Diana George is a Seattle fiction writer and a founding member of the Seattle Research Institute. Her writing has appeared in Nest Magazine, Arcade: A Journal of Architecture and Design, 3rd Bed, Post Road and Chicago Review. She is the editor, with Charles Mudede, of Politics Without the State, a collection of essays about joy and terror in the global corporate order.
January 5–February 9, 2002
Still and moving images of crime or accident victims are familiar, whether in photo-documentary projects, the news or films. Viewing these pictures generally signals the beginning of a narrative of detection or discovery towards (re)solving the untimely death and the temporary triumph of the rational over fear. These forms often contain clues to the mystery through the use of explanatory narration, or other visual clues within the image, such as the specific environment in which the body was found. The wooded area, the alley at dawn, the industrial waterfront are easily called to mind when thinking of crime scenes, and viewers rely upon the interpretive skill of the forensic hero who uses science to uncover the truth.
Looking to apprehend the effects of films and photographs of ‘tragedy’ in sculptural form, Yates isolates the slain figure and models it in miniature in Untitled (small dead woman). Removing the setting, props, character and plot serves to eliminate any narrative possibility or specific mystery to solve, leaving only the tiny vulnerable object and our desire to examine it, which we must struggle to do, given its size. This tactic of decontextualization and rendering in three dimensions undermines the clinical detachment of film and photography and reconsiders the figure as ‘flesh’. The sculpture is almost too small to scrutinize and confounds the expectation of knowing-through-seeing and visual pleasure that surrounds the history of the art gallery.
ELIZABETH BACHINSKY, DIANA GEORGE, JACOB GLEESON, GARETH MOORE, CHARLES MUDEDE, MATTHEW STADLER
December 1–December 2, 2005
Thursday, December 1, 8pm
Jacob Gleeson (Vancouver)
Gareth Moore (Vancouver)
Matthew Stadler (Portland)
Friday December 2, 8pm
Elizabeth Bachinsky (Vancouver)
Diana George (Seattle)
Charles Mudede (Seattle)
Recently, west coast writers, artists and architects have been thinking about how basic notions of space could be redefined. In a 2002 Artspeak publication, Diana George and Charles Mudede approached serial space, an endless repetition of particular spaces that appear throughout our conventions of “urban” or “nature.” Serial space proposes a shift in the way we think about space, away from conventional dichotomies such as city/country, urban/suburban. How can notions of space be redefined along the lines of serialized space – endlessly repeating spaces – rather than by spatial dichotomies? How does space form critical discourse and what are the implications of those formations, if any? Artspeak’s Speakeasy series of talks and readings encourage writers and artists to continue this thinking.
DIANA GEORGE, GERRY SHIKATANI
January 29–April 9, 2002
The Office for Soft Architecture is curating Food and Death; a series of talks discussing themes of food and death at Artspeak Gallery in January and at Blake’s in April 2002. The Office seeks to construct a civic forum for the discussion and ornamentation of everyday practices of transience. Mortality and nutrition supply the parentheses of corporal experience. We wish to intervene in their design, and encourage their discursive reconfiguration as radically liminal sensual sites.
Diana George: Our Postmortem Condition – January 29th, 2002 – Artspeak Gallery.
Diana George worked for several years in Seattle as a funeral home receptionist and caretaker. Her experience in the death industry led to a series of writings on the cultural and architectural history of death, in relation to modern philosophies of the subject.
Gerry Shikatani: Provisions, mes amuses-tetes – April 9th, 2002 – Blake’s.
Gerry Shikatani devotes much of his time to gastronomy. His book A passion For Food: Conversations with Canadian Chefs was chosen a favourite amongst the best food books in 1999. He has been the restaurant critic for The Toronto Star, and interviewed some of the world’s greatest chefs.
Title: small dead woman / Last Seen
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Kevin Yates
Writers: Diana George, Charles Mudede, Lorna Brown
Year published: 2002
Binding: Prong Steel Fastener Clip
Features: 2 b&w images, 4 colour images
Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 1 cm
Weight: 70 g
Price: $5 CDN
Untitled (small dead woman) is the title of an exhibition by Kevin Yates which took place at Artspeak in the spring of 2002. Looking to apprehend the effects of films and photographs of ‘tragedy’ in sculptural form, Yates isolates the slain figure and models it in miniature in Untitled (small dead woman). Removing the setting, props, character and plot serves to eliminate any narrative possibility or specific mystery to solve, leaving only the tiny vulnerable object and our desire to examine it, which we must struggle to do, given its size. This tactic of decontextualization and rendering in three dimensions undermines the clinical detachment of film and photography and reconsiders the figure as ‘flesh’. The sculpture is almost too small to scrutinize and confounds the expectation of knowing-through-seeing and visual pleasure that surrounds the history of the art gallery.
Last Seen, a collaborative text by Seattle writers Diana George and Charles Mudede, builds an analysis of ‘public wilderness’, locations of abandonment regulated into being, neither nature nor civilization, and that carry the signification of ‘crime scenes waiting to happen’. One such public wilderness surrounds the SeaTac airport, a former subdivision that was emptied out in anticipation of airport expansion, a ghost town with no romantic history. This and other empty, unincorporated locales were overtaken for sport, trysts, gleaning and dumping, excursions into ‘nature’ – liberties that were interrupted by the periodic discovery of skeletal remains of many of the women last seen on the sex trade strip of Highway 99. Using devices of seriality and recurrance, their text presents these locations as de-commissioned and blank, spaces lapsed between the capital plan and the date of completion, holding the pause between missing and found.