The blind spot of an old dream of symmetry.

Earlier this year, I was digging deep into archives at The Art Gallery of Ontario and found a small piece of writing about a graduate exhibition at York University. In 1996, Lee Rodney curated “Deflecting the Blind Spot: Suzy Lake and Martha Wilson (1972-1975) at the Art Gallery of York University.

“The blind spot of an old dream of symmetry.” Luce Irigaray’s citations of the omissions within the discourses of psychoanalysis and Western philosophy, provides a point of reference for the work of Suzy Lake and Martha Wilson from the early 1970s.

Focus: performance and masquerade, documented through photography, video, and text. From early 1970s, both artists made work centered on the self as a medium and addressed the impossibility of self-representation, “through a strategic use of mimicry, to an otherwise invisible rupture in the figuration of the Feminine”.

The assumed division between theory and practice – the ‘work’ of theory and the ‘play’ of performance – is often artificial. This exhibition suggests a contiguous relation between theory and practice.

I Suzy Lake, ImPositions (storyboard), 1977.

In the last two years, I created video and photo documentation focused on performance grounded in conceptual art and psychoanalytic studies of the embodied sacred Feminine. After taking a long break, I am interested in developing a new project focused on the self as a medium and addressing the tension between being/non-being, presence/absence, form/formlessness. I also want to address issues of consumption, gender politics, and displacement (in relation to be a first-generation immigrant).

Being strongly influenced by performance artists such as Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, and Marina Abramovic, I am going to begin my project by following instructions created by Yoko Ono in her 2013 book Acorn. I want to explore ritual-in-performance to develop my own method and warm myself up for a year-long conceptual performance work.

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