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  • Staging Possessions: The Other’s and the Grandmother’s
    that lead to Re Appearances as say an instance of the Kantian sublime would be to consign its realization in this work to the waste bin of over determinism In reality it is a reminder that there is still something to be wondered at including how it is that accounting for it still doesn t explain it away The National Geographic which has been publishing since 1888 must have done more than any other print medium to popularize the mysteries of nature and culture Clark points out that for its mass audience predominantly middle class white North American the National Geogaphic functions as a kind of museum It is the quintessential Journal on things not ourselves posited on what we will find different or shocking or surprising She also recognizes that the journal itself is an artefact of her personal culture Some critics now consider National Geographic an irredeemably colonizing enterprise manipulating the mechanical means of production in order to select reduce digest and essentially falsify so called information Clark s use of the National Geographic however does not imply such a critique being unconcerned with the politics of its representation or their history Her maternal grandfather subscribed and copies were always lying around his home which Panya visited regularly It is from his collection that she borrows These are family possessions not any old back numbers She acknowledges even celebrates the journal as something that has always confronted her been one of her own framing devices As such it framed her own longing for the objects shown Always fascinated by the artefacts in its photographs she had deplored their distance their absence from her own life In an attempt to compensate for this absence Clark created Research Discovery She invested her simulacra replicas with an extraordinary quality of authentic falsity or false authenticity The installation itself tried to replicate some of the journal s object qualities the rich glossiness of its photography its identifying border the classical framing and controlling device that is transferred from the front cover of the magazine to the room and the room itself approximates the proportions of the magazine But in the end her take on the magazine her copies were not the real thing I felt I was left empty handed What had I seen What had I experienced So she is critical but her criticism of National Geographic goes more like this It s not real It s a frustration We re drawn to it and then left high and dry This arbitrary provision of beautiful stuff and fascinating cultures leaves me distraught Debord wrote in 1967 in Society of the Spectacle everything that was directly lived has moved away into representation The success of representation lies in its ability to fascinate while compounding the problem it articulates Its failure if that is the right word is that it can only be a spectacle of a spectacle Clark came to think of her own production as trying vainly to recapture the directly lived Her question What are we about came down to the incontrovertible fact that the possessions shown in the magazine are not her possessions No amount of reproduction whether in a photograph or an ingenious replica can mediate this distinction It was at this point that Clark realized she did possess some objects in a sense that was not arbitrary and that there might be a way to overcome the paradox of absence and permanence The result was Re Appearances which struggles against simulation and insists on its own referents by making a spectacle of a set of representations and their referents Seeing Re Appearances together with Research Discovery in an exhibition allows the spectator to appreciate how the longing that focuses on objects is both assuaged and intensified In the little houses the tenant people sifted their belongings and the belongings of their fathers and their grandfathers Picked over their possessions for their journey to the west The men were ruthless because the past had been spoiled but the women knew how the past would cry to them in the coming days When everything that could be sold was sold still there were piles of possessions The women sat among the doomed things turning them over and looking past them and back This book My father had it He liked a book Got his name in it And his pipe still smells rank Think we could get this china dog in Aunt Sadie bought it from the St Louis Fair See Wrote right on it Here s a letter my brother wrote the day before he died No there isn t room How can we live without our lives How will we know it s us without our past John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath Unlike Steinbeck s sharecroppers Clark herself did not have to make these choices The decisions about which other paternal grandmother s possessions survived had already been made by the serendipitous circumstances of family life breakage loss changing tastes moving houses Nor did Clark have to verify their authenticity the paintings did that for her However Steinbeck and Clark were clearly thinking of objects in very similar ways The discovery or rather the recognition of some other grandmother s possessions in her own life a wooden bowl a bunch of alabaster grapes a tablecloth fulfilled the kind of needs that had been created by the National Geographic images Her things her life her culture her grandmother the things were a route to knowing her grandmother as an artist Paraskeva Clark was born in 1898 in St Petersburg and received her art education in Russia without being directly affected by the revolutionary movements around her She had hoped to become an actress and her work reflects a lifelong interest in the theatrical Paraskeva lived in France after the death of her first husband until 1931 when she came to Canada with Philip Clark whom she had met in Paris Their son Clive is Panya s

