Untitled with Suet 2021 (After Joyce Wieland’s Solidarity 1973)
Place Publique in Winter
TOUT SE CONFOND, APPARAÎT, PUIS S'EFFACE DE NOUVEAU
[Everything Merges, Emerges, then Fades Again]
Curation and Text
An awareness of the site inevitably guides the artists’ reflections and explorations in Place Publique; the works subtly accumulate, branching out into narratives that have resilience, resistance, and solidarity as their common thread. Untitled with Suet 2021 (After Joyce Wieland’s Solidarity 1973) is an assemblage of footwear cast in cement, coated in suet for the birds, and attached to a metal structure painted sky-blue. Beginning on the sidewalk, then veering into the street, Frances Adair Mckenzie’s work is a reference to an experimental film by Canadian artist Joyce Wieland, which documented a strike by the workers of the Dare Cookie Factory in Kitchener, Ontario, in the 1970s. The film shows dozens of female labourers’ feet shot in close-up as they march for equal pay and decent working conditions. In contrast to the images filmed by Wieland, Mckenzie’s cast feet are undisciplined and refuse to march in step; depending on the direction in which the toes are pointing, the line sometimes breaks up and sometimes goes backwards. Only two moulds were created to make the series; like History repeating itself, the shapes recur in a loop, giving the illusion of continuity and forward movement. To restrict these movements to the sculptural frame, Mckenzie draws inspiration from video animation processes, such as the walk cycle, and the editing techniques associated with the films of Dziga Vertov and the Russian avant-garde, such as sequential assemblage and geometric abstraction. A feminist homage and ode to difference and rebellion, Untitled with Suet 2021 (After Joyce Wieland’s Solidarity 1973) revisits, in sculpture, an experimental cinematic tradition that combines social consciousness with freedom of representation.
The artist dedicates this work to Ellen & Adam & Divina.
- Milly-Alexandra Dery