Friday, 23 October 2015
Ottawa Art Gallery (Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa)
Reflecting on the recurrent themes emerging in her survey exhibition witness, which is currently on display at the Ottawa Art Gallery, this salon will feature texts selected by nichola feldman-kiss that have contextually informed the works in the exhibition.
Excerpts will be drawn from Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty, whose reflections on brutal honesty position cruelty as a careful force, and William Steig’s Rotten Island, which the artist credits (among a few others) for teaching her to read out loud.
witness is a comprehensive survey that celebrates the last 15 years of the Toronto-based artist’s creative practice. A powerful examination of the living postcolonial body, this provocative collection of installations entangles the personal and the political to understand how the body becomes in relation to discourses of Otherness. Through a self-conscious autobiographical lens, feldman-kiss explores her own body and psyche as political sites of resistance through which to complicate the aesthetics and interpretations of self-portraiture. The works in witness tell the stories of cultural, experiential and historical conflict. Asking us to turn our gaze outwards, the most recent works in this exhibition offers witness to Sudanese conflict specifically, and more generally provides evidence of global exploitation and oppression. Throughout witness, the works pose the body as an offering to bridge the chasm between us and them, reflecting on the means of traversing between here and there.
nichola feldman-kiss is a Canadian, German, Jamaican artist exploring relational interpretations of body and embodiment, identity and autobiography, witness and traumatic memory. Visit her website here.
Special thanks to the Ottawa Art Gallery for hosting this salon.