On Saturday Sept. 24, 2016 Kamloops Art Gallery hosted its curators tour and opening reception for “All membranes are porous.” Margaret Dragu, Pascal Grandmaison, Sarah Anne Johnson, Zoe Kreye, Luanne Martineau and Jeremy Shaw are all contributors to this new exhibit that dwells on the human body.
Curator Charo Neville brought together a collection of projects that separately focus on the inner and outer workings of the human body, but joined together make a statement about the human experience in its entirety.
Margaret Dragu, the artist behind “The Library Project/Commodification of Touch,” uses video and repurposed objects to literally tell stories. Her projects take a deeper and meaningful look into memory, storytelling and the legacy that we inevitably leave behind.
“Both pieces are about memory and storytelling and investigating or questioning our notions about how we collect stories. Which means what do we mean by history? Or what do we mean by libraries? And what do we mean by education? Because all three of those are really people’s stories. We should be asking who is collecting those stories, who is creating history, who is creating what we believe to be education and learning,” Dragu said.
Zoe Kreye had two projects in the exhibit that had a general tone of loss and what loss actually means. “Futureloss” is about change and how it can often relate to the idea of loss. It looked at the effects of redevelopment in a Vancouver neighbourhood. Kreye interviewed shopkeepers and asked what area of the shop they felt carried the biggest feeling of loss for them and then asked the same questions about their body. Kreye used plaster to create a sculpture in an attempt to embody this emotion.
“Our Missing Body” is a more personal project about physical loss, looking into losing touch with our own bodies, the loss of intimacy or even death.
“One of them was a commission about this neighbourhood changing. One of them was just from my own personal experiences with loss of connection with one’s body, losing someone who had died and a lack of intimacy and touch in life. I felt that on my own, but also noticed that many other people in my life were also experiencing that. So the lack of embodiment seems to me like a loss,” Kreye added.
Other projects within the exhibit are composed of various materials and use different forms of media to portray life as a human, including Pascal Grandmaison’s two video installations “Dissolution” and “Nostalgie,” which tackle the idea of man’s futility against nature and the opposing force felt by the modern industrial world. Sarah Anne Johnson’s “Hospital Hallway” deals with mental illness and unbearable abuse that can be felt and overcome. Luanne Martineau has five felt sculptures that juxtapose the female body against societal expectations. Last but certainly not least, Jeremy Shaw’s “Introduction to the Memory Personality” is a journey that should be taken alone. It is a dark room with a single chair that explores the effect of a deteriorating body and infused with works from self-help books.
The exhibit “All membranes are porous” is a unique experience that calls on spectators to be introspective about their own bodies and minds. It will run until Dec. 31 at the Kamloops Art Gallery. Admission to the gallery is $3 for students with valid ID and free for everyone on Thursdays.