40........................................................................Ann Catton, September 2002

40 new work by ANN CATTON

Opening September 6, 2002 8-12
until September 30
Curated by Colleen Heslin

The Crying Room is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of recent work by Ann Catton. Catton creates a sterile environment of apparent order with understated chaotic tones in her new exhibition, 40.  Through two series of photographs, Catton documents and explores the paralleling natures and opposing elements of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs.  She presents both substances through their packaging, displayed in two distinct fashions.  The illicit drugs are presented in an ambiguous fashion as evidence, while the pharmaceutical drugs are presented in an orderly manner, similar to that of an advertisement.  This choice of display and packaging reflects the cultural status that these drugs have in society, as one form is accepted and the other is not.  Both types of drugs play an important role in the construction of personal identity; pharmaseuticals aim to transform their user into a more productive member of the community, while street drugs provide an illusion of distance and release from the expectations within society.  How one locates an understanding of one’s interior and exterior self when affected by either of these narcotics is a question raised in Catton’s work.

Catton’s work in 40 has an overwhelmingly excessive presence, in appearance as well as content.  The social political issues are presented through an exterior form -- packaging, which directly addresses interior states, and brings to question a connection between body and mind.  The obsessive qualities revealed by these documentations suggest a loss of conscious control over both the physical and psychological self.  What is the determining factor in the acquisition of blurred reality? Who is in control? Where do these lines blur?  The loss of cognitive control suggests a loss of ownership or personal identity in search for an accepted identity within society and specific social groupings.  This state of blurred reality often exists as a surface remedy to subdue former interior problems and complex social issues.  Despite the deviant nature of specifically illicit drugs, they often create submissive qualities in the user, which allows society to easily mutate individuals through society’s structured form.

There is no escaping the placement of this exhibition in the downtown east side of Vancouver, British Columbia, which is viewed at large as an eyesore in society for its obvious problems surrounding drug addiction and mental heath.  The work in 40 is specifically presented in a stark manner, questioning perspective, alterity, and who can claim alterity. 

The Crying Room is proud to present 40 by Ann Catton.  Catton is a emerging artist in Vancouver British Columbia, and has marked her first solo show in SWARM 2002.  The Crying Room is an independent artist run centre that has been representing and exhibiting emerging artists locally and nationally since 1999. Colleen Heslin 2002.

Ann Catton, 40, c-prints, 2002
Ann Catton, 40, c-prints, 2002
Ann Catton, 40, c-prints, 2002
Ann Catton, 40, c-prints, 2002
Ann Catton, 40, c-prints, 2002
on-line review by Irma Arkus, The Peak, SFU
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