Soft Boundaries

Featured Artists: Blair Moore, Dom Laba, Lamia Abukhadra, Laurie Borggreve, Mikki Coleman, Nadia Honary, shhhhame, Zeam Porter

In identity and expression, toughness and tenderness aren’t typically synonymous. To be soft and vulnerable is a sign of weakness, to be open is seen as an invitation to be manipulated. We place boundaries as a way to give us a sense of structure and security – emotionally, mentally, physically – but what happens when these boundaries get muddled? How does one embrace emotionality through identity? If vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love, why is it so difficult for us to be tender and find calmness in the unknown?

For Soft Boundaries, eight artists explore how the vulnerable narrative can be used as an act of resistance, liberation and healing. Through the mediums of illustration, photography, video and audio installation, mixed media, book art, and sculpture, the artists present the distortions which keep us from wholly seeing ourselves and others, and the limitations when identity is categorized into the binaries of hyper-visible and invisible. Examining intersecting identities through art, Soft Boundaries sets out to showcase the power of radical softness as a weapon and the strength and truth in allowing ourselves to be fully open.

Juleana Enright is a femme, queer, indigenous writer and curator. They have over ten years of experience writing about art and culture in the Twin Cities writing for local publications, NEMAA, l’étoile magazine and City Pages. In their curatorial projects, they strive to provide visual and artistic content which highlights and represents femme, non-binary and queer POC artists in the community. Juleana is the co-curator of FEELS, a monthly, multi-sensory queer dance night at the intersection of art and feelings. Soft Boundaries marks their first solo curatorial exhibition.

Saturday, April 28th, 7-11pm
$5 or Free with Gallery Membership
Featuring a curated playlist exploring softness by Bleak Roses

Thursday, May 3rd, 7-9pm
$10 or Free with Membership

An evening of responsive performances from Marcel-Michelle Obama, Katie Robinson and Sonja Elise Johanson & Cole Mealey of A M O D E L

About the Artists:

Through intimate pamphlet books and prints, Palestinian American artist Lamia Abudkhadra aims to dismantle the harmful dominant narratives that cultivate and celebrate acts of colonialism, occupation, and genocide in Palestine and the Arab world. Emotional and political, her interdisciplinary practice explores deep into her cultural history and sheds light on territory and visibility and the damaging, generation-lasting effects when these are violated.

Working with sculpture and mixed media, artist Laurie Borggreve challenges the societal definitions of “feminine,” presenting traditional imagery and visual cues associated with the feminine norm juxtaposed with foreboding materials of harsh tactility. Through tiny details and subtle messages, her work speaks to the contradicting nature of life and emotion.

As a half-Iranian media producer and artist, Nadia Honary explores authentic storytelling and the intensity of diversity within identity through performance, movement and video. Debuting new work for Soft Boundaries, she pairs personal Polaroid photos with experimental video work to create a provocative and emotionally-arresting visual for the many grey areas between hard and soft.

Existing within the non-linear, digital photographer Dom Laba focuses on documenting queer culture through intimate moments, highlighting the beautiful within social settings. From performance events and dance nights to the more personal – stark parking lots, tender living rooms – Dom’s portrait work captures the curatorial in the casual. Each image in their photography series embodies a separate, yet methodical and cohesive aesthetic. A candid essence of the queer experience, Dom’s work celebrates the endless possible editorial moments of any space and time.

Similarly using photography to capture an existence, Blair Moore’s works consist of dreamy portraits and nostalgic themes. Inspired by vintage glamour and heartbreak, she strives to relate and inspire others through her art. Through photography series like her “Wild Child” project, Blair highlights themes of depression and the unlived experiences of black young adults.

Exploring gender, dysphoria, and bodily autonomy, trans, non-binary artist Mikki Coleman works within the medium of collage to express their relationship to their body and the bodies of others through visually contained chaos instead of words. The process of cutting, arranging, and fixating the pieces is a physical representation of the presence and influence of their own body within their art. Each methodically placed piece exists as both a fracture and a semblance and is a reminder of one’s power to create beauty, and sometimes ugliness, with the touch of one’s hands.

Through vivid use of color, shhhhame’s acrylic paintings draw the viewer into a story of perception, through the paintings which examine betrayal, anxiety, detachment and the progression of healing trauma through art. Choosing subjects she feels a connection with on an intimate, emotional level, her work highlights human interaction and the ways in which relationships – even ones in which we experience abuse and toxicity – shape art and life. Each subject and self-portrait reveals an experience of truth and vulnerability.