Oh Terrible Language

Glass Armour: Fragile Shields: Karen Justl
December 6 , 1997 – January 10, 1998

a response to the exhibition by Susan Chafe

TITLES: Soft Target; the dimming vision; oh terrible language; long in the tooth, ribs removed to identify position in the cavity of the chest; a ghost pain; articular motives; disarticulation; mask to identify virtue; not listening; a thing that hinges hold; sentimental resignation; slitting my memory on a poetry of glass shards; dislocated pressure; if you were oyster and your teeth pearls; can you see, a pool of frozen water on the moon, intention exists before language.
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Outlaw Mythology and Postmodern Purgatory

Photogenic and Lost: two performances by Grant Guy
November 27 – 29, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Sharon Alward

“To learn truly what each thing is, is a matter of uncertainty.”
( Democritus 500 BCE)

Democritus, the laughing philosopher, suggested that the soul is a form of fire which animates the human body and that pleasure along with self control was the goal of life. His statement that we know nothing truly about anything, but that for each of us, opinion is an influx conveyed by the influx of idols from without is at the heart of the evening of performances by Winnipeg artist Grant Guy.
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Critical Distance

Captive and Absent: Lori Rogers
October 29 – November 22, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Vera Lemecha

At the end of this century, technology is taking the place of what we have defined previously as nature. It is the environment in which we are situated and against which we measure ourselves. Rogers’ use of nature speaks not of a desire for reconciliation with the natural, but investigates our situation in the late twentieth century in which the technological has become the natural. Many of us engage daily with technology – automatic bank machines, voice mail, cel phones, electronic mail, the Internet, computer games, word-processing, and so on. In a very short time the use of these technologies has become so much a part of our daily lives that it is difficult for us to fully comprehend our relationship to them and to the way our relationship to the world has been mediated through them. Allucquére Rosanne Stone, restating Marshall McLuhan’s pronouncement, “the medium is the message,” indicates that it is hard to see what technology does because what it does is silently and pervasively restructure seeing.¹ Rogers’ investigation has to do with a venture Stone describes as “not into the heart of ‘nature’ in search of redemption, but rather into the heart of ‘technology’ in search of nature – and not nature as object, place or originary situation…[but] as a continual reinvention and encounter actively resisting representation.”² Continue reading

Critical Distance

A Bird in the Hand: Alex Poruchnyk
September 19 – October 12, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Grant Guy

On Opening Night. . .

A Voice In The Dark: “It is too much to take in all at once.”

Tricia Wasney Wrote In The Guest Book: “I liked (and didn’t like) being distracted, wanting to see everything, not wanting to miss anything.”

Is this not Life, in both serenity and in panic?
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Burning Bridges: Jarod Charzewski
May 30 – September 27, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Alison Gillmor

The first and probably the most accessible way to see Burning Bridges is as a series of ten wooden doors that are either rising triumphantly or falling into despair, depending on your viewpoint (physical and emotional). Taken with the work’s site – a scrubby open field in Winnipeg’s North End – the doorways act as a striking metaphor for a community in uneasy transition. But it’s important not to stop there, at that intellectually comfy construct. Artist Jarod Charzewski, blindsides the paradigm of public sculpture as monumental, untouchable, timeless product, looking instead at processes – weather, decay, human interaction, and most of all – time and what they do to materials. Responses to his work need to do something like that too, not worrying about neat conclusions but enjoying uncertainties, unresolved tensions – the practice of thinking about art and not just the final results.
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Critical Distance

Not What We Are: Susan Turner
April 18 – May 10, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Robert Sauvey

entry #1

I was down at Ace Art today meeting with Jennifer. Susan Turner was there. I told her that I was writing the Critical Distance for her upcoming show at Ace Art. She was really pleased when I told her that I was looking forward to writing it. We made plans to meet at her studio for a pre-exhibition visit. Susan offered to serve lunch – a bonus. She phoned later to set a date.

How you picture me is not how I picture myself.
How you picture me is not who I am.

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Those Fabulous Pre-Fabs

The Pretender Series: Patrick Hartnett
March 21 – April 12, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Al Rushton

With six minutes of every TV half hour devoted to claims of commercial quality, it’s refreshing when someone comes along and says, “Hey, this isn’t the Real Thing.” Patrick Hartnett’s recent Ace Art installation: The Pretender Series does just this. Using computer photo manipulation, Hartnett flies in the face of vainglorious advertising claims and frowningly serious contemporary art, both presenting themselves as Gospels of the moment.
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the love machine…or solo groping in the dark

Solo Groping in the Dark: Sharon Raynard
March 21 – April 12, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Jennifer Stillwell

In the automatic age we have not ignored the love-machine — we physically have become a mechanical competitor, and we have the desire to perfect not only our environment but also ourselves and our bodies. We are finding we are not living up to the capabilities of our bodily extensions. We alone survive as a kind of mushy love-machine proficient in thrills we attempt to define and control, and our culture tends to reduce sex to a question of mechanics, hygiene, and fashion. Continue reading

On Boundaries, Lines, Paradox and Gregor Turk

The 49th Parallel Project: Gregor Turk
February 14 – March 8, 1997

a response to the exhibition by Douglas William Lewis

Maps, or even more specifically, boundaries are often defined within the physical realm by two or more intersecting regions of space, mass or time; the sociological and psychological metaphors of boundaries are, of course, of an unparalleled importance. Maps have a tendency to appear to take the abstract world and reformulate it into something humanity can digest, in other words, helping us locate our periphery. According to Websters’ Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary a map is “1.b. a representation of the celestial sphere or part of it”. This may convincingly assist in our perception of our corporeal situation, even though cartographical history has shown us that maps can be biased, inconsistent and often antiquated. Yet, somehow we still live with them as one of the methods of defining ourselves as ‘regions’. The 49th parallel, being one of the longest straight ‘lines’ or boundaries, was the premise for much of Gregor Turk’s exhibition at Ace Art. Continue reading