Visiting Artists’ Residency Exhibition: Erika DeFreitas and Frisk Flugt
Visiting Artists’ Residency Exhibition: Erika DeFreitas and Frisk Flugt (Tina Helen – visual artist and Ask Katzeff – writer)
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00 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. These exhibitions are the result of this intensive work period.
The first of two Visiting Artists’ Residency exhibitions in 2019 will feature work by artists Erika DeFreitas and Frisk Flugt (Tina Helen – visual artist and Ask Katzeff – writer).
Erika DeFreitas: an object, a gesture, a scene
It was in the way the figures were suggested. Draped in, then bounded by. Cloaked. Held. Shrouded. No holes cut out for the eyes. No breaths drawn, hollowing Os where the mouths might be. Postures outlined by pleats and puckers. It would seem still if not for the shadows and the gravel. Dust marking the tips of toes and narrow hems. Its scale unfair. Such a peculiar positioning. To be placed where it cannot be climbed and where no amount of leaning would stir it.
It was curious, this thing. All at once, an object, a gesture, a scene.
Erika DeFreitas’ photographs of these wrapped figures were translated through the photo-lithographic process, where she then chose to position them as a score. With each reading, these images prompted an action, resulting in a performative, photographic, and text-based response from DeFreitas.
Erika DeFreitas is a Scarborough-based artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper, and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation, and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance, and objecthood. DeFreitas’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She was the recipient of the TFVA 2016 Finalist Artist Prize, the 2016 John Hartman Award, and long-listed for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.
Frisk Flugt: Floatonomy
In Floatonomy the art duo Frisk Flugt sets out to examine the ocean as a political field, a geographical arena full of conflict, entanglements and utopian potential. It brings together notions like seasteading, migration, ecology, governance of flows, and climate change. The sea has always been an unpredictable domain, full of both danger and adventure. Through time the sea has served as a thoroughfare, as a wild common, an escape for people fleeing oppression and war.
Today the seas are changing. Ocean currents are slowing down, sea levels are rising and new geopolitical struggles are forming at sea. This of course is posing a host of problems but also offers possibilities – possibilities for new (geo)political configurations beyond nation states, new ecologies, possibilities for setting out to sea experimenting with new floating life forms.
Floatonomy comprises a series of prints, photographic works, and written notes that deal with the relationship between ocean and shoreline – be it the circular one around the island, the vertical one between water level and shoreline, or the horizontal one formed by concrete embankments – and the dream of floating outside the lines drawn up by authorities.
Frisk Flugt is a militant research project exploring potential lines of flight as resistance and praxis of autonomization. It is an edited output of shared ideas and visual practices founded in the format of a zine. Rather than being a classic academic publication on critical themes, Frisk Flugt propose a more fluid and aesthetic approach to the space of critique, balancing the visual work with the written word, the published with the performed, the theoretical with praxis. As a base structure for the collective, Tina Helen (visual artist) and Ask Katzeff (writer) form an adaptable editorial board providing a conceptual and aesthetic baseline. Frisk Flugt started as a masked identity feeding the social media with critical visual material, but has since 2014 published several zines, created solo exhibitions at New Shelter Plan (2015) and Hospital Prison University Archive (2018), and contributed to various international publications.