Render Banner image - Vol 5


Five years ago, a determined group of Art History students sought to provide a space for graduate students at Carleton to share their research and encourage and enable the transfer of new ideas within and across disciplines. In celebration of our fifth year, it is my pleasure to not only introduce you to the fifth volume of RENDER: The Carleton Graduate Journal of Art and Culture, but also to present the first volume of Renderling: Undergraduate Journal for Art and Culture.

The collegial atmosphere of the Carleton community, particularly the unwavering support of faculty and peers in the School for Studies in Arts and Culture, remains central to the continued success of this journal. I would specifically like to thank this year’s enthusiastic and robust editorial committee: Katie Kendall, Nicola Krantz, Leah Iselmoe, Rachel Neilson, Marie-Maxime De Andrade, Jessie Gamarra, Diana Hiebert, and Ben Peterson. As a committee, we would like to express our appreciation for the ongoing support of the Art History Graduate Students’ Society, Dr. Peter Coffman for his continued guidance, and Jack Coghill for his dedication maintaining our blog and journal year after year. Finally, we would like to thank the authors to both RENDER and Renderling who, with their engaging and diverse contributions, have made this year’s journal possible.

Emily Putnam, 2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief

You can read Volume 5 of RENDER below, and Volume 1 of Renderling here.


“Typesetting to Settling National Identity : Alan Jarvis, Paul Arthur, and the Influence of the International Typographic Style on Exhibition Catalogues at the National Gallery of Canada from 1956-67,” by Diana Hiebert, MA Candidate, Art History

National and international conceptions of Canadian identity were significantly challenged during the period following the Second World War. Modernist design played a key role in Canadian national identity; in fact, as graphic design historians Liz McQuiston and Barry Kitts acknowledge, “Canada was one of the first countries to develop a national visual identity program.”1 The National Gallery of Canada (hereafter referred to as the NGC) was instrumental in such identity construction. Alan Jarvis, director of the NGC from 1955 to 1959, sparked a modern reconceptualization of the NGC that dovetailed with the forging of Canadian identity in the 1950s. The new director was unflinching, asserting that “[t]he time is long past to plead ‘Canada is a young country’” and also that “Canadian art [and its institutions] must be judged by the same rigorous standards as set on the world at large.”2 Jarvis’s modernization of the NGC proved that he was particularly interested in both engaging the Canadian public and elevating the “prestige publications of the Gallery.”3 This emphasis on “prestige publications” or exhibition catalogues, designed by Paul Arthur, signaled the director’s valuation of exhibition catalogues as agents equal to the high art exhibited in the gallery space. It is no coincidence, therefore, that between 1955 and 1965 graphic design became a field in its own right due to the distinction of typographic design in Canada.4 Arthur’s exhibition catalogues, designed in the International Typo-graphic Style5 while Arthur worked at the NGC from 1956-1967, reflect Jarvis’ nation-building mandate as well as Canada’s evolving graphic design reputation. By extension, they can also be seen as expressions of Canadian national identity in formation. Download the PDF: Hiebert – “Typsetting to Settling National Identity”

“Witches, Bitches, and White Feminism: A Critical Analysis of American Horror Story: Coven” by Meg Lonergan, PhD student at Carleton University in Law and Legal Studies

American Horror Story: Coven (2013) is the third season of the popular horror anthology on FX1. Set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana, the plot centers on Miss Ro-bichaux’s Academy and its new class of female students—witches descended from the survivors of the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in 16922. The all-girls school is supposed to be a haven for witches to learn about their heritage and powers while fostering a community which protects them from the anti-witch prejudices of the outside world, however, it soon becomes clear that the coven in under attack both from in-fighting within and from multiple forces outside of the coven as well. While the show deals explicitly with issues regarding femininity and race, the show implicitly deals with issues of modern feminism through their use of witches. There is a well-known history of associating feminists as both “witches” and “bitches”. Less well known is the deep association and critique of whiteness pervading academic, mainstream and celebrity feminisms (Mohanty 2003, 169-189; Moreton-Robinson 2010; Wicke 1994). This paper borrows from Dina Georgis’ concept of “the better story” (2003), that is, that stories are “emotional resources for political imagination and for political renew-al” (Georgis 2013, 1). Georgis argues that:

“Story, understood psychoanalytically and metonymically, stands for the way we narrate the past, seek and transmit knowledge, and imagine our future. Story is the principle of how we seek to make sense of human experience” (Georgis 2013, 1).

