Conversations

Terroir Q&A Series: Angela Glanzmann

Angela Glanzmann is part of our exhibition Terroir: a Nova Scotia Survey and her work is featured on the cover of the accompanying exhibition publication now available in our Online and in Gallery Shop (Halifax).

For more information about Glanzmann's practice visit http://www.angelaglanzmann.com/

Terroir: a Nova Scotia Survey is on view until January 15, 2017.

What is your connection to Nova Scotia, and why were you inspired to submit a work for this exhibition?

With my connection to Nova Scotia, I would first describe myself as a Come From Away. I secondly and more importantly want to follow that up with the fact that I am a white passing settler on Turtle Island. This distinction is important to me as it directly influences my relationship to the land and space that I work in. I grew up in suburban southern Ontario and moved to Nova Scotia when I was 18 to attend NSCAD University. I have been here ever since. My impressions of Nova Scotia are not from ancestral or familial lineages like many Nova Scotians’ are. My connection to to this place has very much to do with the artistic community and the physical geography of the province. I was inspired to submit work for this submission as my practice is mostly focused on physical landscape, mapping and how our bodies orient themselves through various spaces. Nova Scotia has an incredible amount of physical phenomena that I have wanted to document and respond to.

Can you tell us a little about your work that is on view?

In 2015, I made a body of work titled On the Matter. In some ways I think it is still an ongoing project. I have been working with a Police Grade fingerprinting kit to dust ordinary objects for prints. Some of these objects are garbage, some of them have been purchased from stores, some of them are family heirlooms. There is a variety of value systems that have been placed on these objects, but there is also a lot of history to them. Who owned them, made them, handled them and interacted with them? With this special fingerprinted powder, I have dusted these objects for latent (invisible) fingerprints and marking. With UV lighting, the histories, ownerships, and interactions are suddenly visible, giving a whole other set of visuals to the objects. I work at an Art Gallery and often handle artworks, some of which are hundreds of years old. As a novice preparator, I have to take great care to leave as few marks and as little evidence as possible on these artworks so that they can be preserved. I keep thinking though about how many hands have touched these artworks and who the marks belong to. I would not be able to dust artworks with the fingerprinting powder, it would damage them, but I wanted to see if I could apply the same curiosity to everyday objects.

On the Matter, Installation View, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Photo by Raw Photography
Installation view of On the Matter. Photo: Raw Photography

In regards to the Police Grade Fingerprinting powder, it is actually very important to the work. I have also been constantly been thinking of how personal testament does not necessarily hold the same amount of power as empirical evidence in judicial and policing contexts.  That can leave many people and communities vulnerable. Whose stories get told? And whose experiences are valued and seen as “true” and “credible”? Especially when it comes to violence against women and minorities. I am still trying to figure out how to address all of these concerns with the Police Grade materials that I want to work with.

Your work(s) is on view along with 28 other artists. How do you see your work(s) within the context of this group exhibition?

It has been exciting to see my work in this exhibition especially since it is alongside many professional artists whom I consider artistic powerhouses and some that I have admired for many years. I think within the context of this exhibition, seeing my work paired with Annie MacMillan and Mark Bovey in the darkened space gives it meaning that I haven’t considered before. Their works are both very deliberate and calculated so it has been interesting to see my own work curated alongside theirs. I thought that my work would look scrappy in comparison, but it seems that our pieces compliment each other very well. It has also been a pleasure to be curated alongside Carly Butler. She is a long-time friend of mine and we have been able to watch our separate practices evolve over the years to culminate to something like the Terroir exhibition.

What are you working on in now, or planning for the near future?

I am currently working with some video footage that I shot during the Arteles Residency in Finland during June. One video in particular that I made while there is going to be exhibited in a show at Hermes Gallery in January curated by Becky Welter-Nowlan. I was researching the lack of darkness during the summertime there and how it plays into our cultural understandings of nighttime.

I’m also currently preparing applications for graduate school. I am hoping to be able to start my studies in September 2017. Fingers crossed!

How has your artistic process developed over time? What informs your practice?

I have only been formally working on my practice for about seven years (I was in university for four) so I feel as if I am only beginning to start to see threads of commonality between different projects. My practice has become very interdisciplinary; sometimes it takes on the form of sculpture, sometimes animation, sometimes writing. My work is framed through a feminist lens and I am constantly trying to teach myself more feminist, queer, and anti-racist theory to be able to engage critically with what I am making and question why I am making it.

When you’re not working, what are activities/interests that inspire your practice?

I don’t think that there is a whole lot of difference to what inspires my practice versus what informs my practice. However, I spend a lot of time outdoors, swimming, camping, cycling and hiking which has been a huge influence on what issues I want to address thematically with my practice. I have also been realizing how much food, cooking and eating exist in a funny parallel way to my artistic practice. I cook and bake as a means of sharing with others, expressing my culture, improvising with what I have and using my hands. I do the exact same thing with my studio practice! Now I have to figure out how to make those two planes meet.

Image Credit: 

Image Courtesy of the Artist