The Underside of Shadows (2001)

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The Underside of Shadows, a collaboration produced with my friend and colleague Jeanne Randolph was shown at Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver in 2001. Jeanne, who is a writer and theorist, brings “an unholy multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of the visual arts and other cultural practices” [her words]. Jeanne and I exchanged ideas for more than a year, through faxes, phone calls and emails, then we met for an intense two week residency in Banff.

The Underside of Shadows was our response to the invasion of everyday life by microscopic creatures, whose effect on humans are often presented through the medical dualities of normal and abnormal, purity and contamination, danger and safety.

The Underside of Shadows featured representations of the germ Giardia lamblia, one of the intestinal parasites most commonly identified in waterborne disease outbreaks. Images of this germ, whose markings resemble a cartoon face, were intertwined with images of human faces and poetic texts. The faces drawn represented the people most often affected by this particular parasite: babies in daycare (as well as their families), gay men, international travellers and back country hikers.

I have always valued the experience of collaboration and recognize how important it is to extend and interrogate my work and habits of thinking.

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