Collection Title: Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan collection
Title: Lesbian National Parks and Services A Force of Nature
Alternate Title: Force of Nature
Date: 1997 July
Location: Recorded at Banff National Park, The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
Work Type: Performance., Performance art., Mockumentary.
Shawna Dempsey, creator ; Lorri Millan, creator.
Shawna Dempsey, performer ; Lorri Millan, performer.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 00:23:05
Language: In English.
Synopsis: Lesbian National Parks and Services was founded in 1997 to insert a lesbian presence into the landscape. In full uniform as Lesbian Rangers, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan patrol parklands, challenging the general public’s ideas of tourism, recreation, and the “natural” environment. Equipped with informative brochures and well-researched knowledge, they are a visible homosexual presence in spaces where concepts of history and biology exclude all but a very few. The Rangers are in near constant demand and have performed “tours-of-duty” across Canada and abroad including the Sydney Gay/Lesbian Mardi Gras (Australia) and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (USA) in all manner of terrain from parks to city streets to university halls. They have also written brochures and books, created postcards and videos, informing and recruiting since 1997. The Rangers’ work is ongoing. “Do unto lesbians as you would have lesbians do unto you.”Collaborators since 1989, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan are among Canada’s best-known performance artists. They were catapulted into the international spotlight in their 20s with the performance and film We’re Talking Vulva. Since then, their live work and videos have been exhibited in diverse venues as far-ranging as women's centers in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This Winnipeg-based duo has created installations (such as Archaeology and You for the Royal Ontario Museum), public art pieces (such as One Gay City, the subject of a Manitoba Human Rights Commission challenge) and books (such as Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World, Arbeiter Ring Press). To most, however, they are known simply as the Lesbian Rangers of Lesbian National Parks and Services. Their humorous, feminist and provocative work has been acclaimed as “one of the high-points of contemporary Canadian artistic production” (Border Crossings Magazine). Dempsey and Millan are the recipients of many awards, most proudly the Canadian Museums Association Award for Outstanding Publication and the Manitoba Arts Council Special Prize for Innovation and Excellence.
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Copyright Holder: Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan
485 Wardlaw Ave
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3LOL9