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Wendy’s Revenge is a tale of pirates, spaceships and art

Tricia Livingston and Walter Scott  brought the story of Wendy’s Revenge to life on Friday night at Concordia’s Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery. (Jessica Deer, The Eastern Door)
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It was a tale of an eye patch wearing pirate artist crash landing a spaceship in Kombucha lake, and a therapist/artist kidnapper creates a gallery in a jail cell. You know, Walter Scott stuff.

Concordia University’s Queer Print Club and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery teamed up last weekend to present Wendy’s Revenge, a lecture-performance by Kahnawake’kehró:non Walter Scott.

The 30-minute reading, performed by Scott and northern British Columbia artist Tricia Livingston, is a response to a traditional format.

“The format is of an artist talk and the story is about an artist, but the performance kind of slips in between fiction and reality a little more loosely,” Scott told The Eastern Door. “For the purposes of this, I wanted to make an alter-ego called Xendy. It’s a way to make a character in a science fiction universe that satirizes the contemporary art world.”

In Wendy’s Revenge, Scott transforms his popular party girl comic character ‘Wendy’ into a contemporary artist and space pirate on the run from her past. She is informed by her naturopath that in order to exorcize her mysterious abdominal pain, she has to find her ex-boyfriend and kill him.

“You’re holding repressed anger in your emotional core. You have to release it. It’s trapped in the chakra that’s all about f**king and getting f**ked and giving and receiving,” said Livingston, reading the character of the naturopath.

The journey to find the source of her agony takes Xendy across the galaxy to a world submerged in kombucha and encounters with gallerists, an Indigenous artist named Xinona and other art-world stereotypes.

“Through their dialogue, they talk about issues that I’m thinking about right now,” said Scott.

Issues like representation as an Indigenous artist, the relationship between galleries and an artist, and some of the difficult positions artists are put in.

In typical Wendy fashion, both Scott and Livingston were dressed in an all-black ensemble, sitting in front of a projection of illustrations last Friday evening to a crowd of over 150 people at Concordia.

“I was very impressed with how he performed that lecture and how he was also subtle, and sometimes less subtle, commented on the art world and the gallery world,” said Michèle Thériault, director of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery.

“There’s that subtext in his work and I think that it is important for artists and cultural workers to critic the art world and he does it in a very novel way and very accessible to people.”

Scott created his fictional satire “Wendy” in 2011. The comic series follows the life of an adventurous young woman living in an urban centre post-BFA, whose dreams of making it the art world are perpetually derailed by music, partying – and of course, guys.

The character has not just graced the pages of his comic books, but has transformed into a character that’s gaining attention in the international contemporary art scene, the comic scene and everywhere in between.

Friday’s live reading was only among a handful of times Scott has ventured into performance art with his popular party girl character, and was the first time her sci-fi pirate alter-ego has made an appearance.

“It’s a different route for my practice than I was expecting,” said Scott. “I wasn’t expecting to branch off into performance, but things have been shifting a lot – I’ve been asked to choreograph a five-minute dance in Toronto too, which I never thought I would do, either.”

Scott has experimented with different ways to make art.

He’s turned Wendy into shop signs, window installations, posters, and bags. His exhibition “Pre-Existing Work” last year even explored the space between reality and Wendy’s realm.

Another performance of Wendy’s Revenge will take place later in the month in Toronto.

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