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Under the Rug: The Invisibility of Art Labour Installation Exhibition

  • Carbon Arc Cinema Co-op Ltd 1747 Summer Street HALIFAX Canada (map)

Running throughout the festival, with two focused viewing times:

Opening Reception Thursday May 9 5-6:30PM

Installations Cocktail Reception Friday May 10 5-6:30PM


Under the Rug: The Invisibility of Art Labour

Under the Rug is an animation exhibition that reflects on the often laborious process of creating art, and the disconnect between art's consumption and creation. The show features the work of performance and multimedia artist Annie Onyi Cheung, visual artist Angela Henderson, film and theatre artist Tara Taylor and interdisciplinary artist Tom Elliott. Each artist has created an animated response to the theme through the lens of their respective practice. Their individual installations can be seen throughout the festival grounds: in the boardroom, the hallway, the coat room and the screening room, making the exhibition a part of instead of an addition to the festival.

Carbon Arc Cinema Auditorium

Annie Onyi Cheung Slow Suspending

4. 1. Installations Annie Cheung.jpg

ln Slow Suspending Annie reinserts herself into her work as her animated body summersaults, rolls, and bounces from the edge of each frame. This piece is a reflection on the anxiety and endless preparation involved in creating work. The invisibility of her art labour is both the odd and contradictory work of turning inward, protective, sheltering, insulating, incubating, and the quiet solitary time she spends pushing herself uphill to a better vantage point in her practice.

Carbon Arc Water Fountain

Angela Henderson Thresholds (A Lapidarium)

4. 2. Installations Angela Henderson.jpg

Angela’s installation responds to the theme of hidden labour in artist’s work by animating labour through accumulation. Her sculptural installation is two-fold: in the upper projection, a terrazzo stone taken from a nearby demolition site is traced, frottagged and brought laboriously into view in the time it takes for the lower level projection of this same finished image to complete its animated sequence. The surface is rubbed and gradually becomes visible through layers of graphite, builds and is then erased, looping repetitively. A different measure of labour is shown below as the stone fragments slowly, continuously appear and restart.

Cinema Cloak Room

Tara Taylor Nan T


A homage to Tara's grandmother, Nan T dances between the literal and abstract meaning of the word rug. Animated imagery of Nan T crocheting a rug combined with photos documenting the animation process are projected onto sculpted shapes. Blending imagery of these two stories allows viewers to envisage the labour behind the scenes as they are immersed in the nostalgic world of Nan T. How often do we enjoy artwork without giving any thought to the labour that went into creating it?

Cinema Boardroom

Tom Elliott So Much Doesn't Happen

4. 4. Installations Tom Elliot.jpg

So Much Doesn't Happen rests on the premise that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. Tom's work is a kind of poem that playfully suggests the invisibility of art labour through animated text and sound interventions that happen around a set of boardroom tables. The connections and disconnections between these interventions and the realities we experience create a tension that viewers may find mildly agitating.

Earlier Event: May 9
AFX8 Kick-off