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Lisa Anita Wegner

I make stuff and sometimes write about it

Category Archives: Gallery 1313

Akemi Nishidera’s love of all things paper began when she was a small child, and her grandmother would bring her gifts of origami and washi paper from Japan. After studying printmaking at OCA, she apprenticed in Japan for three years, immersing herself in the study of wash (traditional Japanese paper making). She then returned to Toronto and opened KOZO Studio Gallery, where she focuses on letterpress printing, and offers workshops on letterpress and book arts.
Growth, her new installation for Gallery 1313’s Window Box, represents a new avenue for her work in paper, using self-representations on paper to showcase a sometimes difficult, but evolving relationship to her own body. The piece graphically depicts the movement from rejection to acceptance, and the blossoming of the artist’s full potential once that goal is reached.
To see into Akemi’s process, inspiration, thoughts and motivation see her tumbler blog ahdoerei.tumblr.com
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Curated by Lisa Anita Wegner for Gallery 1313.
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“One hundred new revolutionary materials riot in the piazza, demanding to be admitted into the making of womanly clothes.”           -Volt, Futurist Manifesto Of Women’s Fashion (1920)

Gallery 1313 is excited to have Paula John’s Celluloid Dress on display in the Windowbox for September 2015.

Celluloid Dress plays with the relationship between two technologies that creator Paula John uses in her art practice – sewing and 16mm celluloid filmmaking. Inspired in part by Volt’s “Futurist Manifesto of Women’s Fashion,” this wearable dress is made from over 250 feet of exposed 16mm film from one of John’s own films and nylon mesh. LEDs stitched into the skirt illuminate individual frames and project the images onto nearby surfaces for a truly stunning effect.

This amazing piece will be on exhibit in the Windowbox for September, during the period when the city’s attention turns to film with the Toronto International Film Festival. Celluloid Dress will provide viewers with an entirely different twist on what film can be, and stimulate their imaginations to consider other uses and convergences for familiar technologies.

Paula John is a multi-disciplinary artist and scholar based in Toronto. She has been exhibiting her work (including photography, film, textiles, installation, and performance) since 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from York University. Some of the themes explored in her work include, gender, sexuality, feminism, and performance. Paula is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University.

Paula will be giving an Artist’s Talk at the reception on Sunday, September 13th from 3-5 p.m. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet a unique artist and view one of the results of her creative vision.

-Lisa Anita Wegner, Windowbox co-curator for Gallery 1313

Artist Statement

Celluloid Dress is a performance-based installation that combines the mediums of sewing and 16mm filmmaking to explore the numerous similarities between the two technologies. I was inspired by the early twentieth century Avant-garde art movement Futurism, and in particular the 1920 Futurist Manifesto of Women’s Fashion by Vincenzo Fani (Volt). In it he declares,

Women’s fashion has always been more or less Futurist. Fashion: the female equivalent of Futurism. Speed, novelty, courage of creation… Fashion is an art, like architecture and music…Women’s fashion can never be extravagant enough… The reign of silk in the history of female fashion must come to an end, just as the reign of marble is now finished in architectural constructions. One hundred new revolutionary materials riot in the piazza, demanding to be admitted into the making of womanly clothes. We fling open wide the doors of the fashion ateliers to paper, cardboard, glass, tinfoil, aluminum, ceramic, rubber, fish skin, burlap, oakum, hemp, gas, growing plants, and living animals.[1]

The Futurists valued speed, dynamism and new technologies, and were interested in transforming all sensory aspects of life. This extended to art, literature, music, food, architecture, and even fashion. In the spirit of the Futurists I developed a project in which I could combine two technologies that I use in my art practice: sewing and filmmaking. I merged the two technologies by first sewing a dress out of film. The handmade dress was sewn entirely out of 16mm celluloid film and nylon mesh, using approximately 250 feet of one of my films. I stitched LEDs into the skirt, which illuminate individual frames and project the images onto nearby surfaces. I then physically linked the two technologies in a performance, using a film loop to connect the sewing machine and the projector.

There are a number of similarities between sewing and 16mm film making, the most explicit being that Singer, the leading manufacturer of sewing machines, also made 16mm projectors. There are also parallels between the machines themselves. Both a sewing machine and a projector are threaded; both machines have a spool and a take up; both machines make similar sounds; tension is important; and the presser foot and the film gate serve essentially the same purpose on their respective machines. Even the movements of the machines reflect each other with the spinning of the reels and of the balance wheel. The process of editing a film is also similar to sewing, where shots are stitched together. The type of 16mm filmmaking that I personally engage in shares strong similarities with the act of sewing. Both processes take place within my home at the kitchen table. Both sewing and analog filmmaking are highly tactile and laborious practices where the physicality of the medium is emphasized.

For the performance aspect of the piece I project a copy of that same film through a 16mm projector on a continuous loop. The film loops through the projector and physically moves throughout the space through the use of pulleys attached to the ceiling. Approximately fifteen feet in front of the projector sits a sewing machine, which has been modified to add a film gate, allowing the film to pass through it on its loop. During the performance, I sit at the machine while wearing the film dress and sew the film as the projector drives it forward. The film is projected on both the sewing machine and my body, and as I sew, holes are punctured in the celluloid abstracting the image. Eventually through this process as more and more holes are punctured in the film the filmstrip is completely destroyed and breaks apart.

Bio

Paula John is a multi-disciplinary artist and scholar based in Toronto. She has been exhibiting her work (including photography, film, textiles, installation, and performance) since 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from York University. Some of the themes explored in her work include, gender, sexuality, feminism, and performance. Paula is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University.

[1] Volt, . “Futurist Manifesto of Women’s Fashion.” Trans. Array Futurism: An Anthology. . 1st ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. 253-54. Print.



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In 2003, when I was just starting to make films, Angela Chao was in the camera department of my first two projects. After reconnecting last year, I fell in love with Angela’s fanciful painting and drawing on social media. Angela had found art-making as therapy and I was moved by her story as well her art. Her work was bright, bold and authentic and she created endlessly and freely. And Angela herself is so sweet and authentic – I particularly love how she snaps a picture to remember all her buyers.

“Mindless Doodles” is the second therapy installation that I’ve brought to my curation at 1313. I find that this type of work resounds with me as my own art career was born in the trauma therapy art room, and my daily art practice is what keeps me functioning. Angela and I have an understanding of art as something we need on a daily basis, to nourish our souls and stay connected to our true selves. And though the stories of our traumas are so different, the way we use our art is very similar. We understand each other’s specific trauma-based needs and refer to each other as Brain Buddies; and we’re both keen to spread awareness and help others discover art as a viable option as therapy.

When the April Windoxbox  became open unexpectedly, I was thrilled that Angela was able to bring a selection of her ceramics and her “20 minute” feeling paintings to fill the window gallery at Queen Street’s Gallery 1313.

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As well as bringing her work to Gallery 1313, Angela and I have started a series of collaborations including working with my performing persona, Thin(k) Blank Human. This summer is our inaugural exhibit together for The City of Toronto, for The Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.  Our collaborations will be under the moniker Art Saves Lives.

I invite you to come to Angela’s opening this Thursday at 1313a Queen Street West at Brock Ave. 8pm – 10pm is open to the public. If you want to come at 7pm and have a drink, you have to private message me. Angela’s work will be shown until April 28th 2015.

About the “Mindless Doodles” Exhibit:

The installation “Mindless Doodles Art Therapy” in Gallery 1313’s Window Box space for the month of April dives into the life of Canadian filmmaker, Angela Chao, who uses the term Mindless Doodles to denote the images she sees that are not pre-conceived or arranged. These doodles come straight from the emotions and sensations of her current “crazy brain,”  the result of three on-set concussions she has suffered over the past one and a half years.

After trying many types of therapy, she found HandsForHealth.ca and cranio-therapist Edwin Galeano, with whom – after just one session – Angela found herself able to think freely and begin to escape the personality and mental changes, PTSD, depression and anxiety that had plagued her since her accidents. Even more exhilarating, she could sit still and accomplish things, an ability to that had been taken from her. She started doodling and discovered her hidden artist, and a place where she can leave behind mental challenges and be free to create.

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In her new career as an artist, she has already won an award at the Art Square gallery where her work premiered, as well as Flight Centre’s first prize of a trip to New Zealand and Australia in a competition with 1800 artists. She recently competed in Art Battle 2015, and has donated her artwork to an upcoming AIDs charity event on May 6 at TIFF.  In addition, her unique story has generated coverage by the Mississauga News, Brain Injury Association and Hospital News,
Looking forward, Angela Chao has joined created forces with Lisa Anita Wegner in creating an organization called ArtSavesLives.ca. Their goal is to help others battling a traumatic brain injury or post-concussion syndrome discover their own unique therapy.

