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the weight of being held / With & of (Becoming Rock)

Jessica Slipp  /  Lauren Chipeur
May 15 – July 3, 2021

WORKSHOP: Lauren Chipeur – Sat. June 5, 1 -3 pm
PERFORMANCE: Jessica Slipp – Sat. June 12, 1 pm
RECEPTION: TBA – pending public health measures.

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WITH & OF (BECOMING ROCK)
explores the relationship between body and earth through the repeated action of the artist’s body engaging with the land in various places, ranging from natural to industrial, rural to urban. These site-specific performances, documented in an expanding series of video pieces, use rocks as a form and means to break down perceptions of nature, matter, and the human body in a time of social and ecological crisis. Although physically impossible to merge with the land, each repeated attempt is an absurd, genuine, awkward, and honest gesture to engage with.
THE WEIGHT OF BEING HELD is the weight of material moved, transformed and placed back on the earth. It is the hole we dig to fill with trash. It is the weight of hundreds of thousands of canola seeds in a field. It is the weed before it breaks loose to tumble. It is the attitude towards material ingrained in the body. It is the buckets of clay carried down a hill to a car. This work began with a trip the artist took with her maternal grandmother to look for Whooping Cranes in Saskatchewan. This search evolved into a ceramic installation that explores learned materiality and the landscapes the artist has been traversing and collecting from.
Akin to our transforming environment, the works in this exhibition layer terrestrial materials in order to consider the flexibility of a landscape and the residues of human intervention. The works continuously evolve throughout the duration of this exhibition to reflect the unfixed and fluid state of our surroundings.
The work in this exhibition has been generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and Calgary Arts Development.
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JESSICA SLIPP is an interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). She holds an MFA (2019) and BFA (2012) from Concordia University and has exhibited in venues across Canada. Her work investigates notions of place and how we exist within the world — from the particles that randomly composed it, to the very nature that we embody. Born of settler ancestry, Jessica recognizes her status as a guest on unceded Indigenous lands and in her artmaking, looks for ways to deconstruct dominant perceptions of landscape through performative interventions that focus on the fundamental relationship between body & earth.
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LAUREN CHIPEUR is an artist born in Edmonton, AB on Treaty 6 territory, and based in Calgary, AB on Treaty 7 Territory. She makes material and site-responsive installations that engage ceramic processes as a way to untangle or distill new ways to know things. Over the past few years she has been considering what it means to be resourceful by reflecting on her own practice of collecting, digging clay in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, and researching the history of resource extraction in the Canadian prairies.