JOAN KAUFMAN

JOAN KAUFMAN

Suspended

APRIL 29 - MAY 23, 2009
OPENING RECEPTION: MAY 2, 2 - 5pm

Suspended is a photo and video installation of constructed fiction. Using would-be circus performers as subjects, Suspended explores the boundaries between illusion and reality capturing private scenes of performance in which desire for the impossible prevails.  Caught in desperate and absurd situations, solitary acts of magic and illusion do not entertain, but instead isolate the characters in a private and unending cycle of performing.  Images of suspension conflate opposites: freedom and confinement, determination and futility, bravery and crippling inaction.  With references to metaphorical and allegorical principles, Suspended recalls the myth of Icarus who flew too close to the sun and Sisyphus who unwittingly is condemned to an endless purgatory.  Like Lucky and Vladamir these individuals are confined to an absurdist reality with no beginning and no end, just endless and determined repetition with darkly amusing results.

Joan Kaufman is a Toronto-based artist working in photography, video, sound and sculpture.  She works in series producing multi-media installations that blur the boundaries between illusion and reality.  By creating constructed realities her work is experienced as moments suspended in a larger unfolding narrative. Kaufman has exhibited both nationally and internationally in public and artist-run galleries; is the recipient of Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Manitoba Arts Council grants; and has works in both public and private collections.  See www.joankaufman.com for more information.