The Esker Foundation: Terms of Engagement

Given my childhood, growing up in a military family, this exhibit really speaks to me.  Curator, Christine Conley, of the University of Ottawa,  introduced the tour participants to the Terms of Engagement exhibit, on view at The Esker Foundation.  Her special interests include feminism and art, questions of gender, trauma and issues of secondary witnessing, the ethics of performance, conceptualism and photography, and curatorial practice.  All of these things come into play in this exhibit.  This was a fine, however, general description of the art on exhibit.  There will be other opportunities to explore and revisit these themes as the exhibit continues through to December 14.

I appreciate the concepts of ambivalence, memory and identity that came up time and time again where these works are concerned.

DSC_0684DSC_0680Dick Averns was present to the tour, although at this particular time, he was not one of the presenters.  I’ve found his photographs very engaging when I’ve visited them at The Military Museum of Calgary.

At the two readings delivered by Nicola Feldman-kiss, I was left unable to breath…the circumstances of her observations of one small location in the Sudan, were so powerful.  In fact, when I got into my vehicle to drive home that day, I had to take a few minutes to collect myself…the images and the experience was so very important to me.

I do not wish to minimize the content/meaning of the works at Esker right now, but really encourage my local readers to take the time to consider the messages and archives that are provided through this collection!

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While investigating this subject, I thought that these related videos would be appropriate.



The final three videos feature a former teacher of mine, Bill MacDonnell.  His dedication to this subject matter and his research continues to amaze me.  Presently, one of his paintings is exhibited in the Made in Calgary: The 2000s exhibit that I’ve also recently viewed.  A must see!




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