Bianca Weeko Martin

COUNTER-NARRATIVESAbout this webpage

This webpage was developed by Bianca Weeko Martin to serve as on-screen presentation material at the culmination of an artist researcher residency supported by the AGO X RBC Emerging Artist Exchange. The webpage is meant to mirror parts of the research - tangents and references in conversations become external hyperlinks, speaker notes become tooltip text, and notebook sketches become markers of time, and pretty pages of markers. Feel free to hover and click.

If you want to learn more about the research or the presentation, please contact: bweeko@gmail.com
& THE AGO COLLECTION



Narrative reinforces or elucidates a given belief or truth. Narratives pervade scientific discovery, finance, media, and all areas of our lives because they frame the boundaries and possibilities of debate and gatekeep access.

Conversely, counter-narratives dispute commonly held assumptions about the nature of reality, place, positionality, and the political moment. Counter-narratives are a means to more fully understand the world and the built environment. Counter-narratives re-inscribe historical accounts with voices and ideas that have been previously silenced.

This is at the heart of the feminist approach to history that I apply... offering a counter narrative of how those at the margins actively shape the core in as of yet unacknowledged ways.

Thaisa Way
Think like a Historian, Imagine like a Designer



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Every moment happens twice: inside and outside,
and they are two different histories.

Zadie Smith
White Teeth







From left to right:
(1) Kim Ondaatje: Piccadilly Series: Blue Bedroom, 1972,
(2) Lawren Harris: In The Ward,
(3) Matthew Wong: Untitled (2018)



What can the city edges tell us that the city cannot? What can a painting of a bedroom tell us that a facade cannot?

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Matthew Wong: The Road (2018)


Contemporary Canada imagines itself as an immigrant nation, but does not conceive of itself as encompassing a diaspora. ... As the Chinese-Canadian artist Ken Lum once opined: "Canada's artistic centre is neither a centre nor a margin; it is but a centrifuge, a study for specialists in chaos theory."

If that is the case, is there not something to be said about a returned artist like Matthew Wong - an artist who contradicts Canadianness not by leaving, but by returning?

Let us acknowledge Canada, then, as a native land that has sustained many arrivals, departures, displacements, and returns - rather than the orderly mosaic of settler-colonialists we have been taught to become.

Winnie Wong
The Colour of Colour, from Matthew Wong - Blue View Exhibition Catalog





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From left to right:
(1) David Milne: Outlet of the Pond (1930),
(2) David Milne: Attic Room (1921)




From left to right:
(1) Joanne Tod: Orange (1991),
(2) Doris McCarthy: Kitchen of the Knothole (1959),
(3) Joyce Wieland: Water Sark (1965)


A woman's counter-narrative: the dissolution of spatial borders. Between studio and domestic space. Domestic space and the realm of dreams. Recalled, redrawn with intimacy.



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From left to right:
(1) Vanessa Bell: The Schoolroom (1938),
(2) Rae Johnson: Anima Animus (1981),
(3) Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge: Untitled (Front Hallway) (1979)





From left to right:
(1) Alex Morrison: Every House I've Ever Lived in Drawn from Memory (1999), (2) Ndijeka Akaumili Crosby: And We Begin to Let Go (2013)





What do particular details tell us about a historical context, that the universal cannot? What does the universal enable for empathy and solidarity, that the particular excludes? Can the particular and the universal overlap and strengthen each other?

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In order to terminate this neurotic situation, in which I am compelled to choose an unhealthy, conflictual solution, fed on fantasies, hostile, inhuman in short, I have only one solution: to rise above this absurd drama that others have staged around me, to reject the two terms that are equally unacceptable, and through one human being, to reach out for the universal.

Frantz Fanon
Black Skin, White Masks

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ARTIST RESEARCHER


MARGINS CITY


PARTICULAR UNIVERSAL


PAINTING DRAWING