how many of the things i do are conscious decisions and how many are coping mechanisms

benni and CB McCann

November 27, 2017-January 26, 2018

+15 Window Exhibition

Exhibition Description

how many of the things i do are conscious decisions and how many are coping mechanisms is a collaborative trash installation by benni and CB McCann. The work begins with moments of emotional turbulence and identity disturbance caused by mental illness, freezes them, and makes them physical. It is meant as a diorama of the artists’ individual facets of femme/queer/(anticapitalist?) self-inventory, set against an ever-shifting landscape of distorted perception. Materials are mostly found, thrifted, or repurposed, requiring impulsivity to be acquired at all. Then, they are frenetically edited into their final forms, burying reserved, cryptic questions about who we are in each cathartic snarl of neon. Components are visibly held together by zip ties, tape, and muttered prayer; any minor slippage must be radically accepted by the artists. A video on a laptop is bundled to a table in a tender act of overkill, casting Google and YouTube as public sites of private self-affirmation. The result is an impactful cross section view of a moment between two friends with borderline personality, sharing constant re-negotiation of uncertainties through art and self-healing.

The artists would like to note that the title of this exhibition was named after a meme created by Lora Mathis.


benni (they/them) is an artist, curator, and activist practicing in unceded kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory (Montreal, Quebec). They have exhibited, performed, and organized across turtle island (also known as Canada/U.S.) and have been part of several artist/curatorial collectives. benni’s artistic practice, research, and advocacy work uses a collaborative approach in working for queer, and trans liberation, drug user advocacy, and change in mental health/addictions policy and practice. benni also has an alter ego named loretta that they perform in various of types of ways at raves, punk shows, on the internet, at residencies, or shopping at the PA Supermarket. They are also one half of blessed hysteric with HK, an electronic noise and performance project.

@benni_________ / Instagram

CB McCann is a video & trash artist living in Calgary, Treaty 7 Territory. They recently graduated from Alberta College of Art + Design, and their recent work highlights connections between pop culture, online presence, and identity disturbance. They can often be found waving, dancing a lil bit, being shy or leaving candy at a party. 

@prdct / Instagram