Re Appearances, 1993
Re Appearances placed seven paintings by Canadian artist Paraskeva Clark (the artist’s paternal grandmother) in a reconstruction of her living room. The paintings were placed in relationship to some of the real objects they depicted. Outside the room hung Self Portrait with Concert Programme (1942) in which Paraskeva Clark collaged an actual concert programme into her painted hands. An accompanying letter written in 1945 stated that she used the real programme because “it had more power as a message (she) wanted to send through her painting.” This signalled a distinct differentiation between the object and its painted representation, which provided the context for viewing the paintings and objects in the living room.
Charlotte Townsend-Gault writes that Re Appearances points to “that moment of awe, the frisson lurking in the ordinariness of the taken-for-granted. Her work is both absolutely pragmatic (‘I have always grounded my work in what is actually in front of my eyes’) and absolutely mysterious. What is ‘actually’ there, how people construct what is ‘in front of their eyes,’ is not and never has been a simple matter. Clark Espinal contributes to this mystery by needling away at the intimate link between representation and the desire to possess the represented.”