That F Word - Lana Missen
Curated by Meaghan Barry
May 29 - July 31, 2nd Floor CWSE Hallway Gallery, OISE/UT, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Opening Reception: May 29th 5-7pm
“I’m a feminist with a small ‘f’ not a capital one, just trying to raise awareness. But these stigmas are sticking and becoming a hindrance. We need to reclaim something but I don’t know what it is yet.”
... from Missen’s spoken word piece “It Doesn’t Matter” (2014)
Lana Missen’s work “That F Word” brings together a diverse community of self-identified feminists. Through portraiture and personal handwritten texts, various voices express ideas, feelings, and positions from within the movement. This project embraces those from different backgrounds and cultures, ranging from Zimbabwe, Aboriginal heritages, and 8th generational Canadians, as well as the spectrum of genders, and generations representative of those from ages 19 through to 70. “That F Word” exists as prints, a book, and a blog in order to democratize the work and encourage engagement through multiple public spaces.
The series has assisted Lana in finding her own position within feminism and has enabled her to passionately connect with others, collaborate on ideas, and share stories. Feminism is about equal rights and opportunities for all genders but it is also about much more on a personal level. In ‘Khadijah’, the viewer is challenged by a woman’s gaze, experiencing her sense of her pride and strength. The accompanying text piece emphasizes ‘I am a black feminist’. Whereas in ‘Marie’, there is a comfortableness and a quiet confidence at play. The participants in this project represent diverse voices and backgrounds but echo similar thoughts on feminism through their own personal lenses. However, negativity towards feminism saturates our media and online dialogues in both threatening and derogatory ways. This project is in response to the misinformation, hatred, and stereotyping that exists. “That F Word” creates a safe space for feminists to share self and voice. You are invited to participate in the conversation by visiting: www.thatfwordproject.tumblr.com
Born and raised in Cobourg, Ontario, Lana Missen is a Toronto-based visual artist working with photography to explore themes of the body, identity, and female representation. Through portraiture, she aims to create visibility and a space to share her own and others’ stories to a wider audience. A strong believer in the importance of collaboration and community, Missen’s practice is based on engaging with individuals and her viewers.
Her current body of work “That F Word” was shown at OCAD University’s 100th Graduate Exhibition this spring, and was part of the ‘Contact’ photo festival in Toronto this May. She has also displayed works in the juried CLIC Eastern Ontario Photo Show, where she won first place in 2012. She was part of the "Aperture" show at Moniker Gallery in downtown Toronto in 2014. She has an interest in art education, and outside of her fine art practice, Lana enjoys documenting performances of live theatre, dancers, and musicians.
Lana Missen graduated this year from OCAD University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a minor in English.