Back in Edmonton now, doing some post-performance and post-Thanksgiving work: the “get yer ducks in a row” for the next work to be done.
Much to be thankful for, as always – being able to make work with talented collaborators, the opportunity to share ideas and approaches here and in person, the tremendous support I receive from my family and friends (without whom none of this would be possible).
So – a brief moment to take stock, and to share a link to the video of the performance shot for Livestream on October 5th.
Click on the IMAGE BELOW to go to the UBC School of Music’s video:
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!!
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 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.
I am preparing to fly West this afternoon, after a busy and very productive several months in various spots in Nova Scotia. A great residency with Scott Smallwood, and new work launched in Parrsboro, at Main & Station. The start of some new and exciting collaborations with Deborah Carruthers and with Susan Tooke. Time to experiment with cyanotype processes, work on video and audio projects. Time to hike, to make photographs, to think, to further the long-term process of healing my body (thank you Acupuncture and Massage Therapy!)
It feels like much more time has passed since I was last on ‘home turf’ – or rather, that the tempo and scale of time as I experience it has shifted in a fundamental way – and now I have to find my way back to something more familiar. Not quite there – and I think that’s a very good thing. VERY.
It was a good place and time to be reminded of the diverse (and often very difficult, painful) histories of any given place. How easy it is not to see that – how easy to get lost in the vast beauty of the place – any place – and look but not see. The beauty is part of those histories; it’s woven into the different scales of time inherent in that locale to be sure. Geologic time. Tidal Time. Seasonal Time. Mythic time. Colonial Time (a very slippery fish, this one). Settlement Time. Expulsion Time. Industrial Time. And on and on … but make no mistake, there’s nothing linear about this.
The ‘present’ as we fashion it in any given moment is its own rabbit hole; a crucial vantage point (and obviously the only one available in a pragmatic sense), but it’s also a very troubled and troubling place from which to assess the relative value of most things and actions and ideas … . The popular narratives that tend to overwhelm all other chatter are still those that yoke the present to doing cartwheels toward the ‘somehow-better-future’. Because, of course ‘things’ will be ‘improved.’ This is the wish, the hope, and the outcome to be willed into being, somehow.
And under it all, the land remains—a page upon which this story is “written, erased, rewritten,” as author Teju Cole put it. Only memory and history can interrupt this cycle of revision we commonly refer to as progress. And those interruptions are vital, absolutely necessary, if we are to navigate some way toward a better way of existence for ourselves (on all levels), and co-existence with all beings.
Remains to be seen how well I am able to carry these glimmers of understanding forward as I return to the familiar places and routines – but the intent (and hope) is there. Patience, process, compassion.
The process of installing (and then striking) and exhibition always feels a little bit like alchemy to me.
It’s the presentation of a series of things transformed: from the raw materials, to the work, to the exhibition itself … and then it all disappears again. Of course it’s not that at all in practical terms.
It’s the work of being an artist, in all the different shapes that takes.
Still, it’s an interesting process to be completely inside, from start to finish …
And soon, all those boxes will be on their way across the country … and I have no idea where they will wind up after that!