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BREAKING UP

An essay on the work of Fiona Ackerman by Sunshine Frère

Fiona Ackerman breaks up with art on a regular basis. Like all artists, she is an active interlocutor, one who sorts through the noise of multiple break-ups, filtering and fine tuning until a signal is found and creation begins anew. The eternally entropic and paradoxical network of art is a veritable chaos. A network accustomed to being broken down, destruction being paramount to the impulse of creative potentiality. Working within the framework of constant noise reveals new signals, strategies, codes and systems of understanding.


revealing heterotopia


In my studio paintings, I’m reflecting a real place, a real studio. But at the same time, I’ve broken it down and built it back up into something new. On the canvas, we can see evidence of both the real studio space, and the space of imagination… - Fiona Ackerman, 2014

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A Vocation by the Sea, 2011, Fiona Ackerman, 67.5 X 90 in. oil & spray paint on canvas


Ackerman first exhibited a series of paintings in 2012 that were a departure from her abstract work. Entitled Heterotopia, the paintings were hybrids of abstraction and realism. They were the result of the artist’s experimentation during an initial period of creative block. Breaking things down in her studio, she selected icons and gestures that had recurred frequently in her abstract work, and turned them into simple isolated paper-based studies. This exploration revealed she had been developing a personal lexicon of painterly symbols within her abstract work for quite some time. The de-construction of past work also resulted in a series of interesting and impromptu studio installations. Paper works were hung next to and on top of finished and unfinished paintings that were arbitrarily hanging or leaning on the floor. The flatness of the symbols on paper shifted into the third dimension as the paper curled from the unfixed points and created shadows on the walls. Amidst the chaos of the studio, a fourth dimension emerged. The studio space became a muse, a mirror and a heterotopia.

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Generation, 2011, Fiona Ackerman, 71 X 71 in. oil & spray paint on canvas


Ackerman painted what she saw physically in her studio, but also what she imagined. As the excavation of her own studio continued, she also began exploring other artist’s studios, creating metaphorical and allegorical portraits of others by co-opting elements and objects from their spaces. These new narratives became part of the larger dialogue on the artist and the studio. Little did she know in the spring of 2012 that she was just getting started…


Making these paintings, I was surprised by the seemingly endless ways heterotopic spaces can be played out through their narratives. But as quickly as the paper trail led me to Foucault, Foucault brings me right back into the studio, into every studio, into the heterotopia that is the physical studio. - Fiona Ackerman, 2012


It’s Not You, It’s Me, the 2014 exhibition of work by Fiona Ackerman, is an expanded exploration of philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of Heterotopia. Nearly two years on from this last exhibition, Ackerman is in the thick of processing multiple studio visits, coalescing information and imagery, deconstructing, and recontextualising. The artist has become an ‘art-thropological’ explorer and voyeur, culling aesthetic components from various artworks found in studios and meticulously recording both theoddities and banalities of each of these spaces.

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Decoy1, 2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 14 x 24”, (Studio visit with Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Vancouver)


Ackerman’s approach to research and painting is that of a forager, constantly seeking out the noise of painting and practice. She attempts to review all possibilities simultaneously; her approach is at once expansive and speculative. Reality blends with perceived reality, these elements soon join up with imagination, which results in visual overload, aesthetic cacophony. It is at this point of chaos that she begins to filter out a signal.i The more involved she becomes with exploring other artists’ heterotopias, the more difficult the navigation of signal and noise, which is why she has developed a concise methodology for conducting research.

She begins by visiting studio spaces, sometimes with the artist present, but often without the artist; for her, direct artist contact is not required as an essential element of field research. They are not interviewed, the work is not discussed, she focuses primarily on the physical space. Entering the studio, she completes a survey of the space, taking in the elements that immediately stand out, noting interesting voids that should be explored further. After the first general sweep, she photographs and looks more in depth at particular areas, objects and artworks. The visit produces a large number of photographs, a database that includes all types of elements within the space, the lighting, the uniqueness of some things, the everydayness of others, and so on. Often, all of this documentation is promptly filed away. She does not want to be overly familiar with the studio she has just visited before she begins painting. So the images and experience are put to rest, left to simmer on the subconscious backburner. Each studio excavation must be stored long enough that, when it is retrieved again, it can be explored with fresh eyes and intentions.

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Starry Night, 2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 75 x 60”, (Studio visit with Ron Moppett, Calgary)


I’m not holding a mirror to the studios, but a distorting lens. - Fiona Ackerman 2014


The studio is a site of infinite potentiality; when an artist is working within it, the studio is, most importantly, a space of becoming.ii What happens when the artist is absent, be it from the studio, or from the context of their paintings? Can creative zeitgeist be channelled through space and time? Ackerman supplicates this question through her painting practice. Each heterotopia has its own rhythm, as does each painting found within this series. Ackerman achieves fluid balance between her authentic voice, her imagination, the interpreted voice of the artists whose space she imbibes, and the larger conversation with the ontology of painting itself. She is interested in interpretation as a form of circulation.


Circulation – or eternity —- goes in all directions, but it moves only insofar as it goes from one point to another; spacing is the absolute condition. From place to place, and from moment to moment, without any progression or linear path, bit by bit and case by case, essentially accidental, it is singular and plural in its very principle. It does not have a final fulfillment any more than it has a point of origin. It is the originary plurality of origins, and the creation of the world in each singularity, creation continued in the discontinuity of its discrete occurrences.iii- Jean-Luc Nancy

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Black and White and Red Wine„ 2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 60 x 48”, (Studio visit with Jesica Eaton, Montreal)


This new collection of work envelops the viewer, placing them within a non-world, an in between space that connects a series of dots - some real, some imaginary. The ways to connect these dots are multi-trajectory. In recreating heterotopia over and over again, each painting projects an existence that circulates between the realms of studio, gallery, artist(s) and the mind.


the networked studio, a social space, an originary plurality of origins


Direct contact with the artist is no longer required; the walls of the studio are more expansive than ever. Artists may frequently work alone in the studio, but they are virtually always connected. The paradigm of the studio has changed dramatically. For some artists, it is no longer a physical site, but an ephemeral digital field of data that can be accessed from multiple spaces and sites. Painters are a breed of artist that still require a physical space in which to produce their work; however, research, conversations, technique and skill development, even existential exploration, are available ad infinitum via the world-wide-web. The closure and sovereignty of a physical studio space breaks away to fractured online histories. A different type of studio practice has been in process for over a decade now.

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The Geometric District, 2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 72 x 28”, (Studio visit with Jessica Eaton, Montreal)


Perhaps as a countercurrent to all-consuming social digitality, Ackerman felt the need to experience the physical presence of an artists’ heterotopia. Henri Lefebvre once said, Space is neither a ‘subject’ nor an ‘object’ but rather a social reality – that is to say, a set of relations and forms.. It begins, then with the spatio-temporal rhythms of nature as transformed by social practice. Ackerman has stated that each artist’s studio becomes a unique palette from which she draws upon to create her paintings. She maintains a continuous vested interest in conversing with artists through exploring their studio spaces and testing out the character of their work within her own painting practice.


It’s very good for contemporary artists when you are trying to have a conversation with the world as it is – not as it was – to work with other people. -Lawrence Weinger

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Hanging Air, 2012, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 32 x 84”, oil on wood 4 x 13”, (Studio visit with Ron Moppett, Calgary)


Consider the artist in an unfamiliar studio space. She or he will be simultaneously surrounded by context and lack of context: paint brands, products, exhibition books or cards, old furniture, music collections, photographs and artwork. Some of these things will be familiar, as they exist within society’s collective conscience. Others will be completely foreign. Personal attributes of the artist whose studio is being visited may be projected onto objects, and some items may draw on the very personal history of the visiting artist. To visit a studio is to explore spatio-temporal undulations, not only in the art, but in the objects, space, and the circulative-non-linear time that surrounds it all. To interact with studio space, as Ackerman does, is a form of social practice. Her approach to working with others represents a new model of circulation.


Ackerman breaks chronology and disrupts focus in her paintings by challenging the viewer to consider where the painting actually ends, where the studio begins and what elements are the artist’s flourish or the imagination taking over. Each painting leads viewers on a curious journey down a rabbit hole.iv Stripes migrate off one canvas and onto the floor; the painting within the painting doesn’t end with the first set of stripes, but with the second set within the space. A stream of geometric shapes rests neatly on a shelf. The shadow play between them is satisfying to admire, until one’s eyes adjust and become aware of the strange levitating sphere off to the left of the shelf. An easel appears precariously balanced on what seems like two abstract representations of tires; splashes of red, turquoise, purple and white paint surround the table, their explosive energy appearing to keep the table and its contents upright. These are but a few of the visual scenarios that push and pull the viewer in and out of heterotopia. Then there are a selection of personal gestures found within the work. Ackerman’s trademark line-drawn red apple makes an appearance as does her intriguing and skilful shadow play and her constant challenge to the constraints of a canvas. Work actually jumps canvases in some cases. This results in a compendium of new narratives, and the creation of an ‘other’ space, an ‘originary plurality of origins’: heterotopia.

