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The Commentariat – Liz Knox

Using only the comment threads of the ‘Savage Love’ advice column article archives, a short history of politics in North America was constructed. In late 2008, comments were enabled on the online ‘Savage Love’ column. That is where the book ‘Commentariat’ begins. The text weaves a compilation of comments relating to political events through personal accounts, news, excitement, and outrage.

The exhibition at Yactac includes a series of portraits of some of the regular commenters from the text. Though their actual identities are unknown, Knox generated personas based on the information the ‘characters’ share about themselves in the comments. Taking friends and acquaintances with perceived similarities as a starting point, visual identities were constructed. The text and drawings consider ways in which identities and politics are increasingly realized through online social platforms.
This project is an appropriation. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely reasonable. But take it with a grain of salt.

Liz Knox uses conceptual strategies, examining systems of interpretation with an emphasis on irony. Language is the most common thread in her work, and a common starting point is found text. Knox studied Studio Art at the University of Guelph and completed her graduate studies at Emily Carr University in 2013. Her work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals across Canada including Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto; Charles H Scott Gallery, Vancouver; G Gallery, Toronto; CAFKA, Kitchener; and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

See and for more information about this project.

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