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Like New is an exhibition of works that explores how objects embody our deepest emotional and
psychological reserves, acting as both receptacles and markers of time and space. In these
book works, prints, and installations, found (or rather “sought”) images, text, and objects are
repeated and looped; thus posing questions about the palimpsestic nature of objects, their
narratives and the process of meaning-making.
As an artist I am interested in not only how we come to define meaning but also in our
incessant (perhaps instinctually human) search for it. In the internet age, the experience of
“searching” becomes even more significant as it’s entire functionality depends on navigating its
vast, virtual expanse through a search engine, thus encouraging “a culture of finding and
collecting.” Search engines are text dependent. Key words unlock more words, more images,
and artificial intelligences learn through repetition. In both the physical and virtual worlds, we like
to imagine that we collect things over our lifetimes, when, in fact, they are also collecting data
on our predilections in return, learning from our collective search history.
Drawing from Majorie Perloff’s, Kenneth Goldsmith’s and other contemporary avant
garde poets’ ideas about the practice of uncreative writing that encourages re-framing and
copying, many of the works shown here take anonymous posters’ texts and images from
Kijiji.ca and re-contextualize them as objects that can be interacted with in real life. This change
of form asks the viewer to reconsider the material aspect of language, and, on the other hand,
the physical referent and matter that actually takes up virtual space. By representing household
objects like chairs, “home” phones and moving boxes, I ask the viewer to reconsider the
boundaries between the spectacular and the mundane, personal and public, fact and fiction and
even the idea of what is “yours” and what is “mine”.
Through the works in this exhibition, I suggest that the absence of a clearly defined
“original” source when it comes to object/text/experience is generative rather than redundant.
Repetition, copying, tracing and recollecting are integral aspects in my own process of making. I
hope viewers will begin to trace a narrative of their own while they explore this exhibition and, in
so doing, add to the patina of all things, stories, and moments being “like new”.
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- Research Material