Beforehand

© V. Simon, 2015

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© V. Simon, 2015

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Beforehand

Residency
February 16 – March 13, 2015

Artist Talk
Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 pm

In my mind the doll was my grandmother (or great grandmother?) from Russia. She just was.

I will use this residency to concentrate on a specific aspect of an artist’s book I am making. The book, titled Beforehand, focuses on the theme of origins, both in terms of tracing my own process, as well as paying homage to sources of inspiration: ­artists, writers, thinkers, objects, images, places... I am also looking at origins as a theoretical concept, which I have explored in several past works that play off of the relationship between personal history and fiction. Beforehand will encompass diverse aspects of my practice, and reveal connections in a way that maybe only a book can (image-text relations, sequence, duration, scale). The book will take a retrospective approach but be conceived as an active archive. I am interested in the challenge of transposing an improvisational, site-responsive process to the form of a book.

The residency will be devoted solely to the FOUND section of the book. My desire is to have an empty room where I can unearth an eclectic collection of sources from over the past 20 years, ranging from children’s drawings to images by old masters to instructional diagrams to a scrap of fabric. Through documenting and organizing the material, I will experiment with ways of retaining the intimacy and tactility that are so central to my work. This phase of the book is important in terms of identifying recurring themes, drawing connections between fragments, and magnifying details. I am approaching this residency at OBORO as laying down the ground.

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Vida Simon

Vida Simon’s work has been presented internationally, in a wide range of contexts – galleries, hotel rooms, storefronts, theatres, rooftops, a former synagogue, an old horse stable, and most recently in an abandoned house on Fogo Island, Newfoundland with TO MAKE ENDS MEET (2013). Other recent projects include performances at the ZAZ Festival of Performance Art (Israel), Interakcje (Poland), a collaboration with Jack Stanley at At Home Gallery (Slovakia), and exhibitions at OBORO (Montreal) and Badstrasse (Germany). Upcoming projects include residencies at 3e impérial (Granby) and Sazmanab (Tehran). A running thread throughout her work is drawing: a form that most directly expresses her interests in visual storytelling, improvisation, and elemental materials. Whether through miniature handmade objects or fragments found in nature, her work often draws attention to the detail, the intimate, the ephemeral. As an extension of her practice, Vida collaborates with other artists and leads art workshops. She lives in Montreal.