Tori Foster/ Kevin McKenzie Exhibitions at MJMAG
Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery(MJMAG) hosted a dual exhibition opening on February the 2nd that featured two intriguing Canadian artists, as well as all the standard art show entertainment (Keiffer McLean), chatter, snacks and gourmet lemonade (Pink), that makes exhibit openings so welcoming.
The two featured artists, Tori Foster and Kevin McKenzie were introduced by Jennifer McRorie, the gallery's Curatorial Director; where they briefly identifeid themselves, thanked the appropriate people and laid out the groundwork for understanding and appreciating their work.
Tori Foster is from Barrie, ON but was, for a time, the Head of Video/ Digital Art at Cal. State Northridge. Her expertise in video technology is ever-present in her art. she often uses slit-scan photography, which is a cinematographic process where a moveable slide, into which a slit has been cut, is inserted between the camera and the subject matter With this technique, she is able to masterfully deform and alter what can be seen with the naked eye.
With slit-scan, "What seems like space is actually time" Foster said. "It's about visualizing space in a way we don't fundamentally think about it."
Foster is serious about art. She speaks about it with great zeal and passion. But her art isn't necessarily supposed to be so serious. "It comes from rigorous procedure, but its also pretty playful; it's about seeing patterns beneath the surface" she claimed, later adding, "Its about taking what's there, mediating it and peeling away the peel until you get to the pulp."
Her exhibition, Traces of Beings, has been said to create "poetry paradoxically".
It's also been said that she "arrives at often uncanny representations by creating data from a multitude of observations in time. This becomes more accurate when understanding the processes involved in capturing her art. For Instance, in her Primaries series, she took a mulititude of pictures of trees, each from a different angle, then she reduced each picture to an equal translucency and stacked them on top of each other to create an otherworldly image of plant-life you'd expect to see in a Utopian science fiction movie.
Kevin McKenzie's exhibit, Resurrection, focuses on coming to terms with his life as an indigenous Canadian raised in a Christian household. He built a series of replica Buffalo skulls using different mediums, and inserted religious iconography on to them. But It's the use of neon lights that illuminate everything, bringing the creations to life.
About his piece, Ghost and God, which is currently being held in the Saskatchewan Arts Board's Permanent Collection, but has been loaned to MJMAG for the exhibition, he said "It's a confrontational piece. The Buffalo skull is a sacred object in Indigenous life, set that against Christian icons. We can see whose God is more powerful."
McKenzie is a Cree and Metis artist, who grew up in Regina. He no longer identifies as a christian, so for him, we can see who won.
Both exhibitions can be viewed at the MJM&G until April 29, 2018