This series engages with the idea of familiarity, repetition and transformation, in relation to that which makes up our everyday. For this project I have turned inwards to take a close look at my domestic environment and the everyday items I use during the daily routines of cooking, cleaning and working at home.
To begin, I decided to set up a ‘stage’—a neutral background—where I could photograph these objects outside of their everyday environment and function. Each day, I would choose a new item, set it on the stage and perform a series of improvised alterations to it. In making these ephemeral sculptures I soon realized, and became interested in the fact, that in some instances the gestures I performed and the forms that these objects assumed, subconsciously referenced artworks of which I am very fond.
In retrospect, this seems fortuitous and indeed bound to happen, as I am continually engaging with art of all kinds (in galleries, museums, books, magazines and on the web). Inevitably these artworks are processed and digested in various ways. And it is those artists, whose work, strategies and interventions I admire the most that have been more fully digested and have become such familiar territory. They have influenced how I work and how I see the world and they have become a part of my own visual vocabulary and repertoire.
Do these homemade, domestic sculptures—and in some cases homages—allow us to view these displaced materials (and their art historical references) any differently? Are we, as contemporary artists, indebted and possibly even bound or limited by the work of our predecessors and the history of art?
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Trace • Copy • Render: Alex Fischer, Rita Maas, Susana Reisman, Sharon Switzer, Circuit Gallery @Prefix ICA, Toronto, September 2016 Place Settings: Diasporic Food Identities, Curated by Anya Baker, Leah Moncada and Madeline Smolarz. Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, 2016 Productive Displacement, Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. Billboards CONTACT, Toronto and across Canada, 2015 Selective Affinities, Featured Exhibition CONTACT Photography Festival, Peak Gallery, Toronto, 2010
Feria Iberoamericana de Arte: XI Salon CANTV, Galeria CorpBanca, La Castellana, Caracas, Venezuela, 2008 Food for Thought, The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film, Knight Gallery, Charlotte, NC, 2008
Donovan Collection, University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto