Nov 10, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013
Friday November 16, 7 pm – 9 pm
Suzy Lake: Political Poetics
Suzy Lake: Political Poetics is produced and circulated by Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and the University of Toronto Art Centre.
Suzy Lake’s rigorous and challenging approach to art making over the past 40 years marks her as a seminal figure in Canadian visual art. One of the pioneers in body-based work, Lake has developed a significant and coherent practice that examines both politically and aesthetically the experience of gendered embodiment.
Lake’s photo-based and performative explorations of the body, femininity and beauty move beyond straightforward or simplistic critique to offer instead a powerful and nuanced investigation into the experience and expression of female identities in the context of contemporary political, social and media environments. Her work opens up the fraught relationship between image and identity that has become a central concern of late 20th and early 21st century art practice.
Focusing on works from four decades of Suzy Lake’s interdisciplinary practice, Political Poetics highlights Lake’s most recent time-based photographic work and frames it in the context of her career-long exploration of embodiment. Performing for her own camera, Lake has produced a complex body of work that politically and aesthetically engages with her self as both the figure and the contextual ground of vision.
The exhibition explores an underappreciated aspect of Lake’s practice and contends that the formal aesthetic is one of the central positions through which Lake engages with the political. The poetics of Lake’s works, their insistence on necessity of the visual within a conceptual framework, provides a space for understanding her explorations of the body, femininity, and beauty. Her work underscores the importance of the camera as the ground of contemporary visual culture by making its operations a key figure in her work.
Suzy Lake: Political Poetics is produced and circulated by the University of Toronto Art Centre. The exhibition is accompanied by a colour publication with essay by the curators and Dot Tuer.
Curated by Dr. Matthew Brower and Carla Garnet
Nationally- recognized, Peterborough-born, now Whitehorse-based Nicole Bauberger contends that 16th century artist Artemisia Gentileschi’s self-empowerment arose through painting, in the midst of the misogyny of the period. In her 1988 Artemisia Gentileschi’s self-empowerment suite Bauberger undertakes through self portraiture a re-telling of a Renaissance artist’s experience of painting. She does this by creating two self-portraits using herself as the stand-in for Gentileschi.
The paintings are titled: A Repainting of Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemsia Gentileschi, 1630, chained and A Repainting of Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemsia Gentileschi, 1630, unchained.
Bauberger also creates a 16th century journal in which she recounts her experience, writing, “The Artemisia series, a sustained act of re-imaging the works of Gentileschi was, in a sense, a re-imagining undertaken through the careful absorption and re-telling of the 16th century artist’s experience of painting. The performance over time of the learning and retelling bears strong links to the structure of storytelling, and reminds us of the deep and often all-too-easily-forgotten – perhaps, denied – links between visual and oral culture.”
Jennifer Linton: The Disobedient Dollhouse
Jennifer Linton’s art practice addresses gender-related issues and the experiences of both childhood and motherhood using a combination of drawing, print making and installation.
The artist constructs her dollhouse using lithographic prints to create trompe l’oeil walls, furniture and home decor, all of which display her diaristic approach to artmaking. She then arranges dream-like, jointed, movable paper dolls within her 2-storey box-tableaux.
These same paper dolls are brought to life in a stop-motion animation titled Domestikia: The Incident in the Nursery, 2012, which will screen as part Linton’s AGP exhibit. Linton’s highly-detailed, Victorian-style dollhouse interiors present a storybook view of domesticity while also performing its critique. Although one of the rooms shows a conventional Victorian domestic scene with a woman playing piano, the woman is depicted as a hybrid creature with a bird head. Along these lines, gigantic insects infiltrate the room and swarm across Linton’s hand-painted damask wallpaper, disturbing the inherent sentimentality with, as the artist puts it, “a dark, secret world that churns just beneath the veneer of domestic perfection.”
Art Gallery Of Peterborough
250 Crescent Street
Peterborough ON K9J 2G1
phone 705 743 9179
fax 705 743 8168