00:00
/
00:00
Phillips, Ciara
Corin looking Corin looking
2015 2015

Corin Looking demonstrates the expressive screenprint semiotics for which Ciara Phillips is known: purposeful layering, repeated motifs and colour blocks and insistent use of personal photographic imagery, often depictions of her own friends. Among the aspects shown here of its layered vocabulary are assertions of “mistakes” caused by under-inked screens, and a “sucker roll” produced when inks are applied adjacently and blended by the dragging squeegee, so called because of its seductive gradient quality. These techniques and images–used in gleeful antagonism to “the rules” of fine art screen printing–get reformatted and reiterated across several of her works in this series. The work participates in Phillips’ wider use of the key attributes of screenprinting to expand artistic practice into a space of strong social connection. Declan Long describes screenprinting’s “amenability to reproduction and distribution, its manifold promotional and propagandistic purposes, its diverse positioning in public and private spaces” to describe the tensions within the medium. Perhaps working against its common strengths, the intimacy of Phillips’ work is nonetheless consistent with print as a social medium. Again from Long: “a mode of creative labor that benefits from—and builds—interpersonal connections, establishing and sustaining mini-communities.” Most of Phillips’ prints from this series feature black-and-white portraits of concentrating women, and together they call attention to the ways in which subtler forms labour are often unacknowledged and undervalued. Corin Looking is a portrait of a friend and fellow artist Corin Sworn operating a camera inside a museum space. The image may recall historical portraits of woman in a war-era factory perhaps, and enacts two currents in Phillips practice: reframing historical feminist labour concerns, and regarding looking and reading as labour. Echoing the title of Phillips’ Agnes exhibition, Corin Looking recalls the notion of “comrade objects” invented by Russian Constructivists to describe, among other affinities, how an art work reveals its own process of making.

 
Phillips, Ciara
Ottawa ON 1976 Ottawa ON 1976
Corin looking Corin looking
2015 2015
Screenprint on unprimed linen, stretched and framed Screenprint on unprimed linen, stretched and framed
169.0 x 118.0 cm
Purchase, Gallery Association Fund, 2017 Purchase, Gallery Association Fund, 2017
60-013

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.