Alicia Turgeon, Cutting through, 2020
Old Vent, Fork, Incense Burner, Flour Shovel, Screw Driver (Manually Sharpen)
The video piece Cutting Through is part of a larger investigation by the artist Alicia Turgeon titled Handle with care. In this series, Turgeon explores found objects through the lenses of critical intimacy and radical care. It is a careful and sensitive exploration of used materials; collection, peeling back of layers, fragmentation, re-purposing, and re-evaluation. In Cutting Through, Turgeon presents a similar occurrence by manually sharpening objects recovered among her late grandparent’s belongings, deviating from a formal representation of the object and moving it away from its primary function. As much of sculptural than a performed object, each of the pieces from an Old Vent, a Fork, an Incense Burner, a Flour Shovel, and a Screw Driver speak of naiveté and unassumed sides of domesticity.
My practice circles around ideas of the self when applied through the use of discarded materials. Emphasizing accessibility, sustainability, labour, care, and rehabilitation, I use methods of woodworking, metalworking, fibers and digital documentation to show how the idea of repurposing has the ability to act as both as a means of control and liberation.
As a neurodiverse individual I am invested in exploring the deeper tension between myself and my surroundings. Using objects as holders of memory, I explore their materiality to embody organized or disorganized routine. Essentially, objects are for me a means and a medium of production that can be coerced. The genealogy of mundane artefacts is a core dimension of my practice. I focus on the space they take, as well as their image in relation to the traces they hold of people. My most recent work investigates the space between the self and collective memory through the idea of comfort, discomfort, motion, and stasis. Drawn by a larger reflection on the topic of care as a radical approach and a ritual, this series is deeply invested in exploring the social and physical limitations of reused objects and intergenerational exchange. From demolition leftovers, family heirlooms, and institutional records, I create a visual and narrative corpus around awkwardly «reskilled» items and the time I passed with them through sewing, cleaning, sharpening and rearranging.
Alicia Turgeon is a multidisciplinary and neurodiverse artist based in Montréal, Québec. She is a BFA candidate in Sculpture at Concordia University where she was recently awarded a Sustainability Research Award (2020) and an Experimental Learning Grant (2020-2021) for her creative pursuits on the boundaries of authorship through open-design and DIY praxis. Recently, Turgeon was offered a co-directing position at the artist-run centre Eastern Bloc, where she previously holds the title of artistic and programming coordinator (Montréal, 2018-). Turgeon is currently the chairperson of the board for the Art Matters Festival, and a research assistant for Nadia’s Myre public art laboratory Kinawìnd.