Louise Noguchi The Language of the Rope
12 June – 1 August 1999

Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square

Since her emergence on the Toronto scene as an artist-to-watch in the early 1980s, Canadian artist Louise Noguchi has been investigating the notion of the artist as witness. Recent work, such as her series of Compilation Portraits in which she wove her own picture into portraits of criminals and murderers, proposes that we are all changed by exposure to violence. This summer at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square, an exhibition of her new video work takes this enduring theme to a new level of mature insight, experimental vigour, and dark whimsy. Her interest in intricate knots has led her to research the figure of the rope, its associations with both usefulness and violence, and ultimately to discover the 'Wild West' mythology of rodeo cowboys, trick roping and knife throwing—skills of aggression called tricks to mask their danger and violence. With this new work, Noguchi has turned inward to examine the powerful attractions of danger and risk. In two new video works, Rope Tricking and Study/Sketch, she uses techniques such as slow motion display, enigmatic sound and fragmented or obscured camera angles to open up her own experience and involve the audience in the performance.

An illustrated catalogue features an interview with the artist and an essay by the guest curator Karen White, available at Oakville Galleries.

Curated by Karen White