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The Formal Fugitive, 2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 75 x 60”, (Studio visit with Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Vancouver)


Ackerman titled the exhibition It’s Not You, It’s Me, however, it could be argued that this title may be of more specific relevance to her own perspective on the work. For the rest of us, she creates something that is not of her essence, nor the essence of the artist whose studio she has visited.v A new lens is added to the equation: the viewer. With each viewer comes diffraction, a shifting of perspective of the work, breaking it up in an entirely new way.


Just as no single TV show or pop song is as hot today as the TiVo boxes and iPods that manage their organization, so too with art is the ease of agility of access and navigation through and across data fields, sites and projects that takes precedence over any singular, lone object… It doesn’t stand in defiance of the network forces, but rather proves their further extension by measuring how these forces have subsumed and changed the way we think about objects, have subsumed the very opposition between the single and the multiple, the enclosed and the interpenetrated.vi - Lane Relyea


Ackerman’s work subsumes the enclosed and the interpenetrated. Each iteration of heterotopia on display is not a painting, not a studio, and not a portrait. It is a representation of entropic force on the network of art. Ackerman’s paintings are noise, forcing the viewer to consider chaos and filter through a data-field that includes paintings, studios, galleries, artists, and art history. In the world of being-singular-pluralvii, a painting’s value is not conferred once it is pulled from a studio and placed in a gallery setting, or in a collector’s home, for that matter.viii The only constant in terms of the ‘value’ of a painting is that it’s value is fluid, for context and circumstance are also fluid. Intrinsically aware of this property and Ackerman strives to routinely exploit it.

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The Past Is Prologue,2013, Fiona Ackerman, oil on canvas, 142 x 71”(Studio visit with Ron Moppett, Calgary)


Affectively coseismical, Fiona Ackerman’s work is a rich amalgam of fragmented aesthetics and interconnected ideas. None of her works start as a blank canvas. Each painting already carries with it multiple histories, spaces and contexts. Too many signals combined create noise, yet from noise one can forge a signal. Ackerman is inviting you, the viewer, to break-up, with art. After all, she does it on a regular basis. It’s for the best, honestly, it really is.







FOOTNOTES

i   Ackerman has stated that only a painting can decide what a painting has to be, she builds up multiple layers and narratives on her canvas before pairing things down, playing with foreground and background. This practice and approach parallels philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s observation art and cosmogony:

Art always has to do with cosmogony, but it exposes cosmogony for what it is: necessarily plural, diffracted, discreet, a touch of colour or tone, an agile turn of phrase, or folded mass, a radiance, a scent, a song or a suspended movement, exactly because it is the birth of a world. (and not the construction of a system.) A world is always as many worlds as it takes to make a world.

Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000, p9. Print.



ii As Deleuze and Guattari explain, the process of “becoming-” is not one of imitation or analogy, it is generative of a new way of being that is a function of influences rather than resemblances. The process is one of removing the element from its original functions and bringing about new ones. http://www.rhizomes.net/issue5/poke/glossary.html


Author Phillip Zarrilli discusses the notion of the studio as a site of becoming in his essay The Metaphysical Studio:

The studio …. a place of hypothesis, and a place of possibility… where something can become nothing. Sound from silence. Light from darkness. Therefore a liminal place, between…. As a temporarily, space-tie along some continuum, but only momentarily, in that moment of performance. A place that can never be definitively mapped because the marks of its mapping disappear as they appear. Therefore, a place of erasure, risk, loss, and always, as anyone who steps on the stage knows, potential failure….

The studio… a site to explore and develop the ability to modulate between union and separation… the drawing near to or keeping a distance from. A provisional place where there can be no absolutes. A place of propositions, not givens; a place to practise dialectics, not ends or goals; a premise, not a decision; a possibility, not a fact. ….

Zarrilli, Phillip. “The Metaphysical Studio.” The Studio: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Jens Hoffmann. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2012, pp104-105. Print.


iii Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000, p5. Print.


ivAn original reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and chasing the unknown, or visiting an altered reality. This statement is also a reference to the notion of a digital Rabbit Hole, a seemingly endless process of clicking through to other pages and sites when surfing the web.


v …Massimiliano Gioni refers to the last few years of art-making as inaugurating a ‘headless century’ – another metaphor for today’s sense of increasingly decentralized activity in the wake of ebbing dominant structure.

Relyea, Lane. “Studio Unbound.” The Studio: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Jens Hoffmann. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2012, p221. Print.


vi Relyea, Lane. “Studio Unbound.” The Studio: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Jens Hoffmann. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2012, p221. Print.


vii Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000, p28. Print.


viii Ackerman’s work proves that the following observation by Brian O’Doherty is a fallacy: 'artworks in the studio have an alertness, no matter how casually thrown around, that they don't take with them when they leave. In the studio, partly as a consequence of this, they are aesthetically unstable. … They have not yet determined their own value.' Ackerman’s work remains unstable and alert, as it is heterotopias.

O-Doherty, Brian. “The Metaphysical Studio.” The Studio: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Jens Hoffmann. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2012, p37. Print.

STACK OVERFLOW - An essay on the work of Bradley Harms by Sunshine Frère

There is no single entry point into a Bradley Harms painting.One doesn’t enter the the work, they are overtaken by it. Like a brilliant sun-flare or punch to the face.

Ocular intensity builds and intertwines with shaken reflexes in an attempt to understand what happened, and exactly what one is looking at. Attempts at a focused gaze are instantly dethroned by the twitch of perpetual movement. Eyes feel compelled to scan the entire oeuvre, flittering between foreground, background, colour, line, shapes, and grids. Subtle hints of imperfection lie underneath immaculate technique. Each compositional element relentlessly competes for attention, making it difficult for the viewer to compute the work.

Similar to html or computer programming these paintings generate an error signal causing stack overflow in the brain.i The neural-network receives an overabundance of information via the eyes. Attempts to comprehend the stimulus create more questions as opposed to answers. Harms’ painting generates an analog overload of the minds eye. The firing synapses of the brain closely resemble a mercury spill; dense quicksilver flows, converges, separates and spreads - all at once. Indeterminacy supersedes resolution.

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There is no single entry point into a Bradley Harms painting. The work is part of a larger ever-evolving painting program, a complex canon that spans centuries. Writing ‘Harms’ coding into this expansive program begins with an observation by Joseph Kosuth:

In art the how and why collapse into each other as the same sphere of production: the realm of meaning. - It is possible for the conceptual and the aesthetic to converse – it is actually impossible for them not to. They are part of the same system - One test simply awaits the next test, since a test cannot attempt to be a masterpiece that depicts the integrity of its agenda. It is such work, like any work, located within a community, that gives it meaning as it limits that meaning.ii

Painting conversations and concepts are not exclusive but interconnected through time.iii The closed dogmatic underpinnings of painting have been replaced with open strategy. One that focuses on the praxis as a series of tests, or recurring loops of code. Harms shares a similar perspective within his painting practice, comparing the completion of a work to finishing a leg in a a race. With the end of each painting, new paths emerge. Time and time again, the distance to the finish line is pushed further back. His determination stays strong, focusing on the task at hand, completing the current painting. Each work opens up a new set of variables, which, inevitably leads to more testing.

Within some of these new painted trajectories, the lineage of Harms’ work can easily be traced beyond his lifetime and into older conversations and movements. In Imperfect Grid and 9 Exes, literal derivatives of earlier movements, such as de Stijl, Suprematism, and Conceptual Art, can be identified just as easily as references to contemporary and futuristic cross-cultural developments. Kim Cascone’s writing on the Aesthetics of Failure, Chuck Close’s pixel paintings and David Batchelor’s ruminations on the use of the grid within minimalismare but a few of the themes that are integrated into these works.iv Thus a dialogue on the grid, and the many artists who test it, continues.v

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9 Exes, 2014 acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36”

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Imperfect Grid, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 77”

Harms’ work also filters through to the inner mind. The composition and colour palette of AbSpout, The Reaper and The Seeker have elements to them that access a collective unconscious. In Abspout the geometric blocking of stripes outlined by red becomes somewhat figurative, limb-like. This work is particularly exploitative of its imperfect painting application. One can sense the hand of the artist in the build-up and lines that overlap. The recurring geometric shapes, lines and colours also reveal a dialogue with painters of previous generations; traces of Phillip Guston, Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia and even Roy Lichtenstein undulate through the works. These new paintings interject their own lines of code into the generative contemporary painting program.

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Les Femmes d’Alger (after Delacroix), 1955

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Abspout, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30” Picasso, oil on canvas, 45 x 57”

Moving from the larger painting program into its sub-program coding (Harms’ practice), several recurring sequences can be identified. The rich build up of coloured lines found within Harms’ Ragged Edge series informed an even more maximalist variation of the series - Hovering Mass Sets, as well as a group of more minimalist inspired paintings - Simple Line Sets. His larger Table Top and Scrambler series led to the production of smaller cynosural works such as Collapsing Chevrons, Grid Star and Tape Angle. The purposeful and noticeable differences in the pressure of the black lines in AbSprout, The Reaper and The Seeker were first explored in Harms’ vivid Purros series. Within this sub-program, micro-sub-programming can be identified; each black line, each texture build-up, each coloured shape represents a line of code which Harms is constantly re-writing.

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Hovering Mass Multi Series (RYB, RGY, BRG), 2014, acrylic on canvas, each painting: 30 x 20”

One should be warned however, not to enter into this work linearly, but recursively. Often in Harms’ painting, it is impossible to gauge which work grew out of another. The Ragged Edge sets theoretically originate as Simple Line Sets, yet chronologically, the Simple Line Sets weren’t brought into official existence until much later in the artists’ process. Harms’ painting projects outwards as much as it folds inwards. The coding is infinitely looped, test after test, painting after painting, it remains in flux.

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Simple Line Sets (LBYDB, BR, GBR), 2014, acrylic on canvas, each painting: 30 x 20”

There is no single entry point into a Bradley Harms painting. The work is ceaselessly propositional. By frequently working in sets, each painting in each series presents its own inquisitive and isolated experimental gesture. Each gesture is then presented mutated and repeated as the build up of the series continues, each series further mutates into new series, where the isolated gesture is again studied, experimented with, applied and repeated. This application of repetition and difference in Harms’ series work evokes perplexity in the viewer. Which painting draws them in the most or least, this one or that one, these colours or those, these lines or those patterns. Harms presents perplexity as a set of questions that always lead to more questions; a modus operandi employed by contemporary artists and curators alike.vi

Initial observations of Harms’ work results in instant sentient appreciation of perfection. There is a digital purity to this work, a projection of flawlessness. The application of colour blocks and clean lines as witnessed in his Purros Set is so incredibly smooth and consistent that it feels as though it may have been silkscreened, printed or airbrushed. The thick black evenly applied gridlines below each colour block provides a grounded base and projects a sensation of compositional harmony. Perfection. The work has pulled the viewer in on this premise.

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Purros Series (Red, Teal, Magenta), 2014, acrylic on canvas, each painting: 20 x 16”

Upon closer inspection the light catches the fine bristle brush traces within the colour blocks, micro-gestures of the artist are revealed. Up close, the thick black lines are much more discrete than uniform. Flecks of blue, yellow, turquoise and red permeate these dark lines with varied consistency. The weight of the blackness within each line fluctuates, as does the intensity of each line in conjunction with its neighbour. These elements highlight subtle differences in repetition further accentuating the mark maker. Stealthily camouflaged within this simulacra of seemingly mechanized perfection is the trace of the imperfect human. Paradoxes within the painting program are revealed as the work provokes ideas and questions in the viewer. Is perfection possible? Is beauty reproducible? Should perfection be sought after in painting?

The sublime is not simple gratification but the gratification of effort. It is impossible to represent the absolute, which is gratifying; but one knows that one has to, that the faculty of feeling or imagining is called upon to make the perceptible represent the ineffable – and even if this fails, and even if that causes suffering, a pure gratification will emerge from the tension. - Jean-Francois Lyotard vii

Like the parallel investment in auratic art, and despite Walter Benjamin’s prognostications, the lost ideal of beauty would seem to shimmer more brightly in the astral glow of cyberspace, digital imaging and virtual reality. - Abigail Solmon-Godeauviii

There is no single entry point into a Bradley Harms painting. The work embraces the analog by exploring digital aesthetics: glitches, codes and errors.  Harms’ painting practice originated in the digital domain. With a background in printmaking, vinyl plotting, printing and graphic design, he is no stranger to this style of aesthetics. For Harms, work produced using predominantly digital means, somehow lacked humanity, it was cold. He transitioned into exploring these digital tropes within the realm of painting; a worthwhile experiment that enabled a dynamic addition of depth and dimension to his work. Painting, the missing link and the warm-blooded medium that gives flow to these digital surface explorations; painting, an analog nexus of resistance.

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Dual Event Multi Mono, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30”

Concepts such as ‘detritus’, ‘by-product’, and ‘background’ (or ‘horizon’) are important to consider when examining how the current post-digital movement started. When visual arts first shifted their focus from foreground to background, it helped to expand their perceptual boundaries, enabling them to capture the background’s enigmatic character. The basic composition of ‘background’ is comprised of data we filter out to focus on our immediate surroundings. The data hidden in our perceptual ‘blind spot’ contains worlds waiting to be explored, if we choose to shift our focus there. - Kim Casconeix

The more printing and digital techniques that have been acquired, the more Harms has been drawn to errors and glitches; exploring the anomaly hidden within perceived perfection. Textiles and printmaking effects that shift foreground and background space, such as interference and moiré patterns, are repeatedly experimented with in his painting, as Event Horizon Sets and Interference Wavelength works attest to. These paintings contain a high amount of intensity and tension between foreground and background.

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Interference Wavelength, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60”

In appropriating the techniques and glitches of the digital Harms has written a new looping sequence within the painting program. This work is about build-up, background layering and interference. But more importantly it is about recoding perfection and error.x Harms’ painting exploits digital-ness, and perceived faultlessness in order to reveal human-ness and fallibility.

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Dual Event Purple Teal, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30”

There is no single entry point into a painting made by Bradley Harms. The work transitive and embodied.xi These two elements are at their most visceral within Harms’ Scrambler and Tabletop series. Both of these sets are large scale paintings that embody both the physical gesture of the artist as well as an all encompassing view of the thought processes behind many types of coding that Harms experiments with in all of his painting.

Harms’ Scrambler Sets act as encyclopedic doodle membranes, ready-made sections of code. Elements from these membranes are readily parsed recompiled and grafted into new paintings. These works acts as a means for exploration of ideas, they are test sites for uncoded paintings. The build up from these test sites often comes into its own. The work is then pushed further by Harms until it matures from sketchbook of ideas to a tableaux of expression. Within the folds of their constant referencing and experimentation, the works become active because they represent actions and reactions, they are transitive.

…. Transitive painting… invents forms and structures whose purpose is to demonstrate that once an object enters a network, it can never be fully stilled, but only subjected to different material states and speeds of circulation ranging from geologically slow (cold storage) to the infinitely fast. …Transivity is a form of translation: when it enters into networks, the body of painting is submitted to infinite dislocations, fragmentations, and degradations.xii

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Pinstripe Scrambler, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30”

Pinstripe Scrambler conjures a playful yet controlled tone. Hidden amidst the solo geometric colour blocks are more rare speckled gems of moodiness, shadow, and reflection. Shapes that are not really shapes, these act more as windows of organic sensibility. Ambient light and waves are expressed in some areas whilst sunsets and algae are suggested in others. Proto Scrambler exemplifies some of Harms’ most painterly gestures. Smears, splotches and partially mixed colour form a gooey background that resembles a build up of bubble gum on a wall. These forms soon become part of a digital matrix of line mark making. Squiggles, intersecting and parallel lines run amok, almost entirely netting in the gestural organic colour forms underneath. Brushstrokes that resemble fingerprints dance overtop of these sharp lines, carving out their own space along side the occasional hard-edge geometric form that has crystalised on top.

The push and pull of the Scambler Sets is highly affective, especially, as they are often executed on a human scale. These works epitomize the sub-program the artist is perpetually re-coding, breaking down binaries by integration and repetition. Coalescing the digital and analog, reconnecting the mechanized with the crafted, disguising the trace of the artist within the anonymity of sublime perfection.

The painting practice of Bradley Harms is a praxis of embodiment. A transitive research project dedicated to a mantra of maximalism. Viewers are constantly challenged to explore the multiple sub-programs presented within each painting and within each series ad infinitum.

Indeterminacy supersedes resolution, there is no single entry point into a painting made by Bradley Harms. His work is coded by embedding and revealing glitches in the aura of the digital and the hand of the human. His preferred method of interrupt: Stack Overflow - a request that leaves himself and the viewer continually searching; a request that is impossible to be satisfied.

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Proto Scrambler, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60”

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FOOTNOTES:

i A parallel between Harms’ maximalist approach in painting can be drawn to an error in online html programming entitled:

ERROR 400 – The request had bad syntax or was impossible to be satisfied.  - This error results in a stack overflow.

In software, a stack overflow occurs when the stack pointer exceeds the stack bound. The call stack may consist of a limited amount of address space, often determined at the start of the program. The size of the call stack depends on many factors, including the programming language, machine architecture, multi-threading, and amount of available memory. When a program attempts to use more space than is available on the call stack (that is, when it attempts to access memory beyond the call stack’s bounds, which is essentially a buffer overflow), the stack is said to overflow, typically resulting in a program crash.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_overflow

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ii Kosuth, Joseph. “Exemplar: Felix Gonzales-Torres.” 1994 FAILURE: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Lisa Le Feuvre. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2010, 91. Print

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iii In Painting Beside Itself, David Joselit reveals:

None of these problems [in painting] exists in isolation or ever disappears; instead, there are shifts in emphasis in which earlier questions are reformulated through newer ones.

Joselit, David. “Painting Beside Itself.” 2009 PAINTING: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Terry R. Myers. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2011, 218-219. Print

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iv The parts-to-whole relationship in this brick-and-grid system are more simple and more extendible than any other compositional form. The grid preserves the whole ness and morphological consistency of the basic unit. Work which has been ‘formed by clear decision rather than groping craft’ has ‘the feel and look of openness, extendibility, accessibility, publicness, repeatability, equanimity, directness (and) immediacy.

Batchelor, David. MINIMALISM: Movements in Modernt Art. Tate Publishing, 1988, 39. Print

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v  A selection of artists tho work with the grid in their practice: Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, John Cage, Damian Hirst, Ryoki Ikeda, Eadward Muybridge, Sol LeWitt, Carsten Holler and Carsten Nicolai.

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vi Hans-Ulrich Obrist: I’m still wondering how you can manage to find a form or forms, for doubt and at the same time escape any formalization of the idea. It is a paradox.

Carsten Holler: I present perplexity as a question so that it won’t become formalized as a project: perplexity thus engenders further perplexity. I’d like to give expression to perplexity but it doesn’t need to lead to anything.

Obrist, Hans-Ulrich & Carsten Holler. “The new Perplexity: in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist” THE STUDIO: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Jens Hoffmann. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2012, 145. Print

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vii Lyotard, Jean-Francois. “Presenting the Unpresentable: The Sublime” 1982 THE SUBLIME: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Simon Morley. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2010, 135. Print

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viii Solomon-Godeau, Abigail. “The Rightness of Wrong” FAILURE: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Lisa Le Feuvre. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2010, 35. Print

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ix Cascone, Kim. “The Aesthetics of Failure” Computer Music Journal 24:4 Winter 2002 (MIT Press,)  http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors3/casconetext.html

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x Three perspectives on the significance of errors by Kim Cascone, Siegfried Zielinski & Paul Watziawick:

While technological failure is often controlled and suppressed – its effects buried beneath the threshold of perception… Indeed, ‘failure’ has become a prominent aesthetic in many of the arts in the late 20th century, reminding us that our control of technology is an illusion, and revealing digital tools to be only as perfect, precise, and efficient as the humans who build them. - Kim Cascone

…all communication has its roots in the experience of blockages, breaks, separations, and deficits”. Thus, our madly focused development with modern technology is to articulate and connect what has been wounded and it is here that technology accentuates our vulnerable self. - Siegfried Zielinski

… the ‘real’ world only manifests itself when our constructions fail. But as we can always only describe and explain the failure in those terms, which we have used to build the failed structures, a picture of the world, which we could make responsible for the failure, could never be conveyed to us. – Paul Watzlawick

Cascone, Kim. “The Aesthetics of Failure” Computer Music Journal 24:4 Winter 2002 (MIT Press,)  http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors3/casconetext.html

Zielinski, Siegfried. [… After the Media] News from the Slow-Fading Twentieth Century. Univocal Publishing, 2013, Print.

Watziawick, Paul. “On the Nonsense of Sense and The Sense of Nonsence” 1995, FAILURE: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Lisa Le Feuvre. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2010, 84. Print

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xi Harms’ work is embodied by way of the artist physically applying paint to canvas, but also by way of the viewer’s experience, as outlined in the two excerpts below:

If there is power intrinsic to painting, power it exerts in its own territory and in its own name, it resides in the capacity of its practice to exceed the fixities of representation. Since it is only by working, by transforming the signing material provided by the painting that the process of recognition unfolds, recognition is always in movement, is always an active rotation of the annulus of signs; viewing is mobility both of the eye and of discourse, in the disseminations of the glance. Since it is only through labour that the signs of painting appear on canvas, painting is itself a locus of mobility in the field of signification, a process which may be presented, by the conventions of the tradition, under the guise of static form, but which in the first place is a work on and through material signs, a practice at once entering interaction with the other domains of practice in the social formation. - Norman Bryson

...to quote Rosalind Krauss. Minimalist works alert the viewer – through their shape, surfaces and positioning – to the contingencies of site, and the variability of perspective, the begin to imply a different kind of viewer. At least, in relation to a theory which understands the perception of art as instantaneous and disembodied, this work implies a different kind of viewer: one who is embodied and whose experience exists through time and in real space.

Bryson, Norman. “The Invisible Body” 1983 PAINTING: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Terry R. Myers. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2011, 40-41. Print

Batchelor, David. MINIMALISM: Movements in Modernt Art. Tate Publishing, 1988, 25. Print.

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xii Joselit, David. “Painting Beside Itself.” 2009 PAINTING: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Terry R. Myers. London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2011, 222. Print.

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H Y {P E R R E A L} F I D E L I T Y I N T H E G A R D E N O F E D E N

An Essay on the work of Ann Goldberg by Sunshine Frère



I - HYPERREALITY

  1. Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.i

  2. Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as “real” in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience. ii

  3. Hyperreality is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies.iii



Within society’s hyper-mediated world, each individual contributes to the ever expanding superfluity of online content by creating their own collection of personal realities: Linked-in professional profiles, Facebook friending, twitter rants and musings, personal websites, about.me splash pages, instagram selfie shots… the list goes on and on and on. Each of these persona extensions are controlled and navigated by the end user as a means to reflect one’s own reality, or more accurately, a simulated or curated version of one’s own reality. Identities become further fractalized as they interconnect with other simulated online individuals and narratives.

When digital identity debris extends infinitely into the cyber-cumulous googlesque commons of the world-wide-web and everyone must remain connected at all times, where does one’s own reality begin or end? A question, perhaps, for the omniscient and immortal phoenix of hyperreality.



II - EDEN

Eden is a multifariously historiographical narrative; its tendrils extend across the globe, into past centuries, throughout the present day and outwards to the future. It is a prevalent parable belonging to innumerable collective memory banks. Symbolically, Eden instantly conjures a plethora of imagery in the mind’s eye: utopia, nature, a garden, a man, a women, an apple, a serpent, god, the tree of knowledge… Conceptually, Eden immediately evokes constructs of desire, curiosity, loss of innocence, good, evil, banishment and love. It is this complex narrative that Ann Goldberg has chosen as both title and topical muse for her newest body of work.

Goldberg draws from a range of sources to create fascinating hyperreal imagery. Her work is developed and visualised through the lens of personal experience, collective memory and collaborative, commission-based process. During her research and painting of Eden, the artist contemplated in depth all that Eden symbolises. She was particularly drawn to themes found within John Steinbech’s novel East of Eden and Ann Sexton’s poem RATS LIVE ON NO EVIL STAR. Trace elements from these written works can be found reconstituted in her Eden series, painted into Goldberg’s tome of revelations.



Welcome to the garden of simulacrum, welcome to Hyperreal Eden.



III – THE THREE ORDERS

According to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, there are three orders of simulacra: naturalistic, productionist and simulationist, and each order corresponds to a particular historical era.iv In Eden, Ann Goldberg’s hyperreal paintings and her experimental painted photographs represent a body of work that successfully time travels: an Eden that extends across Baudrillard’s three orders simultaneously.



III – ORDER 1: NS (naturalistic simulacra)

But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed — because ‘Thou mayest.’ – Lee, a character from Steinbeck’s, East of Eden novelv

The story of Eden is a quintessential example of naturalistic simulacra. Eden is a non-space. Meaning that it exists conceptually as a narrative, but not a reality.vi This non-space exists in tandem with the naturalistic simulacra within the parable: Eden is a bountiful and heavenly place, a utopia. A parallel double entendre can be drawn when comparing the origins of the word Utopia as a non-place and also a good place.vii There are several utopian works within Goldberg’s Eden series that eschew the naturalistic simulacra order.

Cathedral Grove, the Tulips series,and Cone Flower are stunning renderings of beauty and nature, and as such they are overt naturalistic paintings. Each scene depicted within these pieces could be easily envisaged within the garden of Eden. The scale of the paintings combined with the artists’ effective use of light, colour, shadow, and her impeccable attention to detail, lead the viewer on a journey into their own affective naturalistic memory banks.

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YELLOW TULIPS & PINK TULIPS, 2012, oil on canvas, 36 X 24” & 24 x 36”


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FOREST CATHEDRAL GROVE, BC, 2011, oil on canvas, 48 x 72”


There are two other works that can also be classified under this natural order. These appeal affectively to the viewer, similar to the works previously mentioned. However, thematically and metaphorically, they are even stronger forms of the naturalistic order.

The first piece, Salari Bouquet is a commission-based work. The wedding bouquet traditionally symbolises health, beauty, luck and fertility. The tossing of the bouquet is a gesture that transfers the luck of the bride to the woman who catches it. As the bouquet is given away during the wedding, in contemporary society, many brides symbolically capture their own bouquet via a photograph in order to preserve its memory. In the case of The Salari Bouquet the floral image has been simulated as a painting from a photograph of the original floral arrangement. It is already a twice removed simulation of the real. Goldberg’s interpretation of the bouquet is a further intensified version of the original as it is a precise close up rendering. The viewer is immersed in the bouquet, the intricate details of the flowers span outwards towards all edges of the canvas. This version becomes an intensified and larger-than-life variant of the original. The artist’s selective cropping makes for an incredibly successful hyperreal paintingviii.

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SALARI BOUQUET, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 30”


The final work from the series identified under the naturalistic simulacra order is Howard’s Ride, an painting that features of two cyclists in the rain riding uphill on a mountain side. When asked about this work, Goldberg stated that she felt that it was a work exploring humankind’s ability to overcome and triumph over obstacle. When confronted with hundreds of decisions daily, critical or not, each individual must choose to move in one direction or another. Choice is a concept that flourishes in Steinbech’s East of Eden.ix The author’s oeuvre highlights the struggles with choices each character must make in the living of their respective and intersecting lives. One of the primary characters in the novel uncovers an interesting observation when he researches the biblical story of Cain and Able. In particular, he focuses on the phrase thou shalt within the book of Genesis, and he discovers that across different versions of the bible the interpretation of this phrase varies greatly based on who is translating, and how it is translated. One translation suggests that thou shalt means you can, another suggests that it means you will, whilst the third, a direct translation from hebrew (timshel - thou mayest) means you may.The struggle of the two cyclists as they battle with the incline of the mountain is evident in their focussed eyes and determined stances, the viewer senses that it is only a matter of time before they are at the top looking back at their progress. Triumph and failure, two naturalistic phenomena also grown in the garden of Eden. The enlightenment of mankind, or the fall of mankind, it depends on who interprets the meaning behind Eve and Adam’s bite into the infamous apple.

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HOWARD’S RIDE, 2012, oil on canvas, 36 x 60”


Only later did Adam and Eve go galloping,

galloping into the apple.

They made the noise of the moon-chew

and let the juice fall down like tears…

-Anne Sexton (from RATS LIVE ON NO EVIL STAR)



III – ORDER 2:  PS(productionist simulacra)

Overproduction is no longer seen as a problem but a cultural ecosystem. - Nicholas Bourriaudx

Hailing from times of modernity and industrial revolution, productionist simulacra is ubiquitous at its very core, an all consuming and veritable tour de force. Baudrillard identifies the concept of desire as a key utopia tied directly to productionist simulacrum. Desire is also exploited amongst the following series of Goldberg’s Eden paintings.

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CANDY APPLES (II), 2013, oil on canvas, 24 x 36”


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LIQUORICE, 2010, oil on canvas, 24 x 36”


Candy Apples (II) and Liquorice are two works that literally explore the sweeter side of desire. It could be noted that given the core symbolism of this painting, Candy Apples is strongly aligned with the naturalistic order through the story of Eden. But the fact that the work is a sequel propels it further afield. The work was produced as a sequel due to the original’s high desirability, proof of the work existing as a productionist order. It is back by coveted and popular demand, ready to entice its own set of viewers and admirers. Both Candy Apples (II) and Liquorice are Pavlovian in nature; the shiny reflective and glossy surfaces speak directly to one’s magpie sensibilities, whilst these familiar sweets from our collective childhood memories pull on nostalgic heartstrings, not to mention one’s sweet tooth. The sharp focus on the apples and the liquorice maneuver these paintings into a hyperreal realm, one where the objects seem to vibrate or hover on top of the canvas with a most animated and delectable intensity.

Goldberg’s paintings, Fast Food and Shoes are direct exploitations of contemporary desire; sex, lust, perfection, prestige, luxury, power, beauty, lifestyle, commodotization and perception are just some of the manifold themes housed within these works. Again the viewer is drawn into the imagery via the artist’s felicitous use of reflection, sharp focus and object isolation. Shoes is a more subtle play on the aforementioned themes. This particular composition skillfully directs the viewer onto multiple abstract narrative tangents.

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SHOES, 2012, oil on canvas, 36 x 48”


Fast Food, a much more confrontational work, stops the viewer in their tracks. The naked figure, awkwardly positioned on a giant sheet of foil resembles a piece of meat. Rather than grilling in the oven she is baking in the sun, working hard to procure a desirable skin tone. Goldberg has neglected to complete the painting past the edge of the foil on either side. Rather than painting what the foil was resting on she places it directly on top of the gessoed canvas. It seems as though, if one could catch the lip of the painted oil on either edge, the foil and its contents could be scrunched up and thrown away once the piece has been consumed, or past its sell-by date.

Fast Food candidly comments on the commoditization of the female form, and the myriad of issues surrounding identity, desire and objectification. It also references the canon of art history and the millions of nude paintings that preceded its existence. The work exudes a strong pop-art sensibility. Goldberg has created an aesthetic convergence of several artist counterparts within the work; there is something curiously and simultaneously Koonsian, Warholian, and even Rosenquistian about it.

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FAST FOOD, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 60”


As a female painting a female nude, the dynamics of this relationship in reference to the male painter, ‘the gaze’ and its expansive history is an entirely overwhelming kettle of fish that would result in its own dedicated essay. It has been highlighted in brevity here to bring back into focus how this work fits within the realm of productionist simulacra, the work exists within its own context, but it is also as a cog in the canon of art history, and a cog within the all-consuming desiring machine.

In an era of image over stimulation, trending, and internet memes, Fast Food is an active ingredient of the productionist revolution. It also parlays into the third and final simulacra order, for with its loaded subject matter, and bountiful referencing, it becomes part of the robust proliferation parade of images.



III – ORDER 3:  SS (simulationist simulacra)

The simulacrum is never what hides the truth – it is the truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true. -Ecclesiatesxi

Maximum operationality, hyperreality and total control: this is the third order of Baudrillard’s simulacra. Think Facebook, think the World Wide Web, think Sci-Fi. Fast Food is also considered part of this third order as it an integrates into Baudrillard’s conception of Ecstasy and Inertia,xii but it is not the only work in Goldberg’s Eden that is simulation based. Kris & Mack, Knox Road, and Mt. Robson are also forms of the third order.

Also a wedding commission painting, Goldberg’s Kris & Mack was rendered to serve as a memento of the union of two people in love. The original photograph from which Ann based the painting on was taken on the day of their marriage. The subjects of the work are pictured, not facing outwards, but facing nature, together, holding hands and walking away from the viewers gaze. They are walking towards their own garden, into their own Eden, and the sun is gloriously shining on their shoulders. Descriptively, there are obvious comparisons that tie this work to the story of Eden and to the first oder of simulacra. However, this work does something different, it also becomes an exploration of what Eden symbolises within the simulacra of contemporary society. As opposed to purely referencing biblical times, Kris and Mack engages in a conversation with third order simulacra.

The young couple, Kris and Mack, are not bride and groom, they are husband and husband. Times change. As time changes, so too do the individuals who live within each era. Eden, with all its symbolism and signals, exists as natural simulacra, now, as it did in earlier times. However, today, it also exists across society as a multitude of new third order simulacra. In the simulation order there is no singular vantage point, only multiple variations, for everything overlaps and interconnects. Gone are the days of a single version of Eden. This work naturalistically acts as a memento and tribute of the union of two people in love, but it also acts as a seized opportunity by the artist to celebrate and simulate another contemporary variation of Eden.

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KRIS & MAC, 2012, oil on canvas, 36 x 48”


It is within the third order that multiple realities play out, they fold into each other, and expand out again. One can rest in naivety forever, trapped in the ideals of a naturalistic space, or one can take a step towards understanding the plural significance of the non-space and how it is revealed across multiple realities.

A simulation of a simulation of a simulation of a simulation, Mt. Robson is a painting painted from a photograph. The photograph acting as a reflection of what is in front of the camera, but then within the image, there is also a mirrored reflection of what is behind the camera. A further reflection can be seen within the reflected mirror, the windows and reflective door surface demonstrate additional viewpoints. The lines on the left hand side of the mirror allow for the closed window to provide yet another pane/plane through which to observe that which is unfolding, and has unfolded. That Goldberg chose to include the rearview mirror text suggesting that objects may be closer than they appear, only serves to enhance the simulated simulation metaphorically. The painting subject matter, the vast backdrop of the mountains and the vanishing point perspective of the road, playfully explore notions of macro/micro, nature/man, future/past and momentum/stillness. Mt. Robson is hyperreal; it is utopia lost, utopia found, utopia reflected on, utopia remembered, and utopia simulated.

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MT ROBSON IN SIDE VIEW MIRROR, 2012, oil on canvas, 24 x 36”


Knox Road acts is a painting of third order simulacra for several reasons. This work is both a commission piece and a family portrait. This painting is an amalgam of several photographs. The realities of the photo shoot of the children, that of the blossoming of the cherry trees, and that of the Abby Road-esque crossing, converged only when this conceptual vision was painted into reality: a singular image created through multiple simulations. Knox Road is a painting that beautifully encapsulates three types of Edens. The Eden of the natural order, nature and spring blossoms and sunlight. The Eden of the productionist order, that of the pop-culture reference. The nod to The Beatles’ Album Abbey Road, the band’s music acts as its own euphoric desiring machine, one that is perpetually relived with each Album cover reference, or each re-playing of the iconic discography. Music holds a strong sense of nostalgia for all societies throughout the world, the Beatles abounding worldwide exposure is culturally and historiographically significant, but more importantly, their music is also directly affective on an extremely personal level for many individuals. Knox Road acts as an Eden of the simulation order by suggesting that a regular and everyday action such as crossing the road can become transformed into a magical hyperreal moment of utopia. Simulation complete, run, re-order, repeat.

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KNOX ROAD, 2011, oil on canvas, 54 x 54”



IV – HYPERREALITY & THE MODEL

There is no real and no imaginary except at a certain distance. What happens when this distance, even the one separating the real from the imaginary, begins to disappear and to be absorbed by the model alone?

