Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
Compulsory Figure: in conversation with Jordyn Stewart
Thursday, March 23, 2017 | Luther Konadu
We meet Beamsville Ontario-bred artist, Jordyn Stewart, at a point where her creative output extensively involves action making with the audience of a recording camera. A lot of these performative activities are both parts instinctive and measured inquisitive responsiveness to her early memories—memories of the physical natural environs she was situated in, memories of home, memories of winter activities, the familiar, the domestic etc. What arises from these enquiries are often peripherally absurd gestures like mixing found disparate land rubble in a mechanic blender or walking on gathered pieces of rocks or plotting a personal skating rink the size of her height to perform a skating routine. However, what in effect surfaces from all these enactments are several questions including the slippery nature of ownership, property, land possession and displacement...
A conversation with Aaron Scheer
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | Luther Konadu
With the rise of computer graphics software, the internet, and other digital technological advances that occurred through the nineties, it made it more and more accessible for age old mediums like painting and drawing to drift from tactile surfaces into virtual interfaces. Now, we see people like Cory Archangel, Artie Vierkant, and Petra Cortright incessantly bending, reconfiguring, and creating within that ever-so-expansive digital pictorial space. Reaching from that long set rubric of painting and drawing, Gothenburg via Berlin-based artist Aaron Scheer uses his work to engage that pictorial space within the screen. Making free form digital gestures with keyboard commands and touchscreen swipes, the result of Scheer’s compositions are distortions, static, and blips juxtaposed at times with subtle gradations of luminous color saturations that recalls Jules Olitski’s airy pure color...
Reassemblage: a conversation with Johanne Teigen
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Luther Konadu
The manipulated photographic image gained recognition as far back as the Surrealist movement with artists like Man Ray. It can refer to that of photos without any perceptible imagery or a prominently obfuscated subject. Or in the case of Gursky or even Wall, with the help of technological advances the photograph’s original state is seamlessly altered-- in some of Wall’s cases even before the image is captured—in doing so, it opens up ideas of objectivity that photography promises and rather offering alternate worlds. Johanne Teigen’s work falls somewhere in the continuum of this image/reality manipulation lineage. Teigen is only interested in the captured imaged as a starting point. She is not satisfied with the image’s ostensible objective representation. Instead, using digital means she stretches, over saturates, crops, blends, twists, skews,...
Geetha Thurairajah
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | Luther Konadu
In a text on Dana Schutz's bio, The Saatchi Gallery described Schutz's paintings as "teetering the edge of tradition and innovation." I don't think it will be too much of a stretch to designate the now Toronto-based artist geetha thurairajah’s works in a similar accord.  It’s  really no wonder Canadian Art Magazine included her as part of a group of creatives making “Forward Thinking Practices.” Like Schutz, thurairajah’s forms call to mind other weirdo painters like Philip Guston and even Nicola Tyson. Unlike Schutz’s deceptively whimsy worlds that tend to be filled with beach orgy scenes and self-eating characters thurairajah’s seemingly makeshifty loose airbrush surfaces (each matched with curiously unexpected titles) can range in explorations around her own hybridity –sometimes via good ol' Bugs Bunny and/or pop icons like Drizzy—to...
Learn and unlearn: a conversation with Danièle Dennis
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | Luther Konadu
Danièle Dennis is a keenly cognizant and inquisitive individual. Of self, of self as an African descendant, of self as a Jamaican, of self as Canadian, Of self as an African/Jamaican/Canadian living in North America, Of self as an African/Jamaican/Canadian artist working within a Western art historical context, of self in relation to her environment and community. Dennis is cognizant of her own potential biases and seeks to diverge away from them.   “What is constantly marinating in my mind is the notion of learning and unlearning.” She tells me this in talking about freeing herself from previous predispositions about what she might know so as to open herself up for change and knowledge.  Dennis is currently in the middle of her graduate studies in Philadelphia and she’s quick to point...
A Conversation with Brooks Dierdorff
Monday, January 9, 2017 | Luther Konadu
"Currently I live in Orlando, Florida and we are about to get hit by a hurricane and I'm not exactly sure what that is going to entail. Let me get back in touch with you in a few days." That's artist and educator Brooks Dierdorff back in October when we first got in contact with him. Category 5 Atlantic hurricane--Hurricane Mathew--had formed and was just about to pass through Lesser Antilles and Southeastern United States among other adjacent regions.  Hurricane Mathew was set to bring widespread destruction and damage through high-pressure winds which it did in its dissipation. It caused a catastrophic amount of fatalities as it moved through Western Atlantic. For us living in central Canada where hurricanes are rare, all of sudden we were no doubt tuned in...
A Conversation with Zinnia Naqvi
Thursday, December 15, 2016 | Luther Konadu
It's about 8am in Winnipeg and 9am in Montreal. I wait as Zinnia Naqvi gets online to begin our video chat. My internet stream is cooperating, within moments Naqvi appears on my screen. "Hi there, don't mind me. I'm just having my breakfast" she declares.  When I first got in touch with Naqvi mid autumn, she'd just been settling in after relocating from Toronto to Montreal to begin her graduate studies at Concordia. At the root of her work is documentary based photography and video. Naqvi is aware of the social and political drawback that surfaces out of this medium and the complexity of this is what her work investigates. Naqvi's work has developed to include sculptural and installation components that taps into cross-cultural translation and identity-based politics.  Naqvi's work...
Lobster and Leaf: a conversation with Scott Kemp
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 | Luther Konadu
We asked Scott Kemp how often he raises his voice and he tells us: "not often. I speak softly." We only asked because of how seemingly passive and visually subdued Kemp’s art objects are in first view. It got us wondering how much of one’s personality shows up in their art and, like in Kemp’s work, where the logic of a piece starts and where personal tastes come in. The Vancouver-based artist recently exhibited Master and Apprentice, Lobster and Leaf at the artist run centre Duplex. The show takes an ostensibly nonlinear route to talk about complex ideas of social structures as they relate to his personal experience and upbringing. We talk to Kemp about the show and among other topics, his experience at Emily Carr, Ira Glass, Corn Pops,...
Parking Lot: Kyle Alden Martens
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Parking Lot is our lax interview series where we get to really know a creative. We get to learn about what they've been up to creatively, some random facts about them, some telling ones, and just about anything else that comes up. Over the last couple months we've been keeping up with multi-displinary artist Kyle Alden Martens as he packs his belongings and transitions to Montreal after years of residing in Halifax. For a while, we though we'd lost touch with him but he would assure us he hadn't. Over the course of roughfully four months of long distance internet communication we felt like we really got know the guy and what makes him want to create. We talked to him among other topics, a bit about his childhood, living...
A Conversation with Jessica Karuhanga
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Jessica Karuhanga is having a steady incline of a year. From getting the chance to be part of Archives Matter Conference at Goldsmiths in London UK to presenting work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, to getting the break to teach and share her knowledge on the very medium she's been thinking through over recent years at Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, Karuhanga is a persistent force. Her performance-based works developed out of working through drawing and object-making which then led to installation-based work that would later implicate the body and in turn opening up possibilities for articulating her cultural histories, racial and gender identity. Karuhanga was nice enough to engage in a conversation with us where we talked among other topics, a bit about...
Portfolio: Katrina Mendoza
Thursday, October 27, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Katrina Mendoza's new series of studies liberally yet diligently disintegrates seemingly anonymous forms into disparate individual parts and then culminates them back into a new whole. A new whole she refers as ‘pseudo-structures’ which do result in an unresolved and irregular finish. Check out the series below and as well, read more about her and her work here.
A Conversation with Adrienne Crossman
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Luther Konadu
What is a queer environment? What does it entail? What does it look like? or what does it even mean to have a queer environment? These are just some of the questions multidisciplinary artist Adrienne Crossman's current work incites. Crossman is thoughtfully immersed with discovering what a queer space or object involves and what it's like to transverse through a society that is heavily set around binaries. Employing familiar pop culture objects like Tiger Electronic’s Furby toys, Crossman re-contextualizes them as queer objects situating the Furby aside from any binary category. Formerly Toronto-based and now living in Winsdor, Crossman recently exhibited new works that centered around these ideas as part of her solo show—Fear of a Queer Planet—at Toronto’s The White House Studio Project. Crossman is a very busy, having...
Portfolio: Alyssa Bornn
Friday, July 15, 2016 | Luther Konadu
From the series 'Every Bedroom I've Lived In' Alyssa Bornn takes an intimate and closely considered course to recalling from memory and presenting us with floor plans for the titular series by way of a flatbed scanner. Below are results of her experiments which employs an array of materials including plexiglas, wax paper, packaging plastic, glass and plastic protective film all of which she selected for their ability to manipulate light therefore helping retrace and draw on these architectural spaces she resided in.    Images Courtesy of Artist             Bornn speaks on the scanograph series:   Throughout the duration of a six-minute pass on a flatbed scanner objects are arranged to map out floor plans of bedrooms. Uncertainty and failures in memory are registered as glitches and replications on the produced image. As...
'Try to always have fun': A Conversation with Graham Wiebe
Thursday, June 30, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Graham Wiebe is an open arms, down-to-earth kind of guy. He's got a playful and spontaneous vim that permeates through all of his photographic work. Wiebe knows what he wants in an image the moment he grabs his camera but he's open to whatever happens  and ready to run with it. We recently got the pleasure of speaking with the Winnipeg based artist about his relationship with the piece of technology that helps him encapsulates fleeting seconds before they become mere stories, how this same device is more than a supporting collaborator  in his work, and how he's trying to reconcile with the aching fact of slowly losing this device to obsolescence.   From a distance we hear footsteps approaching us. It turns out to be Sarah Epp, Wiebe’s studio neighbor....
Wait a sec., What is an Emerging Artist anyway?
Friday, April 8, 2016 | Luther Konadu
What does it mean to be "Emerging" as an artist/creator?   -Does it have to do with someone in their twenties?   -Someone younger maybe?   -Someone alive?   -Does it count if they are dead?   -If they are seventy?   -If they are have had at least three solo shows in multiple galleries?   -If they’ve just got out of their mfa?   -Or even their bfa?   -Does it have something to do with the art market?   -Are they a art market darling?   -Does it count if their work has been collected by a gallery and museum or maybe a private collector?   -Are they responsive to a hot new medium?   -Are they 'cutting some edges' in a new or old medium?   -Are they tapping into some rigorous conceptual work?   -Are they responding to the 'times'?   -Have...