Angela Chao’s work can be seen at Mindlessdoodle.ca For private viewing or commission art, please contact Angela at info@mindlessdoodle.ca.

Angela + Thin(k) Blank Human

Angela + Thin(k) Blank Human

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February 23 2015 Fritz Snitz for the haus of dada

Canadian Filmmaker Performance Artist, Lisa Anita Wegner was curiously missing from the opening party of Phil Anderson’s Sex Show V at Gallery 1313 on Queen Street West.

Still from Eva Gets a Better Job (2008) Still from Eva Gets a Better Job (2008)

This group art show includes Eva Gets a Better Job (2008) a short film of Wegner’s. The opening on January 19th was a booming success and it was a shame the artist wasn’t there.

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Curator Fritz Snitz announced was forced to perform  (mī′grān′) at haus of dada in Toronto and was unable to make the Gallery1313 event.  (mī′grān′) performance poster

The Following day Ms. Wegner performed as The Ubermarionette “Tech Scout for The Fall and Rise if The Queen of Jupiter” at Walker Court at The Art Gallery of Ontario. Afterward she teleported to The Artist Project. Photos by Angela Chao.

IMG_2942 The Artist Project with Adrienne Dagg

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Coming soon: Thin(k) Blank Human BadAss.
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February 20 2015

TINY [a group show] was in the works for six months for the Windowbox at Gallery 1313 and as I was imagining hanging all the glorious miniature work so high and far from viewers eyes, I realized that I was lost in my own cleverness. I decided to take these twelve artists’ amazing work to a new social art space being built now. A Whisky/ Bourbon/ Expresso Bar that I will be curating next season is a good fit where I can hang it in a corner or place it in a nifty cabinet. There it makes sense. Not as clever but so much better.

As if by magic the day the March Windowbox slot was open artist Phuong Nguyen (who seems to know everyone) emailed me and asked if I’d be open to a proposal for that very space. Why yes I would Phuong, yes I would.

I immediately enjoyed artist Greg McCarthy and his work. http://www.gregmccarthy.ca/

His pieces feel free and I resonate with the artiface and playfulness combination. When I saw his set ups, I felt confident that he could craft a great idea into the unusually shaped gallery space for me. When I went to his studio and he showed me his colleagues’s work and his very open and enthusiastic attitude to his art, I knew I made the right decision. A fellow life enthusiast, he is just as stoked about other artist’s work this makes me feel comfortable.

I was tickled when the piece he wanted to bring to Gallery1313, was the very piece that I chose to post for my announcement that I was working with him. Fake snow!

Not having had a great experience in my own artistic education  (I am a  York Theatre School drop out) it was a breath of fresh air to see the Thesis Studio at OCAD and all the unbridled creativity being fostered in there. greg-studioJPG

My last two Windowbox pieces were non-traditional: collaboration with Nolan a five year old child and an Anonymous and an out-patient at Women’s College Trauma Therapy Department.  I am happy to present a dyed-in-the-wool artist, Greg McCarthy. I am proud to present his re-imagining of his piece SPECTRE.

Original Piece by GregMcCarthy

Original Piece by GregMcCarthy

The installation Spectre in Gallery 1313’s window space looks into lineages in Canadian photographic history and how they affect the present. By creating collaged and edited versions of William Notman’s original studio setups and presenting them in a way that highlights the artifice of the image, the works look to re-examine the way in which we relate to our own histories, and the role that they play in shaping the present.

 

Notman’s images and others like them are so ingrained into Canadian culture that I feel as though they are due for a second appraisal, an examination into all that they connote in a contemporary context. From the iconic images of blissful figure skaters to intrepid caribou hunters, these images not only carry with them a romanticized view of a bygone era, but a history of how many Canadians chose to be depicted in the nation’s early years. They speak to the performativity of national identity and an idealization of what it meant at the time to be Canadian.

 

Spectre takes the provisional quality of Notman’s original setups and takes it to a hyperbolized extreme, the verisimilitude of the original falls away leaving the viewer with a stripped down copy of the original, a failed attempt at recreating the past. As gallery goers pass the figure looking down on them from the window they are asked to consider the history of what they will see inside and to consider what changes will need to be made as we move forward.

