LAURA TALER, MFA'11, The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and the strong, Solo exhibition, Gallery 101
March 4 - April 13, 2017
Saturday March 4, Opening, 2 - 5pm Saturday March 11, Art + Feminism Edit-a-thon, 11am - 4pmSaturday April 1, Artist round table, 2 - 4pm
The desire to fight is really the desire to produce change. Among many things, the production of change requires patience, repetition, time and, ultimately, a negotiation with loss. The past is never still, or as Mercedes Sosa sings in La Añera, “Tira el caballo adelante y el alma tira pa’ atrás.” When you pull the horse forward, the soul pulls (you) back.
Throughout her career Laura Taler has explored the links between movement, memory, and history by using cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate how the body is able to carry the past without being oppressed by it. In this exhibition two video installations and series of collages depict a solitary figure moving through gestures related to the practice and training of different fighting styles. Bill Coleman performs in The Boxer while Taler practices the movements of Tai Chi in Carry Tiger to the Mountain and Wave Hands Like Clouds. Shot on 16mm and Super 8 film, these works each question the separation between beginning and ending while proposing that knowledge emerges through the repeated gestures of the body. The slow, the still, and the repetitive – often considered negatively in western notions of progress – become, instead, harbingers of change and openings for transformation.
It is clear that there is more than one fight left. But there is also more than one way to fight.
Carry Tiger to the Mountain and Brush Dust Against the Wind were produced with Maria Angerman, Dagie Brundet, Heather McCrimmon and Dagmar Morath, and with the assistance of Allison Burns, Maura Doyle, Anyse Ducharme, Elena Ducoure, Julia Martin, Kelsey McGregor and numerous other helpers. Laura Taler gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa. The Boxer is adapted from dancer/choreographer Bill Coleman’s live performance Heartland. The footage of The Boxer was originally part of the documentary HEARTLAND, co-produced with Hammond Associates, with the participation of the Canadian Film and Television Production Fund, Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and Bravo!
+ Lao Tzu | from the Tao Te Ching