Currently, from one order of simulacra to the next, we are witnessing the reduction and absorption of this distance, of this separation which permits a space for ideal or critical projection. - Jean Baudrillardxiii

Goldberg’s work is often compared to other photorealist painters like Mary Pratt or Audrey Flack. One can easily see why the parallels are drawn, but Goldberg’s technique, composition and subject matter tell the viewer a somewhat different story, one that more appropriately aligns her imagery with contemporary hyperrealist painters such as Jason De Graef, or Karel Funk.

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AUDREY FLACK, Crayola, 1972-73, 40 x 28”


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MARY PRATT, Reflecting on Fragility, 2012, 16 x 24”


De Graef, when speaking of his work, states that his paintings are about “staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs.”xiv De Graef employs high-resolution digital photography strategy within his work, as many hyperrealist painters often do, but he also exploits, like Goldberg, the specific qualities of paint in order to create a non-space, an interstice between painting and photography.

Karel Funk’s work takes visual cues and references from several traditional painting realms: realism, renaissance and portraiture to name a few. Funk, like De Graef, also borrows from the digital realm, crafting his paintings from projected computer screen imagery. The effects of which, also draw the viewer into a hypnotic non-space space. He purposely makes it difficult to draw out narratives or emotion from the portraits he creates: backgrounds are void of visual cues; and faces do not confront the viewer, eyes are usually closed, or looking away. Funk states “My paintings give you very little. There’s nothing there to connect with except for the formal qualities, the texture of skin, hair or clothing, and the questions you’re left with about ‘Who is that person?” xv Intrigued by the hyperreal realm of public transport, Funk utilises this commuting non-space/in-between space as the impetus for much of his recent work: “I was fascinated by how this boundary of personal space completely disappeared on the subway…You could see details of somebody’s ear or neck that you’d never observe just socializing with friends because there’s this boundary we all keep.”xvi

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KAREL FUNK, Untitled #7, 2004, 14 x 18”


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JASON DE GRAEF, Solstice, 2008, 18 x 36”


Goldberg, De Graef and Funk are three artists who, through their painting, attempt to remove the remaining vestiges delineating the distance between the real and the imaginary; they exploit information for information’s sake, immersing the viewer into a hyperreal non-space.



V – ODYSSEY:  Cultivating a critical practice

If, as Baudrillard states, the space for critical projection has been subsumed by hyperreality, how do we now engage in this current state, and how can an artist continue to contribute a constructive dialogue within the contemporary and historical canon of painting. The solution lies in the simulation. The best approach to deconstructing hyperreality is to endlessly de/reconstruct it.

Goldberg’s exhibition culminates in the exposure of a new series of works that are not paintings from photographs, but photographs that have been painted on, a new simulacrum. These works are, a reverse order, and further abstracted study of Eden. Exploring a new artistic medium, as well as testing new materials and techniques, Goldberg’s final works within this exhibition not only encapsulate the essence of all three of Baudrillard’s orders. They also reference multiple Edens including those of Sexton and Steinbeck. Most importantly, they highlight an ever important humanist theme that flows throughout this work. At the core of any critical contemporary practice, when an artist challenges his or herself to expand their knowledge, grow their technique, and experiment with their method of delivery, they are invoking the potentiality found within the concept of timshel (thou mayest).xvii



Ann Goldberg’s Eden is as a monument to hyperreality, it is a work of science fiction and it is an open-ended invitation to the viewer. Consider and explore Eden as a hyperreality that folds in on itself, and welcome the fact that it is perpetually morphing.


The hyperreal is the real, embrace the simulation.


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EVE IN EDEN 2013, photograph with acrylic polymer ink, 36 X 36”


…Terrestrial space has been virtually completely encoded, mapped, inventoried, saturated; has in some sense been shrunk by globalization; has become a collective marketplace not only for products but also for values, signs, and models, thereby leaving no room any more for the imaginary. …the two phenomena are closely linked, and they are two aspects of the same general evolutionary process: a period of implosion, after centuries of explosion and expansion. When a system reaches its limits, its own saturation point, a reversal begins to takes place. And something happens also to the imagination.

From this point on, something must change…It is no longer possible to manufacture the unreal from the real, to create the imaginary from the data of reality. The process will be rather the reverse: to put in place “decentered” situations, models of simulation, and then to strive to give them the colours of the real, the banal, the lived; to reinvent the real as fiction, precisely because the real has disappeared from our lives.  - Jean Baudrillardxviii







FOOTNOTES:

i Tiffin, John; Nobuyoshi Terashima (2005). “Paradigm for the third millennium”.Hyperreality: 1. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperreality#cite_note-1)

iv Baudrillard’s three orders of simulacra:

(1) natural, naturalistic simulacra: based on image, imitation, and counterfeiting. They are harmonious, optimistic, and aim at the reconstitution, or the ideal institution, of a nature in God’s image.

(2) productive, productionist simulacra: based on energy and force, materialized by the machine and the entire system of production. Their aim is Promethean: world-wide application, continuous expansion, liberation of indeterminate energy (desire is part of the utopias belonging to this order of simulacra).

(3) simulation simulacra: based on information, the model, cybernetic play. Their aim is maximum operationality, hyperreality, total control.

- Simulacra & Science Fiction an essay by Jean Baudrillard:http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/55/baudrillard55art.htm

v Quote from: East of Eden, 1952 - John Steinbeck

vi The imaginary was a pretext of the real in a world dominated by the reality principle. Today, it is the real which has become the pretext of the model in a world governed by the principle of simulation. And, paradoxically, it is the real which has become our true utopia—but a utopia that is no longer a possibility, a utopia we can do no more than dream about, like a lost object.

- Simulacra & Science Fiction an essay by Jean Baudrillard:http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/55/baudrillard55art.htm

It could be propositioned that Eden may have once existed, but in essence and in todays current hyperrealist state, it is the story of Eden that propositionally precedes its own actual existence.

vii  The word utopia was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas Morefor his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional islandsociety in the Atlantic Ocean. The word comes from the Greek οὐ(“not”) and τόπος(“place”) and means “no place”.

The English homophone eutopia, derived from the Greek εὖ(“good” or “well”) and τόπος(“place”), means “good place”. Because of the identical pronunciation of “utopia” and “eutopia”, gives rise to a double meaning.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia (under Etymology)

viii  Hyperrealism incorporates and often capitalizes upon photographic limitations such as depth of field, perspective and range of focus. Anomalies found in digital images, such as fractalization, are also exploited to emphasize their digital origins… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperrealism_%28visual_arts%29

Hyperrealist painting differs from photorealist painting in that it takes cues from digital photography as opposed to analog photography. They ‘hyper-ishness’ of the painting successfully accentuates depth of field and sharp focus, it also frequently probes in high detail onto cropped areas, or focal points as opposed to taking into consideration a larger composition. For example, a hyperrealist painting would explore the reflections and subtle tonal changes of a set of keys, the focal point of the painting may very well be the keys alone. A photorealist painting might situate the keys on a table and place them in a room focussing on an overall ambience or tone. Both works are detail oriented, but hyperrealist work is detail fixated.

ix “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” …Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph.  - passage fromJohn Steinbeck – East of Eden, 1952 

x Deejaying and Contemporary Art – Nicholas Bourriaud. - APPROPRIATION: Documents of Contemporary Art (Whitechapel Press) 2009

xi The precession of Simulacra – Jean Baudrillard, 1981 - APPROPRIATION: Documents of Contemporary Art (Whitechapel Press) 2009

xii  In a discussion of “Ecstasy and Inertia,” Baudrillard discusses how objects and events in contemporary society are continually surpassing themselves, growing and expanding in power. The “ecstasy” of objects is their great proliferation and expansion; ecstasy as going outside of or beyond oneself: the beautiful as more beautiful than beautiful in fashion, the real more real than the real in television, sex more sexual than sex in pornography. Ecstasy is thus the form of obscenity (fully explicit, nothing hidden) and of the hyperreality described by Baudrillard earlier taken to another level, redoubled and intensified. His vision of contemporary society exhibits a careening of growth and excrescence(croissance et excroissance), expanding and excreting ever more goods, services, information, messages or demands — surpassing all rational ends and boundaries in a spiral of uncontrolled growth and replication.

Douglas Kellner on Jean Baudrillard: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/baudrillard/

xiii Simulacra & Science Fiction an essay by Jean Baudrillard:http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/55/baudrillard55art.htm

xv Karel Funk (Wmagazine – artist quote from article written by Diane Solaway http://www.wmagazine.com/artdesign/2010/03/karel_funk?currentPage=2

xvi Karel Funk (Wmagazine – artist quote from article written by Diane Solaway http://www.wmagazine.com/artdesign/2010/03/karel_funk?currentPage=2

xviiSee the concept outlined in endnote ‘ix’

xviii Simulacra & Science Fiction an essay by Jean Baudrillard: http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/55/baudrillard55art.htm

META PAINTING WITH ALLAN SWITZER

An essay on Vancouver-Based Allan Switzer’s exhibition at Winsor Gallery. Written by Sunshine Frere, shared on Artotate.

SEE ME FEEL ME

META PAINTING WITH ALLAN SWITZER


Time moves in one direction, memory in another.-William Gibson

A song is the most intangible thing in the world.- Jimmie Davis


Winsor Gallery (est. 2002)is opening its new space on East 1st Avenue with work by Vancouver-based artist Allan Switzer. From December 7, 2012 – January 12, 2013, visitors will encounter See Me Feel Me, Switzer’s new body of transfixing work. Throughout 2011-2012 the artist honed and developed a style of painting that is personified via constant stochastic visual stimulus and tantric lyrical iterations.

See Me Feel Me represents a body of painting that is exponentially meta. Yet, Switzer hasn’t simply produced paintings about painting(s), he has made an affective body of work that philosophically, and aesthetically explores: what the viewer can ask of a painting about paintings, what the painter can ask the viewer to ask of a painting about paintings, and what the painting itself can ask of the viewer and the painter.  

Desperate Measures, 2012, acrylic on linen, 72 x 96” 

From first glance, Switzer’s painting is overwhelming, the deeper one dives into its hyper-visual fold, the more disorienting the effect. Synchronous bursts of vivid colours and abstraction, give way to layering, grids, and movement. At the same time all of this action is perceived, the paintings also reveal a sense of extreme clarity and isolated perfection.

As eyes randomly wander over the layers of abstraction, the mind seeks to make sense of the colourful shapes. After a moment of observation, these forms become words, and soon thereafter, looped and contrasting song lyrics are deciphered. The symbolism held within these lyrics evokes waves of nostalgia, from there, a didactic curiosity is also triggered. Are the lyrics meant for the viewer, the painting, or the patron who acquires the work? Perhaps these are the tantric realisations of the artist as he exorcises sentiments from his own life and artistic process directly into the painting. In order to truly seeSwitzer’s work one must first look at it meta-contextually, through its topography, colourful composition, lyricism and through time itself.

Similar to the historical canon of painting that carries with it many interwoven layers of technique, process, and skill, the Switzer practically begins working on the surface of his paintings with a perfect build up of base paint creating the best possible underlay. The artist’s materials serve as direct reference to older eras of painting, linen, gesso and rabbit-skin glue is strategically incorporated into into each painting’s base composite, supplies that pay direct homage to the painting process. Even before he begins this complex system of layering colour to surface, the artist has already laboured for hours and hours, developing a taut and vitreous base layer of gesso. He creates a surface that is so smooth and free of imperfection that it could be confused for a white coat of polyurethane.

Switzer working on a painting in his studio.

Next, Switzer tirelessly grids, maps and tapes, paints, un-tapes, and re-tapes his paintings. Each new layer of colour-blocking involves countless re-applications. Switzer’s paintings typically build up four to eight different colours of paint, as well as multitudinous layers of each colour on colour. Within each oeuvre he intuitively creates an undulating abstracted meta-topography. A surface that is only fully revealed once the artist decides that the final coat of paint has been applied, and all excess tape has been removed. As the work is constantly masked, even the artist does not know what image will fully resemble until the final reveal.

The super-perfection of Switer’s painting surface also subsequently reveals chance anomalies found within its multiple layers. These small imperfections create an idiosyncratic style and topography for each painting. The artist has stated that he is married to the sense of production, a thorough investigation of the surface of any of his paintings reveals this intense focus. The impurities of this complex topography demonstrate the varying viscosity of each paint colour, the tools the artist used in application, the artists hand in the work, and even, painting’s past. Even though deemed completed by the artist, topographically Switzer’s paintings do not provide a final resolution to the viewer. The aggregate colour layers chaotically interrupt the smooth undercoated surface. Each surface interrupt demands a lot of its viewers, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of these, on each painting’s surface.

Viewing these works, the eye is not sure where to begin, nor where to finish; the text, embedded within an abstracted colourfield, is a difficult read. Font and colour take on affective qualities, and serve as a challenge to the viewer. A statement further affirmed by the fact that when prompted on the significance of the colour palette for each work, Switzer only reveals that he enjoys experimenting with colour, and that he mixes his own colour. Compositionally, the artist’s use of colour and font contradicts, and compliments. Evidence that perhaps the artist is intends the viewer to read the work on a subconscious and sensorial level.

Ultimately the colour and font of Switzer’s paintings create optical interference: stochastic overload. The abstracted text lines of the painting literally vibrate on the canvas, they seem to flicker, moving back and forth, up and down. The uncanny wave-like movement in Switzer’s work mimics a similar visual affect found within old analogue televisions, that of the screen flickeri. Switzer’s paintings are fascinating because there is no live signal feed that his paintings are distorting, yet, he has created a retroactive media affect within a stand-alone painting. Distortion and feedback, items in any rock-star’s tool-kit, but also in Switzer’s painter bag of tricks.

The bright colour palette of the work also harkens back to an older more psychedelic era in time, the late 60’s and early 70’s. All of the affective font and colour qualities found within this painting series are strategic elements employed by the artist to create ambiguity. Within the development of this strategy the artist inadvertently created a new painting technique: Meta-font colour-blocking. The high contrast colouring in conjunction with the bold font patterning of these paintings successfully obscures and abstracts. The technique pays homage to a myriad of painters before Switzer’s timeii, and also explores new territory in painting.

Once the aura of the ocular has somewhat subsided, viewers of Switzer’s paintings often begin to explore the lyrical component in the work. In true meta-form, Switzer conjures emotional inoculations on our collective memories. Just as the painting’s surface, colours and font visually and affectively prompt the viewer to move in and out of focus, the jumbled yet familiar song lyrics of each work pushes and pulls the viewer through a tense and complex narrative quest for meaning. The blended phrases from multiple familiar rock-ballads turn the canvas into a hybridized super-song. Pregnant with narrative antibodies, mixed and cut in complimentary and contrasting contexts. They provoke nostalgic interpretations that range from sentiments of truth, love, and sincerity, to severity, confusion, craving and loss. Meaning is inter-dependant with where or who one envisions these lyrics are coming from. On one hand, one could venture these lyrics potentially represent a direct message from artist to viewer, on the other, a beyond the brush message from the painting itself.

The lyrics in Switzer’s paintings not only refer back to songs of an older era, one can find resonance within the pop and rock songs of today. The artist is no stranger to symbolism, cyphers and discordant/harmonious counterpoints. It is no coincidence that the narratives unfolding within each work also provide multiple points of entry to references and ideas found the artist’s older worksiii, and also within the history of painting.

The evolution of the blended lyrics and meta-composition in this series is representative of the artist’s constant quest and search for the intangible in his practice. The lyrics Switzer worked with in late 2011 were simple contrasting pairings: Give Peace a Chance, Destroy Your Enemy. They grew into a complex and less tangible abstract expressions, further evolving within each sequential painting. Shifting the lyrical content from more staid concepts into the realm of real-time thought. The works became more representative of a process as opposed to a previous state of being, reflective of living as opposed to moments lived. They grew closer to affect as opposed to being representative of an effect:


BABY THE TRUTH IS OUT SO DON’T DENY IT

TO THINK I BELEIVED ALL YOUR LIES

YOU’LL NEVER BREAK THIS HEART OF STONE

LOVE ME HOLD ME CAUSE I’M FREE

(Text from Switzer’s painting Desperate Measures, 2012)


Similar to the lyrical development of the artists work, Switzer’s meta-font colour-blocking grew into even more complicated abstraction with each new work in the series. The last work for the See Me Feel Me exhibition, The Pleasure of the Everyday (2012), provides the viewer with a climax of the artist’s compositional exploration. In this work he distorts the text by pulling it out of its linear presentation and shifting it into a three-dimensional, spherical space.The increasing complexity of each composition parallels the artists struggle to progressively create work that speaks to its audience, its beholder and its own history.

You Can’t Always, 2012, acrylic on linen, 72 x 96” 

In the context of this new exhibition, in this new space on the eve of what the Mayan’s predicted as the end of an era, these colourful, vibrant and intoxicating works weave memento-mori narratives that extend far across rings of painterly time. Switzer’s See Me Feel Me paintings contribute rich thought and substance towards the ongoing historical dialogue between viewer, the painted and painter. They are meta-paintings, they are an open ended love letter to painting proper.  


POLKA DOTS AND STARS

As part of the artist’s new body of work, Switzer also produced a series of approximately 20 painted drawings titled Polka Dots and Stars. These smaller framed works were created in tandem with his aforementioned painting series. These works are figurative and pictorial, and they, like Switzer’s paintings, are also evocative of nostalgic and hazy 70’s memories.

The Stars in the series are small painted/drawn studies that investigate the capacity of lyrics as celestial beings operating on a different scale of time. Bold black words with hints of colour, these stars visually exist on a level of immediacy, similar to how lyrics from songs are felt and experienced in the present. The repetition within each drawing enables each star to to also transcend its own immediacy, and the context of the tantric lyrical repetition throughout the series set ignites the braided thread of present, past and future. The striking composition, and the cyclical nature of the stars is synchronous with the Polka Dots from the same series.