Lisa Anita Wegner, curator for Windowbox Gallery1313

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Target is a piece by Nolan Georgakopoulos

When I undertook curating a series of installations for Gallery 1313’s Windowbox gallery, I made a conscious decision that I wanted to go off the usual path to find some of my artists.IMG_2489

As with the November Windowbox installation This Is What It Feels Like, Target does not come from a traditional source; rather than work with an established artist, I chose to work with a five-year-old boy who had never done anything for public display before.

I’ve known Nolan since he was a baby, and have always been taken with both the originality and specificity of his artistic ideas – for shapes, and colours, and how things fit together – that made him myfirst choice when I wanted to feature a kid’s art in the Windowbox.

With a collection of found objects that I thought Nolan might find interesting, and free reign to create whatever he wanted, what has emerged in Target is a true reflection of him – a self-portrait in a way, that features King and Queen representations of his parents, as well as himself in a Knight’s role.

What was fascinating to me in working with Nolan to create his piece, is that the process was exactly how I might collaborate and communicate with artists of any age. Target may be his first effort to create something for what he calls an “art stadium,” but it’s clear that he’s already tapped into a universal artistic urge.

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Call for Submissions: GALLERY1313 (http://g1313.org)

Lisa Anita Wegner, who has always loved unexpected sizing, is looking for extremely small art of any medium for TINY: a group exhibit which will on display for a month entirely in the Windowbox at 1313 Queen Street West. Please submit a jpeg with dimensions or the existing or proposed pieces.

Call for Performance Artists HAUS OF DADA: (www.mightybraveproductions.com)

Looking for a tall (6’2”+) slim male performer to perform with Thin Blank Human. Send us a picture, your height and performing experience.
https://lisaismightybrave.com/2014/10/31/performance-artists-perceived-gender-affects-audience-reaction/

Please contact Matthew or Patrick at hausofdadatoronto@gmail.com with TINY or THIN BLANK HUMAN as the subject line.

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My 2013 Nuit Blanche piece Queen of the Parade curated by Patrick McCauley was a collaboration with Vanessa Lee Wishart which showed my work on an international stage and changed my life. This year is my third and last doing Nuit Blanche, at least for awhile.
TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age is my Inner.Space send off.  It is a three location Ascension Experience: Projection/ Sound/ Wind / Performance/ Sculpture +InterGallactic GUESTS. The team has come together so elegantly and while there are always unexpected bumps in the road we are now in the home stretch. I am thrilled to bring this version of TRIANGLE to you. I have been experimenting all year with installations at Belljar Cafe, Moniker Gallery and The Film Buff. Having said that I might take a version of  TRIANGLE to ARTEL PHX next year. 

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Born from a few hard weeks of c-ptsd cognitive problems, this new improved projection light show at The Black Cat is perhaps the most amazing thing I’ve discovered in my experimenting with bending light. I have discovered a new element that takes my projections to another level.

I have an installation of gauzy curtains and netting in a womb shape that the audience enters into. With industrial fans and multiple directional projections in the gauze, when I tested it as part of a local art festival, it was extremely successful despite not being able to hear the healing sound track by Marshall Dragun. So I have a **special sound experience** for The Black Cat: Full Surround Sound brought to you by Sennheiser HDR170 and Haus of Dada.  We are still looking at some rentals for Quadrophonic Surround Sound for The Belljar Cafe, the last and most relaxing of the venues. 

Haus of Dada : The Invitation

The Black Cat: The Experience

Belljar: The Exhalation

 
Carolyn Tripp is my partner in visuals for TRIANGLE. She is the Executive Director of the Parkdale Film and Video Showcase and she will be designing the clear, clean visual environment for Belljar: The Exhale. She will also be designing and executing the TRIANGLE art that will link the locations. 
Marshall Dragun has worked with me all year on the soundtrack. The intent of the sonic accompaniment for TRIANGLE is aimed to re-establishing, in practice, similar principles of intended positive bio-celestial realignments. With the use of binaural solfeggio frequencies and isocrhonic tones, as well as sound samples captured from space, the journey is crafted with base frequencies that are believed by some to have a positive fundamental effect on the human experience and on life as we know it. The sonic journey is tied into the ascension process by moving upward through the scale of the 9 basic fundamental sacred healing tonal frequencies (174Hz, 285Hz, 396Hz, 417Hz, 528Hz, 639Hz, 741Hz, 852Hz and 963Hz). Ascension is ultimately attained by harmonizing the mind,body,soul through one experiencing the entire upward scale of these tones; thus allowing for the re-establishment of ancient celestial realignments ie. The New Golden Age.  Special musical guests are Stephane Vera (pictured) and Aris Plampe. 
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I am also very excited to be working with my TRIANGLE Technicians Wanda MacRae & Daisy Semkiw Blackburn, performers/ who will pull through the portal with me. Tarqin Richards is my intern who will be Inner.Space Videographer. 

