I’m in Vancouver now, and working on the last edits for the video work I am creating to accompany the world premiere of Slippages on October 5th.
I am delighted to share UBC Orchestra Director Jonathan Girard‘s take on what we are doing:
“Deborah’s gorgeous score presents a thrilling challenge. How do we, as musicians, interpret visual art?” explained Girard.
“We want the music to speak to the cool beauty of the work, but also the ideas behind it: of flux, of change, of loss. Just as the natural world has a life of its own, a kind of agency apart from human influence, we want the music, through improvisation, to have a life of its own that goes above and beyond the performers.”
For those of you not able to attend in person – the performance will be LIVE STREAMED – so I hope you have a chance to check it out!!
This new work is part of a larger performance and installation work – Slippages – developed by Montreal artist Deborah Carruthers, that is an outgrowth of her work as Artist in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Slippages is a synthesis of material from researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) regarding the physical, anthropological, and philosophical properties glaciers. In collaboration with Maestro Girard (and Wall Scholar for 2018-2019), Deborah is working with the 110-member orchestra to present a structured improvisational sonic piece drawn from a graphical score she has created; the video work we are creating will be presented above the orchestra as part of the performance.
Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way – cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
For those in the Vancouver area – this is my invitation for you to join us!
I am really thrilled to be working with Deborah, Maestro Jonathan Girard, and the UBC Orchestra to bring this work to life.
A HUGE Thank You to everyone that came out on a busy evening, with less than ideal weather!
We all had a busy night; lots of lovely conversations, and thoughtful comments. The best way to launch new work into the world.
I was also really happy that the lovely humans that have supported this project from the outset – and on whose land the original living installation sits – were able to attend and see this first foray into taking the MAKE=BELIEVE project into a different context! looking forward to lots of chats and feedback from them on this exhibition!
For those of you who weren’t able to be there last Friday: Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivéis up until 5pm September 29th. Regular hours are NOON – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays – other times by appointment.
I will be gallery sitting on Sunday, September 23rd, NOON – 5pm, if you want to visit!
Some images of my installation/room below:
photo montage of animals in the installation on the farm
tail of an old windmill from the farm; what we do to bend the land to our purposes never lasts
a sun and compass from found objects
the windmill tail again
digitally manipulated photo and found object installation … the immigrant/homestead experience is part of this work
3 digitally manipulated photographs; human use of raw materials becomes camouflage
I am very happy to say that I will be presenting some brand-new work in a group show coming up very soon!
Details below – I look forward to seeing anyone in the area who cam make it to the Opening Reception.
Exhibition hours after the Opening are listed in the invitation, or by appointment.
Some information about the exhibition:
ARCHIVED LAND : TERRAIN ARCHIVÉ at Jackson Power Gallery, Edmonton September 15 to 29
2ndfl, 9744 60 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Opening reception 7pm, September 14, 2018
Exhibit hours: Noon to 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays, September 15 to 29
Or by appointment: 780-499-7635
Jackson Power Gallery presents Archived Land : Terrain Archivé, the final exhibit before the gallery closes its doors.
Land holds memory: layered, fragmented, buried, or strongly etched. It represents identity and connection to our own history and to those who came before us; a narrative landscape that intersects human experience and the natural world.
The gallery’s layout of separate but interconnected rooms forms an environment for individual artist’s interpretation of the theme, providing the visitor with the perception of movement through time and place.
Une initiative par collaborateurs/a collaborative initiative by:
Patrick Arès-Pilon & Conor McNally
BELLE//MONDO vous invite à rentrer dans un assemblage de photographie tirée de vrai pellicule diapo Ektachrome datant de 1997. Cette oeuvre place un regard sur les environnements naturels et bâtis captée sur le territoire du traité numéro 6 incluant à Edmonton, Spruce Grove et La Sapinière en 2018.
BELLE//MONDO welcomes you to enter an immersive photography installation using vintage 35mm Ektachrome slide film (frozen since 1997). This collaborative work features layered sights of natural and built environments captured on Treaty 6 land in and around Edmonton, Spruce Grove & La Sapinière in 2018.
Paddy considers himself to be a Canadian, Irish, Ulster Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. His painting, drawing, and installation work acknowledges the role of landscape as a repository for our history, culture and collective memory, exploring the imprint of society on nature and how we form deep and lasting attachments to the land. His work is also a form of self-examination – a search for alternatives that continue to define his ‘sense of place’.
