Art Gallery Goodbye

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A note from Zoë:

It’s true. I’m not having as much fun as it seems. Since forming Rocket House with Steve, and even in the couple of years in the lead-up when I was working on more and more projects, I started noticing an ongoing shift in the tone of everyday conversations. I’ve come to expect comments on a semi-regular basis that go something like this:

“I saw the photos from [PROJECT]. You guys have the best life! So jealous… wish I could do that…my life sucks.”

Now, this is a super dramatic example but believe me, it still gets said. And the general tone and mind-frame creeps into all kinds of conversations. It’s like there’s this false equation that people know doesn’t quite add up, but it’s got enough truthiness to it that they go ahead and use it anyway.

You have amazing (professional) photos + You plan a lot of fun and energetic events + I see you smiling a lot = Your life is fun and/or better than mine

Ya, no.

It’s started to fascinate me recently. Our culture has a very obvious happiness obsession, and a massive editing problem when it comes to showing a true cross section of who we are.

I, for one, have a huge dislike for crying. It gives me a headache and it doesn’t solve any of my problems. And I generally hate being emotional, but especially in front of other people. That means that a very small number of people have actually seen me be actively upset.

Running your own business can be hard. Like, really really soul-crushingly hard sometimes. But it can also be really fun and fulfilling. The problem is that it’s almost exclusively the fun and fulfilling points that get shared publicly and have professional photographers around. So I started wondering what it would look like if there were a photographer present for the everyday crying, or boredom, or anger. How would you even set that up?

A couple of months ago Steve and I learned that we would be giving back the keys to one of my favourite spaces in the city – The Triangle Gallery/Museum of Contemporary Art/Contemporary Calgary Gallery. The space had been in flux after Contemporary Calgary formed, and while the fate of the space was being decided we essentially managed and babysat the gallery for them, using it as a bit of a satellite office for the last year. I’ve volunteered at this space in it’s many forms for something like 5 years, so I have a LOT of memories and emotions connected to it.

So, we decided this would be a perfect place for a photographic experiment – a professional photo shoot highlighting our vulnerabilities.

©HM4RIE 2016