Collection Count + Care with DisplayCult, Portraits as Portals

Collection Count + Care seeks relationships within and conversations across the collection. What stories does the collection tell?

Prise en compte, prise à cœur cherche à tisser des liens et des dialogues entre les œuvres de la collection. Quelles histoires la collection raconte-t-elle?




My contribution to Agnes’s Collection Count + Care series is a meditation on the medium of curating as a radical form of relationality. Working with embodied, haptic and affective modalities to enliven western art historical research, DisplayCult’s Portraits as Portals is an art project that conjures the etymological roots of exhibition—“to hold forth”—in ways that work through Agnes’s collections. DisplayCult’s investigations with clairvoyants resound vibrational traces of unattributed European artworks through mediumistic portrayal. Paintings become portals into the milieu of the unknown artist’s life as clairvoyants see through the eyes of the painting’s subject. Here, “curatorial forensics” can evidence alternative forms of connection through empathy and insight.

Curated by Emelie Chhangur

Speaker / Présentatrice
Jennifer Fisher

Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick comprise DisplayCult, a curatorial collaborative devoted to rethinking aesthetics and practices of display from sensory, affective and paracuratorial standpoints. / Jennifer Fisher et Jim Drobnick forment DisplayCult, un collectif de commissaires qui se consacre à repenser l’esthétique et les pratiques d’exposition d’un point de vue sensoriel, affectif et paracuratorial.

Portraits as Portals comprises an exhibitionary output of The Medium in the Museum, a research-creation project by Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick, supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. / Des portraits comme portails est une déclinaison de The Medium in the Museum, un projet de recherche-création de Jennifer Fisher et Jim Drobnick, soutenu par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada.

Installation view of Collection Count + Care with DisplayCult, Monogrammist I. S. and an Anonymous Artist. Photo: Tim Forbes

Installation view of Collection Count + Care. Photo: Tim Forbes

Master IS, An Old Woman Singing, around 1638, oil on panel. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014

Master IS, An Old Woman Singing, around 1638, oil on panel. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014


Portal / Portail 1 :

Monogrammist IS / Monogrammist IS, An Old Woman Singing / Vieille femme chantant, around 1638 / vers 1638, oil on panel / huile sur panneau. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2014 / Don d’Alfred et Isabel Bader, 2014

DisplayCult, Readings for an Enigmatic Painter / Lectures pour un peintre énigmatique, 2022, video 4K, 14 min

Portal / Portail 2 :

Unknown Artist / Artiste inconnu, Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Top-Knot / Portrait de femme au chignon, 1693, oil on canvas / huile sur toile. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1991 / Don d’Alfred et Isabel Bader, 1991

DisplayCult, Readings for an Anonymous Artist / Lectures pour un artiste anonyme, 2022, video 4K, 20 min

Collection Count + Care videos are available on Digital Agnes, Vimeo and YouTube. Funded by the Museums Assistance Program, Digital Access to Heritage grant.
Image Credits

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