Long-Range Forecast: VariableRobin Arseneault and leannej
Lorna Brown, Artspeak, 2002
4.5" x 8.0" / folio with 2 pullout posters / 5 b&w images and 5 colour images.
Long-Range Forecast: Variable is published to extend the exhibition here you should read (that something is awry), which took place at Artspeak in the spring of 2002. Robin Arseneault's first exhibition in Vancouver negotiated the theatricality of installation art, presenting an environment that suggested an empty stage set. Working with the architecture of the gallery, objects or props were connected with pulley systems and movable mechanisms; both the props and the machinery made of such improbable materials as watercolours on tracing paper and ice-blue mohair 'rain'. Three-dimensional stuffed 'emotions' and fabric 'Menacing Gray Clouds' that may be raised and lowered used absurdity to deflect and sublimate the commonplace catastrophes of embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. Arseneault embraces the over-used symbols of emotional pain, making them moveable, playful and almost endearing - the sleight-of-hand technique of displacement. Repeated images, emotional props, lost objects and the shadows they cast imply a repertoire of scripted performances, familiar improvisations and re-enactments.
Paired with photographic documentation of the exhibition is leannej's Weathering Systems, a flow chart narrative that unfolds in poster format. Working with improbability, the gap between action and consequence, and other indictments of narrative form, leannej's work hovers between writing and conceptual art practice. Her previous work includes many contributions to FRONT Magazine, where she is Managing Editor, and Maybe it's just a phase, a series of tear sheet texts included in the group show Sift: The Reading Room, an exhibition of writers working with visual culture at Artspeak in 2001. As an extension of that exhibition, she collaborated with Jeremy Turner on a contribution to Sifted: The Read Room, an electronic publication of computer based artworks. This publication brings together Robin Arseneault and leannej's shared interests in semiotics and metaphors of prediction and probability.