Erika DeFreitas: an object, a gesture, a scene (II)


Erika DeFreitas, to bestow/to absorb (back), 2019, photo-lithograph on kozuke paper, edition 1/8, 25” x 18.5”. Printed by Pudy Tong under the auspices of the Open Studio Visiting Artist Residency Program.

Erika DeFreitas
an object, a gesture, a scene (II)

Curated by Sandy Saad Smith
September 8 – November 8, 2020

It was in the way the figures were suggested. Draped in, then bounded by. Cloaked. Held. Shrouded. No holes cut out for the eyes. No breaths drawn, hollowing Os where the mouths might be. Postures outlined by pleats and puckers. It would seem still if not for the shadows and the gravel. Dust marking the tips of toes and narrow hems. Its scale unfair. Such a peculiar positioning. To be placed where it cannot be climbed and where no amount of leaning would stir it.

It was curious, this thing. All at once, an object, a gesture, a scene.

Thinking through the dichotomy of absence and presence, Erika DeFreitas continues a body of work that responds to two cloaked public sculptures encountered by the artist. In an object, a gesture, a scene (II), DeFreitas explores the notions of what remains, what is suggested, and the possibilities that lie in ambiguity. Through a process of creating scores in a series of mediums, she deconstructs, redacts, and re-imagines possibilities when there are unknown elements. The works shown at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (VAC) will include a series of new and existing works in the form of works on paper, video, and photography.

Erika DeFreitas is a Scarborough-based artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper, and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation, and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance, and objecthood.

DeFreitas’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including at Project Row Houses and the Museum of African American Culture, Houston; Fort Worth Contemporary Arts; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery; Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, Winnipeg; and Gallery 44, Toronto. A recipient of the Toronto Friends of Visual Arts’ 2016 Finalist Artist Prize, the 2016 John Hartman Award, and longlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award, she has also been awarded several grants from the Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.

Currently on view:
The Hissing Folly by Cole Swanson. We are pleased to announce that The Hissing Folly has been extended until February 7, 2021.

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Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, 143 Simpson Avenue, Bowmanville, Ontario, L1C 2H9

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