"The Writer and The Reader"
Katie Lyle, "The Writer and The Reader," 2014, oil on canvas, 12” X 16”.
Opening reception: May 29, 7pm
Mike Bourscheid, Claude Cahun, Gilbert & George, Carole Itter, Katie Lyle, Elizabeth Milton, Shana Moulton, Frank Ney, Skawennati, Krista Belle Stewart, Luo Zhijian, and others.
Spirit Gum is a kind of glue used to adhere costume to skin. This compound of alcohol (spirit) and resin (gum), suggests a double reading. By way of this sticky substance, objects are not only adhered to bodies, but also inspirited with character. In the exhibition Spirit Gum, this merging of costume and wearer is activated through newly created and existing artworks, alongside works from the permanent collection. Performing through a range of media, artists enact the self, as it begins to resemble another.
Spirit Gum is invisible, and with it the contrast between adornment and body can disappear too. Through this process, a self is rendered as truth or a part of a very good lie. Herein identity itself can be both revealed and disguised. Dressing becomes a personal act of display, and a means to create a public narrative. At Swy-a-lana lagoon, a former Nanaimo mayor is fixed in his favourite role, in bronze he dons a Jolly Roger hat and pirate costume. This figure reminds us that disguise and costume are a part of a communal performance, and when caught in the act, visitors too enter its behavioral composition.
This exhibition marks another transformation, as the first show since Nanaimo Art Gallery’s two locations have merged into one. Check out our website for updates on related public programming.
Curated by Jesse Birch and Kara Hansen.
Kara Hansen’s curatorial internship at Nanaimo Art Gallery is funded by an Early Career Development grant through the British Columbia Arts Council.