From January 18 2008 to February 10 2008
Cette nuit, défaire
KAREN TRASK, Montreal
The performative installation Cette nuit, Défaire presents recent explorations with sound, gesture and narration by Karen Trask. For a period of three weeks, she will spin and weave voice recorded on magnetic tape using a modified reel to reel tape player. Each evening, the work will come undone in a video installation visible through the gallery window. This work-in-progress proposes a re-reading of the novel, Ulysses by James Joyce and the Greek myth of Penelope who as a strategy for warding off trouble and delaying time, wove by day, then unwove by night hoping for the return of Ulysses. In a series of repeated gestures, Karen Trask proposes to spin and weave an audio recording of the book by Joyce. « A friend and colleague had been diagnosed with cancer. Bedridden for days at a time following chemotherapy, we looked for ways to divert our thoughts and to spend time together. Both of us had always wanted to read the elusive and difficult Ulysses, by James Joyce. We discovered a rhythm and sound at the heart of his writing that must be spoken or heard for it to be fully appreciated. Chapter by chapter, day after day, my friend read outloud; I listened and wrote and together we taped over 1000 pages in some fifteen hours. Time was extended by a mingling of the flow of Joyce’s amazing text and the sound of a voice stumbing with the awkwardness of speaking words never before read, our laughter, and the numerous interruptions by cat, phone, daughter and doorbell. All of this conspired to ward off our fears and to prolong and enrich the experience of that moment together.» What was Penelope thinking about all those years while weaving and unweaving? Cette nuit, Défaire is several Penelopes : the reader, the listener, the writer, the spinner, the weaver and the un-weaver, each one stretching time into space through the stories, actions and voice of the other. «It is the uncalculated, repeating of Penelope’s doing and undoing that I see as inspirational in the small acts of keeping oneself alive and hopeful. In this work, I sense Penelope’s voice running through my fingers.» Karen Trask is a multidisciplinary artist living in Montreal creating works in video, installation, artist-books and performance. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and around the world : Lit de Proust : en attente d’un baiser, Dare-Dare, Montreal, Toucher du Bois, Galerie B312 and The Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, Ontario, L’une fait lire l’autre, Galerie Clark, Montreal, Runoutta ohi mennessä, Taidehalli, Helsinki, Finland, International Sculpture Symposium, Kochi, India, Museo publico de arte contemporaneo de Tlalpan, Mexico City, Biennale internationale du lin, Deschambault, Québec, Holland Paper Biennale, Apeldoorn, Holland. Two of her videos, Mothertext (1999) and Winter Fruit (2002) were presented at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois in Montréal. Her work can be found in public and private collections.