March 31 – April 22, 2018
Opening Reception Saturday, March 31, 2 – 5 PM
You are born with the boundless potential of all things, the potential to be all those things at once. Nothing is finite. Yours is a universe of possibilities; the whole universe is a possibility. You’re a star, baby. You’re all the stars.
Only when you let slip being young will those countless simultaneous possibilities collapse into one — an aspect of an object, frozen in context — a plodding increment where once were quantum leaps and bounds. Just as a particle exists in two places unobserved, until an instance of mindful surveillance eradicates the odds.
But I have to watch, eyes on the opportunity horizon. Have to patrol the outer limitless, cradling my stellar heart. How long can I keep you holding the delicate balance, maintaining every possibility of all the things at once?
How long can I keep your balance?
In her new series of work, Sandra Smirle uses video, photo, paper cutting and sculpture to continue exploring notions of seeing and being seen. Here, her gaze has shifted from a macro-picture to a micro-view — a place, in every sense, closer to home. As living and maturing in a rapidly changing world sends us pinging from pressure point to tension to perplexity, the need to grab hold and monitor the (domestic) situation seems like a natural response. This is surveillance in an older sense of watching over, or guardianship.
Stellar Baby casts us as the surveyor of a girl who is navigating all her possibilities, balancing the probabilities. With her head in the clouds, she is poised on the cusp of adulthood — her expanding potential remains unrealized, even as order threatens to impose a new reality, to reveal a singular course through her universe of chaos. We are invited to explore the distinctions between balance and imbalance, to contemplate how the smallest adjustment of equilibrium, the smallest structural change, can be a radical proposition with astronomical consequences — a defining act of observation.
About the Artist
Sandra Smirle is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist based in Montreal, who uses drawing, sculpture, paper cutting, photo, video, and installation, to explore ideas around surveillance, dataveillance and our ‘viewer society.’ Smirle’s work, which examines how new technologies impact the way we view our world suggests a survey of seeing and being seen — how we, in turn, are viewed by mechanisms designed to navigate our movements.
Smirle graduated with an MFA (2015) from Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally, and is held in private and corporate collections in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Smirle has been a member of Loop Gallery in Toronto since 2010 and is part of the Montreal-based collective, Incubator for Phantom Pregnancies (IFPP), which debuted its first exhibition this spring and presented its first collaborative installation during this year’s 2018 Nuit Blanche in Montreal. Her work has been featured in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, published by Princeton Architectural Press, as well as the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.