jennymcmaster.typepad.com > Table Top Cosmologies

Introduction

This exhibition explores the table top as a locus of personal and sociological interaction. As an artist I create sites for dialogue, posing questions, provoking discussion and mapping the character of these conversations as they unfold. Spills and cup rings, encouraged by a multiple spouted pitcher and perforated pinch pots, become continents and compass roses on large sheets of handmade paper. Both useful and useless, my implements of hospitality become the tools for surrealist research.

The maps displayed in Table Top Cosmologies, are the result of events hosted during a residency at the Banff Centre. The two 60 inch pieces on view contrast the relationships between carousers at an art opening and those between servers and guests at a mock tea party. The white cotton table cloth bears the stains left behind by participants of a game of Taboo, as they were served by hosts, dressed like servers at the Centre's dinning lounge. The weathered abbica piece maps a lively free flowing conversation over the course of a vernissage in the Philosopher's Knoll (a small gallery on the Banff campus). Both embroidery thread and acrylic ink were used to interpret the marks left behind.

This exhibition is concerned with the exchange of words as well as the food and drink which facilitate dialogue. The table cloth and napkins emblazoned with iconic red and white checkers, bear texts which reflect on both dinning events and the politics of cooking and food. The goods consumed at a meal are the end result of a chain of events involving transactions between workers and employers producers and consumers. The embroidered napkins propose toasts inspired by recent occurrences in the artists life and contemporary sensibilities, the pulp paint napkins bear snippets of Mikhail Bakhtin's commentary on banquet culture in the late Middle Ages.