In spaces of spectacle

Artist Lynne Marsh is the first to take up residency at the AEAC

Lynne Marsh’s work will show at next year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Lynne Marsh’s work will show at next year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Lynne Marsh’s performance and video pieces concentrate on time and location — and the subtleties of everyday life.

Marsh is the fall 2013 visiting Artist in Residence at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC). In partnership with Queen’s University, the AEAC started this initiative to welcome artists, explore new ways of exhibition-making and facilitate artistic collaborations in Kingston.

Marsh is the first to take part in the initiative.

Marsh fell in love with the arts through an intense need to be creative.

“I always loved painting and drawing as a kid — I wanted to do something creative,” she said. “I went to art galleries […] and then art school.”

As AEAC’s Artist in Residence, Marsh will be continuing the conversation with the cultural studies program.

She’ll be working in the studio on her latest project, reflecting on and getting feedback on her previous works and doing research for future projects.

“To do that in the context of a gallery with the support of the University is exciting,” she said.

“I think this idea of fostering dialogue, of giving artists the time and the space to share their ideas and get input and feedback from an academic community is essential for the growth of the community and the artist.”

Given her international experience and reputation, the artist continues to have a high regard for the AEAC’s international reputation and high calibre of work.

“[The Kingston art community is] a very proactive community [that’s] hungry and thirsty for input and excited about what they’re doing,” Marsh said.

The artist lives and works around the world.

She currently hops between Montreal, Berlin and London and has showed her work in Germany, Spain, China, the United States and here in Canada, at the National Art Gallery of Canada and in Montreal.

Marsh’s artistic work combines moving images, performance and installation.

With a focus on specific sites and architecture seen through location-based filming and behind-the-scenes views, she creates “spaces of spectacle.”

“I’m interested in moments around the spectacles so I often work in specific locations,” she said. “I’m looking for the moment, the latency of the spectacle [when] there’s a sense of absence or presence in the work.”

These spaces are temporally out-of-place, either too early or too late, and so they give us a sneak peek of the processes that go on before and after the polished product.

By capturing the people, the historical, the social and the political forces that create the spectacle, the art enacts crucial moments — the intake of breath before or the sigh of relief after the performance.

These snippets of time, encapsulated in a video installation, take about a year to complete.

Her works are “specific evocations of the complex relationships between complicity and participation, camera and subject and the individual and the social.”

Marsh is currently working on a project titled Anna and the Tower, which will be presented at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. The upcoming piece will feature a young air traffic controller, Anna, working at an airport tower outside of Berlin.

“The tower becomes a kind of stage and she performs the ritual of her job as a performance rather than the job,” Marsh said.

“I see it as a kind of conjuring. She’s conjuring the planes, [imagining the] choreography of planes coming and going and [the] air traffic.”

“It’s always important to figure out what you’re interested in and to make work about your interests.”

Marsh will run public conversations on Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 in Dunning Auditorium from 7 to 8 p.m.

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