photo: Miklos Legrady
the past whispers
ARTIFACTS (Pam Patterson and Leena Raudvee)
April 14 – May 31, 2018, performance April 21st.
Fleishman Gallery at Wonderworks, Toronto
ARTIFACTS, ever cognizant of gender politics and cultural normalization, engages in deconstructing various contemporary societal issues by exploring women’s bodies across speculative edges and in liminal spaces.
In the past whispers, ARTIFACTS uses performativity as a touchstone to relocate and restory culture, artefacts, intentions, and memory. In making this work, we entered the space of the walled garden, as tourist, traveler, and pilgrim. The “entering” was originally an unintentional act. We had been performing in a little village, La Romieu, in France in 2017 and, when finished, had travelled to stay for a few days in Lectoure. Tucked against a high stone wall on the main street, we came across a long-standing herb garden that had been established in the 1200s.
The panoramic images we took of each other in this small walled medieval garden spoke to our own searching and a momentary fleeting sense of displacement and loss. In making this exhibition, through the use of photo image and archival maps of medieval gardens and cities, we searched for traces of the past. We fantasized a touch, a fragrance, a quietude that might be found in a sacred place of contemplation and cultivation. In juxtaposing this sense of place with a perhaps equally imagined life of women in a convent and the use and value of a convent garden we asked: Who were, and how were “holy sisters”? We invited the audience to play here within the metaphor of this medieval garden. To be in such a garden is to stand in the middle of a vision of the world – the garden is in itself a cosmological statement where within its symmetrical plan and ordered framework, particularity is varied, fertile and hospitable.