Hannah Doerksen A Story, 2016 Digital collage Courtesy the artist
Tied up with ghosts and time travellers, angels and aliens, A Story We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves, endeavors to call forth the grim and alluring presence of abandoned spaces: a shopping mall, a deserted theatre or a foreclosed hotel.
Using diverse processes, varying levels of expertise and duplicitous materials, Doerken’s installation contains an assembly of seductive objects and evocative images. The found and hand-made elements comprising the work are as varied as the references that inform it:
Life-sized faux-marble statues cheekily imitate Neo-classical works of religious allegory, casting shade towards prescribed archetypes of morality.
Bouquets of flowers, meticulously constructed using wire, paper and tape, sprout from a curious assortment of vases. Attentively arranged, the flowers belong to no one but stand as everlasting memorials to anticipated utterances left un-articulated.
A naive film on an endless loop reveals banal and intimate moments from the artist’s life. Playing on a chunky television placed before a circular mirror, the film, like Narcissus, becomes stuck in time, watching itself without recognition, enamored with its own reflection.
Employing both the mythic and metaphoric, the exhibition takes cues from popular culture, philosophy, anthropology, art history, film, speculative science.,
In a doomed pursuit of transcendence, Doerksen complicates her references and resources with the dysfunctional neuroticism of a conspiracy theorist.
A Story We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves is shame and vanity: it’s watching a movie you’ve seen before but hoping this time the characters will not make the same mistake.