The Polka Dots are circular drawings that appear to act visually and metaphorically as a porthole into a specific memory and time. These drawings reference abstract moments: what the turkish carpet from a rolling stones concert looked like, or a glimpse of iconic figures from the age of rock. When one sees the series installed together on a wall, the repetition of shapes, themes and lyrics instantly conjure the game of memory. One is compelled to match up particular patterns and pieces. These painting/drawings also become an inherent visual memory card lexicon of the 70’s. The viewer is invited to fade in and out of memories from another place and time. The context of the imagery is suggestive of an era, but several of the images also hold within themselves direct references to personal experiences of Switzer from that time. Within this installation Switzer’s work reflects upon signifiers, the visible versus the intangible, and how the virtual unfolds within the topography of memory, reality and the present.

These works could be seen as a tantricundertaking for the artist. A series where he attempts to dissolve the dichotomy of the spiritual and the mundane through the cataloging of the minutiae within personal and collective memories. The work from the Polka Dots and Stars seriescohesively pulls together fragments and themes on history, time, and the cyclical nature of the cosmos. Exploration of the series effectively compels the viewer to realise the transcendent in the immanent.

THE TWO MIKES

The Two Mikes, 1984/2012, archival pigment print, Image size 42” x 62” Framed,Edition of 3

The final work in Switzer’s See Me Feel Me exhibition, The Two Mikes serves as a photographic talismanthat coheres the collective effort of the works into a sum of the whole that is greater than its parts. Switzer cunningly provided the title as somewhat obscure double entendre. This shot was taken by the artist at a Michael Jackson concert in 1984. It is representative of many of the key elements found within Switzer’s practice and current body of work. It is a piece that captures time, memory, and emotion, one can virtually feel the excitement in the smokey air, and the energy within this monumental amphitheatre.

The Two Mikes also intimately explores another critical component to the See Me Feel Me exhibition, that of invisibility. Apart from the reference in the title, it is quite obscure who is on stage, the artist is invisible. When discussing his forthcoming exhibition, Switzer mentioned how he thought his own artistic practice for a certain recent period of time was also invisible, he was making work alongside his contemporaries but unlike his contemporaries, it was not being seen in context, it was mostly shown in his studio. This past year has been an incredibly productive year for the artist. He was able to devote much of his time to his studio practice, the results of which, led to an expansive survey of work. Switzer embarked on an exhausting quest of painting the intangible, discovering new forms in meta-painting, and realising new ways of seeing and feeling the invisible.

i By using magnets to distort particular elements of the signal of analogue television, Fluxus artist Nam-June Paik experimented with the undulating effect of signal, noise, and television imagery throughout the 70’s.

ii Switzer’s paintings reference many painting styles from the 60’s and 70’s: Op Artists such as Bridget Riley, Mono Chrome Painters such as Yves Klein, Hard-Edge Painters such as Ellsworth Kelly, Colourfield Painters such as Morris Louis, Geometric Abstraction Painters such as Josef Albers, and Pop Art painters such as Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine. With reference to colour-blocking, the work also appears to share a dialogue with the colour-blocking techniques of First Nations Haida painters such as: Robert Davidson or Trace Yeomans.

iiiSwitzer’s previous work with painting and patterning directly influenced this new text based off-shoot. As did his previous cypher painting series. 

DAY 30 - 30 DAYS PROJECT

30 Day Project - One-Liners

I am pleased to say the project is now complete… Stay tuned for Papergirl July and August Musings on the notion of the Giftervention.

A full survey of the One-Liners can be found below, but if you want to see what each one is specifically referencing, simply scroll down and scroll down some more! 

Here is the Breakdown:

  1. Distilled pinpoints of clarity, colour splashed landscapes void of periphery but abundant in sense of place; the paintings of Trevor Kiernander simultaneously provoke and still the senses, creating a complex map of explosive thought patterns which resemble the urban landscape that the artist is so expert at isolating.

  2. And the Beat Goes On, And So it Should…

  3. Cosmically floral last breath of life. 

  4. Reflective, reflexive, still and serene, Avantika Bawa places the with, within and without achieving minimalism in its purest and most subliminal refreshing state. 

  5. Noospheric undulations of thought and process mulled into one, to experience it is to conceive. 

  6. Multifaceted viewing, Locke fuses fragments of sculpture, text, painting, and interactivity with notions of the gaze, resulting in a cohesive collection of locution.

  7. The tripodic and fragmented sculptural oeuvres of Richard Henriquez are as ever elusive a double rainbow; the awe and wonderstruck that ensues from such chance encounters is firmly rooted in a soil rich with elements of curiosity, and nostalgia. 

  8. Concrete investigations on Paint-things; each Malereian entity found at Transition Gallery is involved in its own identity crises and existential investigation: am i a painting or am i something else, in what reality do i exist?

  9. Time to commemorate time. 

  10. Ganani’s work is triumphant in its spectacle and intimacy exploits; the layers and predetermined schematics of interaction superimposed onto the visceral platform of visual video bodies creates an ephemeral layering, one that simultaneously solicits curiosity, frustration, and restlessness. 

  11. FLASH: impulse: I love I Love You. No, really, I really do. 

  12. anonymity,  ingress the cimmerians. they seek compliance

  13. Way too repetitive, way too repetitive.

  14. ICE FIGHT ABSTRACTION? FUCK YEAH!

  15. Glamour’ishly’ dry… It’s like dazzle, without the razzle, and we all need a bit of razzmataz.

  16. Shadow play; Harasymowicz’s Wolf Man exhibition imbrues trace elements of process and memory into tangible analytical form.

  17. Peter offers up controlled compositions of entropic hybridized (in)organic entities; his  imagery punches viewers in the face with tacit colour speculation and corporeal sensory overload.   

  18. Life Lines: an investigation into the ephemeral and ethereal layering of life’s cacophony by grasping at it’s more tangible linearity. 

  19. Domesticated dogs demonstrate devotion to owners, reciprocation required.  Domesticated dogs dive into the wilderness wishing for ways of days long gone.

  20. Porcelain detritus become a map of the past, the map spans each object’s physicality, and historicity, our memory of it as it is, as it was, and most importantly, our interpretation anew. 

  21. Godoy’s powerful and intentional vacuous aesthetic presentation (how very LA of him) leaves the mind serene, allowing for an overflow of thought rejuvenation, and sentient renewal. 

  22. Some Metaphorical and Mental Assembly Required…

  23. Multiple nods to artists of other eras, and works of other eras, Kalberg appears to be attempting to disrupt the time space continuum of art. 

  24. Isolated moments, faded memories, Jodoin pulls memory threads through our hearts, leaving not only long-lasting retinal impressions but also evocative anamnesis.

  25. In order to make a version, aversion of a version of my one-liner review, I deemed it appropriate for appropriated appropriation: irony is about humour and serious play. it is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method …  - Donna Haraway, cyborg manifesto

  26. Abstract wanderings and mystic musings, life and death are intertwined.

  27. Heightening the awareness of our surroundings, our limitations, and our consumptive exploitations Moveable Feast is a positive pollination of mind, body and environment complete with nourishing ideas, challenges to our limited perspectives. 

  28. A space dedicated to contemporary art without the funding restrictions like so many of its calibre, Esker Foundation: New Contemporaries - starts out bold, starts out young, starts out fresh, an excellent survey of recent Albertan graduates. 

  29.   Tracing matter, material, and memory; testing time, translation and terseness.

  30.   A Tricontagonal Critique of 30 Days of Art in June. Multifaceted and complete.

DAY 29 - REVIEW 29 - 30 DAYS PROJECT

Tracing matter, material, and memory; testing time, translation and terseness.

KT KILGOUR - july 6 - 21 - BLIM 

*All Images courtesy of KT Kilgour

Thread Projector
interactive installation where viewers play with threads cut from my loom to create temporary compositions.  Projector is a lenticular overhead that projects materials in 3D.

"Reflection"
Tapestry Weaving, Wool, 30”x30”

Setts 1 & 2
Overshot Weaving with Duct Tape 7 Cotton, 24”x24”

May Contain
Jacquard Weaving, Cotton, 32” x 48”

May Contain
Jacquard Weaving, Cotton, 32” x 48”

Setts 1 & 2
Overshot Weaving with Duct Tape 7 Cotton, 24”x24”

Setts 1 
Overshot Weaving with Duct Tape 7 Cotton, 24”x24”

Untitled
Canvas with 300 rows of Duct Tape, 48”x48”

Chevron, Diamond and Twill brings together woven works by KT Kilgour. Often process and material based, KT has concentrated on creating contemporary weaving that flutters with history and tradition.

KT will install her sound piece, Industrial Weaving for Music on the opening night.

KT Kilgour was born in Aberystwyth, Wales and immigrated to Canada as a young child. Daughter to a weaver and recording engineer, KT grew up amidst the analog processes of craft and music. In 2009, KT graduated from the Textile Arts program at Capilano University where she studied the traditional textile process. Wanting to explore the conceptual processes within craft she continued on to study Visual Arts at Emily Carr University with a focus on textile sculpture. KT graduated this spring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. As a skilled weaver KT engages with textiles as personal expression. Her current practice bridges theories of craft and feminism through labour, process, perception and technology. The extension of the body through the loom has led her to question how other structures function in our environment in relation to the human conditions of control, perception and embodiment.

Call 604 872 8180 or info@blim.ca for more information.

Chevron, diamond, and Twill by Kaytee Kilgour

THEME BY PARTI