Narratives

Statement:
I am an interdisciplinary artist, using the mediums of photography, video, and new media as forms of expression. My work explores the nature of performance, reality and the moments in-between. I am interested in the conflict between what is being represented and what is, under closer observation, actually occurring. The Exit Series delves into the ritualized significance of everyday situations emphasizing the transformative power of the recorded image to distill a seemingly banal moment into a heightened, significant event. By pushing the willing suspension of disbelief, inherent in image viewing, a tension is formed. These fragmented narrative works are left open, having no specific past or future, forcing the viewer to reach their own conclusions. Loosely based on the synthesis between memory and observation, these constructed realities explore longing, desire, betrayal and the loss of control brought on by the emergence of adolescence from childhood. The pieces are an interplay between the sublime and the ordinary. Everyday scenes take on a new significance. Their internal tensions create a sensory event that is something more than what one originally interprets. The psychological is manifested in the pictorial form as real and imagined anxieties; contradictions and ambiguities are exposed. These works lie in the intersections between attraction and repulsion, between the fantastical and the real. By allowing us into the elusive transitional world of childhood fantasy and rites of passage, the suspended narratives presented in this series question how we recall, reconstruct and record our own histories, a place where the division between reality and illusion are intertwined.

Contestant and Audition Series

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Statement:
I am interested in the conflict between what is being performed for the viewer and what the performer or model is actually experiencing, the sub-textual disconnect between what is being presented and what is actually occurring. By interlacing these often opposing elements, I seek to reveal the dual nature of performance, an undulating balance between control and loss of control, between confidence and self-consciousness. My work explores the awkward moment, the in-between.

In these series, I have chosen to use the formal conventions of the studio portrait in my work. I am particularly interested in the “headshot”, a standard mode of representation in the film and fashion industry. In making the formal choices for the Untitled Audition and Contestant Series, I used the convention and aesthetic of the headshot, “the slate shot” as it is called in the commercial industry. I have chosen to use the visual language of the audition to speak of issues linked to the audition and performance. In other words, I am using the medium to speak of the medium. Each individual was photographed unexpectedly while waiting to smile. This series puts both the performative and the photographic decisive moment into question. Here I staged an audition and photographed over thirty film extras, contrasting the moment before they pose for the camera with the moment of intentional projection for the camera. The magnification of images normally associated with the 8” X 10” print creates a visual paradox, contradicting the film industry’s attitude towards the notion of the “Extra”, a character of little or no identity and significance. In this collaborative work, I photographed them the moment before they were cued to smile and the moment they each smiled, projecting enthusiastically for the camera. The project brings forth the absurdity of the audition situation and delves further to expose the subjects’ vulnerability and personal aspirations underneath the artifice of performance. I see these photographic works as mirrors, mirrors that reflect the performative veneer and the raw material underneath and the interplay between the two that make up the human condition.

Isabel and I

Statement:
The Isabel and I series was a performative collaboration between my grandmother and me. This project speaks of a North American perspective, looking back towards one's past cultural heritage. As a first-generation Canadian I explored my hybrid persona through a conscious exchange of roles between my Grandmother and me. The project involved each of us trading identities with the other by wearing each other's clothes and posing in each other's homes. The works are large-scale diptychs, featuring a portrait of each of us in our traded places, along with a photograph of a personal object belonging to the other. The works are an exploration of identity: how we define ourselves, how we create our environments, and how we are defined by others. More specifically, it is a generational role-playing exploration of cultural identity and how many immigrants and even second-generation citizens feel that they do not belong to any one place.

Video Works

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