We are very delighted to help launch 'Critical Fictions', a book of art-centred writings by Hannah Godfrey. On Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 7 PM the author will read, engage in a public discussion with the publisher, and take audience questions as part of the launch program. Godfrey will also be present to sign copies of the book.
Published by ARP Books, the collection focuses on five living and working visual artists—Andrea Oliver Roberts, Derek Dunlop, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Kristin Nelson, and Logan MacDonald. With careful devotion, Godfrey engages the selected artists' works as sustenance for curious thinking, critical reflection, imaginative interpretation, as well as empathetic transference. The author liberally moves beyond prescriptive stuffy art writing to accommodate within the book, verse, narrative writing, diaristic writing, creative nonfiction, and lyrical fragments, among other experiments. These hybridizing strands of writing come together to construct a new nimble form and add an enriching texture to the artworks they proliferate out of.
Regarding the initial impetus for the book, Godfrey writes, "I was interested in how critical and creative responses to art impact one another, and how they function as ways of understanding, knowing, perceiving, and valuing."
All five artists are queer and although the majority of their respective works do not immediately announce themselves as such, Godfrey picks up potent signals and journeys the reader through the voices the various artworks arise from. If you are discovering the featured artists for the first time through Godfrey’s texts, you’d likely be nourished and motivated to learn more.
An endorsement from the chief editor of Peripheral Review Lauren Lavery reads:
It’s with a unique, caring voice that Godfrey speaks about, to, and with the artists in this collection. Even if the reader is familiar with an artist’s practice, the writing, in both its abstract and critical forms, offers the time and space so desperately needed to cover the complicated and intimate relationship of a critic engaging with artwork. Critical Fictions is a special, caring, and necessary book where art criticism is written, challenged, turned on its head and back again, interlacing the varying concepts of the featured artists’ practices like thread in a loom. Only when the reader reaches the end does it become apparent the threads have become a tapestry—a rare and beautiful process that will stay with you into the real world.
Hannah Godfrey/hannah_g is an artist, curator, and writer. Her work is informed by queer echo-locating, contemporary art, and recollection. She is the Curator of Galerie Buhler Gallery in St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory. Godfrey has previously released two chapbooks: 'Not For The World Would I Compare It To Anything' (Parameter Press), and 'Thought Factory' with Leslie Supnet (Intercopy Press) which you can find here.
If you are unable to attend the launch program, you are encouraged to purchase your copy here.