Condolence

© G. Staats, 2010

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© G. Staats, 2010

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Condolence

Exhibition
Condolence
Untitled_liminal_effort

January 18 – February 19, 2011

Performance
Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 5 pm
10$ - entry fee

This exhibition is presented in tandem with articule, whose opening and artist talk with guest Martha Langford will take place on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 7 pm.

From a real-time performance to a video as electronic archive exhibited in the gallery, untitled_liminal_effort is the first of a series of attempts by Greg Staats to redefine his relationship to the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois] concept of condolence and its restorative aesthetic and effects on those who grieve and those who condole. Staats' effort at an oral translation is at once a personal confrontation and a continuum of performative burdens.

Using the screen as intermedia, Staats investigates the emotional void generated by his own loss of the Mohawk language and its concurrent world-view. The artist's body becomes the site of exploration of a metaphysical reciprocity through the attempted utterance of 14 translated Mohawk phrases intuitively extracted from the 3 of the 4 parts of the condolence ceremony known as the Mourning Rituals: [On the Journey, Wiping Their Tears (the Requickening Address), and At the Edge of the Woods or Near the Thorny Bushes].

Staats films (and records) his own live performance during which his hesitations and breath expose an underlying emotional and vulnerable dialogue: confronting the fear of the loss of self, a state of mind further reflected by the codified and heightening voice of the dark wampum string while the screen becomes its mnemonic support.

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Greg Staats

Greg Staats (b. Ohsweken, Ontario) is a photographer and video artist whose works combine language, mnemonics and the natural world. He has had solo exhibitions at the Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Gallery, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Mercer Union, Kelowna Art Gallery, Gallery TPW, Toronto. Group exhibitions include: Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art. Staats is the recipient of the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography. Recently, Staats was Faculty for two Aboriginal Visual Arts Thematic Residencies: Archive Restored (2009) and Towards Language (2010) at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Staats has an upcoming solo exhibition in 2011 at the McMaster Museum of Art, in
Hamilton, Ontario.
http://www.re-title.com/artists/greg-staats.asp