Employing photography, film, sculpture, installation, and other media, Annie MacDonell’s work begins from the position that, in the twenty-first century, images are exhausted and their use must always be accompanied by a critical stance towards representation and presentation, production and reproduction. Her work draws attention to how still and moving images are staged in the spaces of gallery and cinema, thereby creating multi-layered, uncanny and formally elegant meditations on the act of looking.
Borrowing a title from the 1981 text by critic and theorist Rosalind Krauss, which questions the avant-garde’s attachment to notions of authenticity and originality, Annie created an installation that offers a series of doublings, transpositions, and appropriations, with a mirrored room, a video projection space that becomes a camera obscura, and images culled from the Toronto Reference Library’s Picture Collection. Through these works, Annie investigates how repetition can generate meaning in and of itself.
Originality and the Avant Garde
Originality and the Avant Garde (excerpt), 2012, 16mm transferred to video, 12 minutes.
The Fortune Teller
The Fortune Teller is a body of work whose central subject is a resin hand from an early-twentieth-century fortune-telling machine. With these works, Annie interrogates ideas around originality, authenticity and appropriation as they relate to the production, consumption, and historicization of contemporary art. Taken together, these works portray the often-ambiguous relationship between past, present, and future.
The Shape of Time, Revisited
The Shape of Time, Revisited (excerpt), 2012, 16mm transferred to video, 12 minutes.
To Everything There is a Season
The sculptural "iceberg" and black-and-white photographic collages in this series draw from the popular1967 photography book To Everything There is a Season by the celebrated Canadian photographer Roloff Beny. Annie created photo collages from Beny’s images as well as sculptural works that reflect and expand upon the book’s mystical view of the Canadian landscape.
The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition
A selection of Annie MacDonell’s work is on view until January 6, 2013, as part of The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada.
Annie MacDonell is a Toronto-based visual artist. She 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 has exhibited and screened works across Canada and internationally. Recent solo shows include the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Mercer Union, in Toronto. Group exhibitions include The Power Plant, Toronto, Mulherin & Pollard, New York, Le Grand Palais, Paris and the 2012 Daegu Photo Biennale, in South Korea. She teaches in the photography program at Ryerson University and her work is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art.