Expanded Practice

El Adios: Laura Taler
Laura Taler

Public drop-in sessions: June 20 – 5pm-7pm | June 22 – 12pm-3pm | June 27 – 5pm-7pm | June 29 – 12pm-3pm
Laura Taler in dialogue with Gunnar Iversen: June 27 - 7pm

Knot Project Space is pleased to host Laura Taler as the first artist in its new residency initiative, Expanded Practice. During her residency, the Ottawa-based artist will primarily be experimenting with the presentation of her new multi-channel work Song Two: El Adios in advance of her exhibition of Three Songs at Carleton University Art Gallery in summer 2020.

- About Expanded Practice -

Expanded Practice is Knot Project Space’s new three-week intensive artist residency, offered to producing members of SAW Video Media Art Centre to expand the scope of their projects beyond the screening environment and into installation/exhibition formats. The resident artist is provided with a fee, a materials budget, unlimited access to the project space and an array of audio-visual equipment for the duration of their residency, during which they are invited to experiment with the spatial orientation of the moving image, the distribution of sound, and other tactics for presentation and audience engagement. Through an emphasis on open, hands-on technological play and frequent discussions with Knot Project Space’s curatorial staff, the Expanded Practice residency seeks to create a collaborative environment in which both the artist and the art-space can mutually strategise around the materiality of video, understood here as a medium that produces sites of physical and architectural encounter.

In order to sustain an open, tangential structure for artistic experimentation, there is no final public exhibition attached to artist’s participation in the Expanded Practice residency. Instead, the public is invited to visit the space during a series of “Drop-In Sessions” throughout the artist’s residency period (times listed above) to view the work in an in-progress and modular state. The artist will be present at each of these sessions to contextualise the work for the visitor and frame the trajectory of their spatial explorations.

- Song Two: El Adios -

Three Songs is a series of video installations in which Laura Taler performs songs in a variety of languages, in costume as her doppelganger. In this work Taler grapples with issues around translation, the physical labour of mourning, and the slippages between truth and fiction. The series began with questions about how to move forward with the past. While grappling with problems of repetition and untranslatability, she discovered that this work is in fact a succession of performances of mourning. Like all mourning, the goal is to move beyond loss to imagine and pursue futures untethered to the past.

In Song #2: El Adios (The Goodbye) Taler sings an Argentinean tango at her late Grandmother’s house in Romania. In this work Taler tackles what Chris Kraus describes as emotion “pursued as discipline, as form” by addressing the separation from her homeland in the language she choose to learn as an adult. The actions in the video are comprised of a series of practical tasks, from folding linens to practicing dance steps. An atmosphere of stillness and repetition envelops the work and gestures towards the labour of mourning, an activity that must happen with and in front of other people.

Laura Taler

Romanian-born Canadian artist Laura Taler began her career as a contemporary dance choreographer before turning her attention to filmmaking and visual art. Throughout her career Taler has explored the links between movement, memory, and history by using cinematic and choreographic devices to articulate how the body is able to carry the past without being oppressed by it. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires), Carleton Immersive Media Studio (Ottawa), and a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Berlin). Her work has been screened in festivals, exhibitions, and broadcast internationally. Awards include a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, the Best Experimental Documentary award from Hot Docs!, and Best of the Festival from New York’s Dance on Camera Festival. Publications include Tension/Spannung (Turia+Kant, 2010), Revisiting Ephemera (Blue Medium Press, 2011) and Embodied Fantasies (Peter Lang Publishing, 2013).