Simone Jones: Entering the Landscape

body lying down on wheeled vehicle
Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 12:00pm to Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 5:00pm

Entering the Landscape

CURATED BY  Jenifer Papararo & Sarah Nesbitt

Participating Artists:  Pia Arke, Laakkuluk  Williamson Bathory, Jaime Black, Lori Blondeau, A.K. Burns, The Ephemerals, Melissa General, Rebecca Horn, Katherine Hubbard, Maria Hupfield, Simone Jones, Tau Lewis, Amy Malbeuf, Meryl McMaster, Ana Mendieta, Natalie Purschwitz, Dominique Rey, Jamie Ross, Xaviera Simmons, Ming Wong, Alize Zorlutuna


Entering the Landscape contains a feminist narrative, focused on the female body, its representation and relation to the land. Through gendered and ecological lines, we group artworks by twenty-one artists in which body and land are represented together. The exhibition’s curatorial premise responds to what we define as a re-occurring motif in which artists place the female or queer body in the landscape.  We reflect on why we are seeing this subject figure so prominently in contemporary artwork while also connecting it to historical works that takes us rolling back to the early seventies through to the nineties into our current decade. Appearing most often are the artists’ bodies placed within a generalized and dislocated geography. The artist, often portrayed alone, becomes a character and an actor performing within the landscape, moving through it, using it, becoming part of it, rubbing it or camouflaged by it.  Within these works there seems to be a valorization of both body and land, but it is the inclusion of the body whether female or queer that establishes a critical and political framework. The bodies presented within Entering the Landscape shape its subject, and is where this exhibition’s power lies. Within feminist discourse the female body has been its epicentre whether it is drawing a history of woman’s subjugation confined to sexuality and childbirth as a point of control, or inversely claiming and asserting the body as an authority. In Caliban and the Witch the Marxist historian and feminist activist, Slivia Federici defines the female body within economic terms that establishes “that the body has been for women in capitalist society what the factory has been for male waged workers: the primary ground of their exploitation and resistance.”  The body for women becomes a pivotal and powerful source of identity as well as a prison that is bound to both sexuality and maternity. So the body is essential to feminism but also problematic when valorized as it can too easily teeter into a dominant narrative that characterizes femininity within a patriarchal construct - in Federici’s words “as a means of reproduction and accumulation of labour.”1

To escape this duality, the body can be placed, and within this exhibition, it is placed into the land - Entering the Landscape as the exhibition title describes. Within the landscape, the predetermined female, racialized or queer body can command, converse and control; it can parody as caricatures of femininity, or it can meld into the background, without being subsumed. It can stroke the land, climb on it, rip it to pieces, and ride it - all within a measured framework, tying the body to the land within a set of controlled parameters that differs from the conventions of the sublime in nature, which generate a distance between the body and the unfathomable terror and vastness of the earth. There is a relationship between body and land that is being established without overly manipulating the ground one walks on - without fashioning it into a spiral or stabbing hundreds of steel rods into the earth to summon lighting. Throughout the many works in this exhibition, the insertion of the body is deliberate and controlled but not necessarily designed to manipulate or master.  In establishing a curatorial premise that presents various images of diverse women or gender queer bodies in the landscape is to tread near gendered and racial stereotypes. The construct of mother earth comes to mind. As well, we are weary of romanticizing notions of indigenous customs. Through the work selected we intend to delicately dissect these over prescribed representations while sincerely asking why are we encountering an array of work that positions the female or feminized figure within the landscape at this moment? What does this overt insertion of the female body within the land signify?