My favourite special guest is the glorious artist Steven Joseph who will be my MUSE. I pulled him though my portal into TRIANGLE and he will thrill us with his extra terrestrial beauty and style. Come and catch a glimpse before Steven gets pulled  into another level Super Star Galaxy and we mere humans can no longer reach.

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After getting Steven onboard as guest I thought immediately of Matthew Del Degan’s LOVEBOTS as another addition to this world. I did a group show with Matthew last TIFF and have been in love with his BOTS ever since seeing them in person. I asked him for a full sized 8 foot LOVEBOT for in front of the Haus of Dada and Carolyn Tripp and I were hoping for an army of the small ones to connect the locations on Dundas. Matthew just told me his good news yesterday that since SPACE Network has done a piece on his LOVEBOTS Matthew is now in demand. So no mini LOVEBOT invasion along Dundas… he has bigger robotic fish to fry. I am hoping his project coordinator Roger can get us the original large LOVEBOT for the haus. 
 
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 Freeman Audio Visual’s great sponsorship I realized last week, was not the company but our guy Jason Tremblett. Jason changed us a fraction of the listed rental prices and would slip us additional and give us old equipment. He is on long term medical leave and the new guy assigned to us is a corporate sales person with no interest or understanding art. Jason saw the scope of the amazing work we are doing. New guy sees me as a client who has no money. Sad. He offered me a tiny discount and asked why I would want equipment that I can’t afford. I know it’s common to focus so much on money but I feel sad for Kyle- I asked twice if Jason was ok and he never answered. So I think I will say farewell to Freeman and let them get on in their corporate pursuits.
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So… I have borrowed enough projectors, screens and media players, now I think we’ll just do a simple rental of the Quadrophonic sound set up. Next week is testing everything and set-up lists. Anchors away! Space ships have anchors too.

 TRIANGLE is sponsors by Parkdale Village Arts Collective/ Gallery 1313, Partners in Art, Belljar Cafe, Forever Epic Films, Mighty Brave Productions & Haus of Dada.

Soon the website will include full project details and bios of our team: www.mightybraveproductions.com/triangle

Your until the USA drinks Canada Dry….
Lisa

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Carolyn Tripp (Parkdale Film & Video Showcase) and I co-curate The Window Box Gallery at Phil Anderson’s Gallery 1313. Carolyn’s September’s installation was delayed due to installing new glass in the middle of the month so the space was empty in the interim.
 
I am involved in the Parkdale Art Mentorship Program and I was mentor to Maya Path. Maya came aboard my July projection/ performance exhibition STARDUST: Life on Jupiter as one of my STARDUST Technicians. She worked along with my team and my other intern Tarquin Richards. 
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Maya also assisted me for Queen of STARDUST the closing performance event of the week. And when I fell out of the ten foot dress installation it was Maya who caught me:

10549963_10154455634515521_4601145420103873695_oMaya and I are creatively simpatico and I enjoyed adding her into my art practise. We started formulated an idea of what we wanted to make for the End of Program Exhibition supported by Telus and Gallery 1313. We started playing on video and I found her shooting and her editing worked well with mine. We started working on TRIPTYCH our performance/ projection/ popcorn party installation.

“TRIPTYCH isa collaboration with Maya Path for the Parkdale Artist Mentorship Program. Maya and I created three separate films that will be phasing for the entire exhibition. There are several inflatable glitter balls. Are they are? Are they to play with? Thursday September 4th at 8pm we willperform live with Maya accompanying the films on piano from Halifax via Skype representing the future. I will be there as Mama Dada representing the past. Come into our world and experience TRIPTYCH, kick a disco ball off the time/space continuum and munch some popcorn. You won’t want to leave.”

Maya and I ended up creating a series of videos in preparation:

And it was very fun making the disco ball sculptures:

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For the opening of THE PARKDALE MENTORSHIP SHOW I created an installation based on our mentorship collaboration. Using artifacts from creating TRIPTYCH I made this Window Box Display.
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What a wonderful experience this has been. Maya is at School in Halifax and I have invited her back to collaborate when she is back in Toronto.
Cheers
Lisa,
co-curator Window Box  Gallery1313
owner Haus of Dada.

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