Les candidats MAV | MFA Candidates
La deuxieme année | Second Year
Approaching painting and installation from a Post-Humanist perspective, the work is always a collaboration with the materials. I step back to give them agency within the creation process; however, my hand does not disappear. I am an influencer, I manifest in coding, in an interrupting brushstroke, in a single string levitating plastic. Autonomy is a myth. We are a part of connections; just as skin touches skin, all actions touch while being touched. The sublime entities of nature, the internet, and outer space are vast and expanding realms taking increasing precedence in our understanding of humanity’s role within larger systems; as we realize our effect on nature and turn to the potentiality of continued life through new technology and space, we are made aware of the limits of the human body.
I long for a conversation between human and non-human objects; to generate immersive interaction and bring to light the struggle between our fabricated sense of autonomy, instilled by and perpetuated by human systems, and ‘non-human’ elements deconstruction of this notion.
Join me in the void; a state of simultaneous immateriality and constant presence. The void is not nothingness but a space of endless potential that wraps around ‘human’ and ‘other’ binding them together. Light, kinetic sculpture, and paint awaken the senses to a scattering of elements. In the void we expand outwards, emptied of our organs and with skin rendered permeable we search for anchors in reality; but even the tangible can suggest worlds beyond our bodily and intellectual limits. We are living in a state of perma-virtuality in sublime environments where unseen entities guide our solid bodies.
Tiffany April is an Ottawa based artist, born in Montreal, QC. April’s focus is in painting, centering on the relationship between physiological and psychological perception. She recently completed her BFA of studio arts (Honours) at Concordia University in 2014. Following five months of travel, including a three-month artist residency at Takt in Berlin, Germany, April returned to Ottawa where she held a studio at the Rectory Art House till September 2017.
My art practice serves as a means of dwelling on the problematics of care. I seek out and tend to the accumulative shapes, surfaces, and resonances that pervade my day-to-day negotiations and cultivations. What I find is then animated through impulse; my paintings turn on a never-ending series of encounters and subsequent reactions, improvisations, and contradictions. As a whole, my work brings into question the communal dimensions of how I find myself—and whether or not the marks that I make have the capacity to serve as witness to what are most likely shared eclectic pathways, odd arrangements, compromised intervals of rest, etc. What’s more, I paint to locate and contend with what is given and/or put onto me, so as to foster the room to dwell on how I reflect back onto the world, and how my relations could be lived differently. Within this enterprise of finding and tending, I come across provisional and at times impassable barriers, as well as strange admixtures of ease and wanting. To this, I cite Jan Verwoert’s insistence that the act of painting must have a softness that can respond to “(...) the touch of something real, when the real won’t work”. The studio offers up a space for me to indulge in this complex and paradoxical terrain; there I ad-lib and abandon without consequence; I undergo the processes of becoming lost and then found, only to become lost again.
My practice investigates the conscious experience of place as metaphor for unseen or subconscious worlds. Through the juxtaposition of abstracted and representational marks, parallels between natural and constructed landscapes are delineated. Landscape, a direct representation of our environment, alludes to our collective state of being. My images are playful philosophical explorations into ideas of collective identity and cultural myth. Personal experience of contrasting spaces- wild, rural and urban- are a point of departure. Connections are outlined between organic forms and geometric motifs by likening them, also, to the natural and the man-made respectively. A vocabulary of marks are used to interwreathe the macroscopic with the minute thus creating images of imagined terrains that toy with and extricate perspectives. Contemporary landscapes are regularly punctuated by, often absurd, moments of human impact. Correspondingly, dream imagery will bring forward out of place ideas, difficult to decode. Considering Carl Jung's idea of the collective unconscious, these contradictory moments of human impact may emblematically parallel the subconscious experience. I interject my landscapes with unexpected symbols in order to evoke the existential through play or jest. Moreover, I am interested in withdrawing from conventional forms and surfaces, in order to bring landscape painting into a contemporary context. The relationships between reality and fiction, natural and constructed, between waking and dreaming – are mischievously questioned but not defined. My art is about the experience of place and lightheartedly suggests that contemporary landscape may be a direct depiction of our collective subconscious identity.
Michael Belmore is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and graduated with an A.O.C.A. in sculpture/installation from Ontario College of Art & Design in 1994. Belmore's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections. His most recent exhibitions include fenda, Nogueira da Silva Museum, Braga, Portugal, Land, Art, Horizons, North American Native Museum, Zurich, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, an international exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in Winnipeg, MB and HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor at the National Museum of the American Indian – George Gustav Heye Centre in New York.
My artistic practice includes photography, video, performance, and installation art. The materiality and intersections between these mediums is very attractive to me, and where I continually strive to forward my practice. I create work at the crossroads of photo performativity and video installation. It is here that I tend to favour the vernacular of the everyday. By using common elements including language, tools and materials, I rearrange them to explore new uses, outcomes and meanings. Ultimately questioning the world and its happenings, the act of being and belonging, I tend to deconstruct and reconstruct concepts and themes fabricating connections between them.