Over the reading break I had the pleasure of seeing a number of great exhibitions that are on at the AGO. One show that really stood out was Introducing Suzy Lake– a showcase of some of the work done by a photographer/performance artist Suzy Lake (who has lived and worked here in Montreal).
Much of her work has to do with concepts we discuss in class. Her work interrogates identity, gender using movement and space. You can also find more of her work here. The two works of hers that really stood out were the “Extended Breathing” series and the “Choreographies” installation.
“Extended Breathing” is a series of images created by Lake that explore long-exposure shots of her standing perfectly still in different spaces (both ‘public’ and ‘private’). The exposures, which last an hour, showcase a still image of Lake while her surroundings reveal an hour’s worth of daily motion. It really seemed like Lake was interrogating Lefebvre’s notion of spatial practice by taking an hour out of her routine motions to capture her stillness.
Another really cool installation that is up right now is “Choreographies”- a scaffolding structure created by Lake that acts like a life sized puppet theatre. In her Montreal studio, Lake had friends of her manipulate her limbs (she extended herself from the ‘theatre’ in a unitard) and recorded the motions her body made. This piece is all about exploring what can occur when you forfeit your own physical agency to others. It really resonated with me as an exploration of deliberate power in spaces.
I really recommend seeing it if you find yourself in Toronto in the next few weeks!! All Images belong to Suzy Lake I got them from Suzylake.ca!