Artists: LEISURE (Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley)
Exhibition title: Menagerie
Venue: Erin Stump Projects, Toronto, Canada
Date: July 12 – August 12, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Erin Stump Projects, Toronto
ESP is pleased to present the third solo exhibition by Montreal-based collective LEISURE.
A menagerie is often a collection of captive animals (frequently exotic) kept for display. Our own Menagerie is much more intimate. It contains the accretions and skins that materialize through the passage of time and our own experience. Our psychic-doubles, these skins are shed but not discarded —trophies of transformation as we become the self with which we momentarily identify.
In French, “menagerie” calls to the action of cleaning (faire le ménage), the endless preoccupation of controlling inertia, containing an unseemly mess, or matter out of place. Our fear of bodily change, of atrophy, of decay. Pouring pigment, we chased the liquid across silk and bedsheets, catching it as it absorbed, watching the edges expand outside of the expected limits. Within this gesture we felt a sort of freedom. In gestures of spilling, soaking, and pouring, we have created a narrative of formation, dissolution, re-formulation.
LEISURE is a collaborative art practice between Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley, based in Montréal, working together under the name “Leisure” since 2004. Their recent research on collaboration, gesture and spatial narrative has included How one becomes what one is (Musée d’art de Joliette, 2018), Conversation with magic forms (Vu Photo, 2017), Panning for Gold/Walking You Through (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017), Conversations With Magic Stones as part of The Let Down Reflex (EFA, New York, 2016) and Dualité/Dualité (Artexte, Montreal, 2015).