Dates: October 16 to 20, 2007
Artist: Todd Janes (Edmonton)
Artist's Talk: October 20 and 12, 2007
Open Space was pleased to host a five-day residency with Edmonton-based artist Todd Janes. In a variety of public sites, Janes challenged the stereotypes associated with gendered labour and the increasingly blurred boundaries between public and private, work and pleasure. He reminded us of the marginal activities that we encounter daily and then consciously choose to ignore or acknowledge.
The Iron Man is the swim-run-cycle triathlon that is considered one of the most demanding tests of physical (and perhaps mental) strength, nearly exclusively attempted by men. The grueling triathlon is the pinnacle of embodied competition—a character trait broadly associated with masculinity, within the world of business as well as that of sports—even the everyday the rivalry for parking space is a competitive act.
Todd Janes’ Iron Man, in contrast, focused on the ritual of ironing, a soothing outlet to calm himself and to honour the activities and hard, unseen work of his female relatives: his sister, mother and grandmother. He explains, “It is something I do out of respect and love for them.”