Open Studio Gallery

Visiting Artists Residency Exhibition: Sameer Farooq & Lee Henderson

DATE

October 20, 2017November 18, 2017

Artist Talk

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Opening Reception

October 20, 20177:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Sameer Farooq, from the Behind the Eyes series, 2017, monoprint, 22" x 30". Printed by Pamela Dodds under the auspices of Open Studio’s Visiting Artists Residency.
  • Sameer Farooq, from the Behind the Eyes series, 2017, monoprint, 22" x 30". Printed by Pamela Dodds under the auspices of Open Studio’s Visiting Artists Residency.
  • Lee Henderson, A hand that points aligns the air (left), 2017, photolithograph on Arches watercolour hot press natural paper, 22" x 30". Printed by Pudy Tong under the auspices of Open Studio’s Visiting Artists Residency.
  • Lee Henderson, A hand that points aligns the air (right), 2017, photolithograph on Arches watercolour hot press natural paper, 22" x 30". Printed by Pudy Tong under the auspices of Open Studio’s Visiting Artists Residency.

Visiting Artists Residency Exhibition: Sameer Farooq & Lee Henderson
Artist Talks: Friday, October 20, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Opening Reception: Friday, October 20, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Each year Open Studio selects four professional artists with or without printmaking experience to create traditional and/or experimental works in the print medium of their choice, working collaboratively with a print media artist. The Visiting Artist Residency, in operation since 1983, is a popular program that receives applications from artists from around the world. In conjunction with the residency, each artist exhibits the work produced during their period in the Studio, and gives an artist talk. These exhibitions are the result of this intensive work period.

The second of two Visiting Artists Residency exhibitions in 2017 will feature work by artists Sameer Farooq and Lee Henderson.

Sameer Farooq: Behind the Eyes

Sameer Farooq (b. 1978) completed an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2014) and a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (2005). His interdisciplinary practice investigates tactics of representation and enlists the tools of installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and the methods of anthropology to explore various forms of collecting, interpreting, and display. Recent projects include an ambitious public installation at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto and an upcoming exhibition inaugurating the University of Reno’s new arts centre. He has exhibited internationally and nationally at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of York University, Maquis Projects (Izmir), Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga), Trankat (Tétouan, Morocco), Sol Koffler Gallery (Providence), Artellewa (Cairo), and Sanat Limani (Istanbul). Farooq has been awarded several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Europe Media Fund, as well the President’s Scholarship at the Rhode Island School of Design. He also appeared on the 2017 Sobey Art Award long list. He is currently working as a visual artist, designer, educator, and is a member of the documentary film collective Smoke Signal Projects as director. His artist book/print editions have been distributed through Art Metropole.

For his current project at Open Studio, Farooq asks us to consider the place of internal images at a time when we are overcome by external ones. Following curator Massimiliano Gioni’s claim that “pictures have always been swarming behind our eyelids,” Farooq’s work develops a series of artifacts excavated from a daily meditation practice and materialized through monotype printing. His process largely involves reenacting collaborative strategies employed by the Theosophy movement, specifically by Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater who described their clairvoyant observations to painters in order to understand the visual forms of their thoughts. Their images were subsequently published in their book Though-Forms in 1905. Captivated by a similar urgency to materialize the iridescence and vibrancy of internal pictures, Farooq continues the tradition of surrendering to an internal visual world in order to understand shape of the imagination, through a collaboration with printer Pamela Dodds. The work is made by Farooq at a time when we are metabolizing more digital images than any other period in history, and also within the framework of decolonizing strategies within the museum. Entering internal visions and the imagination into the “official record” can be proposed as a process of democratizing collecting.

An essay by Beth Stuart accompanies the exhibition. Please click here to download the brochure.


Lee Henderson: A Hand That Points Aligns the Air

A confluence of quotations both material and representational, A Hand That Points Aligns the Air stands as a photolithographic memento mori for the nation state.

What is the texture of a text? What are its forms, its corpus? We try to impose bodies onto texts (and texts onto bodies) when we call a founding document a “constitution”—using the same word for a record of nationhood that we use to suggest bodily fortitude, or one’s ability to withstand or persist.

Print is a carrier of identity, an implement of power. To print is to make thoughts tangible, to render them on the pulp of paper and to make those ideas real for others who know how to access them from the page, whether across oceans or generations. Printed text makes ephemeral ideas seem more permanent than they are.

Use a jeweller’s loupe to look inside your passport. You’ll find the obvious text, of course, enlarged—the kind you can see with the naked eye: page numbers, passport number, family name, stamps that mark the comings and goings of your individual body from the national body. But through the magnifier you’ll also see a subtler text… those lines that weave themselves like intaglio marks are words. Such tiny marks can be easily dismissed as an anti-counterfeiting device, but think about this: the proper name of the country itself is encoded into its symbols. The nation’s self-representation undergirds all the more oblique, open, or esoteric representations of belonging that it generates or co-opts.

Through print, the nation state acts to cement itself to the past and to outline territories for well into the future. But embodiment comes with a price—if it can age, it is therefore impermanent, soluble, negotiable, and subject to eventual, inevitable evaporation… in one form or another.

Lee Henderson’s practice includes video, photography, installation, sculpture, performance, and text. His work moves in constant contemplation of death, in senses grand and minute, somewhere between the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives. Notable recent exhibition venues include The Phillips Collection at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Magenta Festival Boston, The Zero Film Festival (USA); The Dunlop Art Gallery, The Mendel Art Gallery, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, and Zalucky Contemporary (Canada); and Samaband Islenskra Myndlistarmanna, Reykjavik (Iceland). During 2017 he has been a Visiting Artist at Open Studio, and the Canadian Artist in Residence at Glenfiddich Distillery (Dufftown, Scotland). He teaches at OCAD and Ryerson Universities, and is represented by Zalucky Contemporary in Toronto.

An essay by Daniella Sanader accompanies the exhibition. Please click here to download the brochure.