July 13, 2015

Artist Talk with Eleanor Bond

This evening we had the pleasure of listening to Eleanor Bond give a talk at Plug In ICA as part of a series of lectures that will be hosted in relation to this years Summer Institute.

The last time Bond gave a public presentation of her work was five years ago during her solo exhibition held at Plug In, Mountain of Shame (2010).

Bond is well known for her large scale paintings that depict speculative urban landscapes, presenting architectures that are both utopian and dystopic, hovering between fiction and reality. The aerial perspectives they assume provide a cartographic view that has lost sight of the horizon, positioning the spectator in what Charles Moffat has described, in his review of her practice, as the "omniscient narrator."http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/canadian/Eleanor-Bond.html 
The views are often disorienting as they flatten depth of field and extract a sense of gravity. The aerial perspective recalls the many technologies that have become increasingly prescient in our contemporary moment: Google Maps and surveillance panoramas.

A large body of her work was produced in response to various cities where she has both visited and lived: their spatial, environmental and socio-political conditions. Bond has worked around themes of virtuality, dematerialism, while critiquing technological development and economic disparity. Her approach to the cities she depicts is both as active observer and studious, as she traverses its perimeters and researches intently its literature and communities. 

Rock Climbers Meet with Naturalists on the Residential Parkade (1989)

Bond also shared images of her more recent work. Currently she has been invested in the notion of 'thingness,' focusing on the art object's materiality in contrast to digital technologies. She addressed her shift from a rational approach to something that has become more spontaneous, relating to personal experience rather than sociological. Her recent work is reminiscent of Franz West's Adaptives in form, with smaller paintings that resemble something subterranean, both aquatic and geologic. Other sculptures allude to function, "Accumulator", a daunting reminder, "Dark Cloud of Indecision," and others she shared are inspired by Honore Daumier's caricatures or rock formations in Joshua Tree. This glimpse into her recent work provided an enticing anticipation of her new direction and what is yet to come. 

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