Karilee Fuglem
River Story

A central consideration in my work is how we relate to space, being ourselves spatial beings with interior passages both vascular and imaginary. When preparing installations, I extensively research the intended site so I can take into account cultural readings as part of the space of awareness, how the way we relate to a place is influenced by what we’ve heard about it, how this accumulation of knowledge or hearsay is part of other kinds of unseen accumulation in emptiness. While researching North York history and geography for my exhibition Here within our curving spaces at the Koffler, Gallery, Toronto, 2008, I came across aerial photos going back 63 years, where it was possible to trace the changing path of the river behind the gallery. In the installation I re-imagined the ancient path of the river in elastic threads that bounced liquidly, where it once flowed alongside what is now the edge of one of the galleries. The outer edges of the installation corresponded to the constellation Hydra as it would be positioned overhead at midsummer night during the exhibition. The artist book, River Story, collapses the two ideas into a flip-book where 24 hourly maps/images of the midsummer sky over Toronto are placed back-to-back with 24 aerial photos showing the river changes over the 63 years. Although the star positions shift visibly over a day’s global rotation , their relative change in position at one particular place over many years is so slow that we cannot perceive any difference in one lifetime. In that same period a once-meandering river is cajoled, shored up, and finally forced into a straighter path to curb its tendency to flood the increasingly built-up landscape.

Self published
4 x 7.25 in, 48 plus cover pp, interior: black and white laser on acid-free bond; cover: ultrachrome inkjet on acid-free cover stock, hand-bound with braided fishline, 2008
Edition of 40
$50 CAN

Available from: http://karileefuglem.com (onsite Spring 2012)

Originally from BC and living in Montreal since 1989, Karilee Fuglem makes art that is informed by a heightened sensitivity to the subtleties of nonverbal communication that underscores life in a bilingual city. Sometimes constructed with thread nearly as invisible as the space it describes, or familiar materials made magical by being reimagined, her artwork speaks a subterranean language of light, movement and visceral sensation. It is rooted in a spatial, historical and geographical understanding of the environment in which it is situated. Fuglem makes artist books in parallel to her installations, drawings, sculpture and video work, using formats which elicit a physical understanding of text- and image-based research. Her work has been widely exhibited, most recently in the 2011 Montreal Biennial. In 2010 she presented Conversations wth Light and Air at Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, BC as well as Steady Streams, Living Rooms at Rodman Hall St Catharines, Ontario. Other site-specific installations include the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario (2009), Koffler Gallery, Toronto (2008), the Darling Foundry, Montreal (2006), Oakville Galleries, Ontario (2003) and Southern Alberta Art Gallery (2001). Her work is in collections at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, as well as private collections, and is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.