As a kid, I used to believe people were living inside my television set. How else could Mr. Dress-up appear through the tube? If only I was allowed to break the glass barrier between Sesame Street and my living room, I could have enjoyed mouthfuls of cookies. Despite my fantasy of jumping through a “looking glass,” I soon learned that was not the reality. My television was old, and it began to show some glitch-like symptoms, automatically changing channels and distorting colours and figures.
Blurring the boundaries between a window and screen, my painting process utilizes smartphones, laser printers, and paint, to create works full of colour and errors. Using a sequence of actions, I break down and rebuild memories documented in a physical, or virtual space. Scanning and enlarging, piece by piece I image-transfer a reprint onto a surface, allowing bits of the memory to fall in the process. Often as a final gesture, I use oil paint’s loose, chromatic, and illusory qualities to restore, reimagine, and/or mislead. Real and abstract, juxtaposed layers explore the nature of memory. My work negotiates and compromises notions of preservation, transformation, and the unintelligible.
Jaspal Birdi (B.1988, Toronto) is a Canadian artist who combines photography and painting by experimenting with contemporary technologies. Birdi’s interests explore concepts of reality, virtuality, and sustainability. Through programming, print and paint, her practice filters and reconstructs a blurred cycle of virtual and physical actions. Birdi completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University 2010, a Museum Internship at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection 2011, a Masters in Arts Management from Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) 2013, and a Specialization in Curating Contemporary Art from Venice School of Curatorial Studies 2016. Recognized with support from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, she is the recipient of several honours, such as the 2013 Arte Laguna Solo Exhibition Prize, the 2017/18 Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa (BLM) Artist Residency in Venice and BLM Stonefly Art Award, the 2020/21 Fondazione Culturale San Fedele Visual Arts Fellowship in Milan and Martini International Award. In 2017 Birdi co-curated the exhibition Command-Alternative-Escape for the opening week of the Venice International Art Biennale. During the 2018 Berlin Art Week, her works were presented in Transferred Recall, a curated solo exhibition. In 2020 Birdi presented Can I Play Outside? a solo exhibition supported by the RBC Foundation Emerging Artist Residency at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. As the 2021/22 AiR at the Women's Art Association of Canada, Birdi presented Eyes Looking Without Seeing, a solo exhibition.
Jaspal Birdi thanks and acknowledges the support from: