Sunday, November 27, 2016


While enroute to a meeting at the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies building last week I noticed a new exhibition in the FINA Gallery. Entitled Emplace, the show features work by MFA Visual Art cohort members Amberley John, Crystal Przybille, Tania Willard and Meg Yamamoto. All but Amberley are participants in FCCS 506A, a methods class I take part in.

Emplace is not a word I had (until now) ever used, nor one I had (until then) heard spoken or seen written. Although I can infer the word's meaning (the prefix em meaning in), I looked it up nonetheless.

The first two online definitions are from Merriam-Webster and Merriam-Webster defines emplace as "to put into position: missiles emplaced around the city" while gives us this: "to put in place or position A statue was emplaced in the square."

Placed on and before the north wall as you enter the gallery is an installation by Amberley (the wall tapestry to the right includes a touch activated audio element).

To the east is a vertical wall work by Crystal that is comprised of eight texts (I LIKE THIS PLACE/ I'M GOING TO TAKE IT/ MAKE IT MINE/ THROUGH FORCE, DESIGN/ NAME IT, ANEW/ MAKE A SIGN/ IMPOSE MY STORY/ STAKE MY CLAIM/ BELIE MY CRIME) .

To the south is a series or a range of twenty or so drawings and prints by Meg that are placed wider than they are higher (excerpted below are "FICTIONAL TREE RINGS I, II, and III").

To the west is a wallwork installation by Tania that includes, at the centre of the gallery floor, a ceiling projection onto a blanket. Between the projection and the wall work is a reflection cast by a silver-backed text taken from Freud's 1913 book Tabu und Totem.

My initial impression of the exhibition is focused on the relationship amongst the cardinal points. Both the artists on the north wall (Amberley) and the west wall (Tania) directly reference production: in the case of the former, the making of a garment (which stands beside the chair and is, according to the artist, ongoing); in the case of the latter (as projected onto the gallery floor), the crushing of berries, presumably towards the generation of another medium -- an ink or a dye.

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