What I see each moment I’ve never seen before

At Pierre-François Ouellette’s Centre Space gallery in Toronto I adapted two installations which have been seen in earlier incarnations in 2015: because something lightens in us at DNA Artspace, London, Ontario, in Patrick Mahon’s A Gust of Wind in October, and Vie étendue (feelers) at the McClure Gallery, Montreal, January (January light, so light). A third installation, Vent, is particular to this place (its title a wave to Patrick’s project last fall). During the two weeks of installation I was in good company, surrounded as Centre Space is by Feheley Fine Arts and its continually changing presence of art by northern artists, notably Shuvinai Ashoona, whose drawings, and collaborative drawings made with Shary Boyle, were on view to mark the launch of their fantastic artist book Universal Cobra.

Four artists helped see this through. Many thanks to Shellie Zhang for installation assistance on site, Lalie Douglas for preparation assistance in Montreal, and Phil Baljeu who built and programmed a dimming light fixture so Vie étendue can be seen in both natural and artificial light. Thanks also to Toni Johannesen, who took time away from her Studio Antico to help Shellie and I with interminable threading of polyester strips.

I’ll post more videos and photos of the show when it’s over, because it really is best experienced in person. It’s made for that, for spending a bit of time lost in it, if you can.

In the meantime, here are some images and a video to get across the essence of what’s there in a way that makes sense on a computer screen. (Please also see below for the text I wrote to introduce the work).

Fuglem-CentreSpace-text

A Gust of Wind

Group exhibition at DNA Artspace, London, Ontario
October 2015
curated by Patrick Mahon

This group exhibition and panel discussion was organized by artist Patrick Mahon, whose work was presented in the exhibition, along with mine and that of Canadian artists Sean Caulfield (Edmonton, AB); David Merritt (London, ON); Tegan Moore (London, ON); Francine Savard (Montreal, Q.C.), and Norwegian artist, Elida Brenna Linge.
“Through photography, painting, sculpture, print media and video, the artists respond to the wind through a range of visual strategies that remind us of its power and its delicacy. They also show us that we may often know the wind less through our eyes than through its touch and its effects on physical materials.” PM

I spent a few days installing two installations and an intervention, if you want to call them something, although I prefer the titles, which I borrowed from Fernando Pessoa’s Keeper of Sheep poems, written under the heteronym Alberto Caeiro. (see below).

Much gratitude to Randi Aiken for her assistance in London.

i find it so natural not to think that sometimes I start laughing, all by myself*
With the slightest air movement, these things turn slowly and send reflected lines of light in fast spin on surfaces around them.

because something lightens in us**
A drawing composed of strips of transparent and reflective mylar responds to air displaced by someone walking past. Shown here in daylight, and with one halogen light positioned overhead.

Pessoa sources:

from A Keeper of Sheep

*XXXIV

I find it so natural not to think
That I sometimes start laughing, all by myself,
About I don’t know quite what, but it has to do
With there being people who think…

What does my wall think about my shadow?
Sometimes I wonder about this until I realize
I’m wondering about things…
And then I feel annoyed and out of sorts with myself,
As if I’d realized my foot was asleep…

What does one thing think about another?
Nothing thinks anything.
Is the earth aware of the stones and plants it contains?
If it were, it would be a person,
And if it were a person, it would have a person’s nature, it wouldn’t be the earth.
But what does all this matter to me?
If I thought about these things,
I would stop seeing the trees and plants
And I would stop seeing the Earth,
Seeing nothing but my thoughts…
I would grow sad and remain in the dark.
The way I am, without thinking, I have the Earth and the Sky.

(from  A Little Larger than the Entire Universe, edited and translated by Richard Zenith)

**XXV

Those soapbubbles that kid
Amuses himself with by blowing them from a straw
Are transparently a whole philosophy.

Clear, useless and fleeting like Nature,
Friends to the eyes like things,
They are what they are
With a little round airy precision,
And nobody, not even the kid who’s making them,
Pretends they’re more than they appear to be.

Some are hard to see in the clear air.
They’re like a breeze that blows and barely touches the flowers
And we only know it’s blowing
Because something lightens in us
And accepts everything more clearly.

from Alberto Caeiro: Complete Poems: Fernando Pessoa

January light, so light

2015

polyester, mylar, steel wire
in situ

During January’s brief days three installations respond to available light and air movement at the McClure Gallery.

