Collaborative Exhibition with M.E. Sparks
June 16-19, 2018 @SiteFactory
1600 Block - Franklin Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
This project explored the nature of the artist studio within the contemporary
moment of increasingly dematerialized artistic practice and high rental costs in the city of Vancouver.
The exhibition featured a programmed animation which was projected digitally onto a collection of whitewashed furniture,
canvas cutouts, and found debris.
Inside Out is a collaborative artwork by M.E. Sparks and Matthis Grunsky that considers the trope of the artist’s studio, its depiction
throughout art history, and its relevance amidst a “post-studio” condition currently dictated by prohibitive rental costs. Working in
response to the mobile workspace of SiteFactory, Sparks and Grunsky approach their shared experience of the studio as an unfixed, tenuous
site of productivity and inactivity, creation and destruction, isolation and connection. Engaging with the contents of the studio as
subject matter, the artists reconstruct functional objects found within their own shared studio space, as well as forms taken from historical,
often mythologized, representations of the artist’s studio. This assembly of objects performs as a fractured screen for a shifting projection
of pattern and colour. Chairs, blank canvases, ladders, bricks, scraps and sticks occupy the space as awkwardly staged replicas, evoking a
stilled, self-aware simulacrum of the studio.
Statement by Joe O'Brien:
Light draws the eye while grafting itself upon surfaces—a visual roll call of shapes, forms, and spaces — but within these layers of measure and
colour are disappearances and in-betweens. It’s through these seams our sight might slip, these points and fissures. Diving deep into small spaces
as light envelops our attention, we drift with it across chairs and tables, structures and spaces. A roughness of form and shape abuts the soft
immersion of hue and shade, building layer on layer; motion and rhythm disguise the forms over which they run. Looking and seeing — we look at forms
and see light, but also sense its absence — the negative spaces and unlit facades draw our focus. Eyes are pulled back to these narrow planes and
fields as the colours delve into and around them, tracing their peripheries, passing across the splits and stitching loosely. These spaces which
refuse sight and measure invite a different way of seeing — one which embraces the nearly indiscernible. A skepticism of seeming. A looking that values
an uncertain gaze — questioning, provisional, and indeterminate.