Fluttering Iridescent Ribbon, 2016
mixed media, video projection
Photo: courtesy of the artist
Monica McGarry’s work uses pop culture, kitsch and humour to challenge how people perceive and engage with images in the world around them. Her choice of material recalls a childhood fascination with glossy and shiny objects and materials. As we mature into adulthood, a fascination with eye-catching material remains, though perhaps our desire to interact with them lessens. The artist delves into how this perception changes as we get older and how we can be drawn back into an investigation of our surroundings, beyond appearances. Glitter, often a staple
of children’s art projects, is used as the central medium in McGarry’s large scale painting to invite viewers to take in the shimmering surface more closely, while the text and interrogative titles of both the work and the exhibition wrestle with the seduction of this material, highlighting this uneasy relationship between criticality and the experience of wonder as we age.
McGarry's sculptural installation, Fluttering Iridescent Ribbon, references American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth’s approach to representation in works such as his 1965 One and Three Chairs. Kosuth presented three incarnations of a chair including an actual chair, a photograph of a chair and a text panel with a description of a chair.
McGarry treats the fluttering iridescent ribbon similarly, provoking the viewer to consider how meaning is constructed. McGarry’s installation playfully addresses notions of beauty and seduction and the underlying question: What is art? Together, the works in the exhibition reflect on how we assign meaning to objects and how we relate to images in the context of art making and viewing at a time when we are constantly bombarded by visual information.
Curated by Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 24, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
The Library Project: Interdisciplinarity as the Catalyst of Knowledge, 2016
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Photo: Trasi Jang
Flesh, organs, eyes to the soul, under my skin, silhouette, inner voice, scars – the human body, its physical form, internal experience, external representation and metaphoric existence in the world is intimately familiar to us all. The body is deeply personal and inescapably public. It has been the central subject of a wide range of study within medical, spiritual, philosophical and sociological disciplines.
Embodiment and phenomenological experience can include but are not exclusive to social bodies, political bodies, differently abled bodies and gendered bodies. They encompass inclusive and exclusive spaces, personal and governmental rights, and technological or scientific experimentation. The body has also been the subject of artistic expression since the first recorded mark, often a record of how bodies were perceived and upheld at particular time periods, reflecting economic status, social morals and gender roles. Artists of the last few decades have been interested in exposing the power dynamics implicit through the representation of the body in a multitude of forms.
This exhibition looks at this topic by way of an open and fluid inquiry. Rather than foregrounding representations of the body tied to identity, the exhibition, like its title indicates, is porous and flexible, experiential and visceral. The work of this group of Canadian artists addresses the body in relation to knowledge, intimacy, loss, death, class, race, community, aging, architecture, nature, abstraction, movement and intervention.
It includes Margaret Dragu’s cumulative archive of performances and relational workshops addressing iterative decay, memory loss and personal legacy with a primary focus on the body as a source of knowledge. Zoe Kreye’s installation represents two community-based projects emerging from an invitation to perform the body in relation to sculptural objects and built spaces. Jeremy Shaw offers an experience for one person at a time that takes the viewer into a hypnotic experience of memory and personality. Sarah Anne Johnson’s installation translates her grandmother’s traumatic experience as a hospital patient by way of the artist’s own body and the viewer’s navigation of a clinical space, while Pascal Grandmaison’s ethereal videos provide a mesmerizing doubling of natural and bodily phenomenon. Luanne Martineau's soft sculptures evoke internal and external body parts through ambiguous forms that oscillate between figuration and abstraction. Each of these artists explores the notion of embodiment through an inimitable approach to our common experience of inhabiting a body.
Coinciding performances and workshops with movement practitioners integrate with the exhibition to activate the space and the exhibition’s theme.
Curated by Charo Neville, Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
An accompanying e-publication is available here. A copy to download is available here.
Curator's Tour: Saturday, September 24, 5:30 pm
Kim Clarke Photography
Copyright © 2016, Kamloops Art Gallery. All Rights Reserved.
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