Karen Kraven Hoist


PLATFORM centre is pleased to announce Hoist, a solo exhibition featuring the work of Karen Kraven (QC). The show runs from 07 January – 11 February 2022.

EXHIBITION | 07 January– 11 February 2022

READING GROUP | More info coming soon!

Carrying the weight of sorting time; arranging doubts, gathering scraps, wandering through hoards; to piece together the fragments of a story, while hoisting the space for grief. Grief resists and upends the course of productivity. “Hoist with one’s own petard.”[1]

The body itself is a messy archive; unfinished and unstable; its clothing absorbing and expunging, unravelling and in need of mending. Hoisted up like machinery are vessels for longing, for seeds to be gathered, for remnants to carry, for labour to soak in and for roses to grow.

The refrain of the suffrage movement, the labour movement and later, the civil rights activists was “Bread for All and Roses Too.” “Bread fed the body, roses fed something subtler: not just hearts, but imaginations, psyches, senses, identities. It was a pretty slogan but a fierce argument that more than survival and bodily well-being were needed and were being demanded as a right. It was equally an argument against the idea that everything that human beings need can be reduced to quantifiable, tangible goods and conditions. Roses in these declarations stood for the way that human beings are complex, desires are irreducible, that what sustains us is often subtle and elusive.”[2]

[1] From Shakespeare’s Hamlet, meaning an ironic reversal.

[2] Solnit, Rebecca, Orwell’s Roses, Viking: New York, 2021, p. 87

Masks and proof of vaccination are mandatory, please ensure social distance is maintained and stay home if you are feeling sick. PLATFORM is an accessible venue. For the duration of the exhibition, PLATFORM centre will be open by appointment only Wednesday and Thursday from 11-4, and on a drop-in basis Friday and Saturday from 11-4. Please email admin@platformgallery.org to schedule a viewing appointment. If you’re planning on dropping in Friday or Saturday, please call us at 204-942-8183 when you arrive, and we will come and let you in. 


Karen Kraven is a Montreal-based artist working with photography, sculpture and installation. Influenced by her father’s (and his father’s) knitting factory that stopped manufacturing the year she was born and by the physical and optical properties of textiles, her practice explores the ways clothing registers the body–how the body is unfinished, unstable and under interrogation–pointing to the sustained impact of work, wounds and wear.

Recent solo exhibitions include Lull, Latitude 53, Edmonton (2020), Dust Against Dust, Parisian Laundry, Montreal (2019), Pins & Needles at the Toronto Sculpture Garden (2018), Deadstock, Maw Gallery, NYC (2017), Flip Flop Punch Front, Mercer Union, Toronto (2015) and Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah presented at the ICA, Portland, Maine and the Darling Foundry, Montreal (2014/5). Her work has also been included in exhibitions in Toronto, Marseille, Mumbai and Baltimore. Reviews have been published in C Magazine, Canadian Art, Momus and Artforum. Her work was recently acquired by the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal. Karen Kraven is represented by Bradley Ertaskiran in Montreal.