Dogmatica, Brandt Eisner – Art Talks at ARTSPLACE (Livestream, May 6, 2023)

Livestream - Art Talk: Brandt Eisner (May 6, 2023)

Exhibition: Dogmatica, April-May 2023 in the ARTSPLACE Main Gallery (Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia)

Artist Profile - Brandt Eisner

  • Growing up in a  small community on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Brandt Eisner began creating assemblages. he did not know he was making art; he simply felt a need to express himself using visual language-a way to cope with his pain when it could not be expressed in other ways.

    At 16, Brandt found a large number of shoe remains on his grand-parents’ property. The old family dump had mostly been reclaimed by nature, but his interest in archaeology led him to excavate the spot. The remnants of the past became the inspiration and material for first assemblage, titled Soles of Time.

    Over the past 30 years, he has dedicated much of his time to the art world, having owned wo galleries, graduated from NSCAD with a BFA Interdisciplinary Arts, worked in two other galleries, curated many shows, as well as growing his own art practice.

    he is currently the curator of The Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche and co-creator of Eisner/Feit events and productions.

About Dogmatica

Brandt Eisner is a queer man who grew up in a  small, rural Evangelical Baptist community on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. His early life was shaped by the doctrines of the church, and he witnessed how strongly held beliefs destroyed families and created divisions within the larger community.

Dogmatica asks us to question the systems that have formed the basis of so much Western culture and the lasting impacts that have–not just on individuals, but on society as a whole.

The artwork of Dogmatica may be perceived as confrontational. Questioning religious beliefs and history and eliciting discomfort at the possibility the viewer too has participated in actions that may have harmed others is the driving force of this work.

Doctrines using fear and guilt have been passed down for generations, to promote “appropriate” behaviour. This has given religion a free rein to ostracize and to be cruel, practices which have been normalized and excused under the guise of “holiness.”

With this body of work, Eisner would like to examine openly and honestly the impacts of religious doctrine and dogma in shaping us as a society. He questions whether the good and benevolence often attributed to organized religion outweighs the harm and negativity that directly result from its unquestioned practice.

Artist Statement

My work–primarily sculptural–predominately speaks to the queer male experience. Although autobiographical in nature, my work aims to convey what is familiar to queer men, especially those who grew up in a rural setting. Despite the social and political progress the queer community has seem there is still much work to be done.

The journey the viewer takes while experiencing my work is a reminder of how subtle experiences at an early age can impact and shape who we are. There are unnoticed emotional and mental scars that queer people carry throughout their lives, which have a great impact on their relationships and social interactions. It is a reminder of how perceiver “little things” can shape a person, and thus society.

I believe that for those who are not queer, me work reflects the “otherness: that all of us have felt at some point. No one is immune to the struggle of hyper-masculinity, bullying, the impact of dogmatic religion, body issues, injustice, expectations, exclusion, unhealthy family interactions, or simply not fitting in. I want the viewer to bring their own history to my work, for theirs is as valid as mine. I want my work to reflect the commonality we all share, despite our age, gender, skin colour or sexual identity.

-Brandt Eisner, March 2023