PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY presents RECANT, RECOIL, RECOLLECT, BREATHE, LET GO, AHH ... by artist NICHOLA FELDMAN-KISS
April 22 to May 30, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY is pleased to present RECANT, RECOIL, RECOLLECT, BREATHE, LET GO, AHH ... an exhibition of new work by Ottawa artist NICHOLA FELDMAN-KISS.
RECANT, RECOIL, RECOLLECT, BREATHE, LET GO, AHH ... is an intimate, narrative, and multi- media installation of numerous individually presented images, poetic and not-so- poetic texts, artifacts, small sculptures, illuminated text panels, and performance documents. The exhibition awakens a selection of autobiographical and ancestral memories, examines subjectivity in narrative, and wades in the stream of consciousness. The work is inspired by, and interprets, the storyboard elements of the reliquarium archive, FELDMAN-KISS’ Y2K email performance database of 254 texts paired with 254 images of scanned artifacts, along with the collection of banal relics and childish objects that inspired the database content. The archive was assembled during the year 2000 in anonymous diary correspondence with a participant community of up to 1,700 listserv subscribers. A nonlinear, yet thematically cohesive, narrative concerning disembodied identity, the project unpredictably delivered one image/text pair in 254 morning emails in 366 days. In the days before email filters, the reliquarium was capricious—equally about unsubscribing as subscribing. The performance exploited the extremely impersonal medium of the Internet to reveal very personal truths. Like thoughts in meditation, the reliquarium entries are remarkable only in that they once presented themselves to be recognized and recorded. All triggers to an unexamined past released from linear logic. feldman-kiss related to the entries as placeholders for other stories—stories yet to be told. recant, recoil, recollect, breathe, let go, ahh ... unpacks the stories lurking in the reliquarium—those narratives that are, for better or worse, written into the body over time—threads of love, loss, joy, grief, hope, fear, and desire.
NICHOLA FELDMAN-KISS implicates self-reflexive narratives in her performative exploration of identity, subjectivity, and the production of the self in search of an appropriate other. Her multidisciplinary installations, performances, and objects are characterized by pristine and minimal elegance—subtly and subversively disturbing that which we take for granted; asking us to reconsider basic questions about being bodies and becoming social in an age of digitally enhanced utopias. The artist uses technology as a slave to ideas, embedding concentrated
autobiographical content into form and process—performing the self through the work, mining personal histories, and presenting intimate experience as universal example.
NICHOLA FELDMAN-KISS is an independent artist and media art and technology policy advisor researching body, gaze, identity and autobiography. Among her digital, analogue, and performance works is the mean body database of three- dimensional body scans produced in residence with the National Research Council of Canada, and the Y2K listserv diary, the reliquarium archive. She has presented her work and ideas nationally and internationally at the Centro Fotographico Alverez Bravo (Oaxaca), the Dutch Electronic Art Festival and the Museo Fotographia Contemporanea (Milan). feldman-kiss holds an MFA from the California Institute for the Arts. Her work has appeared in Canadian Art and PREFIX PHOTO, and can be found in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery of Canada and the Ottawa Art Gallery.