This residency took place over multiple short periods in December 2019 and January 2020 and activated the exhibition The Pathos of Mandy: Walter Scott by providing members of the public and academic Queen’s learning communities opportunities to engage with Scott’s practice, ideas and methods. It also facilitated Scott’s creation of new print and neon works that formed key parts of the exhibition. The artist’s time in Kingston and at Queen’s University allowed for workshops, launch events and a performance, welcoming Agnes members, students and faculty in Cultural Studies, the new Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies graduate program, English, and Development Studies among many others.
Walter Scott’s residency was generously supported by the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts. Partnership with the Queen’s University Film and Media Department allowed for broader hospitality and scholarly elaboration of the artist’s work.
Walter Kaheró:ton Scott ( b. 1985) is a Kahnawake born contemporary artist, currently based in Toronto. Scott’s interdisciplinary practice includes drawing, writing, video, performance, and sculpture. Through his work, Scott explores contemporary questions of representation, cultural production, popular culture, and narrative construction. Scott has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Japan, North America, Europe, and the United States. His most recent exhibitions include Slipping on the Missing X at Macaulay & Co Fine Art and Betazoid in a Fog at the Remai Modern. In 2016, Scott was Artist-In-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Scott received his Masters in Fine Arts from University of Guelph in 2018.
The Stonecroft Foundation Residency allowed Walter Scott to repair past work and create new prints and neon “animated drawings.” Scott employed drawn, sculptural and animated characters and visual elements from his popular Wendy comics (and new characters) into complex spatial relationships in an experiential narrative-based installation. In Walter Scott’s new body of work, the central character is Mandy, an artist who has lost all legal ownership of his fictional character. A film follows Mandy through various vignettes of hubris and desperation as he attempts to piece together who he is, both personally and artistically, now that the central focus of his art practice is gone. The film and the accompanying installation are together a meditation on the slippery states between the fiction and reality of the “artist,” of aesthetic representation and of the self.
Heather Parker leads a tour of the exhibition The Pathos of Mandy: Walter Scott for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students.
Class visits and staff-led tours also played a large role in the transmission of Walter Scotts’s practice. 16 Classes came for Agnes tours including Pathos of Mandy with a total of 253 students. Kirstin Moriah’s class, ENGL 471 Topics in Modern/Contemporary American Literature came specifically to experience his exhibition.
Walter Scott also visited several classes across campus including: Emily Pelstring’s SCCS 820 Media Production Seminar, Sunny Kerr’s SCCS 830 Curating in Context, and Ian Fanning’s DEVS 221 Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology.
While in Kingston, Scott was able to deliver an intimate studio workshop for local participants, providing tools and insight into his comic-making process. This open studio-based comics workshop led by Walter Scott introduced participants to the three basic concepts to writing and drawing in a comic format: Complexity, Time & Space, and Expressions. Through collaborative exercises, in-depth discussion and hands-on tutorials, Scott demonstrated how these three modules can be a starter pack of practical knowledge to begin writing one’s own comics.
During his open studio workshop, Walter Scott created original comic strips with participants, led several drawing exercises and answered both group and one-on-one questions. Scott gave great care and attention to each member of the workshop, leading to an overall successful and comfortable learning environment.
As Stonecroft artist-in-residence, Walter Scott delivered a live performance of his in-progress work Wendy goes to Hell in the Agnes Atrium. He enabled a live visual reading of exclusive content from his upcoming graphic novel in collaboration with members of the local community as voice actors. The performance featured Scott and regional guest artists Emily Pelstring and Edie Luo. This three-person live performance featured voice, images and sound, animating then-unreleased material from his graphic novel, Wendy: Master of Art. In it, Wendy, a new student in University of Hell’s Master of Fine Arts program, contends with her new small-town life, classmates with clashing personalities, and tenured professors who deeply question her interpretation of Lacan. Featuring a club scene set in Berlin, and artworks about urine, the work is a satirical cross-section of the experience of a Masters level fine arts education.
Walter Scott, The Pathos of Mandy (video still), 2019. Collection of the artist
Installation view of The Pathos of Mandy: Walter Scott.
Walter Scott’s residency concludes with a screening of The Pathos of Mandy on the Agnes’s website 1 June–9 August 2020, providing access to Scott’s work for a national audience. Conceived in response to closures and social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the screening will be cross-promoted by other national venues working with Walter Scott.