Voir Dire

Reception: Saturday 14 January 2012 @7pm at Modern Fuel In the Main Gallery, Modern Fuel presents Voir Dire, a dark and mysterious installation by the Calgary-based artist Tammy McGrath. "Voir Dire" is an old French phrase that loosely translates as “to speak the truth.” It is employed as a law term which connotes the process by which lawyers question prospective jury members to determine if they are unbiased and suitable to be part of a fair and impartial jury. For this installation, McGrath took on the role of a passive destroyer and burned over one thousand four hundred books. The exhibition has unavoidable references to the violent history of book burning but remains ambiguous and doesn’t provide any easy answers for what it represents. The experience of the work is beautiful and compelling – yet dangerous and threatening at the same time, expressing the duality of human behaviour with deeds both good and dark. Accommodations for the Voir Dire exhibition have been generously provided by Four Points by Sheraton, Kingston.

Tammy McGrath holds a BFA in Painting from the Alberta College of Art and Design and an MFA in Intermedia from the University of Regina. She is a multimedia artist and teaches studio arts at the University of Calgary and the Alberta College of Art & Design while also programming the Visual and Media Arts at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts. She has received numerous awards and grants and has written for local and national art publications. McGrath spearheaded/initiated projects such as the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival and Space for Space in Calgary, AB. In her art practice, McGrath examines how truth is constructed and knowledge is retained and erased.

See images of exhibition here.

Exhibition bulletin, including an essay by Robin McDonald, can be found here.