Sydney’s multidisciplinary practice explores the complicated position the individual inhabits in relation to ideas of place, land & ownership, and the ways in which both people and spaces are ‘written upon’ by larger social-political-cultural narratives over time. She is interested in the realities exposed by branches that only bend so far and how newer growth offers much more flexibility, but less strength for supporting weight.
Ultimately, her work is about how we understand and make sense of the land and the space between us.
As a long-time archivist and now Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, Marlena Wyman’s art practice is informed by history, and her rural Alberta upbringing provides her with a deep connection to land.
We interpret our memories and identities in part through traces of past lives, whether of our ancestors or others. A haunting photograph or a handwritten passage in the diary or a letter of a long dead stranger can create a profound personal connection.
I am not usually one to share ‘inspirational’ talks or pithy quotes. To be honest, most of that kind of thing leaves me flat – sorry if that seems cynical or jaded, but there’s a tendency toward the superficial ‘instafix’ in this culture that is served by this material.
However – I have also been thinking a great deal about the power of art & creativity to open doors to new ways of thinking and being. Especially pertinent to my mind, given the propensity toward tribalism and divisive language and action in the world today.
And then I came across this:
This little talk by Graham Shaw is all about breaking down patterns of thinking – about understanding better the limitations we impose upon ourselves (and others).
It is gentle and fun – and if you are in the tl;dr world – skip to the end if you must – but I do recommend the 15 minutes it takes to view the whole thing.
Amazing how fast the month has gone by – I’ve been too buried in the never-ending-cold-that-should-be-spring here to actually grasp that time is really passing quite quickly, and we are over 1/4 of the way through the year.
It has been a great experience re-working this project for static exhibition – being able to look at it again with fresh eyes, dig back into the ideas simmering inside it – and see what potential there was in the conversations between media.
My sincere thanks to Mile Zero Dance for the opportunity to show this work!! And my thanks to everyone involved in the RUCKUS dance project for allowing me to develop this project further, and to use the footage from rehearsals and performance in the video work!
SO: if you want to check out Chaotic Bodies before it disappears into storage again, you have until SUNDAY April 8th. I am striking the show on Monday!
If you have the opportunity, see the work both in the daytime and at night: I have a video work rear-projected in the window that is best seen after dark, and the installation and drawings are available for viewing during opening hours daytime at Mile Zero, and of course in advance of evening events.
If you get over there – drop me a line and let me know your thoughts! I’d like to hear from you.
Chaotic Bodies isa series of works derived from photographic and video documentation of RUCKUS, a work-in-progress choreographed by Anastasia Maywood, Krista Posnyiuk, and Alison Kause. My goal with Chaotic Bodies is to explore the visual echoes of my engagement with the dancers and the choreography, with their bodies in space, and their responses through movement to the sculptural work I created.
I would like to extend my deep thanks to Anastasia Maywood, Krista Posnyiuk, Alison Kause, Ainsley Hillyard, Kate Stashko, & Alida Kendell for welcoming me into their work on RUCKUS (past & future), and for their generous an insightful feedback as I worked with them to make the ideas specific to their creative process tangible. I am grateful also for their permission to use footage and stills from rehearsals and performances in the presentation of this project at Mile Zero Dance.
I am looking toward the Opening of Chaotic Bodies this Thursday at Mile Zero Dance – and not surprisingly, I am thinking a great deal about relationship, space, and how our bodies convey information.
What we communicate with gesture and movement is so vital to our understanding – to meaning-making – but also to the way and amount of space we occupy.
All this to say: one of the things I wanted to consider in the creation of Chaotic Bodies was how bodies communicate ideas of control, balance, containment, connection, release … .
And then I came across the amazing work of artist/metalsmith Jennifer Crupi.
So much food for thought here: the controlled gesture. The canonization of particular movements that render them significant, understood as physical language that conveys information through relationship to other, to space.
I find the language here telling too. The Power Gesture object requires the user to assume a particular position, as do all of these sculptural objects: (con)forming to set positions to send a message.
Pondering further: if we wish to convey information bodily, how do we control or contain that which we wish to remain hidden? What if we can’t? What if our actions in space and in relationship express or reflect what we see around us, rather than what we feel? Or conversely: what if we cannot help but express the uncontrollable within us?
These thoughts & questions, amongst others, have informed the work in Chaotic Bodies. I have no fixed answers – but am enjoying the journey through the questions.