I argue that Coven is telling a story about the history of feminism and contemporary issues within the broader feminist movements of North America, using witchcraft as an allegory in an attempt to tell a better story—one that pushes us to imagine a better future. Download the PDF: Lonergan – “Witches, Bitches, and White Feminism: A Critical Analysis of American Horror Story: Coven”

“Sitting Black” by Marie-Maxime De Andrade, MA Candidate, Art History [Catalogue Entry]

A young woman sits straight, intensely looking in front of her. Nothing of her inner emotions is apparent. She embodies self-containment and discipline through the pose she adopts for viewers’ enjoyment and for Curtis Williamson who painted this portrait. Everything of this small and simple com-position, depicting this woman’s three-quarter portrait on an emptied greenish background, is kept quiet. Nevertheless, we anticipate her desire to move. The proposed dynamism of this captured moment in time is suggested through this woman’s gaze. Although calm, she is perched at the far edge of her seat, as if she is about to get up and take action.

The colours of this intimate composition are rich and of a dark brownish tone. The unnamed woman wears a pale shirt, enhanced by what we imagine being an A-line high waist skirt completing her outfit, where the whiteness of the collar shines on her dark complexion.1 The wood panel on which the work is painted is visible through the brush strokes. This loose technique renders the texture of the woman’s blouse more complex at the bottom of the composition. Yet, the dark line crossing the verticality of her shirt raises questions. Is this a necktie or is this brown stroke the continuation of her skin? Is this a slightly open blouse suggesting her nakedness or does this thin cravat close her respectable exterior dress? Moreover, what about those earrings that glow on her dark skin? Download the PDF: De Andrade – “Sitting Black”

“Central Canada Exhibition Poster of 1913” by Jessie Gamarra, MA Candidate, Art History [Catalogue Entry]

The first Central Canada Exhibition Poster of 1913 (CCE) at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa opened in 1888 under the guidance of Prime Minister John A. MacDonald and Governor General Lord Stanley, who there made his first public debut to the Canadian people.1 Two days prior to this opening, the CCE Association had purchased an advertisement in the Ottawa Daily Citizen that quite simply stated the dates and hours of operation with an address listed “for prize lists and other particulars.”2 Despite this rather lacklustre marketing campaign and before the professionalization of the business itself, the first Exhibition proved to be a huge success. Hosting exciting amusements such as a hot air balloon ascension and an electronic display of lights, the 1888 Exhibition established the fair as one of Ottawa’s most inventive attractions.3 By the early twentieth-century, the CCE had become a known public institution of agricultural and technical in-novation as well as sensational entertainments, and accordingly adapted modern advertising formats to reach its audience.4 Download the PDF: Gamarra – “Central Canada Exhibition Poster of 1913”

“Sound, Screams, and the Score: An Exploration of Sound in Classic Horror Slashers” by Emma Shehan, MA Film Studies, Carleton University

The horrifying and macabre has long been a morbid interest to human beings. Subjects of horror in novels became especially popular in the nineteenth century. At this time, even mu-sic took a horrifying twist, as evidenced by Franz Schubert’s famous lieder ‘The Elf King’ composed in 1815 (Lerner, 2010) and Hector Berlioz’ ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ in 1830 (Donelly, 2005). In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the fascination with the eerie shifted to the silver screen. Horror films have become an extremely popular facet of film, with many successful films spawning sequels, prequels, and re-makes. Perhaps more so than other genres of film, horror film thrives on the creation of established franchises. The constant re-making of films does not change the fact that there is an in-grained formula for horror, and most do not stray off the path. Despite a sense of sameness in the visual, horror film sound can often be very innovative.

Through a combination of non-diegetic atonal music, theme songs, diegetic popular songs, ambient sound, and screams, horror film places sound on centre stage. Sound has proven an effective method for eliciting emotion in audiences, making it an intriguing subject for examination in an academic setting. For this reason, I will be exploring horror movie music and sound to explore how it is used to create fear within audiences. Download the PDF: Shehan – “Sound Screams and the Score”

“Cairn Cunnane’s Our Fence and the Public Art Program at the City of Ottawa” by Sharon Odell, MA Art History

Cairn Cunnane’s Our Fence (2016) was unveiled to the public during an inaugural event at Ottawa’s Bingham Park on June 4, 2016, as part of the city of Ottawa’s Public Art Program (PAP). Situated in an outdoor landscape, Our Fence is decorated with stylized trees that sprout out to heights of 11.5 to 13 feet at either side of the central entrance gate.1 Created out of polished stainless steel, the metallic grey fence extends 225 ft., with long linear ripple wave designs underlying vertical posts that are spaced 4 inches apart. The handrail height is 40 inches above the ground, and detailed figures throughout have been executed in a variety of sizes within a mix of over 10 grouped and individual poses. The grouped figures are taller than the average adult spectator at 6ft 6 inches, generating a larger than life visual experience for children viewing them within the park. They blend into the fence with sections of flat curved sheets of metal and lattice-work stylized bodies. The smaller figures are more freely executed as sculptures, giving a playful effect to the overall piece and lending a surprise element to those who realize their presence. Download the PDF: Odell – “Cairn Cunnane’s Our Fence”