Teasing The Furtive

Research & Action Group

2010 – 2011 Programming Year

Project Description

Curator: karen elaine spencer.

With: Denis Lessard, Joceline Chabot, Michelle Lacombe, Josh Schwebel, Felicity Tayler, Pohana Pyne Feinberg, Todd Janes, Anne-Marie Proulx, Laurent Marissal, Anne Bertrand.

When the “Centre” mutes its authoritative voice and removes the necessity to perform, to established gallery standards (i.e. the “art” and “its presentation” are completely restored to the artist), AND validates the artist as artist (through artist fees, acknowledgment), then we will truly have artist-run culture.

“the furtive practice is usually a solitary activity with no official stamp of approval. it is often performed at the margins of the socially acceptable, the legal, the polite. it does not ask to be sanctioned, recognized or applauded. it does not ask for the gaze or the spotlight, and indeed cannot support, cannot function as furtive if highlighted. the furtive functions through the glance, the second look, the averted gaze. it is the oblique, the whisper, the half hidden.however, the furtive is the secret that can be found as opposed to the silence which can not be heard. it works with an inversion of traditional art marketing practices, it first appears, and then when gone, announces itself. it is forever just out of sight, just out of reach.it is an art that does not seek to justify its own existence, that often does not try, or make an attempt, to be visible as “art” or to be visible at all.  a practice that hides itself because at the moment of it’s enactment it is too early to be found. the furtiveness of the act itself functions as a protective mechanism from being found. the furtive is the manifestation of a secret that is given a space where it appears to disappear. it is enacted in public, but it is not necessarily addressed to the public, it is, often, a highly personal act directed ultimately towards the self that is enacted in the public realm precisely because this is the very space where it is felt to be prohibited.”

-karen elaine spencer