selected works from 1985-2009
Sometimes I like a happy ending; sometimes I like a sad ending (2009)
random objects random thoughts (2009)
Signs of Life: an intimate portrait of someone I don't know (2008)
Le stade du Miroir (2003)
you are on my mind (2003)
Family Album (2002)
between two points (2001)
Doing Time (2000)
Staging Memory (2000)
I should have, I could have, I would have... ...if only (1998)
I am ... (1998)
The Veiled Room (1998)
Projections for the Unseeing (1997)
A Portable Viewing Station for Anxious Travelers (1994)
In Memoriam Forgetting and Remembering Fragments of History (1993)
Measure of the Man (1992)
Fragments for a Story (1991)
Search for Definition (1991)
Isn't your/my mother beautiful? (1990)
Neon for j.e. atkinson (1990)
My lips are sealed (1989)
Contradictions and Possibilities (1988)
In the room (1987)
Hide and Seek (1985)
Back to Back (1985)
In Memoriam: Forgetting and Remembering Fragments of History, 1993
Materials: Felt, steel, glass, lucite, LED board
Dimensions: size variable
Exhibition: Koffler Gallery, Toronto.
Photo credit: Isaac Applebaum.
In Memoriam: Forgetting and Remembering Fragments of History is an installation in two parts; The Felt Room and The Glass Room.
It is concerned with memory, history and identity and challenges objective history. The Felt Room is a 7 x 7 x 7 ft. square steel and felt enclosure, attached to the ceiling with steel cables. The entrance to the room leads to an interior space, empty except for an LED board that scrolls a text composed of fragments of newspaper reports and private thoughts. The text refers to Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg's heroic deeds during the Holocaust in Budapest, Hungary. In The Glass Room light from above shines on words etched on glass shelves casting shadows on the wall below. One text contains a fantasy about solitary confinement and survival. Another wall of shelves etched with single words are reflected shadows.
The Glass Room (size variable)
The experience of fragmented narrative memory was echoed and reinforced by a different situation in the adjoining space of The Glass Room. In contrast to The Felt Room, viewers encountered a brighter but emptier space, occupied by only two walls of glass shelves. On one wall was a single glass shelf, The Grandfather Shelf , lit by a naked light bulb suspended overhead and illuminating words reflected in shadow on the wall. On an adjacent wall were multiple glass shelves with single words projected in shadow on the wall.
The Grandfather Shelf describes a recurring fantasy and anxiety from my childhood. My grandfather was never in prison and in fact, survived the war and emigrated to Montreal. Language was a barrier between us and our communication was limited. My knowledge of his past was mediated by the stories told to me by my parents.
Language and memory are in a dialectical relationship. The shadowy texts on the wall in the series of the glass shelves in The Glass Room are composed of fragments: nouns, pronouns, negations, verbs, and interrogatory words. They can be read in any number of ways and in any direction to construct meaning