Further Than I Can Throw A Stone is a sentiment born from love. “I love you further than I can throw a stone.” It is a measure used to mark the immeasurable. As the title of this group exhibition, it is set to cast a quantifiable action against an indeterminable effect. The act itself signifies its own limitations because its counter can never be measured - whether it be love, its opposite, or their impact. What are the repercussions of throwing a stone? Do I throw the stone because I love you or is my love needing to be measured with action? Regardless, the action carries an absurdity in the fact that it is intended to fail, never meaning to measure up to its example. As such it is a mere performance by an actor.
The artworks in this exhibition diverge in concept and production; they span years and continents but for Further Than I Can Throw A Stone there is a line being imposed through them, most obviously joined by the material form of video, but also through performance. Several of the artworks contain the artist as performer while others move through abstract fields. Some focus on a central character, leaning toward the autobiographical while others use fictive personae to create peculiar worlds laced with indecision.
The repetition of biography joins these works in a shallow frame, at times purely abstract or nearly static, to draw nuanced, almost pore revealing characters. There is the reserved lead character in Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tristan Bera’s Belle comme le jour that builds on the story of a fictional persona, Séverine Serizy, from Luis Bruñel’s influential film of a similar name. And John Bock’s bumbling chronicler who walks the streets of Tokyo performing absurd rituals in the streets. Kelly Mark mirrors Kelly Mark in a humourous conversation with herself that uses one cliché to form another. Jeremy Blake’s Winchester is a colour field of animated forms and images reflecting on a woman riddled by her family’s past. Similarly devoid of a figure, Erika Vogt’s foreboding central character is only implied through a collage of overlaid forms. The Karrabing Film Collective use themselves to tell a story of racism and ancestral spirits. In the form of a musical short, the title of Lisa Jackson’s SAVAGE depicts the brutal action of a government who took a child from her home. In the first person John Knight narrates a paranoid story of a clandestine take over of the print shop at Nova Scotia School of Art and Design in 1979 and Erica Eyres hires a male actor to tell a personal family story in a voice that is clearly not his. Cécile B. Evans’ Trilogy opens the exhibition. Here she sets herself in the center of the camera engaging the audience with gestures, music and special effects that reference pop icons Paula Abdul and Beyoncé, and choreographers Pina Bausch and Teresa De Keersmaeker.
These works will be shown in Plug In ICA’s main gallery, which is turned into a cinema-like space. Over the duration of the exhibition each video will be screened in a loop individually for one week. The works stand alone, presented in isolation from the others, but will be joined thematically over the duration of the exhibition.
Cécile B. Evans, Trilogy (January 22 – 31) • Kelly Mark, 108 Leyton Ave (February 1 – 7) • Lisa Jackson, SAVAGE (February 8 – 14) • Erika Vogt, Darker Imposter (February 15 – 21) • Erica Eyres, Autobiography I and II (February 22 – 28) • John Bock, Bauchhöhle bauchen (February 29 – March 6) • Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tristan Bera, Belle comme le jour (March 7 – 13) • Karrabing Film Collective, Windjarrameru, the Stealing C*nt$ (March 14 – 20) • John Knight, MacGuffin 8 -2975 (March 21 – 27) • Jeremy Blake, Winchester (March 28 to April 3).
Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and Winnipeg Arts Council as well as our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. We would like to announce the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for our 2016 / 2017 programming. Thank you all!