September 10 - October 23, 2021
Curated by Nicole Burisch and Sally Frater
“Mire de couleurs / Colour Bars” by Nathalie Bujold. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Nathalie Bujold / Wednesday Lupypciw / Levente Sulyok / Shaheer Zazai
The second in a three-part series of exhibitions at Centre for Artistic + Social Practice that explore the connections between textiles and technology, Remediations brings together artists who use textiles – whether weaving, knitting, embroidery, or their representations – to reflect on communication technologies and their development over time. While some works draw upon current platforms for commercial and interpersonal exchange, such as Etsy, Ebay, or dating sites, others reference older methods for transmitting language and culture, such as television or word processing. Together, this selection comments on the ways in which technology itself is ‘constructed’ or ‘crafted’ by those that design, use, and implement its various functions. Elements of nostalgia and personal memory are interwoven with critical commentary on how cultural identity, gender, class, and sexuality can shape or be shaped by technological spaces.
Nathalie Bujold | Artist Statement
My way of making video comes from the “handmade”, approaching forms related to crafts, ladies’ works and collage. I approach video as bricolage (D.I.Y.) with technological tools, as an art of perpetual experimentation. Often, I transpose the vocabulary from one savoir-faire to another, in particular with music or textile constructions.
Through my works, I develop a method involving all stages of production, from scriptwriting to projection, like a kind of videographic weaving. I think of moving images as a textile production: of its simplest unit: the fiber (the plane*), the thread (the sequence), the very fabric of the fabric (the assembly intra-screen) and its materiality (the screen or projected diffusion) up to its architectural use in inter-screen projection. I assemble fragments of moments of everyday life in order to tumble them into plastic worlds.
Also, to get out of the screen and give materiality to the images, I extract images from the video to make a knitting, a wallpaper, feuilletoscope, embroidery, weaving. A feminist content is implicit in this approach, which combines ladies’ works and digital arts. It comes from my first influences, having grown up very far from here in a small industrial town where handicrafts, in this case, that of women, served as objects of art, in my still virgin eyes of “high culture”. This way of assembling fragments or bringing together know-how (savoir-faire) and vernacular cultures is part of my desire to bring together without discriminating.
I draw the images from everyday life, trying to take a plasticien** look at them. It is in the tenuous relationship between reality and abstraction, the slowness of manual labor and the immediacy of digital means, depth and surface, familiarity and strangeness that these encounters play out. The mosaics made of find moments, in fragmented grids, in multilayers, in various times and places, in movements and in sounds, are the reflection of reality which is multiple. For me, the metaphor applies to the world seen in its completeness or in its complex constitution with an accumulation of tiny elements unspeakable to the human eye and others that are literally beyond us.
* In french plasticien refers to plastic (like in plasticity), that means form.
Nathalie Bujold is an interdisciplinary artist, self-taught in video, trained in music, graduated in visual arts, who tinkers, assembles, weaves and invites different skills (savoir-faire) to intersect. Although her work takes many forms, the reference to textiles is a constant. She is interested in form, so as to translate through the construction to produce a singular narration. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the ELLEPHANT (Montreal), Art Gallery of Guelph, Stride Gallery (Calgary), Centre d’art et de diffusion Clark (Montreal), and Vidéochronique (Marseille).
Wednesday Lupypciw | Artist Statement
When the Internet was invented I remember thinking it was just another thing outside of my life and activities, and I didn’t properly try it out until the early aughts. In retrospect, the clunkiness of Web 1.0 was cool; because nothing was standardized or branded in the way it is today people had to go out of their way to source information, create content, and respond to other content on the network. There were only so many wired paths for things to flow along, and little side streets of content could easily disappear forever. Many sites read like someone just talking and talking and talking to themselves in an empty room. The Internet wasn’t fully colonized and people didn’t really know what to do with it. I made this video before I learned what “coding” and “programming” actually are, and I still think what coding and programming were in my imagination is more fun than reality.
Wednesday Lupypciw was born and raised near Mohkinstsis, the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers on Treaty 7 Land. To make money she makes mattresses the olden way, and sort of does astronomy research about magnetism and eternity. Wednesday is a Fibre programme graduate from the Alberta College of Art + Design (older people don’t call it Alberta University of the Arts), and has worked and exhibited in various spaces throughout Canada including the Textile Museum of Canada, The Art Gallery Of Alberta, The Banff Centre, The Klondike Institution for Arts and Culture, EMMEDIA, TRUCK and Stride in Calgary, the Feminist Art Gallery and FADO Performance Art in Toronto, and Centre Skol and La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse in Montréal. The aesthetic output from her works across performance, video, and textile can be quite different, but the politics are the same: queer, pluralistic, fairly compensated, critical.
Levente Sulyok | Artist Statement
As borders between cultures and places shift at accelerating speeds, the desire to return to some origin becomes evident across western contexts. The politics of place is further complicated by the cultural homogenization of global capitalism. It is this perceived loss and resulting search for origin that leads to the reemergence of an authoritarian brand of nationalism. Mourning what has passed and yearning for its return seem to be ubiquitous aspects of change; where the past is often an idealized version of ‘official’ histories mixed with wishful projections towards an imaginary future.