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_staging_possessions.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Visions 91
    j espère qu il saura aiguiser de précieux souvenirs D une manière générale la photographie était un médium très présent Le plus souvent elle était intégrée dons des installations qui l entraînaient dans un rapport particulièrement dynamique avec l image et la problématisaient Les œuvres n utilisant pas la photographie remettaient aussi en cause notre rapport aux images en y faisant allusion par le biais d autres médiums En effet ces propositions étaient en relation chacune à leur manière avec la médiatisation et les nouvelles technologies qui infiltrent toutes les sphères d activités et qui sèment des doutes dans notre approche du monde Images de synthèse environnements simulés médiatisations trompeuses dérangent les relations que nous avons construites avec la réalité et la fiction Le travail de Panya Clark nous mettait face à une impression de perte de réalité en multipliant les représentations d un même objet référé auquel nous n avions jamais accès en tant que tel Alors que l installation de Joseph Branco nous invitait à une attention maximale face aux données accessibles à nos sens afin de vérifier l adéquation de la réalité et de sa mise en référence l œuvre de Marie A Côté nous suggérait de sonder invisible par l imaginaire et la réflexion Barbara Claus posait l impossibilité de capter le réel dans toute son étendue en traitant de la mort thème rebelle à la représentation Parce que les nouveaux développements technologiques affectent particulièrement notre perception visuelle les conditions de vision étaient elles mêmes au centre de plusieurs questionnements L installation d Alain Paiement créait une situation où réel et fiction confondaient notre expérience endramatisant la perception visuelle L ceuvre de Lucie Lefebvre sollicitait des actes de vision qui interrogeaient l intervention du corps dans la perception par le biais de figurations ambiguës et de

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_visions_91_introduction.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Visions 91
    agit du corps des codes esthétiques et symboliques Ce dos scarifié fait allusion en quelque sorte à l environnement social et culturel tel qu il est vécu par l individu La réplique du dos semble répondre à la prétention de cette documentation à nous révéler une réalité qui s avère inaccessible et vidée de son sens initial Elle nous fournit une expérience visuelle différente où les propriétés tactiles de l œuvre nous interpellent avec force Elle donne du relief à un objet qui avait perdu le sien mais cette réplique est celle de l image du dos et non d un dos réel Elle reproduit d ailleurs sa torsion et signale le cadrage de la photographie Par ailleurs un dos réel n existe pas comme entité détachée du corps et du contexte La sculpture bien que très fidèle et en cela fascinante accentue cette impression de perte d une réalité et de son sens plutôt qu elle ne nous en approche Si elle semble d abord restituer le réel sa présence ne fait que surajouter une nouvelle réalité cette fois tridimensionnelle avec toute l efficacité que cela suppose mais accompagnée de significations propres La réplique transforme le corps initial en un objet séducteur mais trompeur Cette fascination s accompagne d une curiosité intense et ambivalente face au dos écharpé et encodé La projection du même motif à l arrière de la salle produit une expérience d un autre ordre Cette projection de l autre côté du mur nous laisse penser que l on pourra accéder à l envers des choses à un aspect négligé ou caché au sujet du même réfèrent Un dispositif motorisé associé à un éventail d acétates posé devant le projecteur diapo altère la netteté de l image ce qui lui confère un certain mouvement de respiration

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_visions_91_panya_clark.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Re | Enactment: Between Self and Other
    however difference and otherness are defined and instituted within the very fabric of a given culture whether on the basis of sex and race or on that of cultural traditions ethnic customs and religious beliefs The problems represented by these questions therefore must be considered in relation to a particular notion of the individual or collective self The notion of self as invoked in the context of this exhibition refers not to a self as one among others but to the the vantage point of that subject position against which all others are defined as other If art and its various institutions which include the gallery and the museum has taken an active part in the construction of cultural difference recent cultural history is characterized by an unprecedented contesting of the definition of difference As the assigned identity of otherness is contested by those who are subjected to and excluded from its construction the very limits and boundaries that secure the identity of a privileged subject position have been thrown into question and the terms of definition of self and other catapulted into crisis Through such strategies as mimicry copying reconstruction appropriation and reenactment Beam Clark Douglas Gurney Lounder and Maestro question the certitudes of identity at the level of the individual and of the objects of knowledge in order to contest the hierarchies of self and other Rather than leading to acts of symbolic or physical violence the uncertainties invited by this undoing are welcomed by the artists in Re Enactment as offering the possibility of cultural innovation and renewal The panicipants in this exhibition examine issues of cultural difference from a number of very different stances Panya Clark and Barbara Lounder seek to represent representations of the Other as the phantasmagoria of the Western self Stan Douglas and

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_re_enactment_introduction.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Re | Enactment: Between Self and Other — Panya Clark
    be a museum of National Geographic s collection however it also relates the discourse of the museum to the function of the magazine or vice versa Such a relation is established materially by the application of certain design features of the magazine in the construction of the room For instance the ornamental yellow band adorning National Geographic s covers is reproduced here in the form of a frieze which frames the entire upper periphery of the room In addition the dimensions of the room that is its width and depth correspond in ratio to the format of the magazine These devices not only call attention to a possible relation between National Geographic and say a museum of anthropology they also specify the nature of that relation namely that the magazine is a contemporary form of the museum that Museum Without Walls which Andre Malraux declared as having been ushered in by photography In this museum reproductions disclose the whole world s sculpture all objects in it being turned into colour plates and promoted to the rank of masterpieces and in the process losing their properties as objects If Clark s work establishes the museum s transformation in the changed conditions of the information age it also re visits the task of its collector Instead of concurring with that of the photographer the collector of images Clark s function is that of a kind of analyst When we turn our attention to the objects on display in this installaton it becomes apparent that they are not what one may initially have assumed to be the actual original objects as shown in the photographs As perhaps the desk at the back of the room with its display of small hand tools miscellaneous craft materials and a stack of opened magazines shows the objects on display the toy boat the earrings the small suitcase with its rows of humminingbirds are actually fabricated anew not from their originals but from their photographs It is as though the images had been brought back lo life their sources having slipped through from beneath the glossy surface into our space and delivered in all their luxurious materiality for us to apprehend Clark s desiring and appropriating gaze is thus turned upon the image and upon the status of those objects that are only available to us as and in images In returning the image to objecthood the very status it has lost to photography Clark s activity has become analogous perhaps to that of the archaeologist s who recreates from the shards and pieces of her buried finds the object that was lost to history Clark s museum however belongs to an archaeology of the information age her research and her discovering gaze are no longer caught by nature by the Other or by the world but rather by that which has eclipsed and thereby will of course precede it the pictures that constitute the collection of the modern museum Rather than recreating a lost past however

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_re_enactment_panya_clark.php (2016-02-13)
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  • The Salvage Paradigm
    necessary to preserve so called weaker cultures from destruction by the dominant culture It was felt that by coming into contact with the modern world the authenticity of non western cultures would be corrupted This belief has recently been criticized as another form of western ethno centrism in that it does not recognize the strength of other cultures and their ability to change and grow in response to new situations

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_salvage_paradigm_introduction.php (2016-02-13)
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  • The Salvage Paradigm — Panya Clark
    was being confronted by the growth of materialism and a boundless faith in education Many American museums used the pretence of mass education to sanctify their true driving force the compulsive acquisitiveness of the Collector When the collection was bequeathed to the museum the Collector almost invariably insisted that it be kept together and exhibited under his name As a result collections at times have become representations as much of

    Original URL path: http://www.panya.ca/publication_salvage_paradigm_artist_statement.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Scrutiny
    a fully formed object which we might use as a model to recuperate our own fragmented sense of subjecthood At the lowest threshold of interpretation the work in this exhibition posits a sensibility similar to that proposed by Gustave Flaubert in his novel Bouvard and Pecuchet Like Bouvard and Pecuchet these artists seem to have engaged in an impossible project whose rewards are entirely disproportionate to the demands made on

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