From September 15 – October 22, 2011, Open Studio presented Everyday Ephemera, a solo exhibition by Calgary-based artist Dana Tosic. The exhibition was accompanied by a text by Toronto-based writer and artist J. Eric Steenbergen.
Focusing on fleeting, intimate, moments Everyday Ephemera explores notions of time and memory, and the body’s potential to infer a narrative through movement. The series reveals moments in which something is happening, despite initial appearances of nothing going on—the body engages in quotidian and often solitary motions: dressing and undressing, tying shoes, peeling fruit, sewing, knitting, eating. These are learned, automatic movements that often provoke reflection and introspection, allowing the mind to be simultaneously absorbed and disengaged. Although the images reflect intimate moments not intended to be shared, the presentation draws attention to their performative nature.
The screenprinted images are based on composites of a series of 360° 3D scans of the artist’s body performing various tasks. The movements have been broken down into stages of motion; each stage was scanned individually and subsequently combined to form a single image using 3D modeling software. As recordings of the stages of motion, plotting the passage of time through human locomotion, the images function as a digital trace of something that took place during the unspecified past. What is left is a momentary glimpse of where the body was and a suggestion of what it was doing at an unspecified moment in the past. In this way, traces of memories of the body, and the motions it employed, are left on the paper. As pointed out by Steenbergen in the essay, the work also raises questions about surveillance and observation, and how new technologies in these areas affect our self-representation.
Dana Tosic is a member of Open Studio where she has been printing since 2003. She holds a BFA from Queen’s University and is presently in the final stages of her graduate studies in Fine Art at the University of Calgary, expecting to complete her MFA degree in 2011. In 2010 she was selected for the Tim Mara Graduate Student Exchange at the Printmaking Department at the Royal College of Art, London, U.K. Her research interests include explorations into embodied perception and memory as well as the application of emerging manufacturing technology to printmaking, including 3D modelling software and rapid prototyping. She recently presented her research and artwork at the Printopolis International Symposium on Printmaking in Toronto in 2010.
J. Eric Steenbergen is a Canadian printmaker currently working at the OCAD University. Eric received his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta in 2009. His work, which explores concepts of scientific measurement and the act of defining, has been exhibited across Canada and internationally.