Isabel's Antidote - Jessica MacCormack

Exhibition and Residency at the Artel
Isabel’s Antidote by artist Jessica MacCormack
1-19 August 2007

Workshops: 12 August 2007
Closing Reception: 18 August 2007

From August 1st until the 19th, Modern Fuel is sponsoring the first residency for a visiting artist at the Artel Arts Accommodation and Venue, located at 205 Sydenham St. in downtown Kingston. An artist working in performance, installation and video, Jessica MacCormack is residing at the Artel and working collaboratively with the Kingston community for a concurrent exhibition in the Artel Gallery. Her practice focuses on the interactive nature of art, staging performances and re-enactments of a participatory nature. Her goal is to examine the function of art in society and explore the potential ways the artistic process can be used to build community and heal conflict.

MacCormack will be working with the women from Kingston’s Isabel MacNeil House on a project that will result in the creation of an animated video. One of the issues her residency/exhibition addresses is the controversial decision to close the Isabel McNeill House, the only minimum security facility in Canada for federally sentenced women.

On Sunday August 12th, Jessica will collaborate with interested participants on a workshop/project focusing on ideas of ‘The Institution’ (what are individual’s relationships to institutions, what is the city of Kingston’s relationship to institutions, etc.). The workshop will begin at 11am, and will initially be devoted to group discussion and brainstorming. This will carry over into a potluck lunch. The session after lunch will be devoted to the creation of a collaborative project, whether that be a performative intervention, video or painting, etc. The nature of the project will be determined by those involved, and will ultimately influence the form and the direction of the exhibition. Please bring something for the potluck, as well as any materials and ideas you may have for the collaborative project!

In the Artel gallery, MacCormack will present Isabel’s Antidote, an exhibition showcasing collaborative projects based on the stories and concerns surrounding the Isabel McNeill House through engagement with the women involved and with the broader Kingston community.

Artist’s Bio:
MacCormack received her BFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 2003. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus University in Germany. Her practice focuses on the interactive nature of art, staging performances and re-enactments of a participatory nature.

For further information please contact Modern Fuel at (613) 548-4883


During her residency with Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre/ The Artel, MacCormack worked on an art project with the women in The Isabel MacNeil House. For three weeks she met with the women three times a week to paint and draw with them with the intention to eventually create an animation with their artworks (no cameras are allowed in the facility). The final project was put to the music of “We become our own wolves” by Rae Spoon. Upon completion, there was a screening for the women and each received a copy of the DVD.