In Spinning World (version écran), installed near the large front window, a subtle show of lines of light appear most of the day. This bit of light is cast onto frosted mylar panels from assemblies of cut polyester attached to curved wires which turn slowly with any breeze from the opening gallery door. But between 3 and 3:30 pm on sunny days, light reflecting off windows across the street illuminates these spinners which in turn cast bright trains of light across the mylar panels.

Sans titre (light study 01/2015) is a simple assembly of mirroed mylar panels suspended to respond to changing air currents, in turn reflecting even the slightest glimmer of daylight onto a sheet of paper hung nearby. Even days of heavy snowfall days cast light “shows” on the paper.

A few halogen lights, however, help illuminate Vie étendue (feelers) on a wall where the only daylight reflects off the white surfaces of those adjacent to it. Strips of polyester film are suspended from wires inserted into this wall, which is hung with backdrop paper. The strips move gently with changes in air from the door opening or a visitor walking past, reflecting incongruously curved lines of light on the paper.

Galerie McClure, Westmount, Quebec

Everything held together (pour l’instant)

2013

Exhibition of new work and works in progress, including photos, drawings, photo-drawings, transitional works, transitory works, reflective installations and photo installations, many of which changed, were added, or were destroyed throughout the course of the exhibition.

For more information and to watch a video made by José Garcia to accompany the exhibition, please visit the gallery website www.pfoac com

review:

http://www.thebelgoreport.com/2013/04/karilee-fuglem-a-pierre-francois-ouellette-art-contemporain

The Weight of Light

2012
plastic, fishline, glass beads, steel thread & frames; aluminum & monofilament
in situ

Thousands of discs cut from plastic water bottles are threaded together into “clouds”  suspended in an atrium.  Along the wall, groups of spinal-curved arcs threaded with monofilament form a path of lines against which anyone pausing to rest appears to hover.

Permanent installation at Cirque du Soleil Headquarters, Montreal, Canada (corporate collection)

(My Life on) Film

2011
polyester film, monofilament, plywood bench (daylight, air movement)
in situ

Sheets of clear polyester film are cut in strips and suspended in a daylit room with open windows, weather conditions articulated by reflected light in motion. One large swath, at the aspect ratio of a 16 mm film, sinuously reflects outside buildings;  individual sheets hover above the floor, rippling waterily with air movement.

La Biennale de Montréal (2011)

Steady Streams, Living Rooms

2010
nylon monofilament, acetate, video loop in wood frame and table

Imagined paths of Harriet Tubman, Laura Secord and other local historical figures cross an ornate former sitting room, into which is built a webby sculpture. Bits of text cut from collaged book pages flutter moth-like amidst the web, while nearby 12-Mile Creek, a constant in local history, runs steadily in one direction and then the other, in an approximation of pages turning, in the video work 12 Mile.

Steady Streams, Living Rooms, Rodman Hall, St Catharines, Ontario (2010)
Anima, FOFA Gallery, Montreal (12 Mile) (2011)

here within our curving spaces

2008
nylon monofilament, elastic thread, fans (Cygnus, 9 hours: 144 x 196 x 72 in / 360 x 480 x 180 cm)

In the entry room to the exhibition, elastic threads are stretched horizontally between walls to bounce in a watery shimmer, while marking the former path of the adjacent West Don River. In the adjacent room, a nine-hour orbital pattern of the constellation Cygnus forms a structure of lines into which a swan-like flock is built from fine monofilament. It is placed in relation to the constellation’s position during the summer exhibition.

A flipbook records hourly maps of the night sky faced with aerial photos showing the river’s gradually altered path. Entirely daylit, the artwork’s visiblity changes depending on the time of day and cloud cover, gradually disappearing at sundown.

here within our curving spaces, Koffler Gallery, Toronto (2008)

Imaginary Range

2007
nylon monofilament, 210 x 750 x 900 cm

A hand-crocheted web of fine monofilament is suspended overhead to follow imagined “thought pathways” between a room’s entries. Not visible from all vantage points, its mass (18 km of thread) testifies to distances traveled in touch and daydream while making it.

De-con-structions, National Gallery of Canada /Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa (collection, 2007)

a continuous thread

2005
nylon monofilament, 126 x 60 x 60 in / 315 x 150 x 150 cm

An arms-reach sized semi-circle of monofilament lines supports nearly ten kilometres of finer thread looped back and forth to form a human-scale space.

connective tissue, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal (2005)