Book Launch Closing Party with Sonja Ahlers & Friends

  • Book Launch
  • Discussion
  • Performance
  • November 4, 2023

    Above: Classification Crisis, 2023, book cover and spine. Below l to r: Doretta Lau, Necking
    Featuring: Artist & Curator Talk, Zine-making, and Live Musical Performance!

    Join artist Sonja Ahlers, award-winning author Doretta Lau, curator Godfre Leung, and musical guests Necking, for the launch of a major publication, Classification Crisis, followed by a social art-making event inspired by Ahlers’ new book.

    This lavishly illustrated book features a comprehensive survey of the artist’s career by Leung; thematic texts by Tavi Gevinson, Kathleen Hanna, Doretta Lau, and Lisa Prentice, a methodological essay on Ahlers’ archive by scholars Alexandra Alisauskas and Jennifer Douglas; and Ahlers’ new artist book, Rabbit-Hole

    The event will begin with Sonja Ahlers and Godfre Leung in conversation with Doretta Lau as an introduction to the new book, followed by hands-on zine-making hosted by Ahlers, and a live musical set with Necking, who recently had a song featured on the Vancouver-shot series Yellowjackets.

    Participants of all artistic skill levels are invited to collage, draw, and write to develop a small zine while you chat, have a snack, and listen to music at our book launch social.

    All zine-making materials and light refreshments provided.

    Free drop-in. Everyone welcome to attend.

    About our Guest Artists:

    Sonja Ahlers is a visual artist and poet based in Victoria, on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) speaking peoples, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Since the early nineties, Ahlers has worked primarily in book and book-adjacent formats, in a medium that she calls visual poetry. She is the author of Temper, Temper and Fatal Distraction (Insomniac Press, 1998 and 2004), The Selves (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010), and Swan Song (Conundrum Press, 2021), and was a key contributor to Rookie Mag from 2011 to 2015. 

    Doretta Lau started watching horror movies at age nine and sketch comedy at eleven, which was probably why she ended up completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University. The Atlantic named her short story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? a best book of 2014. The title story, about a group of kids determined to pull off a heist, was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Her forthcoming novel We Are Underlings is about a dysfunctional workplace struggling to open a theme park that celebrates death.

    Godfre Leung is a critic and the curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Nations. In the last few years, his writing has appeared in ArtAsiaPacific, ASAP/Journal, and C Magazine, and he has organized exhibitions by Pao Houa Her, Christopher K. Ho, Sesemiya, TJ Shin, and Soomaal House of Art.

    Necking is Nada Hayek, Melissa Kuipers, Sonya R and Hannah Karren. The origin story of the Vancouver-based powerhouse post-punk quartet starts at a party where all four members met for the first time and began boasting untruths about their group’s musical accomplishments. Following a series of fake names including Britney Bitch and Four White Guys, they picked up instruments for real, quickly earning a rep for their live wire performances and no-holds-barred humour. Check out their music here.

    Above: Classification Crisis, 2023, book cover and spine. Below l to r: Doretta Lau, Necking


    Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Monday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Tuesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Closed on statutory holidays.

    Current Exhibitions


    By donation


    Richmond Cultural Centre
    7700 Minoru Gate
    Richmond, BC  V6Y 1R8
    Canada Line Station: Richmond-Brighouse


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