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.
Innovations in technology intend to create better solutions. Progressively it expands understandings of near and distant environments. It provides resolutions to pressing issues with shorter turnovers. But simultaneously, it impairs the distinction of illusion from reality. Seeking to blur the boundaries between a window and screen, I experiment with a painting process initiated by extensive play with “technological extensions”. Through manual hacks and paint, I filter and reconstruct photographic memories. Utilizing paint’s loose, chromatic, and illusionary qualities, versus rigid and realistic impressions of thinly transferred digital photos, my works juxtapose the real and abstract. Based in a present where the norms of freedom and security are constantly reassessed, it questions to preserve history or create a new future?
Jaspal Birdi is a Canadian artist who combines photography and painting by experimenting with contemporary technologies. Birdi’s interests explore how concepts of reality and virtuality influence accepted norms of freedom and security. Through manual hacks, print and paint, her practice filters and reconstructs to create a blurred cycle of virtual and physical actions that reflect on an individual’s role in a privatized modernity. Born in 1988 in Toronto, Canada, Birdi completed her BFA in drawing and painting from OCAD University 2010, 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. She is the recipient of the Arte Laguna Solo Exhibition Prize in 2013, as well as the 2017/18 Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Artist Residency Fellowship, during which she also received the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Stonefly Art 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. Birdi is a Visual Arts Fellow for the Fondazione Culturale San Fedele Art Prize in Milan. In 2020, Jaspal Birdi was a RBC Emerging Artis in Residence at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario: Her works are currently on display in "Can I Play Outside?" a solo exhibition.
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