GALERIE OCCURRENCE 2022
Proposal, November 24, 2020.
It was around 1991 that I had an existential moment. I asked myself the simple question: How do we mark our Present moment in Time while acknowledging its field of continuity? Out of this question I arrived, through axial extensions from my body’s centre, at a pictorial event imposed on a gridded field, one that manifested itself as a fold. Paintings, installations and videos exploring numerous pictorial/spatial events followed in the ensuing years. I came as well to understand that this space existed in the movement between the real and the virtual, a space we not only navigate but also occupy, and one that more than ever defines for me our contemporary understanding of ourselves and our bodily sensations.
Extending this thinking, I began the NOW group of works that explores the simultaneous collapse and expansion of pictorial space through the points generated from the real space in which the painting is located. The pictorial events that result can be described as multiple simultaneous spatial potentials. In effect, this becomes a choreography of shapes moving within and across the painting’s frame of reference and directly engaging with the viewer’s sense of physical embodiment. It is this choreography that I have found the viewer can apprehend in the presence of the paintings.
Another aspect of how we define our pictorial representations is guided by the many beliefs we hold about our world. As I have learned, all of our perceptions are filtered through the beliefs we hold in order that they become concepts that can define the nature of a pictorial representation. This forms the second body of work I am proposing, three separate series of works on paper in which I have employed the pictorial configuration of the original large NOW painting as a matrix. Onto this I have superimposed certain models – a selection of images from historical buildings and paintings – in order to construct an intersection, or hybrid image, reflecting the different articulations of space and time we hold in memory but also through which we define our presence in Time. Each of the three series in this body of work explores the possibilities inherent in this encounter.
The third body of work, linked to the second, was arrived at from an encounter with a pamphlet marking the 300th anniversary of Quebec. In that document I found the reproduction of a drawing by Samuel Champlain of his 1608 fort, or Abitation, at Quebec. Drawn by an explorer / mapmaker, it intrigued me for the logic of its spatial oddness. The drawing’s peculiarity is the result of attempting to merge two distinct requirements: to illustrate essential details of the fort’s internal construction as a three-dimensional object while simultaneously providing a two-dimensional pictorial image. This collapse of apparently antithetical views – both a frontal or painterly illustration and an aerial or cartographical view – complicates the perception of place and time. The conceptual awkwardness in his drawing caused me to speculate on the indefinable space created by his rendering, a space that opens itself up to that same choreography I discussed in the original NOW paintings above.
It was for this reason that a few years ago I built a three-dimensional plywood model of his drawing, in effect reversing his process, in order to explore more fully the possibilities in his drawing. I am now re-building that model in foam core to further extend the contingencies of its spatial dimensions. In this new model, some elements will be shown in black, and a drone-produced video of a fly-over will serve – in real time – to make the connection to the fields of continuity addressed in the paintings and works on paper I’ve described above.
At the core of all my work is an investigation into our relationship with space and belief. A current body of work on canvas and paper that I have started to pursue in the studio explores the possibility of merging culturally disparate spatial beliefs into a continuity that I feel is the direction that most clearly defines our contemporary experience. This work seems to require as well the re-introduction of colour into my work.
While I am continuing to elaborate and extend my work over the next year since finishing the Voices: artist on art Project, this proposal represents in general terms how I would like to approach an exhibition at the gallery. Naturally I would be open to discuss specifics should the opportunity arise.
Yvonne Lammerich has shown nationally and internationally since 1973. Her work is included in museums as well as corporate and private collections.