+ Programming + Archives Décades + News + Publications + Support Optica + Info

Décades

Exhibition

Years
1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 |

Index of artists, authors and curators

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z |

OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees





Barbara McGill Balfour
From April 18th 1996 to May 15th 1996
m mélancolie et mélanome

A few years ago, I had a mole surgically removed from my back. It turned out to be benign, but I have never been able to relate to my other moles and freckles without some underlying suspicion.

This exhibition brings together the psychological and somatic states of skin cancer and melancholy, linked etymologically to the word melanin. Melanoma is characterized by the potentially malignant presence of this substance, whereas black bile, one of the four humours, was once considered the cause of sadness. Depression, distinguishing marks, and mortality are intersecting vectors in this print / installation and artist’s book, "m melanomata & melancholia". – B.B.

The prints, sequestered beneath glass, reference cell slides. The glass makes evident the active agency of optical interventions: when put under the microscope, the cells are flattened for better viewing, the expansive surface of the skin broken into manageable squares to better observe the distribution of disease. "Melanomata" transforms our relationship to this skin, just as medicine alters our view of the body : by enlarging its contours and highlighting its patterns. As spectators, we are engaged in the experience of being miniaturized in relationship to our own self-image, our sense of scale inverted as we look at the surface at our feet. We are at once brought closer to the body and made more distant.
Kim Sawchuck from "Enlightened Visions, Somatic Spaces : Imaging the Interior in Art and Medicine", in the catalogue Rx:Taking Our Medicine.
-Press release (Optica)

Raised in Montreal, Barbara McGill Balfour attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she majored in French literature. Her Junior Year Abroad was spent in Paris, where she attended the Sorbonne (Paris, IV) and l’École des Beaux-Arts. From 1980-85, she studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, then pursued and M.F.A degree in Printmaking art at Concordia University in Montreal from 1985-88. For five summers, she printed for artists such as Robert Indiana, Komar and Melamid, and Leon Golub, at Vinalhaven Press in Vinalhaven, Maine. For the last six years, she has taught lithography in the Printmaking Department, and interdisciplinary Woman and the Fine Arts courses, both at Concordia University in Montreal.

Barbara McGill Balfour’s recent art production can be characterized as a hybrid form of print /installation. She has shown in Canada, the U.S.A, and the U.K.. Recent group exhibitions include the Spontaneous Combustion Collective exhibition in London, U.K., "Rx: Taking Our Medicine", at Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario, and "Drawing and Maquettes by Sculptors", at galerie Samuel Lallouz in Montreal. Upcoming exhibitions include a survey of artist’s collectives at Mercer Union (Toronto, April 1996) and "les Occupantes", an exhibition with the Venus Fly Trap Collective (Montreal, May 1996).