Recently I made a very cool discovery — that snowflakes can form around a variety of different particles — rain, dust and even grains of pollen. This idea that high up in our atmosphere, the renmants of summer’s glorious flowers are swirling around in the dark, cold skies is just astounding. And, even more, that these tiny beautiful particles which are intrinsic products of plant life and critical resources for bees, can create the exquisite beauty of snowflakes, is inconceivable. The connection–pollen—bees—-pollen—-snowflakes is the inspiration for this little animation, “The Bees Do Dream.”
As the exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery draws to a close (January 3, 2016 last day), I have the great pleasure of creating an additional page for this blog site with a newly produced video documentation of the “bee” part of my exhibition.
And as I think back to the summer of 2012, when I first started working on the bees, I do not think of where I have been, but of how far I have come through this process, and what I have gained. If I had to sum up, in a few words what the bees have meant, perhaps these words might serve well:
“And I said with rapture, here is something I can study all my life and never understand.”
What a great evening it was! My thanks are due to the Roundhouse Community Center and especially to the Arts Progammer and Curator, (and dear friend, gifted artist and educator) Cyndy Chwelos for her dedication and support of the arts, and her willingness to explore varied artistic practices. I’m so glad that Cyndy included me in this exhibition! Thank you Cyndy for this opportunity. It takes a great deal of hard work and time to put together an interesting and engaging exhibition, especially one that includes so many artists and different artistic forms. From the initial stages of coming up with ideas for an exhibition, to seeking out artists, to making numerous studio visits, to writing plans, contracts; organizing workshops, making bookings, arranging for advertising, sorting out technical issues involved with installation, preparing for the opening night, overseeing the exhibition during the time the gallery is open, dealing with problems and issues over and over again; then taking care of de-installation — the amount of work it takes is immense, the orchestration complex. And what I see (as a participating artist) and what visitors to the gallery and workshops see, are the finished products–the beautiful exhibits, the smoothly running workshops, the buzzing opening nights. We see none of the hard work that has gone into preparing an exhibition like this. So Cyndy, a big, full “Brava!” to you. (If however, you were to ask Cyndy about this, she would say that this is her passion, her work, her practice now!)
I also wish to add that without my friend, (eminent artist and art educator), Elizabeth MacKenzie, I would have been too afraid to participate with my bee project. Elizabeth is very generous with her time and her thoughtful insights are much appreciated. Thank you Elizabeth!
I want to thank the 4 young performers from UBC and Cap College who took up my invitation to interpret a 17th century madrigal for this opening night. The piece was written by the polymath, Charles Butler. Butler was one of the first persons to recognize that the Queen bee was in fact female–and not male (the accepted patriarchal notion of the day). Butler wrote a book on bees and beekeeping called the “The Feminine Monarchie,” and for the 1623 edition, he added this madrigal which he himself composed to the glory of the Queen bee.
This past summer, I completed a video as part of the Withdrawn: scribing Nancy project. Made in collaboration with artist Cyndy Mochizuki, the video explores process, memory, the image, materiality and the intimate through the fragments of text appropriated from Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay, “The Image – The Distinct”. The video is now online.Thank you, Cyndy Mochizuki and Marc Hansen for your work in making the video available!
The video can be accessed at Vimeo. Type jasna guy touch, in the search videos box.
I have the honour of working with a video artist, Cindy Mochizuki on a project that explores and expands upon my text-based drawing/inscribing project Withdrawn: scribing Nancy . We are taking the project into an entirely new direction for me, video. I think of this direction, this process, these video objects as ones which engage the viewer in a multi-sensorial experience of space: the projector, the screen, the expanse of floor and wall, the dark, and then the light that fills the space between these objects, the sounds, the flickering images and the simultaneous distension and restraint of time, combine to push the viewer over the threshold and into the space of the image:
” The image throws in my face an intimacy that reaches me in the midst of intimacy – through sight, through hearing, through the very meaning of words…the seduction of images, their eroticisim, is nothing other than their availability for being taken, touched by the eyes, the hands, the belly, or by reason and penetrated. The gaze impregnated with color, the ear with sonority.”
(Video stills by Cindy Mochizuki)