The Multiplicities of Feminine Prairie Existence
Curated by Molly Ryan
August 12 – September 16| 2023
Reception: August 12| 7:00 pm
The Multiplicities of Feminine Prairie Existence, hints to the canon of classic western cinema and how gender is portrayed throughout this media, while cross-referencing the dynamics of rural communities and the expectations of gender roles throughout Saskatchewan’s rural prairies. Through Jane’s work, crib biting and holster, they challenge the commonly known masculine cowboy archetype and explore how femininity exists in these settings and culture.
An upbringing in Saskatchewan’s rural prairies often replicates the canon of western cinema particularly on its implication on gender roles and the gender divide of labor. Jane contradicts stereotypes and embraces both femininity and the aesthetics of Western rurality by taking traditional masculine activities and bringing a light to how femininity exists and contributes to these spaces. The Multiplicities of Feminine Prairie Existence, references to the glorification of physical labor and agriculture work as men’s work while women are placed in subordinated passive roles where their primary purpose and value is diminished to an existence of dedicated caregiving, domestic labor, and the sexual gratification in favor and the benefit of the much beloved and adorned cowboys. These expectations trickle down into core characteristics and hobbies, in both western cinema and rural communities. While the common behavior of tobacco chewing, cigarette smoking, and bar fighting, is commonly accepted and even mystified within the archetype of the cowboy, this leeway is not given to their subordinate female romantic interests, and it certainly would not be admired in them either. Like our romantic interests in Western cinema who present as well-mannered, well-dressed, and unwaveringly devoted girls, women raised in rurality are burdened by the same restrictions. Jane McCreight’s practice challenges this notion and expectation through highlighting femme people and bodies in association to the landscapes, animals, and objects historically reserved for the cowboys.
Jane McCreight (she/they)
Jane is a film student based in Regina, Saskatchewan located on Treaty 4 territory. They’re a visually driven person with an interest in world building and unconventional filmmaking processes. Recently, Jane has diverted from narrative form filmmaking and taken an interest in experimental film.