Andrew Testa: slow time
The work of art.
This simple phrase performs as both noun and verb. It can mean an art object and the labour of art itself. In this exhibition, both are woven into a single experience to explore time in different ways.
Here, scraps of fabric from sewing outfits and chips of wood from carving spoons become a document of the time Andrew Testa spent making art throughout the ongoing pandemic. Larger pieces come from the early stages of creation while the smaller bits are left over from the final finesse, literally down to the last thread. There is an absurd depth of tenderness in the act of keeping and caring for discards. This care for “by-product” mimics global processes of reuse and recycling. In this way, Testa aligns his individual practice with global ones, paralleling how individual actions during the pandemic have connected to the actions of individuals around the world.
The accompanying zine frames time in a different way. Testa has scanned discards and added lists of materials, actions and adjournments. Walk, wait, pause, stop, find, pick up, thank, drop. Testa encourages us to value the often forgotten residue and off-cuts of our personal trials, failures and successes, and to make space for recognizing our own capacity to affect change within global economies.
Click the image below to view the accompanying zine.
Andrew Testa is an artist, writer and educator working through prints, drawings, books, words, sounds and installations. He has been awarded ArtsNL, SSHRC, and the Elizabeth Greenshields grants for his research, has exhibited nationally and internationally (UK and USA), and has participated in residencies and conferences across Canada. He is currently working towards a new body of work for a solo exhibition at SNAP (Edmonton, AB) and group exhibitions at Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON) and Eastern Edge (St. John’s, NL). Testa is the Chair of the Board of Directors at St. Michael’s Printshop and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in printmaking at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. He completed his BFA and MFA at York University (Toronto, ON) in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
About Present Tense:
Present Tense is a year-long exhibition series highlighting artists from across the province who have produced work in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Its intention is multi-layered and aspirational. On one hand, the present is full of tensions as we discover new ways of completing familiar tasks. On the other hand, a present tense anticipates a collectively defined future tense. The ideas and explorations presented in the series suggest possible paths forward. These paths are full of hope, sustainability and connectivity.
Image credit: Andrew Testa, slow time, 2020-21. Courtesy of the artist.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, www.canadacouncil.ca.