Art Windsor-Essex respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Anishinaabe Territory – the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Today the Anishinaabe of the Three Fires Confederacy are represented by Bkejwanong. We want to state our respect for the ancestral and ongoing authority of Walpole Island First Nation over its Territory.
Marcel Dzama: Illustration and Other Worlds
June 10, 2022 - September 11, 2022
Marcel Dzama, Untitled (Lion and Cowboy), 1998, watercolour on paper , 24.7 cm x 31.5 cm, Gift of Leon Liffmann, 2020
Imagine: a dark wood at night, the darkness is the sound of owls waking and the smell of fresh-laundry, there is a door, there is another door, and there is a window…and then, there is you.
Marcel Dzama: Illustration and Other Worlds is an exhibition featuring the work of Marcel Dzama, and in response, Talysha Bujold-Abu. Marcel Dzama’s work is rooted in illustrative storytelling, building narrative from a combination of multiple parts: the didactic innocence of well-known folk characters…the quintessential ‘who stole my porridge?’, the ‘bump-in-the-night’ scaries of ghosts and grims, tiny lions (sans witches or wardrobes), and the rootin-tootin cowboy.
The combination of these tales of woe and wonder create a surrealist (and at times, macabre) landscape: but where is this Other World? Amidst the blood and gore, Dzama’s characters, with their contemplative faces and fanciful dress (if not outright nakedness), present the symbols of their otherness, a shared space of difference.
Similar to our intrigue in blackholes, fruit flies, and other such mysteries; Talysha Bujold-Abu pulls from the symbols presented in Dzama’s work and responds in kind; the Other World is here, too. In the Other World there is monstrosity, and in the monstrous…an otherness that mimics a shared narrative of belonging and introspection.
Bujold-Abu builds with and around Dzama’s Other World through a responsive mural; illustrating alongside tall hats and floating smoke to propel questioning…where and how do we belong (in tales of old, or presently)? Dzama’s collection of misfits (and their violent undertakings) are a reintroduction to our inquisitive selves, our habitual collecting, or search for bridges across this world and the next. In tandem, Bujold-Abu offers a similar reflection, enveloping this trajectory with anecdotal evidence of the unknown (what is that)? Marcel Dzama: Illustration and Other Worlds interrogates symbols and motifs as an invitation into otherness, and by extension, the narratives we embody.
Imagine: you are a dark wood at night, branches tall in the darkness, branches wide enough to know the owls, to know the shape of the world. Laundry, a biscuit tin being opened, the fizz of rootbeer; there is a door, there is another door, and there is a window…and then, you are here.
Curated by Talysha Bujold-Abu