6 April – 2 June 2002
in Gairloch Gardens
Curated by Marnie Fleming
Toronto artist Gwen MacGregor is preoccupied with seeking alternative ways to chart and experience events, exploring the realities of time, space and memory. She says, “I'm moving forward while thinking backward, or is it moving backward while thinking forward? Either way my work has a push-me/pull-you relationship with time.” Such concerns are the subjects of three site-specific installations that occupy each of the three domestic spaces of the former estate home of Oakville Galleries.
The “living room” serves as a receptacle of the year 2000, containing a newspaper from everyday of the year. Rather than merely placing the newsprint within the gallery space, MacGregor has rolled them into granny knots (knotted newspapers used for starting fires), thereby linking and intertwining the days that each represents. A video projection in the “dining room” underscores the minute-by-minute march of time through the manipulation of the speed of various commonplace actions. While some actions have been sped up, others have been slowed down in order to contain time within a framework. Connecting these two rooms, and their materialization of time, is a third room that MacGregor treats as a passageway, a site of transit or an in between space. On the walls are texts about things she has forgotten: a movie star in a film, the name of a shop or something she forgot at the grocery store. But herein lies the rub. As the texts are written in glow-in-the-dark materials, that quickly disappear after the lights go out, it is left up to us to remember what it was that we just read. She engages us in the process and outcome of memory.
MacGregor is generous in his use of the familiar, but there is an unsettling quality too. As the events and images MacGregor uses are most ordinary, we are given pause to think about very simple transactions.