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UBC Okanagan Visual Arts Exhibition
Hosted by the UBCO Visual Arts Course Union (UBCOVACU))
The three paintings that are included in this online exhibition, their shimmering shifting planes, and ghostly figures are translations. In fact, translation could be cited as Angela Gmeinweser’s primary mode of artistic production. These three paintings are a continuation of an overarching artistic investigation that includes painted sketches, sculptural maquettes,and an immersive architectural installation. Not included in this list is the primary subject of her inquiry. Each interpretation of form is an interpretation of social spaces. Gmeinweser’s point of interest is the mutual shaping of people, place, and memory; their meshed dynamic.
Take for instance, the artist’s installation Chamber (not pictured.) A large-scale work,the installation creates a phantom Gothic Cathedral using the sparest elements possible. Raised on a platform of unfinished wooden planks, an open construction is given shape through three entries: an open rectangle, a full gothic arch, and half of a gothic arch (the invisible half is vanished, nothingness). These passageways create a defined space, though there is no physical enclosure, no containing walls to encompass a separate form. A rendition of “Pretty Saro” resounds through the gallery, unraveled by an unaccompanied female voice. The reverberating voice creates sonic walls; the enormity of a European Church limned through an immaterial echo. In a phenomenon called “edge induction,” the human mind will create a whole from whisps and whispers; the mind satisfies its own longing for completion. Gmeinsweser pushes this tendency to its threshold, discovering the most economical means to create a chimerical, yet complete, place.
Now, to return to the featured paintings. In this incarnation of memorialized space, figures are included, like mirages. They are an inversion of Chamber: atmosphere, emptiness and light, are represented, made visible. Gmeinweser’s translation of her previous work materializes that which was invisibly hallucinated by edge induction. The trail of artwork leads farther away from the original spatial memory, while attempting to bring it closer, in the manner of dream-running. Though closure may not be possible, the endless translation of spatialized events gives this chain of artworks their own history, their own their own seed of life, a set of art-memories that hovers aside that of the lived memory, their own origami spaces enfolding and revealing,leading to the next.
- Michelle Weinstein
Vanderbilt University. "The Brain Doesn't Like Visual Gaps And Fills Them In." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21
August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820135833.htm>.
For an explanation of the complex relation between the history of an artwork and its seed of life, see Benjamin,
Walter. Trans.by Harry Zohn “The Task of the Translator.” Illuminations. Schocken Books, 1968 pgs 69-82.
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