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March 20 - April 4 . 1997
ArtLab, UWO

Catalogue Essay by Jenifer Papararo and Kim Simon


As the viewer walks through the exhibition or engages with each installation the senses highlight certain elements and forgo others. Our memory is selective, making aspects of experience "disappear and exaggerating others, distorting it, fragmenting it and diverting it from its immobile order."* In this moment the detail replaces a perception of the whole - the fragment becomes the whole; or in the same instance of perceiving the detail can be subsumed by the whole - the whole becomes the fragment.

The practice of installation has the potential to acknowledge how institutions have "staged" the development of constructing identities, exposing structures which are hidden behind and within these institutions. These structures are implicitly and explicitly exposed through an invisible mortar which binds the images of an installation into a "whole." The spaces of 'in-between' allow for the insertion of a viewer's histories into a dialogue with the image of an installation; an image already layered with juxtopositions of objects and/or modes of representation in space. This dialogue embodies the relationship between "staged" experiences of the viewer and the perceived (holistic) narrative of a work. An affirmation of the originally perceived whole becomes fragmented, forming a constellation of shifting experiences and meanings. The metaphor of constellation is meant to embody an understanding of experience that does not freeze history into chronology.

Installation becomes a "texting" or weaving, with the potential to enact a dialectic, a configuration in which ideas are related, juxtoposed and contrasted. This weaving is an action that takes place on both the part of the artist and the viewer, allowing for a re-remembering and re-commemorating of experience such that there can be a newly constructed understanding of history.

*De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans., Stephen Rendall. Berkley: University of California Press, 1988.