Your Place or Mine?
July 22 - September 3, 2006
25th Aniversary Celebration Exhibitions
Your Place or Mine?
An installation by Jutta Strohmaier, Ernest Daetwyler and You!
Presented in collaboration with UMAS and Michael Tweed.
How do you define home? What marks and signs do you erect to maintain a sense of meaning and place in life? What is a place? A non-place? An other place? What are the practices of everyday life? These are some of the questions Jutta Strohmaier and Ernest Daetwyler are investigating with the help of the residents of West Grey, as well as all visitors to the gallery.
Inside the gallery visitors will not only enter a complex environment—where bubble-like spheres hover over a schematic map of West Grey, while a panoramic view of Vienna flickers on the wall, flanked by photographs both mundane and personal—but they will also have the opportunity to define and alter this microcosm in various ways.
This year’s UMAS artist-in-residence Jutta Strohmaier provides a basic framework with a sprawling video and photography installation entitled Silent Stories. Shot from an elevated position overlooking Vienna, Strohmaier’s video and photographic collage panoramas provide a general, panoptic view which arranges space and allows control. However, somewhere between the houses, embedded in the urban topography, there is a space filled with innumerable small movements writing the stories of everyday life. These two perspectives—the grand gesture of the panoptic view and the ordinary gestures and movements on ground level—overlap and intermingle to form the cityscape on the one hand and city life on the other.
Further compounding the various perspectives from which we deal with our environment, Strohmaier also includes 52 snap-shots that tell a story of her immediate surroundings. This photo story describes the places Strohmaier visited and inhabited in her everyday life through the course of one month. However, this work does not claim to be a documentary, as she has arranged the single photographs into groups, creating a false narrative. Visitors to the gallery, adults and children alike, are asked to replace these images with their own photographs, drawings, paintings or texts describing their own personal narratives and illustrating what, for you, defines home and place and the everyday practices of art. To encourage your participation basic materials will be supplied in a comfortable workstation, and the resulting works and documents will immediately become part of the installation.
While Strohmaier largely deals with concrete personal and social spaces and the way in which we all move through these in our daily lives, Daetwyler addresses that imaginary place we each stake out for ourselves. Caught in our own illusions of self and other, we not only retreat into these illusory spaces, but also project meanings and events into the world. Symbolically representing this inner space, Daetwyler will be constructing an interactive floating Sphere City. Visitors are invited to inhabit these spheres and bubbles and there share their ideas of place.
In the spirit of UMAS’s and the Durham Art Gallery’s history of creating collaborative projects that bring art into the community, we have commissioned local artist Michael Tweed to participate in the process of creation, installation and exhibition of this highly collaborative project. Through various media such as video, local newspapers and cable TV, as well as UMAS’s own website (www.umas.on.ca/ypom), Tweed will document and reflect upon the process and notion of art and artists, spectators and their communities as well.
During the development and installation of this project, we are asking for your input and participation. Ernest would like ‘to invite the community to bring artifacts to the gallery which are special to them and define their place as other and different. These artifacts will then be incorporated and become a part of this participatory exhibition.’ While leaping over the gallery walls, Jutta is expanding the notion of art gallery to include each person’s home and personal engagement with life. To this end, she is visiting local homes, talking to the people who live there about the ways we give meaning to our lives, while she documents the personal galleries we each erect in our private spaces.
This project is only possible with the collaboration of the community, so during the installation process, there will also be several meet-the-artist sessions. These will be held at the Gallery on Wednesday, July 26 to Friday, July 28, 7 to 9pm. You are invited to attend and participate, and encouraged to bring photographs, paintings or personal and cultural artifacts to be included in the exhibition.
Don’t miss the opportunity to extend the Gallery into your own home! Please call Jutta and Michael at the Durham Art Gallery (tel: 519 369-3692) to arrange for a visit.
Ernest Daetwyler received his Master Diploma from the Schule fuer Gestaltung, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Recent international exhibitions took place at the 2004 Yugoslaw Biennial, Serbia; the 8th Havana Biennial, Cuba; and ArtCanal during the expo.02, Switzerland. He is the recipient of numerous grants including the Ontario Arts Council, Presence Suisse and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Ernest is a founding member of CAFKA, and was the Artistic Director of peace of mind, CAFKA.04. Upcoming projects include The Luggage Project for the Victoria Park Entrance in Kitchener, an outdoor sculptural work for the Art Gallery of Peterborough and a project for the 3rd International Forest Art Path in Darmstadt, Germany.
Jutta Strohmaier (MFA) studied architecture, philosophy, painting, photography and new media at various universities in Vienna, Austria. She is the recipient of several art awards and was an IASPIS artist in residence in Gothenborg, Sweden. Her solo exhibitons include the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg, Austria, the Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria and Hohenlohe Gallery in Vienna, Austria. She has also participated in several international group exhibitions, including Centro Ducale, Madrid; Charlottenborg Exhibion Hall, Copenhagen; Arthall Gothenborg, Sweden; Sculptura 2002 in Falkenberg, Sweden; and the Museum of Modern Art in Passau, Germany.