Suzy Lake: ImPositions #2

Suzy Lake, ImPositions #2, 1977. gelatin silver print on paper. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Acquired with the assistance of the Canada Council, G-78-60 a-i. Photographer: Ernest Mayer

OCT 5-31

ImPositions #2 is a major photographic installation by the American-born Canadian artist Suzy Lake on view from the WAG’s permanent collection. Composed of nine photographs, the piece was created in the late 1970s, roughly a decade after the artist had relocated to Montreal from the United States. The photographs were taken in the basement of Lake’s apartment building. She heated and gently stretched each negative, distorting the image. The restrained body – her body – becomes a visceral register of personal, psychological tension. ImPositions #2 is also a deeply feminist, political, and philosophical work. The artist’s struggle, from one image to the next, against self-imposed restraints raises questions about whether our actions are truly free expressions or merely reflexes of internalized social conventions. Lake, for whom the Art Gallery of Ontario mounted a major retrospective in 2014, proved to be a major influence on an important generation of later photographers, including Cindy Sherman.

Curated by Andrew Kear

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