The work of Emilie O’Brien (Vancouver) and Adriana Riquer Turner (Mexico city) shares an interest in the interplay between ideas of real and speculative space. For this two-person exhibition, the artists display a series of individual and conceptually overlapping elements which hypothesize possible sculptural correlatives to some of our most formless impulses—memory and intuition, obsession and boredom among them. The work in More or Less is marked by a shift from the sine qua non of art, the making of form, to a practice predicated on form’s undoing.
For the last number of years, Emilie O’Brien has been working in a constructive manner with fabric and plastics, creating objects and spaces that subtly reposition the language of Modern sculpture—the vertical, the instantaneous, the solid and the rarified—into a syntax and aesthetics of softness which hold notions of process, entropy and permeability in equal measure. For More or Less, O’Brien presents a new, large-scale fabric shelter-like construction and accompanying video which evoke the complexities of fold physics as well as the emotive and sociological impact of these materials and forms. With a strong reference to the body and the domestic, O’Brien’s works explore how meaning is created in the physical and seek out the provisional spatial “moments” where collective memory is held.
Riquer Turner’s practice involves an interest in repetition, simulation and the potentiality of formal exercises to highlight what the artist calls “the confrontation of reality” inherent in daily objects. In much of her recent work, Riquer Turner looks for ways in which two distinct objects can occupy the same place at the same time. For the exhibition, the artist displays a series of sculptures that reflect the transformative nature of both their base materiality and making. Working with highly recognizable everyday objects—blackboards, stationary bicycles, and post-it notes—the artist underscores the innate tension of everyday, consumer items: their disposability, interchangeability, and the distinct sense that one thing could as easily be another. And yet, with a sensibility similar to O’Brien, Riquer Turner works to prevent her pieces from being subsumed by their referents: the transformation that characterizes her work points to their indecipherability, acting as an effort of declassification.
Emilie O’ Brien works have been shown in various galleries in Canada. She also presently works as a restoration artist at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Adriana Riquer Turner’s work has been shown extensively in Mexico City, as well as in Los Angeles, Montevideo, New York and Paris. The two artists met in 2006 during the Babel Babble Rabble residency at the Banff Centre.