Undusting: Curatorial Statement
Seemingly innocuous particles that diffuse, obscure and reveal were the subject of curator David Campany’s exhibition, A Handful of Dust at Ryerson’s own RIC (Ryerson Image Centre). Undusting is a body of work in response to this show, that explores new and familiar associations with this apparent everyday nuisance, and its existence on a cosmic scale.
The ideas contained in a small, unassuming text called dust by Micheal Marder served as our inspiration for the show’s title. Marder refers to dusting as an act of “undusting”; as our efforts to contain and reveal the surface below further disperse dust into space. As zealous as our efforts to control it may be, the dust is a constant, ever-present marker of an inevitable entropy that we struggle to preside over.
The artists featured come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, and this class was for some student’s their first studio-based class, while others brought previous experience. The works themselves range from theoretical, essay-based explorations into the themes of the class, to physical works in the form of ephemeral sculptures and image-based pieces. The unavoidable nature of dust creates a nearly limitless potential for thematic exploration, inspiring participants to explore memory, decay and the oft-overlooked places dust accumulates; like pockets and store shelves.
The University’s transition to digital classes in response to the pandemic was especially challenging for a class that was so thematically focused on the physical and tactile. Our first class meeting found us passing analog objects between us in a presently-impossible show and tell that expanded our canonial perception of image-based works. This sudden move to a digital exhibition was handled gracefully by the web exhibition team, who created a web-based interface that allowed for a greater number of works to be shown than our physical gallery space would have allowed for. Participants are able to present a more complete representation of their work that will be seen and interpreted by a broader audience through virtual means.
Curatorial Committee Member
Website Research and Development: Jackie Zhang
Website Design and Coordination: Isabela Andrade, Samuel Letnik and Jackie Zhang
Artists: Ajeuro Abala, Austen Ambraska, Isabela Andrade, Emma Ayers, A. Balloi, Jordan Benegbi, Aimee Bernardo, Philipp Bernhardt, Abigail Cassio, Sophia Castiblanco, Anne-Marie Cloutier, Sarah Devine, Catherine Zita Dias, Andrew Donnelly, Akcinya Kootchin, Yvonne Le, Sarah Lefaive, Samuel Letnik, Julie Mai, Jonathan Matta, Elizabeth Maxwell-Turanski, Michelle Parlevliet, Damira Rakhmetova, Matthew Sochaniwskyj, Lauren Stasyna, Jackie Zhang
NPF 568: Analogue as Meaning