Film & Video
1 min

We’re all failures

An art exhibit that finds humour in difficult moments

Chris Dupuis delivers his monologue of failure in I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends. Credit: Chris Dupuis

Nobody — nobody interesting, anyway — can honestly say they’ve never failed at something. From cheating on diets to early ejaculation, we’ve all felt the nauseating gut-punch of failure.

And now there’s an event that makes light of all that! Curator Amber Landgraff is organizing an art exhibit centred on the theme of failure. “I’m hoping the public will see the exhibit as a chance to appreciate the humour that comes with failure,” Landgraff says.

Schadenfreude isn’t Landgraff’s only motive. She sees this playful approach as a way to encourage people to be less frightened of, and more willing to reflect on, failure. “I think a lot can be learned through failure and that sometimes the unplanned outcomes, the accidents, can be more interesting than our original intentions and that it is important to remain open to mistakes,” she says.

Landgraff says a few of the works may not be humorous, including Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle’s Party Day, which explores documentation of a public intervention she performed in Montreal and the surprisingly negative response she got from a security guard.”

The exhibit will feature works by nine different artists and includes video, sculpture, projection, lecture and tie dye. Some of the sub-themes explored are pointlessness, rejection, flaws, accidental outcomes and misunderstandings.

Chris Dupuis’s contribution is a video called I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, wherein he performs a monologue based on comments given by girls as they were rejected from America’s Next Top Model.

When Dupuis created the video, it was intended to be a serious reflection on a crisis in his life, but he’s prepared for the laughter that it will inevitably provoke. “I learned early on that your own pain doesn’t seem funny to you, because it’s yours, but it can be funny to other people, and as an artist you need to accept that people are going to laugh at your pain, and you should celebrate that, because that’s what makes the art good,” he says.