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Slippery Terrain / 100 Stories About My Grandmother

uglybettyCATALOGUEjulie keller

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Ellin Ana - Penetrating my Idol video


MAR. 06 – APR. 17

Slippery Terrain was brought to life because negotiating artistic territory can be momentous, despite geographical distance. Four visual artists are presenting new work at Eastern Edge Gallery in celebration of “International Women’s Day”: Thora Gunnarsdottir (Iceland), Nina Lassila (Finland/Sweden), Elin Anna Thórisdóttir (Iceland) and co-ordinator, Juliana Espana Keller (Canada/England). They are four female visual artists who use and appropriate strategic similarities in order to mirror others: to imitate, to immerse and to become. Slippery Terrain uses a composite of different media, materials and influences – such as video, photography, installation, sound and other media. Their work includes research into animal telepathy, animal rights, cartography, human behavioural studies and traditional folklore.

100 Stories About My Grandmother uses the narratives of male prostitutes to construct a picture of the artist’s grandmother, and thereby deconstructs notions of family and the lives of sex workers. Society tends to see sex workers as destitute, drug addicted, amoral, disease infected, and lower class. Their real voices are seldom heard. They are most likely to come to our attention when they enter the court system, or if well meaning community or church groups attempt to save them from the perceived perils of sex work. 100 Stories About My Grandmother allows the talked-about to talk; gives a voice to those who have been voiceless. In turn, their narratives are used to build the Peter Kingstone’s grandmother’s story.

About the artists:

Juliana Espana Keller created this piece whilst she was in-residence in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2006, a work that reflected her connection to the place. In her own practice, she uses tools of masking, camouflage and excessive mimicry to act and to become something else. She transforms, transposes and reflects on imitation, theatrics and simulation through performance and intervention. This video was filmed in the late hours of the day on the #6 tram that winds its way into the heart of Gothenburg on any given night – perhaps with the same weary travelers who always take this tram at the same hour. Using campy costume drama, she got on the tram from the outskirts of Gothenburg’s dark periphery, and took her place amongst the night passengers moving with her against the background of urban landscape. She transforms herself into a ‘Goth girl’ with heavy cosmetic make-up, emphasizing the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate. Passengers kept to themselves in a most civilized fashion no matter how much this transformation caused her persona to transform and stand out while touching on the sublime. Juliana is building a special structure for the presentation of this video as a digital projection. Since the piece was filmed on a moving tram, she has constructed a special support as a floating projection screen to emphasize the movement through time and space.

Nina Lassila’s Tele-Pets is an ongoing project since 2006. The project evolves around the phenomenon of telepathy. The first part focuses on telepathy between animals and human beings. At the time being, Tele-Pets consists of a video, a webpage, live events, research material and documentation. As the phenomena of telepathy is broad, the project will dig deeper into i.e telepathy between humans, by conducting experiments, performances and interviews.

Thora Gunnarsdottir’s Untitled Assembly is a video work that includes an installation of several videos each in its own monitor. Together these videos express fragmentary encounters with moments and memories based on the artist’s interaction with the animal world and the concept of image.

Elin Anna Thorisdottir’s Penetrating My Idol explores her Identity penetrating her idol, Pippi Longstocking and her feelings in a restraining environment. Pippi Longstocking is a popular fictional character from children stories. The place of Thora and Pippi’s intimate meeting is the artist’s self-portrait. She admires her heroin for strength and creativity, which in her opinion are symbolized by the girl’s hair. The artist expresses her longing for possessing those virtues by depicting herself in her works with two, sticking-out, red braids. Recently, the artist lived in a new environment where she couldn’t express or identify herself as usual. She felt suppressed and had a strange longing for dissolving which she expressed by depicting herself wrapped in bandages. Thorisdottir will exhibit paintings, drawings, and a video dealing with her Identity and restrained Self.

Peter Kingstone’s work explores narrative, histories, and the intangible nature of truth.