In-Between

    Thursday, September 9, 2004 to Saturday, November 6, 2004

    Opening
    • Thursday, October 14, 2004
    PART 1: Daryoush Asgar (Austria), Isabelle Lévénez (France) and Monika Oechsler (UK); Curated by Rhonda Corvese (Canada) PART 2: Valerie Mannaerts (Belgium), Harold Offeh (UK), Jennifer Reeder (USA), Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak (Canada); Curated by Rhonda Corvese (Canada) In-Between is a representation of the formative and the intangible. An immersion into a transitional zone, where boundaries are blurred and existence is mutable. In-Between is a mercurial passage of revelation and concealment. It depicts a visceral state of being, where perceptions are transient and uncertain. In-Between is a suspension of being. A personal and social displacement that strives to reconcile autonomy and engagement. In-Between is an exploration of self-definition and the constitution of identity. It reveals the separation of self, seeking a totality of internal and external consciousness. In-Between is a manifestation of the subjective, revealing indiscernible permutations between one and the other. It evokes a relational identity, where time and place are fluid and untenable. Daryoush Asgar’s paintings (2001) are visual representations of suspension and displacement, embodying the indeterminate and capturing the essence of the transitional. The two large-scale paintings are individual depictions of a male and a female youth. Asgar’s figures press against the picture plane in a shallow space, poignantly balancing physical presence with disengagement. The figures are rendered in fluid brushstrokes of saturated colors that seep into the background, effectively dissolving the physical form. Asgar’s paintings are mercurial portraits that hover silently in-between states of being. Isabelle Lévénez’s work exists in-between the ambiguous and the certain. Through intimate situations that evoke the subliminal, Lévénez reflects on the perceptions of self and the other. Lévénez’s powerful imagery explores the mutable disparities between the physical and the psychological in relation to perception and time. In the series on paper entitled Mes neufs ans veulent te parler (my nine years want to speak to you) (2001) Lévénez suggests adult recollections of childhood memories, questioning the perceptions of events that define self. The red ink drawings with text are provocative depictions of childhood games that transpire on the threshold between innocence and awareness. The drawings convey a fluidity of consciousness and subjective memory. Lévénez’s Mes neufs ans veulent te parler addresses a visceral state of being, residing where boundaries are undefined, in-between the concealed and the revealed. Monika Oechsler’s video High Achievers (1998) is a disturbing confrontation between adolescent girls, indicative of the disjunction and uncertainty that emerges during adolescence. An unsettling enactment of anxieties and fears, questioning the external dynamics engendered in the transition from child to adult. High Achievers is composed as a contemporary version of the psycho-analytical EST group therapy sessions of the 80’s, where a solitary volunteer is confronted by a group in order to gain greater insight and perception into self. Oechsler’s version engages the girls in a game of their own conception, in which they devise the format and words, resulting in a merciless assault of accusations and judgements. The encounter is deceivingly reminiscent of adult interactions and a distressing depiction of the vulnerable and the impressionable. In the struggle to assert personal and social identity, the girls in Oechsler’s High Achievers embody the transitional stage of adolescence and articulate the in-between state of displacement. Valerie Mannaerts approaches her work by detaching an object from it’s origin and placing it in a different context, subtly transforming conventional meaning and extending the possibilities of representation. This compositional freedom enables Mannaerts to consider different associations and interpretations and allows for the unplanned and the experimental to emerge naturally. Distinctions between the self and the other are absorbed and united to form a plurality of being that is organic in expression and liberated in form. The exhibited series of eight untitled works on paper (2004) combine drawing, photography, objects and collage. The works hang from thread, spatially existing in a mutable position between image and object. These composite image-objects function as new modes of expression, where the point of view becomes the defining dimension. Suspended in-between the subjective and the objective, Mannaerts works are both accessible and detached, materializing the unfixed and the marginal. Harold Offeh’s work explores the screen/spectator dichotomy, mirroring and revealing truths and perceptions. Offeh’s video In Camera (2001) is based on Sartre’s play Huis Clos, portraying the search for self-affirmation through others, as a need for a witness to the existence of self. In Camera addresses the connections between self and the other. It is an existential search for self-definition, reflected in the revealing dialogue between the dolls, Inez and Estelle. In Camera is an expression of consciousness, an eerily hypnotic look into identity. Offeh’s In Camera resides in-between the formed and the unformed, in an undefined state, where boundaries are blurred and relations are transient. Jennifer Reeder’s miniature video installation A Double Image Both in Focus Simultaneously (Part II) (2001) is a sublime ballad of adolescence. A montage of multiple relations and sentiments, as perceived through time. The installation combines a monitor situated on the floor, surrounded by a small-scale environment of a high school parking lot and green space. The video unfolds slowly, detailing the actions of a teenage boy in a school hallway as he walks to his locker. His movements embody isolation and detachment, existing in-between the physical and the ethereal. Reeder’s portrayal of adolescence is a meditation on the separation of being, simultaneously depicting the external and internal self. Lisa Steele & Kim Tomczak’s audio installation Bump in the Night (2000) is an intimate, unsettling collision of fears and anxieties expressed by high school students, ages seventeen to nineteen. Bump in the Night was first installed in a locker at Central Technical High School in Toronto where the artists requested two students to interview their fellow students asking them to state on tape their fears, favorite color and a funny story. A computer-generated voice program conceals the students’ identities with anonymous voices. Set within a row of high school lockers, the audio becomes a visceral encounter of disembodied voices. The statements are disconcerting revelations of concerns and uncertainties towards their own identities, revealing fragile dispositions in-between the past and the future. Rhonda Corvese, Curator Gallery 101 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, our patrons, members, and volunteers. Monika Oeschler acknowledges the support of the British Art Council. Valerie Mannaerts acknowledges the Flemish Community. Harold Offeh acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of England. Jennifer Reeder acknowledges the Julia Friedman Gallery, New York. Gallery 101 also acknowledges, the generous contribution of the following supporters in the production of this exhibition: Austrian Cultural Forum, Embassy of Austria www.austro.org Embassy of Belgium http://www.diplomatie.be/ottawa/ British Council www.britishcouncil.org Embassy of France in Canada culturel.org L’Alliance Française in Canada www.af.ca/ottawa/