︎︎︎ Mainframe
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Choose Your Own MFA Thesis Adventure

This project was initially conceived to be an extension of the visual art exhibition titled a Labour of Labour. That work sought to deromanticize queer, racialized experiences and destabilize linear narratives of intergenerational knowledge by showcasing failure, futility, repetition, and dead ends. By negotiating a refusal of legibility and acknowledging what Sianne Ngai calls ugly feelings, it problematized labour as the longing for—and futility of—work within Cantonese diaspora, impacted by global migrations, family, and queerness.

Nearly three years after the show had passed, Choose your own MFA Thesis Adventure comes as an abstracted retelling of the artist’ MFA degree, during which the original exhibition’s artwork was created. It emphasizes the histories that create generational workaholism, alongside the uneasy ways it is excused. Like the exhibition, it takes an auto theoretical approach to introspection, using nonfiction, text, and speculative responses to unearth moldy memories.

Lan “Florence” Yee is a visual artist and serial collaborator based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. They collect text in underappreciated places and ferment it until it is too suspicious to ignore. Lan’s work has been exhibited at the Darling Foundry (2022), the Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art (2021), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), the Textile Museum of Canada (2020), and the Gardiner Museum (2019), among others. They co-founded the Institute of Institutional Critique with Mattia Zylak in 2019 and the Chinatown Biennial with Arezu Salamzadeh in 2020. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U.

This Mainframe exhibition was made with the PAiR mentorship of Philip Leonard Ocampo.