If I have a body
Remai Modern, Saskatoon
May 31 - September 2 2019
Organized by Rose Bouthillier, Curator (Exhibitions); Sandra Fraser, Curator (Collections); and Troy Gronsdahl, Associate Curator (Live Programs)
Photo credit: Blaine Campbell
Image views with paintings by Veronika Pausova
If I have a body
presents new and recent work by six Canadian artists: Shuvinai Ashoona, Steven Beckly, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Laurie Kang, Veronika Pausova and Dominique Rey. The title, drawn from a poem by Belcourt, considers the body as a proposition, an unstable form shaped by imagination, desire, vulnerability and exchange. The artists are brought together in dynamic pairings, creating dialogue between their works.
In her sculptures and installations, Laurie Kang combines industrial metal objects with soft, responsive materials such as silicone, clay and photo-sensitive paper. Her work speaks to metabolism and the transfer of energy, calling up forms that may be human, animal or alien. Veronika Pausova’s paintings show the figure and its traces as surreal impressions, isolating sensations such as touch, heat, attraction and tension.
Shuvinai Ashoona’s colourful drawings assert her highly personal vision, filtered through a Northern experience of globalization, where her inner and outer worlds coalesce in complex, troubling and exhilarating compositions. In her lens-based practice, Dominique Rey utilizes modes of performance, accumulation and collage to explore duality and estrangement in the construction of self.
Steven Beckly’s photographic work disrupts the still image to create evocative forms. Curving, draped and slumping, his intimately scaled work reveals the sensuality of the everyday. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s poems are an invitation to feel. Moving between frank observation and philosophical musings, his work addresses colonial violence and grief, while holding desire and joy as conditions for possibility.
The artists in this exhibition share an interest in body as a vehicle for synthesis and transformation. Rather than a singular, stable entity, the body is unresolved and contingent, a fragmented collection of feelings, expectations, and circumstances.