Part working studio, part portfolio, Anthea Black's Surrender No Surrender presents a point of intersection for various interests: pop iconography, contemporary printmaking, leather culture, the power and development of limited edition printing, and queer art history making. Spread over four walls in the open studio space/gallery of SNAP, the show is rather antithetical to the status quo of printmaking shows, especially printmaking shows in Edmonton.
Opening up the perspective and entry point of printmaking as both form and as message, Black's working exhibition was coordinated in conjunction with Camp Fyrefly, a queer youth camp where participants were given printmaking workshops along with queer art history seminars by Black. From the opening image of Wonder Woman and Big Barda joining hands and forces, there is a focus of collaboration and intertextuality.
Image credit: Anthea Black, 2009.
Playing off the iconic DC Marvel character comics and their extensive character histories and their social historical relevances, Black also plays up their medium in the imperfect pasting and peeling edges. The creases may be seen as irritating to the perfectionist, but their presence emphasizes the action of putting up the works, which when combined with the history lesson provided by "I Saw This & Thought of You", remains the single most important fact in the entire exhibition.
- A.F. Edmonton