Zandi Dandizette’s latest show, Considering Constraints, is a sculptural, illustrative and technology-based deconstruction of societal binaries. “The binary as we know it, especially gender, was really reinforced in the eighties, and right now we are reflecting as a society regarding what we’ve created over the last thirty years,” laughed Zandi. “You can see it in built into our tropes and mythos. As a nonbinary artist, my work genuinely works with organic/geometric, blue/pink, and circle/square.” In this installation, Zandi’s work further tackles how we can disrupt this all or nothing, black or white viewpoint.
“I’ve been working with the concept of cave versus cliff for a while,” said Zandi (BMA 2014). “My idea is one space you retreat into for personal reflection, while the other is looking outward.” The cave motif is clear in this installation at Conduit Gallery, where the viewer walks into a large installation of interlocking pink and blue foam complete with cotton candy coloured stalagmite forms protruding from the floor. In the middle of the room, a deflated figure is suspended from the ceiling, a physical manifestation of an illustration that Zandi has been creating in various forms for close to 14 years.
The figure is made from a full-body suit covered in a fractal pattern from neck to wrists and ankles. The hood of the suit is blank, serving as a canvas for the projected content – a video loop of different faces to engage in the discussion of the gender binary. The projection of the faces is distorted by the wrinkles in the fabric. The piece is effective from multiple viewpoints since the projection is also visible from the back, adding another layer of ambiguity. Watching the faces flicker through, familiar faces are present from the Vancouver art community. “It was exciting seeing the different folks who wanted to participate, as well as experiencing the conversations that were spurred,” said Zandi on the creation of the projected film. “As is the spectrum itself, each person's perspective and focus were unique.”
The work is both personal and communal; it deals with Zandi’s own history but also involves thirty-five collaborators. “I am very into socially-engaged art, so it was great to meet so many people and discuss the work with them during the creation,” said Zandi. “For the suit itself, I couldn’t draw on it without it being stretched, so I had people wear it while I drew on them for hours upon hours. It was a very socially involved project in that way.”
[image004.jpg Considering Constraints opening reception by Tito Ohep]
The installation’s palette brings to mind the Pantone colours of 2017, Serenity and Rose Quartz. The use of blue and pink covers the room, all the way down to what Zandi is wearing. Referencing the gender binary as a nonbinary artist, Zandi’s work questions the dichotomy of duality. “For me, it’s all relational,” shared Zandi. “I’m constantly thinking about the juxtapositions of binary and the conflict therein. As my own gender falls more within the spectrum, it’s a natural process for me to discuss this. Usually my work surrounds identity, and conflict within social means, and it’s great that I can bring in the community into this particular project. It's a shared experience.”
The show will wrap with a closing reception, talk and performance. The performance itself will be a collaborative experience for the audience. Without giving too much away, Zandi shared a little bit about how they feel the performance will be executed. “I feel it'll degenerate to a less serious experience, which I find important to the accessibility point of the art world,” said Zandi. “Some people will see it in it's one dimensional experience, and others will relate to the underlying elements.”
The community is invited to take part in the final performance at Conduit Gallery on February 21 at 7PM at Conduit Gallery, 165 E Hastings St.