+15 WINDOW EXHIBITION
AUGUST – SEPTEMBER, 1996
RECEPTION: THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 1996 AT 8 PM
LOCATION – CALGARY CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS
225, 8th Avenue S.E, CALGARY, ALBERTA
The idea of “distinctness” is illustrated primarily in the actual occupied space of the individual rectangles. More specifically, each dry wall figure is given its own space and each piece describes its own pain. It is the aesthetic description of the separate experiences that intrigues me. The title of the installation LANGUAGE RUNS DRY (a quote from the works of Virginia Woolf) describes each individual’s inability to objectify a wholly subjective experience: pain. It is this emotion, this subject that illustrates the limitations of text in a piece. This is of particular interests to me as at one time I went out of my way to add text to enhance my work.
The materials of the piece give specificity to the narrative. The dry wall, with its clinical appearance, represents one important, unavoidable aspect of displayed art. Namely, once the artist relinquishes a piece to public display, it stands naked and undefended. The idea of displayed art as being wholly unsheltered is reinforced by the +15 window space itself. It is a cell, with an unobstructed “fish bowl” viewing of the window.
The metal detail on the figures represents a protective barrier. In anticipation of pain, we create defense mechanisms for ourselves. They are like the metal on the figures in that they are cumbersome, foreign additions to each of us.
-Tammy McGrath 1996