Marginalia is an exhibition, publication and active research project based on the study of 3 sites in Canada including Windsor, Ontario; Fort McMurray, Alberta; and Elliston, Newfoundland. Drawing on the traditional literary definition of marginalia – personal writings in the margins of the published texts of others – this project looks at “built marginalia,” acts of building and modification to the built environment by individuals that can be considered as addenda or edits to the dominant texts of established urban fabric, official plans and government agendas.
The Marginalia exhibition is developed and designed to engage both a general audience as well as an informed community of practitioners and critics of architecture, planning and urban issues. The project is structured around a series of site/field studies in specific locations leading to gallery-based exhibition/installations and community interventions designed in relation to the sites of study. The exhibition/installations will feature photographic works by Lisa Hirmer along with narrative panels about each site.
At the Art Gallery of Windsor, guest-curator Andrew Hunter, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, has selected work from the AGW permanent collection. He employs a sequence of shifting criteria reflecting the narrative of Marginalia that accompanies and compliments Hirmer’s three distinct sets of photographs. Hunter’s selection emphasizes fragile peripheral architecture and human encounters at edges and boundaries. Featuring exclusively Canadian works, the emphasis is also on works on paper, a format that usually makes up the bulk of a galleries collection but that is often overlooked or considered secondary to more substantial works of art. Hunter’s selection includes works by Caven Atkins, Napatchie Pootoogook, Edwin Holgate, David Blackwood, Florence McGillivray and Dorothy Knowles, among other Canadian artists. The focused clustering of works will be accompanied by short narratives linking works, connecting the collection groupings, and building a dialogue with Hirmer’s images and themes.
The research and development portion of the project was supported by a Canada Council for the Arts Independent Critics and Curators in Architecture grant.