a manifesto has come to light,

From July to August 2015, Dr. Jeanne Randolph, Jacob Wren, Bodgan Cheta, Jillian Fleck, and JD Mersault came together to participate in TNG’s thematic group residency to develop a new work that explored the convergence between art making and art writing. This project addressed questions such as, ‘Can writing about art be art?’ and ‘Does art criticism have to exist as reviews, essays, etc.?’

The artists decided that the outcome of the residency would be a novel called a manifesto has come to light… and that the work would be widely distributed at no cost. Cheta, Fleck, and Mersault each created content for their own episode, a broadsheet-style publication that also included a continuous line of dialogue between Randolph and Wren that contextualized the project. 3000 copies of each episode were distributed throughout Calgary, Winnipeg (MB), Montreal (QC), and Dundee (SCT) in three phases – one at the end of February, March, and April in 2016.

Distribution of these texts has finished but if you want to request a copy please contact: info@thenewgallery.org.

Want to read it for yourself?
You can download free PDFs below!
Episode I – Jillian Fleck more information on Fleck’s episode
Episode II – JD Mersault more information on Mersault’s episode
Episode III – Bogdan Cheta  more information on Cheta’s episode

Led by / Jeanne Randolph and Jacob Wren

Calgary Participants / Bodgan Cheta, Jillian Fleck, and JD Mersault

July 19, 2015 – January 19, 2016

Jeanne Randolph and Jacob Wren will lead Bodgan Cheta, Jillian Fleck, and JD Mersault in developing a new collaborative work that explores the convergence between art making and art writing. This project will address questions such as, ‘Can writing about art be art?’ and ‘Does art criticism have to exist as reviews, essays, etc.?’

This thematic group residency and long distance project will consider the spaces between art, writing, and art criticism. The program will occur in two distinct parts: a one-month residency occurring between July 19 and August 15, 2015 in Calgary, where all artists will come together in a think-tank environment to establish possible themes, concepts, and form. This residency will be followed by a five-month period of long-distance development where the artists will continue to create content for their project, communicating frequently via Skype, Dropbox, texts, emails, phone calls, Snap Chat, Twitter, snail mail, etc. This project could take the form of an anthology, an exhibition, or possibly be realized through multiple formats. The final outcome of this project is to be determined by the participants during the residency and will be based on their research and collaborative consensus.

All members of the community are invited and encouraged to join us in our Welcome BBQ Potluck on Tuesday, July 21 at 6:30 PM in Stanley Park (4011 1A St. SW).

On Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 7pm we will be co-hosting a reading by Jeanne Randolph and Jacob Wren at Shelf Life Books (1302 4 St. SW).

Once a week the residency work space – located at Stride Gallery – will be open to the public for walk-in discussions and conversations with our artists-in-residence and the transitions, innovations, and complications of art writing. Please join us at Stride Gallery (1006 Macleod Trail SE) on the following Open House dates:

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7-9pm
Saturday, August 8, 2015, 7-9pm
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7pm


Jeanne Randolph is one of Canada’s foremost cultural theorists. She is the author of the influential book Psychoanalysis & Synchronized Swimming (1991). A second edition of Out of Psychoanalysis: ficto-criticism 2005-2015 and her latest book Shopping Cart Pantheism are being launched in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto this summer. Dr. Randolph is also known as an engaging lecturer and performance artist. In universities and galleries across Canada, England, Australia, and Spain she has spoken on topics ranging from the aesthetics of Barbie dolls to the philosophy of Wittgenstein.

Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed and Polyamorous Love Song, a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it’s easy to criticize, Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art.

Jillian Fleck is a comic artist from Calgary, Alberta.  Her work has been included in a variety of graphic anthologies nationally and internationally, and strangers on the internet seem to like her too.  Her work has been described as funny, and very sad.  She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2012, but that was ages ago now.

Bogdan Cheta
11 pm // A HOT SUMMER DAY. With his feet buried in the expensive pair of boots he found last night in the same cemetery he returned to, we find Bogdan in dialogue with his new shoes. Borrowing from their engraved label, these magic slippers will only respond to the name of Hugo Boss [H B].

H B: We’re so gay. And alone. [whispering softly, so that the others don’t hear]

Bogdan: Shh. I thought that was our unspoken secret! [with a resigned tone]

H B: We’re always so burdened by our secrets. Sometimes I wish we dreamed less.

Bogdan: Hugo – there is something about me I can’t give a name to, something I had and lost, yet feel as if I’m keeping for myself — and for you as well. I had it long ago, when I was very young. I remember how it was: when I was young, there was something ahead of me, so big that

I was afraid of it, but I waited for it and was so happy waiting. Then the years passed and it never came. And then I found, one day, I wasn’t waiting any longer. It seems foolish, because I didn’t even know what it was I was waiting for. I look at myself now and I don’t know. But when I look again — I do. You see, I’m still a human being. // 2015

J.D. Mersault is a multi-disciplinary author, essayist and visual artist from Canada. His art texts have been published most recently by the Art Gallery of Alberta, his book reviews have appeared internationally in The American Reader, and his critical memoirs, The Abscess (I&II), were distributed at the 2015 Umbrella Visual Arts Conference. He is the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, most recently the 2013 Literary Kaleidoscope Award for his short story, Rhubarb. His work covers topics ranging from the nature of grief, the political climate surrounding art, the purpose of sentimentality, and the artistic impact of natural disasters. He is a contributor to Freefall Magazine, Luma Quarterly and the author of the blog Forty-Four Fragments for a Car Wash. His second book, a novel-length poem, Maresia, is forthcoming in fall 2015.

This residency has been made possible in part by the generous support of the RBC Foundation and the Rozsa Foundation.

A special thanks to Stride Gallery for providing a workspace for our residency participants, and Rita McKeough and Tomas Jonsson for billeting our out-of-town artists after being displaced from the John Snow House due to our current flood crisis.