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.

 

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