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 Vivek Shraya: Trauma Clown

Opening Reception: Saturday May 4th 6-9pm

Exhibition Dates: May 4th-June 2nd

Location: Patel Projects 184 Munro St E

Patel Projects is pleased to announce as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival an exhibition by Vivek Shraya entitled Trauma Clown.

Trauma Clown is a new photographic series by Vivek Shraya that traces the correlation between the amount of suffering a marginalized artist shares in their work and the increase in their commodification. Using herself as the subject, Shraya depicts the expectation that artists who experience oppression must repeatedly revisit traumatic experiences for marketable entertainment—and the material and psychic effects that being a “trauma clown” has on the artist, the art, and audiences.

Shraya is a multidisciplinary artist based in Calgary, Alberta. She is the author of the best- selling book, I’m Afraid of Men, and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize for her album with Queer Songbook Orchestra “Part-Time Woman." Her previous photo series, Trisha, received international media coverage, including in Vanity Fair, and has been exhibited across North America.

Patel Projects is a project space and incubator that presents accessible, cutting-edge work by emerging artists and curators. The alternative arts space provides a platform for experimental practices, innovative exhibition formats and new experiences of art. With an emphasis on artistic integrity and ethical practice, Patel Projects also works on public art, programming, licensing, publishing, sponsorship, activations, and more.

Patel Projects is located at 184 Munro Street (rear entrance off of Mt. Stephens). Open by appointment only. For inquiries please contact

Creative direction: Vivek Shraya

Photography: Zachary Ayotte

Makeup & Hair: Alanna Chelmick

Costume: Mic. Carter for L'Uomo Strano

Set assistants: Adam Holman & Natasha Jensen

Special thank you to Natasha Jensen and Art Commons team for granting us permission to shoot in the Arts Learning Centre, the Engineered Air Theatre, and the Jack Singer Concert Hall of Arts Commons.