Jenifer Papararo

1 Silva Federici, Caliban and the Witch (Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 2009) 16


Centering representation of the female and queer body in the land places Entering the Landscape in conversation with a long and fraught history of representation that crisscross the visual, personal, social and political. Used as an apparatus of colonial imperialism, representation of the natural world and the presence or absence of specific bodies in that world has had dramatic consequences. In the Canadian context early depictions of landscape were central to initial settlement and later – with the usurpation of the by now infamous Group of Seven – for establishing a national identity that distinguished Canada from the British Empire. The use of ‘landscape’ in the exhibition title is thus a consciously troubled one that understands these historic associations and a linguistic weightiness of immediate ties to European aesthetic traditions, stemming from its Middle Dutch etymology landscap. As an English verb, landscape becomes ‘landscaping’ or ‘to landscape’– implying manipulation of the natural or urban environment for a specific aesthetic outcome. Taken another way, the term makes a notable connotative shift. Instead of describing physical space, it becomes descriptive of  “a sphere of activity” – as in ‘the political landscape’. And yet another way of thinking about landscape relates to embodied perspective – as signifying a specific vantage point within space where the range of vision, sonic or emotional experience becomes the point of reference. It is this position of embodied perspective in relation to land or landscape, and the specificity that entails which we encounter and are invited into by each of the artists in Entering the Landscape. The influence of performance art in the sixties and seventies, and the democratization of the camera are obvious points of reference in many of the works and artists presented. A set of historic pieces ranging from the 1960’s to the 1990’s that function as touchstones for our thinking also highlight the wide range of strategies, concerns and references used by artists in the exhibition. Rebecca Horn uses fabric, wood and metal in Unicorn to extend the formal limitations of the body as it performs the simple gesture of walking for the video camera; in Ana Mendieta’s Isla, a photographic document is what remains of an earthwork, which composed the female body from the earth itself. Shaped in the form of an isla or island it becomes a direct reference to the embodied experience of exile or displacement; Pia Arke’s Arctic Hysteria places the artists nude body in a room with a large printed photograph of a generic ‘Arctic’ landscape, which she slowly destroys, ripping at piece by piece, while performing ‘hysterical’ gestures – rolling and flailing her limbs; and Lori Blondeau’s Lonely Surfer Squaw again places the artist’s body in front of the camera. Fur bikini clad, and clutching a surfboard, in parody, she looks directly into the lens. Like Arke, Blondeau’s appearance in the frame is a confrontation to stereotypical representations and expectations of the Indigenous, female body. In equal measure to the bodies that inhabit them, the landscape is subject and material, which often holds multiple, sometimes overlapping roles in the presented works. The specificity of site is rarely essential to the immediate meaning, ceding to larger, psychosocial, political or aesthetic concerns. With performance art, including performance for the camera – a strategy used by many of the artists in Entering the Landscape – the immediacy and vulnerability of ‘the body’ as something prone to resisting and submitting to various structural and social constraints – often simultaneously – is given space to stage its struggles; explore and expand its limitations; mourn loss, express taboo intimacies and pleasure; collapse distance, challenge stereotypes, and present cultural knowledge and world views.

Sarah Nesbitt


Visit Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Tour our exhibitions and permanent artworks. Attend our lectures, performances, screenings, readings and workshops. Browse our unique Book Shop filled with art magazines, catalogues, contemporary anthologies and artist multiplies. Research using our library of over 2400 art related books.

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Venue & Address: 
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art  Unit 1, 460 Portage Avenue  Winnipeg, MB  Canada
(204) 942 1043 
Free to All
photo of abstract figurative sculpture

April Hickox, Simone Jones & Claire Brunet: Sabbatical Presentations

Photo of blue objects with black background
Photo of Simone Jones with a rig
photo of Claire Brunet with sculptural image in the background
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Faculty of Art 2016-17 Sabbatical Presentations by April Hickox, Simone Jones & Claire Brunet

Tuesday, February 28th, 12:00-2:00

April Hickox

PROVIDENCE UNKNOWN: is a series of photographic stills and videos that question issues of value, providence, authorship and the structures in place for the teaching of art. This work includes seven chapters or series of works produced during Professor April Hickox’s sabbatical.

April Hickox a lens based artist, teacher and independent curator. April's work is based in narratives, with a broad range of approaches to subject, encompassing history, memory, and site. She has produced work in various media including photography, film, video and installation. Supported by all levels of funding throughout her career she is an active community leader, the founding director of Gallery 44 and a member of the Art with Heart committee. Notable exhibitions include the, Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Maclaren Art Centre, The Oakville Galleries, Tom Thompson Memorial Art Gallery and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Most recently her video work Primaries was shown at the Surrey Gallery in B.C.

Simone Jones

DURATIONAL LANDSCAPES: Professor Simone Jones will present her recent experiments with robotics, video and photography. She will also discuss her in-progress studio/research projects that were initiated during her half-sabbatical.

Simone Jones is a multidisciplinary artist who works with film, video, sculpture and electronics. Jones graduated from the Ontario College of Art (OCA) with a concentration in Experimental Art and received her MFA in Sculpture Instal-lation from York University in Toronto. Jones has exhibited her work at national and international venues.

Claire Brunet

INDENTITY; fromREAL toVIRTUAL :  Professor Claire Brunet’s sabbatical presentation focuses on research projects that explore figuration at a time when tech-nological developments influence our relationship with the self and provoke a questioning of the notion of identity.

During an artist residency in Duntara Newfoundland Professor Brunet explored the concept of identity through cultural referent; the objective was to appropriate objects of meaning that convey a deep sense of cultural identity. Her research approach questioned how could we extend creative exploration through technological developments that enhance our perception and our interaction with spatial environments.

