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Artspeak

leannej

Leannej, is a writer, text based artist and social critic. She uses many of the same approaches to her text as visual artists. It is often the narrative process itself that is the central point or theme of her stories. In FRONT Magazine, leannej constructs “story diagrams” which leads the viewer through a series of conditional outcomes. The story schematic invites her viewers/readers to consider the process of narration: not just how stories are told, but how the viewer/reader constructs their own narratives. Her work appears regularly in FRONT Magazine. Three of her short stories will appear in the Flat Earth Excavation Company: a surrealistic Fiction anthology. She is completing her novel, The Sarah Jefferson Stories.

Exhibitions

  • here you should read (that something is awry)

    ROBIN ARSENAULT
    March 30–May 4, 2002

    Negotiating the theatricality of installation art, Robin Arseneault’s first exhibition in Vancouver presents an environment that suggests an empty stage set. Working with the architecture of the gallery, objects or props are connected with pulley systems and movable mechanisms; both the props and the machinery made of such improbable materials as watercolours on tracing paper and ice-blue mohair ‘rain’.

    Three-dimensional stuffed ’emotions’ and weighty ‘Menacing Gray Clouds’ that may be raised and lowered use absurdity to deflect and sublimate the commonplace catastrophes of embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. Arseneault embraces the over-used symbols of emotional pain, making them moveable, playful and almost endearing—the sleight-of-hand technique of displacement. Repeated images, emotional props, lost objects and the shadows they cast imply a repertoire of scripted performances, familiar improvisations and re-enactments.

    Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Hotel in Vancouver for this exhibition. (www.victorian-hotel.com / 1-877-681-6369)

    Postscript 01: Kathy Slade on here you should read (that something is awry) (PDF)

  • SIFT: The Reading Room

    ROGER FARR, NEIL HENNESSY, REG JOHANSON, RYAN KNIGHTON, JASON LE HEUP, LEANNEJ, CHRIS TURNBULL
    April 28–June 2, 2001

    This exhibition will propose a consideration of the gallery space as a reading room, allowing visitors to loiter long enough to engage with work that breaks apart the distinctions between writing, visual art and technological applications. Ryan Knighton’s poetic practice, for example, uses his JAWS voice computer program designed to accommodate his visual impairment as part of the method and content of his work. For SIFT, Knighton’s work will be installed at a computer station, opening up the elaborate process of his practice in an interactive fashion. In addition, materials and publications from Pulley Press will be selected in a curatorial collaboration with Jason LeHeup. His transgressions of the parameters of arcade games have resulted in a series of portraits of the children he would produce should he mate with his male cohorts and this photographic evidence will be included in the exhibition. leannej’s constructs stories that are diagrams, leading the reader/viewer through a labyrinth of conditional outcomes. Previously installed as magazine inserts, these works are reproduced as works on the gallery walls.

Talks & Events

  • Reading/Web Launch

    ROGER FARR, TESSA LAMB, LEANNEJ, REG JOHANSON, RYAN KNIGHTON, MYKOL KNIGHTON, JEREMY TURNER
    May 29, 2001

    Artspeak is pleased to host the reading and web launch of “SIFTED: The Read Room” which accompanies SIFT: The Read Room; an exhibition running from April 28th to June 2nd, 2001.

Publications

  • Long-Range Forecast: Variable

    LRF front
    LRF spine
    LRF back

    Title: Long-Range Forecast: Variable
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Robin Arsenault
    Writers: leannej, Lorna Brown
    Editor: Viola Funk
    Design: Kathleen Ritter
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2002
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: 5 panel foldout with 2 pullout posters
    Process: Offset
    Features: 5 b&w images, 5 colour images
    Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 1.5 cm
    Weight: 106 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-40-3
    Price: $5 CDN

    Long-Range Forecast: Variable is published to extend the exhibition here you should read (that something is awry), which took place at Artspeak in the spring of 2002. Robin Arseneault’s first exhibition in Vancouver negotiated the theatricality of installation art, presenting an environment that suggested an empty stage set. Working with the architecture of the gallery, objects or props were connected with pulley systems and movable mechanisms; both the props and the machinery made of such improbable materials as watercolours on tracing paper and ice-blue mohair ‘rain’. Three-dimensional stuffed ’emotions’ and fabric ‘Menacing Gray Clouds’ that may be raised and lowered used absurdity to deflect and sublimate the commonplace catastrophes of embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. Arseneault embraces the over-used symbols of emotional pain, making them moveable, playful and almost endearing – the sleight-of-hand technique of displacement. Repeated images, emotional props, lost objects and the shadows they cast imply a repertoire of scripted performances, familiar improvisations and re-enactments.

    Paired with photographic documentation of the exhibition is leannej’s Weathering Systems, a flow chart narrative that unfolds in poster format. Working with improbability, the gap between action and consequence, and other indictments of narrative form, leannej’s work hovers between writing and conceptual art practice. Her previous work includes many contributions to FRONT Magazine, where she is Managing Editor, and Maybe it’s just a phase, a series of tear sheet texts included in the group show Sift: The Reading Room, an exhibition of writers working with visual culture at Artspeak in 2001. As an extension of that exhibition, she collaborated with Jeremy Turner on a contribution to Sifted: The Read Room, an electronic publication of computer based artworks. This publication brings together Robin Arseneault and leannej’s shared interests in semiotics and metaphors of prediction and probability.

  • SIFTED: The Read Room

    Title: SIFTED: The Read Room
    Writers: Roger Farr & Tessa Lamb, Neil Hennessy, leannej & Jeremy Turner, Reg Johanson, Ryan & Mykol Knighton, Jason Le Heup, Chris Turnbull
    Editor: Artspeak
    Category: CD-ROM
    Design: Mia Thomsett
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2001
    Process: Digital
    Features: 50 bw images
    Weight: 54 g
    Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 0.5 cm
    No longer available

    In conjunction with the exhibition SIFT: The Reading Room, Artspeak has produced SIFTED: The Read Room. These projects present the work of Vancouver and Toronto writers who have made forays into visual arts practice, breaking apart the distinctions between writing, visual art and technological applications. With a CD-ROM of images and web projects, Sifted is the culmination of the collaborative work of several writers and their invited colleagues that took place over the duration of the exhibition.

    Ryan Knighton and Mykol Knighton’s project draws on Ryan’s poetic practice and work in the exhibition, using the synthesized voice of his JAWS computer software for the visually impaired as part of the method and content of his work. Their collaborative work, titled Clutch, combines a sequence of photographs of an abandoned car which decompose the functioning car into its parts with text and sound investigating language/machinery, narrative, memory and hyperlinking relationships between image and anecdote.

    Roger Farr and Tessa Lamb’s collaborative and recombinant project Album, a book in process uses hypertext to unhinge the linear syntax imposed on historical and visual narratives by the codex book form. Composed of blurred black and white snapshots and edited diary passages culled from the web, Album makes public the privacy and intimacy usually attributed to the autobiographical genres of the family photograph and the personal diary.

    leannej and Jeremy Turner have created parallel projects that reflect their shared interest in the narrative process and the construction of identity. leanne’s work in the exhibition titled Maybe its Just a Phase, is a installation of diagrammatic text/stories that lead a reader/viewer through a maze of conditional outcomes. Jeremy’s practice and recent writing in FRONT magazine have involved re-creating historical and contemporary figures/identities through the form of the internet chat room, manufactured interviews and diaries.