ABOVE: STEVE HIGGINS, Asylum Infidorum,1998,charcoal on paper.
BELOW: An installation photograph by Bob Talbot.
Blind Spot: The Gothic Unconscious
30 October to 05 December 2003
Blind Spot was the first exhibition in a multi-component project, The Gothic Unconscious, curated by Sigrid Dahle, Gallery One One One's curator-in-residence until April 2004.
The exhibition, which included work by over 50 artists spanning 500 years of image-making, (wildly) speculated that Winnipeg is a city haunted by the ghosts of its traumatic social history. This history includes (but certainly is not limited to) the genocide of First Nations peoples, the dispossession of the Métis, the hardships endured by Icelandic immigrants founding a new republic at Gimli, the arrivals of Russian Mennonites fleeing persecution and Jewish holocaust survivors in search of a safe haven, the exploitation of impoverished European immigrants (culminating in the spectacular 1919 Winnipeg General Strike) and the monumental struggles of women to attain full citizenship.
Blind Spot proposed that this aura of tragedy and impoverishment manifests itself in the abject, uncanny and surreal quality of much contemporary Winnipeg art, even when this work doesnt explicitly address the citys troubled histories. While Winnipegs civic leaders are beginning to recognize that artists are key to the citys economic well being, Blind Spot served as a reminder that art has other equally important contributions to make. Contemporary art offers us a unique and potent means to process collective (historic) trauma. It weaves the present into the past and the future even as it invites us to consider our subjective experiences within the context of larger historical forces.
A portion of the exhibition, which included over 100 works, changed every 24 hours. Documentation of the work was uploaded to the gallery's web site on a regular basis (see column at left) during the exhibition. As well, Blind Spot's curator, Sigrid Dahle, was in the gallery each day from noon to 3:00 pm (except for 10-15 November).
Blind Spot special extended gallery hours were: Noon to 6 PM. It was closed weekends and 11 November.
Blind Spot artists included: Sharon Alward, Eleanor Bond, Paul Butler,Susan Chafe, Shawna Conner, Sarah Crawley,Michael Dumontier, Albrecht Durer, Aganetha Dyck,Richard Dyck, Marcel Dzama, Ivan Eyre, Noam Gonick,Ron Gorsline, Grant Guy, Gilles Hebert, Steve Higgins,Matthew Holm, Sarah Johnson, Wanda Koop,Drue Langlois, Leanne L'Hirondelle, Steve Loft,Andrea Mantegna, Claire Marchand, Bonnie Marin,Catherine Mattes, David McMillan, William McPherson,Bernie Miller, Robert A.Nelson, John Paizs, Pablo Picasso,Bev Pike, Hope Peterson, Giovanni Piranesi,Don Proch, Royal Art Lodge, Sheridan Shindruk,Donnely Smallwood, Reva Stone, Diana Thorneycroft,Esther Warkov, Ernest Wilson and more ...
The opening event for Blind Spot happened on Thursday 30 October 2003 from 5:00 to 6:30 PM. A reception followed at Wise Guys on Campus, next to the FitzGerald Building.
Special thanks to the artists, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Susan Chafe, Richard Dyck, Harlene Weijs, and student volunteers.
Click here to download the Blind Spot poster (PDF)
A CD-ROM publication documents the The Gothic Unconscious investigation and includes material about other Gallery One One One shows. Gallery One One One, School of Art, Main Floor, FitzGerald Building, University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, Winnipeg, MB, CANADA R3T 2N2 TEL:204 474-9322 FAX:474-7605. For information please contact Robert Epp firstname.lastname@example.org