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  • Panya Clark Espinal — CREDITS
    The Visitor and Vagabond Vitrine Bill Greer photographs of At This Point Nathan Saliwonchyk video production for The Terrarium Project and video footage of Bubble Jennifer Sciarrino photographs of Bubble Anuta Skrypnychenko photographs of The Terrarium Project Mark Visperas photographs

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/credits.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Panya Clark Espinal’s Inscrutable Visitor — Essay
    inside But why close the doors 9 As the viewers open the doors and compartments of Clark Espinal s works some might initially feel disappointed by the sparseness they encounter After all why would such appealing spaces not be filled with possessions or objects of display It is precisely this lack however that makes these artworks so replete in meaning and connotation Whereas the neatly packaged Martha Stewart industry leaves little room for one s own creativity the suggestive emptiness of these works allows for far more imaginative meanderings of the mind Opening the doors of Diva for example one might initially expect to encounter the mothball aroma and luxuriant texture of the fur coats that Lucy found in the old wooden wardrobe Instead one is faced with a matrix of splendid visual rhythms alluding perhaps to a vibrant cityscape seen from afar or to a grand theatrical setting in which the viewer becomes the Diva herself looking out at a sea of magnificent applause The performative opening of these artworks is not about a search for contents It is about being led by the imaginative process through the wardrobe into architectural and cosmic worlds It is about visiting these temporary spaces The act of visiting has particular connotations when it is related to visiting a gallery or visiting somebody s home By exhibiting these works at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens these layers are even further nuanced artworks that were previously functional domestic objects are being displayed in a contemporary gallery that was once a lived in house As the viewer enters the gallery then there is a dual sense of walking into a home Just as we are accustomed to not touching artworks in a gallery we would certainly not walk into someone else s home and open their cupboard or peer into their document box or dresser By inviting the viewer to open up her sculptures which from the outside look more like domestic objects than artworks Clark Espinal pushes the concept of visiting beyond our polite codes of acceptable behavior As such she challenges our constructed notions of public and private space She also alludes to the concept of this division in Martha Stewart Living which is fundamentally about entertaining visitors about presenting your private home to the public However instead of systemically challenging this division of space related behavior the Martha Stewart industry simply adds to the tiers of artifice What is presented to the public through the magazine is a picturesque and seemingly private intimacy as if that were the scene one would come across even on an unannounced visit Most of us know though that we could expect otherwise This exhibition is all about expectations and the subversion thereof An old fashioned suitcase for example rests on a small bench as if a guest had just arrived Based on its title The Visitor 2000 one might naturally suppose it would be filled with a few neatly folded clothes some curled up socks a

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_panya_clark_espinals_inscrutable_visitor.php (2016-02-13)
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  • A Conversation with Panya Clark Espinal — Interview
    knowing what that was going to be or how it was going to operate in my life has a lot to do with it Also I found that once I went into the studio it was challenging to face the blank canvas in front of me but I recognized I could make up my own parameters I ended up with these containers and they became my sites They set the rules So in a way I m still creating site specific work It just happens to be a site that is contained in a moveable object It seems that is the only way I can work MF And yet you ve talked to me about the Gairloch estate now a gallery but once a home as appealing to you as a site in which to exhibit your work PCE Yes it appeals to me A big part of it is that the objects are domestically scaled and are themselves domestic objects I didn t think it would serve the art well to exhibit it in an institutional space that would dwarf the objects I just think the architectural elements will suit these particular pieces MF It seems to me that there is an architectural structure to the interiors of the new work When you showed me the maquettes for these pieces they could have just as easily been grand architectural models Have you been influenced by architecture PCE Well I was raised by two architects There was a lot ot planning things out on graph paper My parents renovated their home themselves and were into many creative endeavours It all had an influence on me MF Are there any artists with whom you feel an affinity PCE I always strike out with that question While I have respect for many artists especially those who are uniquely obsessive my own inspiration comes from other things That can be something like magazines as I have mentioned or utilitarian things such as displays industrial processes and such I try not to think about what other artists have done MF What criteria or qualities do you look for in selecting your containers PCE Well most of them are from antique markets I especially looked for containers that were rough dark worn and not at all fancy in terms of their construction I knew that I wanted the interiors I fabricated to feel clean and luminous against the exterior When I opened them up I wanted to see if any ideas were triggered by just looking Then I would ask is it interesting enough Is it unique Is there something that draws me to this object MF I find there is almost an op art sensibility to the interiors of your containers What are some of your considerations with shape and colour PCE Initially I was determined not to do anything tricky or illusionistic with the pieces because this is what some of my other work is about and I wanted to avoid that Especially

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_a_conversation_with_panya_clark_espinal.php (2016-02-13)
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  • The Silence and the Storm — Essay
    copy of David Silcox s book The Silence and the Storm transparencies showing the narcissi as they appeared in the McMichael living room now Gallery 14 the paperwhites will be nurtured by the artist for the duration of the installation Clark Espinal s pigments brushes palette and tools all are reproduced to look as if they were the real thing This trickery of reproduced images is something both enticing and disturbing to Clark Espinal a concern which both this photograph and the installation hope to show In this illustration the artist shows actual objects which are part of the artwork in Gallery 14 At the same time she suggests deeper meanings for them that are not necessarily visible to us Her installation itself may be similarly approached it has elements which we can see right away as well as more sensual personal associations which are invisible The way in to understanding Clark Espinal s work is to explore both realms the actual and the emotional In the artist s words When people view my work I would like them to be drawn first aesthetically and then conceptually However I am well aware that it is impossible to control how a work will ultimately be read that every viewer comes to the piece with their own history process and interest And not only do you the visitor bring with you certain histories so too does the artist The work as it is viewed within the gallery is the place where these different thoughts and stories meet There is no one answer to questions we may have about the artist s piece only clues to possible readings The sixty four framed reproductions from David Silcox s book are those which Clark Espinal has used when she was experimenting with paint in her studio The book s images attracted the artist for two reasons they are the same scale as Thomson s sketches and are thus more easily translated into paint and they represent the seductive nearly real quality images which Clark Espinal both admires and mistrusts It is also important to realize that the initial studio paintings were done privately before they were publically exhibited In deciding to bring her work to the McMichael Clark Espinal did not want to simply hang her work on the wall Instead she tried to link the display of paintings to the gallery in which they were to appear The artist found what she was looking for in the institution s archives In photographs taken of Mr and Mrs McMichael s home during the 1970s the metamorphoses from private home to public gallery is increasingly evident In reviewing these photographs the artist noticed a pot of narcissus flowers reappearing in at least three separate views She writes Associated with the personal touch of everyday tending of the domestic world these flowers injected an otherwise static environment with a transcendent ephemeral presence I imagined their fragrance something picture taking documentation and archiving could never replicate Her installation

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_silence_and_the_storm.php (2016-02-13)
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  • At This Point — Artist Statement
    larger than human intervention At This Point consists of two markers used in the navigation of waterways a lighthouse and a buoy The lighthouse is based on the one at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island Built in 1806 on a sand spit stretching out into Lake Ontario today it is located well inland as a result of almost two centuries of landfill projects and storms It has not been used

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_at_this_point_artist_statement.php (2016-02-13)
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  • At This Point
    or alternately the visible continuation of its cascading waters which just as miraculously disappear through the grate in the ground Perhaps this buried rivulet is an ancient waterway coincidentally an historic map of this area from 1827 shows a river running past this site We beckon a friend to share the view but the window is small only a single visitation is possible at a time We never know if another sees exactly what we have seen and whether what we saw was real If so how real was it Panya Clark s practice has consistently explored notions of authenticity Reproducing historical artifacts and works of art she looks at both the objects themselves as well as the attendant systems of valuation and presentation At This Point continues these investigations Creating multiple illusions the artist playfully tugs at our concept of reality questioning the authenticity of experience dark fabricates an elaborate three dimensional structure to house a two dimensional image This image in turn is invested with a three dimensional presence enhanced by its proximity to the waterfall Through what appears as a sleight of hand she conjures up this imaginary current beneath the earth s surface The darkened interior of the lighthouse is in fact illuminated by a mirrored projection while a rotating light simulates the rippling action The technology is hidden the magic is seamless Ultimately the lighthouse and buoy become glorified pedestals or props for staging this trompe l oeil effect Rather than mere spectacle At This Point becomes a staging for the immaterial a forum for what is normally unseen Clark figuratively reproduces a history of this site the layers of illusion are metaphors for the layers of history and of time which unearthed reveal the shifting topography of the Toronto landscape through a materialization of its undercurrents Clark s lighthouse is fashioned after one built on the Gilbraltar Point of Toronto Island in 1806 in service until 1912 Once located on a sandpit stretching out into Lake Ontario it has now receded inland following two centuries of natural and human intervention The artist s use of a scale model as well as the viewing window suggest the presentation of history as narrated to us through museological displays Like these exhibits Clark strives to give physical form to an historical memory albeit theatrically History is animated made more real by bringing it into a living context Yet the effect is more than just didacticism Within the city core the reappearance of a long buried river underneath the anachronistic structure of this lighthouse physically repositions the past in the present Like Proust s Remembrance of Things Past the presence of these forms reverses the current of time Instead of the past flowing into the present a concept suggested by the ceaseless flow of the waterfall the present is experienced as streaming into the past Time as we normally understand it is qualified and transformed Our sense of where we are in time and space becomes elastic simultaneously

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_at_this_point_essay.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Retrospective Hallucinations — Essay
    s work quickly establishes the personal nature of the relation Gathering from the letter it appears that the curator of the National Gallery had suggested to Paraskeva Clark to remove an actual printed programme from Self Portrait with Concert Programme that the Gallery had recently purchased and to paint it in instead A key not simply to this particular work but perhaps to the desire manifest in all of Panya Clark s work Paraskeva Clark s response to Mr McCurry reads I just would like to add re my Self Portrait with Concert Programme that I would be glad to paint the Programme At the time I couldn t dream it might be bought by someone and a real programme seemed to have more power as a message I wanted to send through my painting The hope that through the inserted real programme painting be understood as a narration of experience and as commemoration of an actual personal event is re enacted in Panya Clark s installation with extraordinary precision Based on what she could still find of her grandmother s possessions Panya Clark has borrowed a number of pertinent paintings and has retrieved a variety of the actual objects that appear in them things that themselves are both ordinary functional objects and memento mori including a living room table which shows up in various pictures as ground of a still life an arm chair for the sitters of portraits a fine black dress and floral wreath as worn by a woman in her portrait a candle holder that re appears in a painting of a Christmas tree a small flag and other odd trinkets all things that could be traced somehow recouped and rescued from the unceasing discontinuity that is time Clearly the re collected objects in Re Appearances again broach common practice and tradition that of the museum to reconstitute the identity of a period of a School of an artist whether through the Period Room or special chartered bus and cocktail tours to Van Gogh s asylum in Aries or the filming of Picasso s hand as he is painting But in Panya Clark s installation retrieved objects appear to be placed in a desire not merely for the sense of touch three dimensions physicality actual experience and the power of real but for the very substance of at once Panya Clark s sense of connectedness to her grandmother and her grandmother s identity as an artist her subjectivity sense of self and source of inspiration As Baudrillard once put it like the relic whose function it secularises the bygone object reorganizes the world into a form of constellation as opposed to the extensive functional organisation endeavouring to preserve against it the profound and undoubtedly essential unreality of one s innermost being Like islands or legends these objects transport man from the here and now back to his infancy and even earlier still to a time before birth where ambience stood as a direct metaphor for pure subjectivity and where this ambience was nothing but a perfect discourse of being with itself 8 The result of the installation however takes unexpected turns In place of depth and ambience the re constructed shell of Paraskeva Clark s living room complete with an alcove windows trim and even matched wall colour lacks all traces of being lived in In their stead the room offers the curious delight and cool sterility of trompe l oeil between our look at paintings and the looks represented in painting A painting is hung on a wall whose colour has been copied from it so that the painting seems transparent Even the shadows depicted in the painting are in the right place to be on the real wall This illusion comes and goes it is switched off as soon as one looks at the painting as a painting hanging in the room concealing a wall like in a museum Other aspects are equally playful an actual candle holder on a table re appears in a painting that is now placed behind it but in front of the wall that is painted behind the candle holder thus making the painting an insertion of Paraskeva Clark s look into the stark reality of an all too empty hospital like room And in another the painting of a still life on a tablecloth lies flat directly on top of a table with the actual tablecloth so that it looks as though the frame of the picture frames a table cloth upon which has been painted objects in an oblique perspective These effects where re appearance takes place as the play of identity between various levels of pictured reconstructed and recollected objects makes of the room a laboratory in which specimens become neutral facts in experiments remote from living and delivered from our identifications Referring to depictions the retrieved objects are stripped of mystery just as the mystery of depth vanishes from Paraskeva Clark s paintings the objects reduce to literalness the content of the paintings and the paintings empty the ambience of the object through a fixing of its destination The experience that the paintings seemed to promise has given way in this room to the lack lustre intimacy of objects under the looking glass The absence that induced the mystery has disappeared and all that s left is the dissected corpse of the image IV Re Appearances more than any other work before it had set up expectations for us to be able to relive the painter s real life experience which it does not fulfill Yet other works by Panya Clark some not so recent and others more so circumvent the demand or plea for authenticity for a return of the real from the picture In these other works the problem of evanescence evaporates and is replaced by a pure play of replacement which also represents a move away from the belief in the full presence of the present This takes place even though the

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_retrospective_hallucinations.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Out Of Place
    For all of the artists the changes to their lives and their homes when the global and the local share the same vocabulary and space have led them to question the transposition of histories and ideologies Their works look for ways to create fissures within established hierarchies of history Their works speak of the meeting and clashing of histories at a time when local histories are necessitating a re interpretation of historical narratives that previously privileged dominant cultures Waltercio Caldas s sculptures seek to destabilize habits and syllogisms of seeing His work gives rise to the doubtfulness he sees as essential to understanding how belief conditions perception His position of resistance challenges absolute categories and the limiting boundaries of definitions drawn with unwavering certainty The simple geometry of forms in his sculptures disarms seemingly obvious everyday materials This characteristic of Caldas s work has been described by Brazilian critic Sonia Salzstein Goldberg as their resistance to metaphor Caldas s interest is in the physical presence of materials phenomena such as gravity and perception and acting on traditional materials to re invest forms with conceptual rigor irony and wit Ideologically his practice has stressed the disillusion of positions of detached observation Caldas s work while influenced by minimalist and conceptual art has its roots in the intellectually and artistically innovative nec concrete movement that emerged with the Brazilian cultural explosion of the 1960s and the experimental practices of Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticia The neo concrete represented the modern the rational and industrial It challenged and surpassed modernist notions received from away Parallel to propositions of the void familiar here from the projects of Piero Manzoni and John Cage this new space was being explored bv concrete poets in Sao Paulo The Noigandres The terrain of the void in Brazil continues to exert a strong philosophical influence throughout much artistic production Clark and Oiticica extended concepts from the neo concrete with strategies for spectator participation and the relational role ot objects used to animate a dialogue between artist and participant Tins legacy of the precarious and the unstable has permeated Caldas s production over the past twenty five years with works that often question the nature and form of art and language by presenting a paradox between what one knows and what one sees There is an invocation of the past and a challenge to paradigms of development and discovery in both of Panya Clark s installations Both Research Discovery and Re Appearances establish non synchronous time frames to question notions of authenticity authorship and representation The idea of an original is set in motion and relieved of the authority often bestowed on photographs or artifacts associated with a prior time or far off place Research and Discovery allows Clark to explore the representations of the exotic and friendly other that has characterized National Geographic for over one hundred years Questions of territorial possession tourism and colonial domination are raised by the pseudo archive of vanishing cultures that is seen in National Geographic and heightened by Clark s pseudo archival presentation of the magazine as a memorializing tableaux Clark s installation explores memory displacement authenticity and classification through a complexity of issues related to representation Often the objects she creates look authentic but the intervention of geography and time seem to mitigate against their authenticity and question their authors Clark s work susggests our willingness to create the fictions that incorporate experiences into our own histories Her work s critique of the museum is equally a critique of the pleasure of our gaze The representational incongruencies Clark s work articulates take on both a more personal and poetic resonance in Re Appearances This work addresses the modernist paintings of Paraskeva Clark the artist s grandmother by placing its emphasis on the feminine domestic space of the home presented as an object within the essentially masculine space of a museum The canons of the discourses surrounding modernist painting are rarely articulated through the subjectivity of women artists working in the home Claudia Cuesta s sculpture is a testament to the pressures of the processes to the struggle of making to create a rhythm between what is inside hidden and what is outside visible Like the work of many other contemporaries Marcus Taylor Rachel Whiteread and Melanie Counsell all students together in England in the mid I98Os her work has an extended poetic sense of bodily awareness This entire group of British artists explore the container as form and are united through the allusions in their work to the human body whether through its presence or absence For Cuesta it is the intensity of the physical form that connotes a poetic dimension Each work appeals to our senses on multiple levels not only through the pleasure or anguish of their surfaces but equally through the uncertainty of unseeable inner spaces The forms are fragmentary incomplete and interrupted Their identity is heterogeneous multi layered and split When we seek to define them our terminology comes up short and seems heavy handed through its implied mastery She has situated her work at the threshold of language in a space where something is both symbol and substance simultaneously Almost everything in our day to day experience is either forbidden or allowed by words words that explain or transfigure our subjectivity Cuesta s aim is to make sculpture that has content distinct from meanings given by words work that thinks through the body and is cognizant of the uncertainty of being The making of the sculpture is a refuge of discovery a passage between an inner consciousness and the ordered outside world She often refers to networks as self portraits and her work as a self directed process of discovery Her titles Journey Attempting to Integrate and Life Perpetually Starting speak also of transition through their invocation of time and memory Eugemo Dittborn s Airmail Paintings present an intensity of perception The images and texts from which he constructs his works emerge not so much from a

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_out_of_place.php (2016-02-13)
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