My recent work addresses the relationship between the present, the past and ultimately the future in terms of shifting cultural and physical borders. I explore nationalism in the context of Hungary with a focus on late 19th-century folk traditions as an entry point (1880-1920). In terms of its borders, 1920 marks a traumatic event in Hungarian history where the country lost 70% of its territory. My base materials comprise of antique ‘folk weavings’ from this period and the artifacts are appropriated and reframed to highlight the concept of loss, while also complicating our notions regarding the production of national identities. I focus on folk traditions precisely because they seem to defy national borders by existing both inside and outside of them. The gesture of appropriating textiles from inside as well as outside of current national borders embodies the concept of loss, but my reframing of these artifacts also highlights the porousness of culture and the adaptability and resiliency of folk traditions which cannot be contained by the nation-state.
Against the idea of origin and the purification of the nation, Birdsong (Red) combines a Hungarian weaving from outside the current national borders with a traditional embroidery motif that originates from a region of contemporary south-central Hungary. The web address to the image of each artifact/element as found on the internet is embroidered onto each ‘painting’ to suggest that all origins are now located in the globalized marketplace; a none-place where everything is endlessly decontextualized and flattened into an image of itself. All appropriated patterns are hand-embroidered while the text is done by machine, including taglines from the original Etsy or eBay listings. I often discard the original color of each appropriated folk pattern and allow my version of the pattern to assume the color of its new context, echoing the base color of the weaving or the color of the design present in the appropriated artifact.
In the Birdsong series, one of the web addresses is a YouTube link to a folk song about a bird. The song is in Hungarian but belongs to the Csángó people from the Moldova region of current Romania. This region has never been part of Hungary across its 1000-year history but contains an ‘authentic’ population of Hungarians who, according to some contemporary ethnographers, hold intact some of the oldest and most authentic traditions of Hungarian folk culture. What does it mean for a nation to locate part of its core outside of itself?
Levente Sulyok was born and raised in Hungary and moved to the U.S. in 1991. His interest in philosophy – particularly the relationship between aesthetics, language, and the politics of resistance – can be seen throughout his work. Sulyok’s career boasts numerous solo exhibitions, as well as more than 30 group exhibitions in Kansas, Texas, California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island including Documenta Detour in Kassel, Germany, Reynolds Gallery in Stockton, California, Wichita Art Museum in Wichita, KS, and Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.
Shaheer Zazai | Artist Statement
Zazai’s practice focuses on exploring and attempting to investigate the development of cultural identity in the present geopolitical climate and diaspora. The digital works revolve around Microsoft Word and imagery drawn from traditional Afghan carpets. Through mimicking carpet-making methods, Zazai creates his own designs in Microsoft Word, where every knot of a carpet is translated into a typed character. While the digital is a process based exploration, the paintings have been an internal investigation into vulnerability and fear.
Shaheer Zazai is a Toronto based Afghan-Canadian artist with a current studio practice both in painting and digital media. Zazai received a BFA from OCAD University in 2011 and was artist in residence at OCAD University as part of the Digital Painting Atelier in 2015. Zazai is a recipient of Ontario Arts Council grants and he was a finalist for EQ Bank’s Emerging Digital Artist Award in 2018. Since graduating, Zazai has had several solo and group exhibitions such as those at the Capacity 3 Gallery, CAFKA Biennial 2019, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant., Double Happiness Projects and Patel Brown Gallery.
Nicole Burisch | Co-curator Bio
Nicole Burisch is a curator, critic, and cultural worker. She is a settler of German/Scottish/Irish/English descent, born and raised in Treaty 6 territory (Edmonton, AB) and currently living and working in Tio’tia:ke / Mooniyaang (Montreal, QC). Her projects focus on craft, feminism, performance, publishing, labour, and materiality within contemporary art. Her writing has been published in periodicals No More Potlucks, FUSE Magazine, dpi: Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Cahiers métiers d’art-Craft Journal, and by La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Stride Gallery, and the Richmond Art Gallery, among others. Her research (with Anthea Black) into curatorial strategies for politically engaged craft practices is included in milestone publications The Craft Reader (Berg) and Extra/ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke University Press) and together they co-edited The New Politics of the Handmade: Craft, Art and Design (Bloomsbury). Burisch has held positions and presented projects with a number of organizations, including: the National Gallery of Canada, Optica, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, She Works Flexible, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, Artexte, Walter Phillips Gallery, The New Gallery, Centre des arts actuels Skol, and the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival. She currently works as director of the FOFA Gallery at Concordia University.
Sally Frater | Co-curator Bio
Sally Frater holds an Honours BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph and an MA in Contemporary Art from The University of Manchester/Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Curatorially she is interested in decolonization, space and place, Black and Caribbean diasporas, photography, art of the everyday, and issues of equity and representation in museological spaces. She has curated solo and group exhibitions for institutions such as the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Ulrich Museum of Art, the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, Project Row Houses, and Centre for Artistic and Social Practice. A former resident in the Core Critical Studies fellowship at the Glassell School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Frater has also completed fellowships and residencies at the UT Dallas Centraltrak, Southern Methodist University, Project Row Houses and Art21. The recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts she is a member of the Association of Art Museum Curators and is an alumna of Independent Curators International. She is currently the executive director of Oakville Galleries.
Photos courtesy of Alex Jacobs-Blum.
Exhibition is generously supported by: