Ottawa native, now Winnipeg based artist Talia Shaaked uses her paintings as a way of looking into intellectual and emotional encounters with architectural and urban environments. Shaaked's work acknowledges the poetics of the built environment and how perceptual place and space can be experienced through the human condition. After spending some years in Montreal and graduating from Concordia University, Shaaked jumped at the opportunity and rerouted her way to Winnipeg to join the eight month residency at Cartae to move her practice forward in a new setting. We caught up with Shaaked to talk about what she's been learning and producing during her time at the residency, we also learn a bit about psychogeography, and who Guy Debord is.
"Talia Shaaked is a painter first and foremost. She’s very interested in architectural spaces. And in her paintings, she plays with how we experience space. She experiments with perspective in her painting field as a way of trying to evoke the different responses that can come from our experience of architectural spaces." —Madeline Rae
Luther Konadu: Let’s begin by elaborating on Madeline’s [Shakeed's studio mate] comment on your work. What were your interests coming into the residency?
Talia Shaaked: I’m very interested in phenomenology and investigating the notion that the world around us is formed by our perception, delineated by our senses. Working off this train of thought we could go further to suppose that objects in the world around us are not structurally and metaphysically as we have perceived them and come to know them. That notion is really interesting to me. Through exploring architectural space, I am also interested in discovering if it would be possible for space to be oriented in a different way; to find that there is a feeling of reality and unreality that is presented through different built environments.
LK: Can you discuss what you think about when you refer to “unreality”?
TS: If you think of unreality you may think of genres like fiction and fantasy. But another aspect of what I’m interested in is psychogeography. Psychogeography deals with the psychological effects of your adaptive surroundings; allowing a sort of transcendence to happen from that experience. For me, that’s what I think about in relation to “unreality”; being transported outside of your physical concrete surroundings.