Canadian Art - - Generously Supported By Rbc -

Erika Defreitas of­ten col­lab­o­rates with her mother. Her per­for­ma­tive ac­tions ex­plore habits of rit­ual, and her por­traits vi­su­al­ize mo­ments of pen­i­tence. A Visual Vo­cab­u­lary for Hands in Mourn­ing (2013) acts as a study, recre­at­ing com­mon pos­tures that hands take up in times of grief. Her 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion at Toronto’s Gallery 44 fea­tured por­traits of her mother weighed down by 300 beaded rosaries, which the two women had strung to­gether by hand. Her use of tex­tiles ex­tends to her se­ries Tele­plas­mic Study with Doilies (2010–11), in which Defreitas uses her mother’s and grand­mother’s doilies to mimic archival im­ages of seances in 1920s Win­nipeg, which show fab­rics emerg­ing from par­tic­i­pants’ mouths. In th­ese seances, lost loved ones an­i­mate the fab­rics through spir­i­tual in­ter­ven­tion, and in her ver­sions, Defreitas pos­ti­tions her­self in rev­er­ence un­der the weight of her an­ces­tors’ labour. Erika Defreitas A Visual Vo­cab­u­lary For Hands in Mourn­ing (no. 65) 2013 Dig­i­tal ink-jet print 45.7 x 30.5 cm PHOTO DANIEL EHRENWORTH

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