Plug In ICA, in partnership with the Winnipeg New Music Festival, is pleased to present a commissioned installation by Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline. L’homelette is presented in two parts as a site-specific work throughout The Centennial Concert Hall and as a video at Plug In ICA on our monitor wall.
Both parts of L’homelette begin with one abstract painting that uses stencils made from impressions of the artist’s body. The stencils themselves are not necessarily discernible as body parts, and their source is further obscured through layers of color and other methods of mark making, but they – for the artist always signify a level of exposure. Even if mediated, the stenciled body marks inscribe the artist on to the surface of the canvas; his intentions and labour tracked.
This single painting is the basis for an expansive abstract work that begins with its copy – a photocopy to be exact. Kaktins-Gorsline photographs the painting, divides the image into portions. The now segmented painting is divided into 11 x 17 inch sheets that he uses to photocopy repeatedly forming the painting over and over again as a divided self. He uses the photocopies like tiles, but applies them in no specific order or direction, building an expanding field where there is an obvious repetition of form and shapes, but no cohesive pattern or reproduction of the original painting.
He further disrupts the possibility of an exact replica through the process of photocopying by moving the sheets of paper as the photocopier is scanning and intervening in the copying process in various other ways. These deformed, smeared and smudged copies are then used to make further copies. Some distorted and capturing his hand in the process while others barely transformed. He is copying without copying. There is a progressive order, systematic in its disruption of the original with an obvious repetition that is not exact, and thus never leaving behind a precise copy. In each reproduction there is an intention to alter what it is ‘copying’ and here chance is at play. These are the moments where the artist gives way to his erratic movements and the mechanical process.
There is also a referential copying that underlines L’homelette as it takes shape in reflection of the work of Sigmar Polke. Polke has made several artworks using photocopies, debasing sourced images and using the very act of copying as a performative element. In works such as The Young Acrobat (2000), Polke captures himself copying in a frenzied state. Kaktins-Gorsline also documents his process of copying, performing for the camera, becoming a character and actor within his own artwork and presenting his actions as a video. Emphasising his procedure – its repetition and trance-like qualities, he aligns the process with its material results, colliding the two as artworks.
What is always present in repetition is an equal appearance of sameness and difference. You can’t escape one from the other. And the effect of repetition in Kaktins-Gorsline’s work is rhythmic, a toggling between same and difference that creates a syncopated tempo. Like musical notation, which has a descending and ascending beat that is always falling in and out of time with itself.
Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline has recently exhibited at Actual Gallery (Winnipeg), the School of Art Gallery (University of Manitoba), Galerie Simon Blais (Montreal), Foreman Art Gallery (Sherbrooke, QC), Thierry Goldberg Gallery (New York) and Deitch Studios (New York). He is represented by Lisa Kehler Art + Projects in Winnipeg and Katharine Mulherin in Toronto.
Commissioned by Plug In ICA for the 2016 Winnipeg New Music Festival. This work is on display at Centennial Concert Hall (555 Main Street, Winnipeg) until February 29th and at Plug In ICA on our monitor wall until 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!