No Word of a Lie

Edmonton Art Gallery
Edmonton, Alberta
April 2001

Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
Brandon, Manitoba
October 2001

Soft & Fuzzy Lies (2 person show with Elisabeth Belliveau)
Modern Fuel
Kingston, Ontario
February 2004
Essay by Jennifer Roche (PDF)

I consider myself to be a very honest person, but I freely admit that I am a liar. I suppose that makes people think of me as more dishonest than most, but it makes me think of me as more HONEST than most (therefore giving me superiority over everybody else and the right to call them all liars).

This body of work consists of toys, afghans and other knit, crocheted and needlepointed objects that all incorporate an element of text as an integral part of the art. Scrawled overtop of the toys and afghans with bright yarn, the words and phrases work and do not work with the objects; they are of the same medium and therefore belong to the work, and yet the fact that they are simply scrawled overtop rather than being incorporated into the pattern of the work makes it an uncomfortable match, almost an afterthought. The words themselves have a similar relationship with the objects; they are paranoid, elusive, abusive and incorrect.

Each one of these objects is a liar; especially those which do not state that fact explicitly – BECAUSE they do not admit it. The liars are not only pathetic embodiments of lies and liars, they are indictments of society, accusations against the viewer and they are admissions by the artist.

I address the idea of lying from two opposite ends in this exhibition; the toys are all very visceral; emotional. Each toy or 3-dimensional object is labeled a type of liar, which may give away what it is they or lying about or why to be upset or not so upset about their lying tendency. The afghans, or 2-dimensional works all approach lying through language. How is what we say different from what we mean? How does the way we say something affect the message? Is truth in any way related to honesty? If the medium really is the message, what the hell am I saying?

In this exhibition, the art does not exist within the object, but between myself and the objects, the objects and the gallery, the installation and the audience. It is built on lies and exists as lies. I have often been misquoted about my art. That’s okay; with this show, no one hears the same story from me as anyone else, anyway.