Professor Brunet explored different platforms in which the 3D digitized content can interact with the viewer inside an im-mersive context such as dome 320•-360• or Virtual Reality. The research outcome was the creation of a Virtual Reality experience using the VIVE technology.

Her research aims to stimulate students to explore multiple ways of interacting with objects in space, and to create instal-lation involving the real and the virtual, the material and the immaterial.

Claire Brunet is a sculptor and Associate Professor in Media and installation art: Sculpture/Installation program and Fabri-cation Studio Bronze Casting and Digital Processes at OCAD University. In June 2014 Brunet completed a PhD degree in Fine Arts, in the Special Individualized Program (SIP)/ Interdisciplinary Program (INDI) at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research work explores expanded spatial boundaries and the influence of a 3D digital and technological context on the artist’s creative process in sculpture practice. Brunet’s sculpture project proposes temporal forces that stress the opposing values at work in a hypermodern society (Lipovetsky 2005).


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University MCA Room 284

Graduate Level and Scholarly Writing Faculty Panel

Graduate Thesis//MRP Week logo
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm

Moderated by Dr. Michael Prokopow, Interim Dean, Graduate Studies, a panel of Graduate Faculty members discuss what scholarly writing at the graduate level should be.

Our Graduate Faculty Panelists are: Martha ladly, Simone Jones, Ryan Whyte, Barbara Rauch and Sarah McLean-Knapp

ACCESSIBILITY: Accessibility is important to us. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate fully in this event, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Venue & Address: 
Room 320, at 205 Richmond Street West
416.977.6000 x4367
Grad thesis/MRP week poster


Friday, January 25, 2008 - 5:00am to Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 5:00am

STOP. is the second part of START STOP., a project on rhythmicity begun in 2007, which features and examines various manifestations of continuities and discontinuities, of finitude and infinitude.

STOP., the determined terminal, the waning towards cessation'that final gasp of air. STOP., followed by a period adding closure to the arresting word. STOP. examines strategies of resolution and termination in the form of a heterogeneous mix of works that thrust the viewer towards the wall delimiting the finite and the infinite. The installations, objects and videos featured in STOP. plot endpoints and stage endgames. The appearance of corpses as well as the discussion of entrapment and mortality is broached with an implicit and incongruous irreverence. Whether marking an ultimate end or a momentary hold, STOP. acts as the snapshot of an incessant rhythm. The exhibition abounds in repetitions and multiplicities, all summoning abundance over paucity.

Entering the gallery, the visitor is faced by a phrase, repeated and piled. Th'r'se Mastroiacovo's Untitled (John Baldessari, 1972) (2002 ' ongoing) presents a pile of Baldessari's famous declaration, I will not make any more boring art, with the qualifier erased and converted into a lump. Samuel Roy-Bois, with the installation J'ai entendu un bruit, je me suis sauv' / I heard a noise and I ran (2003), proposes a room within a room within the main gallery space. Every surface of the interior room is thoroughly holed, it poignantly punctuates a blurring between inside and outside. The conventional frontal framing of a video projection is subverted in Simone Jones and Lance Winn's Knock (2006), for the piece invests the room on several surfaces and thereby acquires virtual volume through its actual movement. In Patrick Beaulieu's Bruissement (2007), a delicate and solitary leaf moves subtly, almost imperceptibly. It exhibits faint signs of life amidst an overwhelming funereal background. The Beginning (2004), the stop-animation film by Helen Tak, further accentuates the nocturnal ambience. The largely depopulated film foregrounds the sonic as a protagonist with its penetrating and pulsating room tones. Concluding the trajectory of the exhibition is an entrapment in the form of a pair of video works by Charlemagne Palestine. Island Song and Island Monologue (both from 1976) stage a performative angst-ridden voyage where the refrain is I gotta get out of here! Confined by island, fog and his own psychological demons, there nevertheless is hope, however faint, that seems to emanate from the journey: I don't know where to go... I guess I'll just stand here.

The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery's contemporary exhibition program is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Venue & Address: 
The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University 1400 blvd. de Maisonneuve West, LB-165, Montreal, Quebec


Monday, September 24, 2007 - 4:00am to Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 4:00am

A Selection of reproduced photographs from the Dorothy H. Hoover Library
Photographic Archives

Organized in collaboration with
Eric Schwab, Manager, AV & Imaging Services,
Simon Glass, Simone Jones, and Colette Lalibert', Faculty of Art

Venue & Address: 
Gallery/Critique Space (Level 4) 113 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario