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Publication Launch:
Fall Fell Felt
Anna Hawkins

Announcing the launch of Fall Fell Felt, which can be accessed at the following link:

Published in the wake of Anna Hawkins' solo exhibition, which took place at Untitled Art Society in Calgary in January 2018, Fall Fell Felt includes contributions by Lauren Fournier, Teresa Tam, Jacquelyn Ross, and Penelope Smart, and is tied together with excerpts from Hawkins' video work of the same name.

Anna Hawkins, Fall, Fell, Felt (still), 2018

Hawkins’s Fall Fell Felt dissects, remixes and re-enacts the popular online genre “girl fails” in an exploration of schadenfreude, voyeurism and empathy. A fraught but incredibly popular genre, “girl fails” encompasses online video compilations of women in various states of accidental or self-inflicted peril—unsuccessfully backflipping off a trampoline, falling over a slippery banister, tumbling out of a complex yoga pose. These fails are wince material arranged and cut in a succession of bite-size clips hurtling forward into the void of an internet black hole where time is elasticized. Content is a portal that consumes hours hungrily, and scrolling is the vehicle that drives it vertically—a slow and prescribed form of free-falling.

Combining found and original video fragments, Hawkins’s video installation interrupts the typical rhythm of fail videos, stratifying their parts using a masking technique that isolates figures or maintains only a cut-out of their bodies. In some cases, the fail moment has been incised and we see only the aftermath. Alternately, videos are pared down to their most basic elements: a gasp, the rev of an engine, or a disembodied leg in space. By staging slow and pliant re-enactments of the bodies on-screen with her own body, Hawkins demonstrates a groundlessness, situating herself in weightless limbo between subject and spectator. Her body leaves an impression in medium-pile taupe carpet, mimicking the shape of her found-footage counterpart, indicating an empathetic channel between subjects who feel pain. In popular media, women have historically been the ciphers onto which chaotic emotions are cast—from ecstatic pleasure, to fear, to abject suffering. Does this witnessing defer our own ugly experiences, or provide a safe form of falling? Fall Fell Felt obstructs the tradition of placing women’s bodies at the centre of violence and desire to be consumed from an objective distance, as Hawkins seems to gently break her subjects’ falls over and over again. Rather than written off as sheer spectacle, the gut-wrench moment is posited as a site of empathetic physical interconnection, the falling felt deeply.

Anna Hawkins, Fall, Fell, Felt (still), 2018

Contributor bios:

Lauren Fournier (b. 1989, Treaty 4/Regina, Saskatchewan) is a writer, curator, video artist, and researcher. She holds a PhD from York University, where she completed a dissertation on "autotheory" as contemporary feminist practice across media. Her book on Feminist Autotheory is forthcoming.

Teresa Tam is an artist based in Calgary. Her practice utilizes digital technology and physical labour as mediums to explore alternative viewer engagement to familiar spaces. Her works are often exhibited in non-traditional art spaces and contexts, where she re-imagines or temporarily disrupts the rhythms of everyday places and routines. Recently, she has been creating tea drinks as a method of exploring the way socio-economic and political entanglements impact how an individual identifies themselves.

Jacquelyn Ross is a writer and critic based in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in BOMB, Mousse, C Magazine, The Capilano Review,, and elsewhere, and her recent chapbooks include Mayonnaise and Drawings on Yellow Paper. She publishes books by emerging artists and writers under the small press Blank Cheque, and is currently at work on a novel and a collection of stories.

Penelope Smart is a writer and curator. She runs a new micro gallery project online and a plant and botanical shop Dynasty Studio in Toronto.

Anna Hawkins is an artist based in Edmonton, who works primarily in video and installation. Her recent projects manipulate, reinterpret and re-contextualize images, gestures and sounds found online.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Fall Fell Felt by Anna Hawkins at Untitled Art Society in Calgary, Alberta, from January 13 – March 29, 2018.

Published with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Calgary Arts Development.

The artist would also like to thank Centre Bang for support in the form of a residency during the production of Fall Fell Felt.


Untitled Art Society
343 11th Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta
Open Wednesday - Saturday 11- 5 pm

Press contact
Natasha Chaykowski, Director





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