This book reconfigures the texts and images from the performance lecture “The Bird and the Cup”, which was written by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell, and performed on May 31st, 2014 at the Toronto Reference Library. All the images used in the performance are drawn from the Reference Library’s Picture Collection. “The Bird and The Cup” mines the collection to illustrate a mutating narrative that moves back and forth between two iconic Toronto buildings: the Reference Library and the Robarts Research Library.
The Bird and The Cup is a meditation on emptiness and form, image, space, and the conceit of architecture.
The launch will include a reading from the book and video from the original performance. The book is commissioned by the Scotiabank CONTACT photography festival.
Facebook event page here.
Annie MacDonell’s work often begins in appropriation and then spirals off into a multi-layered, critical and self-reflexive meditations on how still and moving images are used and misused, how they circulate and are appropriated, and how they are staged in the spaces of the gallery and cinema.
MacDonell received a BFA from Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts in 2000, followed by graduate studies at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in Tourcoing, France. She was recently long-listed for the 2015 Sobey Art Award. She lives in Toronto and her work is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art.
Maïder Fortuné, born in 1973, studied literature and theatre (École Jacques Lecoq in Paris) before entering Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts, where she developed a performance-related practice of the technological image. This somewhat atypical itinerary relative to classical ‘fine arts’ training programmes has contributed to the singularity of her work; while it falls within the now-generalised use of video or photographic images, she has revived their power, almost in the magical sense of the term, but without making use of illusionism.
With its great formal rigor, Fortuné’s work commands all the viewer’s attention for a genuine experience of the image and its processes. Often playing on fantasy and wonder, she draws on the styles of Samuel Beckett, Maurice Blanchot or Virginia Woolf for the suggestive power of word. Within the frame, the bodies move about in sets simply defined by the quality of the light or darkness. All of these choices contribute to an effect of presence so typical of this artist’s work, thus renewing the way the image may be experienced.