Table of Con­tents | Arti­cle doi: 10.17742/IMAGE.SA.12.1.4 | PDF

This image is neither decorative nor strictly available for simple denotative description. Our project rejects captions altogether. The spirit of this project is very much one of uncertainty and imagination. We hope that anyone with visual impairments will glean information from the written compositions.

After every­thing you’ve been through, how can you not be a feminist?

- A ques­tion to my mother

Stand­ing, lost but not yet hope­less, on the side­walk of that uneasy street, it was clear I would not find what I was look­ing for. The orange snow fence was nowhere to be found in Wind­sor, Ontario on this mug­gy May day.

I use the snow fence as a visu­al metaphor in my prac­tice. I equate it with the psy­cho­log­i­cal defences we build as pro­tec­tion when the world tells us who to be or how to be and when that world view does not align with our own inter­nal image of self. The fence becomes a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of patri­ar­chal pow­er struc­tures, a grid that both hides and reveals.

The sit­u­a­tion with the secu­ri­ty guard at the air­port ter­mi­nal in Detroit and men on the streets kept lead­ing me back to the bizarre enact­ments of the cou­ple in the Toron­to air­port. I couldn’t shake off what I saw as a dis­turb­ing pow­er play. I should have been seething with rage, yet I felt like an observ­er, col­lect­ing data to lat­er stand upon.

I read the symposium’s con­cept, Antic­i­pa­tion, to be polit­i­cal­ly charged—where the onslaught of biased news can cause one to antic­i­pate and con­jure a false reality.

The sym­po­sium began with shar­ing images of our work and how we were think­ing about the topic—both inspir­ing and sup­port­ive. The brevi­ty of the text com­po­nent allowed time dur­ing the week to pon­der, and to engage while forc­ing one to con­sid­er the val­ue and impor­tance of each word. Yet, five dip­tychs was enough to require push­ing beyond my cur­rent focus in order to cre­ate a rel­e­vant body of work.

Before our indi­vid­ual work, sev­er­al of us took a long explorato­ry walk through Wind­sor and along the Detroit Riv­er, a ver­i­ta­ble fence between the US and Cana­da. I couldn’t help but con­sid­er my priv­i­lege of nation­al­i­ty and birth dur­ing this trip. Each of us had dif­fer­ent research inter­ests tied to antic­i­pa­tion and dif­fer­ent images of inter­est that we hoped to capture.

I set out on foot in search of fences, I knew the best method to resolve my thoughts with images would be to work with those that pre­sent­ed them­selves, rather than to try forc­ing a pre­con­ceived idea.

I was now look­ing for (any) fences in domes­tic set­tings, used to pro­vide a sense of secu­ri­ty rather than to define prop­er­ty or for aes­thet­ic pur­pos­es. I remained open to the unknown in an unknown place, allow­ing myself to alter con­straints in the process, while at the same time I was asked by these direc­tives to ques­tion what I was see­ing. I walked many city blocks and neigh­bour­hood streets, north to south and east to west. The solo adven­ture was qui­et and med­i­ta­tive, allow­ing my obser­va­tions of the week to per­co­late with the land­scape in front of me.