At the turn of the millennium, while the flag waves over a disgruntled and divided nation, Joyce Wieland’s anti-patriarchal, femino-patriotic art makes a surprisingly fresh statement. This small gathering of works (1960-1971) by the New York and Toronto-based Canadian artist includes drawings, a stuffed assemblage, a quilt, a painting and a pair of tiny, erotic bronzes. Also on view is her famous print O Canada, made by “kissing” the lithographic stone at N.S.C.A.D. in 1970. Viewers may detect in these works many structural parallels and references to Wieland’s films of the same period.
In both her experimental films and her artmaking, Joyce Wieland (1931-1988) favoured artisanal modes of production that required little money or technical apparatus. Her methods of construction evolved into an ethics: self-reflexive, committed to the exposure of female subjectivity and authorship, and quick to encompass other positions of oppression and silence.