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Artspeak

Lorraine Weideman

Educated at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Lorraine Weideman’s previous exhibitions include solo shows at the Helen Pitt Gallery, MacEwan Arts and Artropolis, Vancouver.

Exhibitions

  • Joes I Know

    LORRAINE WEIDEMAN
    February 3–March 10, 2001

    Lorraine Weideman’s Joes I Know is a new series of honourific photographic portraits of G.I. Joe dolls from a pristine collection accumulated through the sixties and seventies. Using the devices of commemorative portraits, Weideman photographs the dolls in the collection as individuals, with an atmosphere of poignancy and loss—the toys resemble tragic heroes of mythic proportions. The Joes are bear identical facial scars, yet their eye colour and shape and skin colour varies, as does their fetishized accessories—dog tags, plumed helmets, weapons—these heroes are highly decorated.

    Weideman notes that “G.I. Joe first came on the market in 1964 at a New York Toy Fair—prior to that a ‘doll for boys’ was viewed with mixed feelings. This 12 inch figure has an articulated body based on the ubiquitous artists’ mannequin.”

    As a series, the portraits create a fascinating study of the representation of race, ethnicity, nationality and masculinity in popular culture. The elaborately detailed uniforms of a range of nations and ranks are reminders of the shifting allegiances between the U.S. and nations such as Japan, Russia and Germany over the past forty years. and the changing levels of public receptivity to the military through the the late sixties and early seventies and beyond.

Publications

  • Joes I Know / Junior General Kit

    Title: Joes I Know / Junior General Kit
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Lorraine Weideman
    Writers: Clint Burnham
    Design: Kathleen Ritter
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2001
    Pages: 24pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Staple Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 10 cards (11×20 cm each), 18 b&w images, 30 colour images
    Dimensions: 21 x 11.5 x 1 cm
    Weight: 124 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-35-7
    Price: $12 CDN

    Reproduced for this publication in ‘collector card’ format, Weideman’s Joes I Know is a series of honourific photographic portraits of G.I. Joe dolls from a pristine collection accumulated through the sixties and seventies. Using the devices of commemorative portraits, Weideman has photographed the dolls in the collection as individuals, with an atmosphere of poignancy and loss—the toys resemble tragic heroes of mythic proportions.

    Junior General Kit, written for this publication, draws upon Burnham’s short-lived career with the Canadian Forces in the early 1980s. His account of the disciplinary practices of sock-folding, bed-making and boot-polishing fidgets alongside references to Full Metal Jacket, to B-52s, or Stairway to Heaven. Visceral, bodily memories of berets, cammo and shaved heads, details of group affiliation that change camps when they infiltrate street fashion, are pressed against the forgotten, conflated or misremembered that “makes possible the memoir”.