Rooted in a conceptual art tradition, More of the same is a text-based project developed in response to the manifesto Refus Global. Written by French-Canadian artist, Paul-Émile Borduas and published in 1948, Refus Global called for a rejection of stifling conservative values and is considered a contributing factor for the Quiet Revolution. A number of Québécois intellectuals and artists signed the manifesto including members of the abstract painting movement, Les Automatistes. The manuscript has since become part of the Canadian art canon.
The manifesto is intriguing. The document is earnest; from an admittedly privileged contemporary perspective, it now seems almost quaint. Yet the author’s courage and sincerity is admirable. Reading the English language translation, the complications of translation across languages and spans of time are striking:
“Make way for magic! Make way for objective mysteries!”
Taking Borduas’ urgent appeal at face value, I created a suite of letterpress prints to fulfill the challenge issued by the manifesto. The exhibition includes a series of paper works, objects and ephemera related to the letterpress printing process. With a dry wit, More of the same considers ideas closely related to art and the creative process. The viewer is invited to reconcile expectation and promise with the quizzical artworks. Make way for magic! Make way for objective mysteries!
The Gallery At Frances Morrison Library
November 22 – December 27, 2012