Fine Arts celebrates research with Interstices in Identity: Surfaces of Memory

Building on the success of last spring’s Imagining the Invisible (see YFile, Feb. 23), the Faculty of Fine Arts celebrates York’s Research Month with Interstices in Identity: Surfaces of Memory, a full day of presentations highlighting some of the research and creation projects currently underway in the Faculty.

Graduate students and faculty members will present their work Nov. 17, from 9am to 4:30pm, in 1009 Technology Enhanced Learning Building. Sessions are scheduled at half-hour intervals throughout the day. Researchers from across the University are invited to drop in anytime during the proceedings.

Fine Arts Research Officer Suzanne Jaeger planned the Faculty of Fine Arts Research Celebration to create an opportunity for colleagues in fine arts and the wider York community to learn about the work being done by faculty members and graduate students.

“From uncovering lost manuscripts of great Canadian composers to challenging the traditional ways racial identity is portrayed in film and print, fine arts is taking this opportunity to showcase the diversity of our research,” said Nell Tenhaaf, associate dean of graduate studies, research & planning in the Faculty of Fine Arts. “It is our hope that this event will facilitate connections and research collaborations University-wide.”

The celebration kicks off at 9am with a presentation by dance MFA student Tracey Norman, titled "The Choreographer as Cartographer: Navigating the Territories of Memory and Geography in the Body". Looking at her recent choreographic work imprinting territories (see YFile, Oct. 27), Norman will share her research into mental mapping and lead a brief physical/practical mapping instinct exercise.

Dance Professor Patrick Alcedo (right) follows at 9:30am with "How Black Is Black? The ‘Atis’ on their Way to a Philippine Festival". In his talk, he will recount his experience earlier this year, helping to organize an indigenous community’s inaugural participation in a street-dancing competition that actually appropriates their traditional dances and costumes.

Brian Banton, a master’s student in design, takes the floor at 10am to share his research into "Performative Enunciation and the Racial Hybrid: Challenging the Boundaries of Identity through Graphic Design Praxis". His thesis will explore, experiment with and challenge conventional methods employed to represent racial identity in popular film and print media.

At 10:30am, Professor Judith Rudakoff (left) from the Department of Theatre will present "The Ashley Plays: CyberSite Specific Creative Work". Part of her Common Plants project, The Ashley Plays is a series of short collage cycles that ranges from performances to photographs. Developed through workshops involving dozens of participants from 11 countries, the series explores the common questions: Is home a place? Is home where you are or where you come from?

In her presentation, "Hadid’s Shoe", starting at 11am, fine arts cultural studies Professor Leslie Korrick (right) explores how an everyday object like a shoe can become a significant cultural marker. Examining Iranian-born, London-based architect Zaha Hadid’s recent footwear designs for the French apparel conglomerate Lacoste and Brazilian eco-friendly shoe manufacturer Melissa, Korrick will demonstrate that Hadid uses her footwear projects to comment on architectural design in the forum of retail.

In "Perpetual Performance: Black in Canada", theatre studies PhD candidate Naila Keleta Mae will posit that Canada’s historical legacies and contemporary realities require black Canadian women to live in a state of perpetual performance. In her talk, starting at 11:30am, Keleta Mae will share the broader political implications at stake in this research, including the theory that performance is part of the ontology of blackness in North America.

An informal reception takes place from 1:15 to 2pm.

Music Professor Stephanie Martin (left) will kick off the afternoon sessions at 2pm with "Healey Willan’s Lost Manuscripts". Known as "the dean of Canadian composers," Willan wrote hundreds of compositions, and was instrumental in the early development of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Martin discovered two of his unpublished manuscripts that had lain in obscurity for almost 50 years at Library & Archives Canada. Her presentation outlines the fascinating tale of these lost manuscripts and the making of a first recording.

In his 2:30pm talk, "Student Filmmaking as Experimental Film: The Rhetoric of Participatory Culture in the Rise of Film Study in the 1960s", film Professor Mike Zryd will illuminate the simultaneous emergence of two phenomena in the late 1960s and early 1970s: film was the fastest growing area of arts study in American universities, and experimental film achieved its broadest cultural exposure. Experimental film helped define the parameters of alternative cinema and became the foundation of post-1960s film studies.

Hadlaw speaks at 3pm on "Modern Design and the Construction of Canada’s National Identity, 1946-1985". Her talk will show how design – exemplified through such iconic developments as Expo ’67 and the Canadian flag – came to be a social, political and economic force in Canada during the 1960s and 1970s. She’ll also discuss the people who played a primary role in forging this relationship between Canadian design and national identity.

Jessica Mace, a PhD candidate in art history and visual culture, shares her research at 3:30pm. Her presentation, "Architecture without Architects: Pattern Books and Port Hope, Ontario", will explore the relationship between 19th-century domestic architecture in Port Hope and the architectural literature that was circulating at the time.

Visual arts Professor Yam Lau (right) takes the floor with "Image, Space, Time and the Evanescence of the Everyday" at 4pm. He will discuss the evolution of his artistic practice from painting to computer-generated animation, and then present a recent work in this new medium that explores new expressions of space and time in relation to everyday activities and forms of life.

The Faculty of Fine Arts Research Celebration culminates with a concert featuring nationally acclaimed saxophonist Mike Murley (left), coordinator of the Department of Music’s jazz studies area. This ticketed event takes place in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at 7:30pm. Murley, an eight-time winner of Jazz Report’s saxophonist of the year distinction, will be featured in settings ranging from duo to septet. He’ll be joined on stage by his fellow faculty members, Department of Music Chair Barry Elmes on drums, Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance Ron Westray on trombone, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and Jim Vivian on bass, plus guest artists, pianist David Restivo and alto saxophonist Tara Davidson. For tickets call 416-736-5888 or visit the Box Office Web site.

For full program details of the Fine Arts Research Celebration, visit the Faculty of Fine Arts Research Celebration Web site.