Jillian Pritchard is an emerging Vancouver artist. She graduated from Emily Carr Institute in 2005. Her collaborative work with Dan Starling, largely around the object and narratives of the book, has been shown at the Helen Pitt Gallery and as part of Group Search, a year long project at the Vancouver Public Library. This is her first solo exhibition.
October 21–November 25, 2006
Jillian Pritchard tests the limits of visual and lingual structures to reveal the processes of art making. Her controlled aesthetic practice finds articulation in book works, photography, and video. Past projects include a video work that frames a computer monitor as an unseen writer constructs an artist statement. The viewer watches the creation of text, the use of language to describe a visual method, the action of editing, much backspacing, and experiences the time it takes to construct such a statement (there are minutes when the cursor blinks blindly as the author thinks). Pritchard’s extended interest in technology as a structure is also manifest in an exploration of the limitations and possibilities of the automatic focus feature on a video camera. Charging glow-in-the-dark decorative stars, she sets the camera to autofocus and directs it at the stars in a darkened environment. The result is the technology’s struggle to represent the stars as they fade from bright to invisible.
Pritchard’s new work for her exhibition at Artspeak furthers her interest in the structures and standards of video in particular. Pushing the relationship of video to photography, Pritchard’s minimal works essentialize her subjects. The artist uses iconic imagery isolated on a black ground, such as prize and remembrance ribbons, to create concise, inward looking anti-narratives. While the viewer is tempted to construct a specific reading of the “subject” from her imagery, the act of looking forces a simultaneous consideration of process. The works’ inherent durational nature challenges our reading of the work in relationship to photography. Somewhere between a photograph and a tableau vivant, the iconic objects presuppose meaning in their potential for subjective and nostalgic associations; they are, in Pritchard’s words, “symbolic of symbolicalness.”
October 21, 2006
Artist talk presented in conjunction with her solo exhibition at Artspeak.