselves a little treat, but with all the potentialities of what could be inside, it felt big. Was the bag I chose the right one? What if I didn’t like what was inside? Would my siblings switch with me?
Surprise bags were my first encounter with the multiple. Although the collection of objects inside of a surprise bag are different, they are at the same time, entirely the same. The history of the artist multiple can be traced back to the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and the often humorous, and later political, printed matter and objects that were created and made available as a way to disrupt the elitist consumerism of the art market. Like surprise bags, artist multiples are (typically) accessible, democratic and allow the artist to reach a wider public. But, like anything limited edition, in today’s art milieu artist multiples are often seen as collectors’ items and subject to the ebb and flow of supply and demand. Regardless of the intention of the artist, the selling, purchasing, and reselling of artist multiples can, and often does, perpetuate the commodification (and all the problematics therewithin) of the artist and their work. But where does this leave the artist and their intentions to create accessible work in the form of a multiple, one of many but not too many? How do they disengage from this ourobean loop?
Party City (where you belong) is a new series of artist multiples by Kablusiak that were created in the vein of the tchotchke and candy filled bags of their childhood. Each of the seven surprise bags contain eight new works imbued with a multiplicity of meanings, memories, and questions. Memories from a time that was once filled with simple pleasures and questions surrounding their engagement with and dependence on the contemporary art market. What constitutes an art object and why are some more ‘worthy’ than others. What is the value of art? If the art object is just a reflection of a memory, what then is the value of a memory? Can you really put a price on nostalgia?
Party City (where you belong)
Digital pigment print on archival kozo blend paper
19 1/2 x 22 in.
Price upon request
Editions 1 – 7 are sold with the Surprise Bags.
Editions 8 – 15 available for individual sale.
The “mystery” wall hangings will be revealed as they are purchased. If the image is blurred, it is still for sale tucked in a Surprise Bag…
Kablusiak is a multidisciplinary Inuvialuk artist and curator who uses Inuk ingenuity to create work in a variety of mediums including, but not limited to, lingerie, white flour, soapstone, permanent marker, bed sheets, felt, acrylic paint, and words. Their work explores the dis/connections between existence in the Inuit diaspora while maintaining family and community ties, the impacts of colonization on Inuit gender and sexuality expressions, as well as on health and wellbeing, and the everyday. In all of their creative work Kablusiak seeks to demystify Inuit art and create the space for Inuit-led representation of the diverse aspects of Inuit cultures.
Kablusiak’s recognition has extended the boundaries of the exhibition space and their work has been collected widely; most notably the Indigenous Art Centre (CIRNAC), the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity), The Image Centre, Global Affairs Canada Visual Art Collection, and most recently they were included into the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario.