ALMOST HERE / THERE
Daniel F. Manchego-Badiola
January 21 - March 16, 2014
Continuing our practice of collaborating with other institutions, we begin our 2014 program year with an exhibition of five inspiring grad students from the Honours Studio in the Visual Arts Department at Brock University in St. Catharines. During their honors studio journey, Timothy Goertzen, Daniel F. Manchego-Badiola, Simon Parker, Katie Zacks and Joaquin Manay have been mentored by Professor Duncan MacDonald to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition. This culturally diverse show of new generation artists explores innovative approaches to performance, new media, photography, painting, drawing and sculpture.
In the words of MacDonald who also curated the show, “Urban tumbleweeds, viscous mental architecture, free psychic real estate, pelts from fictional animals and experimental gestures of futility are among the subjects presented in this exhibition by five young aspiring artists. To impose strict formal and/or conceptual boundaries on the meaning, interconnectedness or nature of these artworks is counterproductive. In these works a transitory approach is necessary, where levity trumps gravity.”
Timothy Goertzen pushes the boundaries of artistic discipline and gallery decorum to understand his role as an artist and lay a foundation for a contemporary art practice. Although his work is often suspended in a state of unrest; challenging his own preconceptions, the body is used as a gestural tool for analysis and self-reflection.
Katie Zack explores the quiet yet powerful relationships between time, space and memory. Her work draws inspiration from the locations we inhabit and the intimate relationships we share with them. Katie is interested in the internality of both house and mind, the comfort sought in these places, and their illuminative qualities.
Daniel F. Manchego-Badiola questions our own individual relationship to nature, displayed in an ongoing series of pelts from creatures that perhaps never existed. These hides are neither fact nor fiction, but linger between being an appreciative sacrifice and a trophy of virility.
Simon Parker re-interprets products of consumerism to examine the distinction between commodity and refuse. Parker extricates both object and artist from the studio, exploring the contrast between the pristine and the spoiled.
Joaquin Manay is concerned with the visualization of the subconscious. His unsettling paintings continually draw from childhood remembrances of thought and emotion. Manay employs intertextual sketches of fictional characters, creating subtleties with his imagery that allow his works to relate to one another on numerous formal and conceptual levels.
According to MacDonald, “With Almost Here/There, the audience is not promised Utopia. Instead, we are offered an alternative reading on perception’s role in the creation of meaning. We are confronted with a number of hypothetical scenarios in which reason, aesthetics, chance, disorder, the sensorium and meaning conspire to thwart any singular interpretation of this work. It is here—in this state (and at this site) of potentiality—where the artworks ontologize into a constant state of becoming. This indeterminant and rhizomatic state of flux is a difficult one to process in its nonfixity. I will retain the right to allow the ambiguities inherent in this artwork to remain unnamed.”