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A Place for Fire and the Matter of Deep Time by Lisa Cristinzo


A Place for Fire and the Matter of Deep Time by Lisa Cristinzo  - June 14-June 30 2021

Pride 2021 Visual Art Installation in partnership with Underscore Projects

"My work explores how the non-human and inanimate world shapes our social, political, cultural, and ecological landscape, in co-authorship with the human and animate world. The subject matter for my current body of work came to me while staying in a stone cabin. I started each morning by collecting kindling and lighting a fire in the wood stove, and soon came to see the pieces of wood, newspaper, burnable objects, and ash as triangular compositions suitable for painting. The fireplace became an allegory, a still life, for the assemblages of our geological landscape – where the narrative of danger and comfort is contingent on the materiality of the object, its relationship to space, and the process of fire it will eventually endure.

My work focuses on the concept of New Materialism and the lustrous objects I take into consideration when painting. I am using fire and its process as a metaphor, an illustration of environmental impact as a response to materialism. At a time when consumerism is at epic proportions and our obsession with possessions is leading to a climate crisis, I use objects to consider the hazards of consumerism and to stand in as fragments of, and clues to, our destructive culture and industry. To balance the potential risks in the collection of objects, my work is softened by my humorous approach to the application of paint. Hidden texts in the paintings reveal innuendos, objects posses a sort of animism and the colours seem to be chosen from a grocery store aisle. Narratives emerge between the danger and comfort of the objects depicted. Political theorist Jane Bennett in her book, Vibrant Matter: a political ecology of things, highlights the active role of non-human materials as vibrant forces that have the agency to interact and change our everyday life. I use paint as the medium to tell the story of “Vibrant Matter” with its ability to imbued and animate any surface.

Emerging out of fire, the objects and paintings become an index of materials connected to the deeper ecological landscape that surrounds us. My work is where the public and the objects themselves engage in a social environment, a microcosm of how the entanglement of the inanimate and animate world can impact and interdependently shift along with our social, political, and ecological ideologies."

About the artist 

Lisa Cristinzo

Lisa Cristinzo (They/Them, She/Her) is a queer painter and installation artist, a Canadian settler, with Italian and Irish ancestry. Cristinzo lives in Tkaronto and acknowledges the traditional territory of the many diverse First Nations people who live here. Her work investigates the by-products of humanity and their mythic significance, through large-scale paintings that traverse natural history, climate hazards, materialism, and magic. Cristinzo has a BFA in drawing and painting from OCADU and am currently an MFA candidate at York University, where she was recently awarded SSHRC federal funding for her thesis research and exhibition. Since 2007, she has managed several arts programs and community cultural hubs across the city through her work with Toronto Artscape Inc, including Artscape Gibraltar Point, an artist residency and event space on Toronto Island.

https://www.lisacristinzo.com/                    @lisacristinzopainting