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Thinking through painting about borders: An artist talk by Jinny Yu

November 3, 2017 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Location:201D (ICSLAC Seminar Room) St. Patrick's Building

As the world shrinks, bringing people closer together across cultural, religious and political divides, the borders that keep us apart are strengthening. In her past practice, artist Jinny Yu has interrogated the border of painting, expanding the limits and possibilities of the medium of painting at a conceptual level and with its materiality. Rethinking the borders of painting as a medium, her artistic practice has opened new horizons of meaning for imagining anew how her work can intervene in the world, and, perhaps, suggest a corrective direction to the polarizing debates and controversies that continue to swirl around migration.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Yu is an Associate Professor of Painting at the University of Ottawa. Yu’s work grows out of an inquiry into the medium of painting, as a means of trying to understand the world around us. Her project Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale and toured at The Rooms (St. John’s, NL). It was recently acquired by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, ON). Her work has been shown widely, including exhibitions in Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, UK and USA. She was an artist in residence at the ISCP in New York, Nanji Art Studios in Seoul, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

In this presentation Yu will discuss how she attempts to examine the broader political world in the way she approaches her material and medium. Working as a studio-based artist, she considers her practice as an open field for operations that are activated by resistance to existing systems. She will discuss how she make works in the studio and will reflect on the idea of the border, be it personal and/or political: Do personal and psychological boundaries mirror political borders? Does basic instinct or fear of the unknown affect how we behave as a political beings, particularly with regards to the migration crisis? The overarching question guiding these reflections is: What can one do as an artist to counter the current shift towards reactionary ideas and perspectives?

Yu will also share some other notions that she is working through in her current studio work, including: The shift of perspectives between majority and minority; how our shared feeling of powerlessness is not dissimilar to the status of migrants; feeling foreign everywhere.

This talk is part of The Friday Table, a series of weekly Friday afternoon events organized by the Graduate Steering Committee for the Centre for the Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA) and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC) at Carleton University. We aim to bolster the Centre’s mandate to bring together scholars and students working with transnational approaches to studies in the humanities through regular, informal workshops, roundtables, film screenings, and discussion groups. The Friday Table seeks to foster collegiality and promote student-led research-creation. Events are free and open to all.