AGYU
 
 
Smith/Stewart
Guest Curated by Michèle Thériault
13 January – 20 February 2000


Stephanie Smith and Edward Stewart began collaborating in 1992 after they met at the Rijksakadamie in Amsterdam. The Glasgow-based artists produce works in video in which their bodies are both object and subject. Representing themselves together or on separate screens and monitors, the artists present a succession of mises en scène in which they subject their bodies to extreme sensory actions.

Stark, simple and intense, their work explores the transgressive possibilities of communication between two people. The scale of their video projections and the invasive use of amplified sound generate for the viewer a bodily and sensory relationship to these installations. Our senses are permeated by the physicality and intimacy of bodies repeatedly performing acts that blur the line between violence and passivity, dependence and sustenance, beauty and revulsion.

Smith/Stewart's work in video explores new ground in the ongoing debate on issues relating to the body and sexuality in the play of desire and the senses. Their work also expands upon the body-centred and performance-based works done by American and Canadian artists in the seventies who were attracted to the immediacy and feedback capabilities of video. The two collaborative artists are further pushing the limits of the camera as self and intermediary.

Smith/Stewart have participated in numerous exhibitions in Europe and the United States, and recently were invited to the Melbourne Biennial, Australia. In 1998 they showed a series of video installations in a major solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, and in 1999 had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum, Luzern, and Portikus, Frankfurt. This is their first exhibition in Canada.

During the opening reception on Thursday, January 13, 6-8pm, the gallery will host a public dialogue between Smith/Stewart and Lisa Gabrielle Mark. Lisa Gabrielle Mark is a writer, editor and curator based in Toronto. This brief, informal discussion will take place at 7pm in The Faculty Club, Room South 166 Ross Building (down the hall from the gallery). This exhibition is organized with the support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the British Council, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at] yorku.ca