Libby Leshgold Gallery


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The eagle is perched upsidedown; it hangs like a bat. Dropped fibres are placed into a vase on an altar, I can't believe I dropped them I don't use this broom to clean. Maybe it's fragile or poorly constructed, maybe it's grown so many feathers It was too heavy to fly and had to push the old ones out. I re-place the eagle back on its lookout hook. Under the altar is a shelf for a deep fried quail egg wrapped in gathered acrylic. Altars all I make is altars.


Memories are things. Things swept off of the ground. Things heard. Things passed down. Things imagined. Things drawn. Things are objects. Objects find their spot; become a poem. Such is the process of translation and transformation in Serisa Fitz James’ tactile practice where memories often turn into ceramic vessels that contain Serisa’s flowing sentences and thoughts. In Serisa’s Altars at Libby Leshgold Gallery’s Glass Corner, these fleeting memories and run-on sentences are given free rein to take shape and find their place. Altars features a deluge of videos collected by the artist along with their animations and poems projected across a parol, a star-shaped lantern hung outside Filipino homes during celebrations and holidays.


Halobaloose, Halo balut


Serisa’s sensibilities are undeniably playful. Whether they’re working with ceramics or telling a story, they approach their materials with elasticity, stretching clay, language and the objects and iconographies they work with to the edges of form and meaning. In approaching these thresholds, strange but familiar sounds, textures and feelings come to the surfaces of Serisa’s works, appearing like the latest linguistic evolution of a word.


The bone on the ground
The bone on the ground has some meat in it still. It's like a dropped ice cream cone.
Oh no! My bone!


In the poem that inspired some of the animations in this installation, Serisa thinks through the image of a half eaten mango discarded on the ground. The bone is intact too. An entire sequence unravels from this small moment. It traverses the forests and beaches of their mom’s Filipino hometown then jumps back to Canada, where the two of them have developed their own vernacular of words and sounds that combine Tagalog and English with pursed lips and eyebrow wiggles. The significance of this image is in how it pictures the flow of different sensations and ideas in Serisa’s practice, sweet and sandy, nourishment and waste, home and distance.


Skeletal maquettes of several parols are hung all over Serisa’s studio. Undressed without its paper white skin, the parol looks like a drawing of a star, with all of the guiding lines inside the star rendered with bamboo, three dimensionally. These thin bamboo lines form the structure and geometry of the star. Less a singular polygon and more a group of overlapping shapes and intersecting lines, the star’s composition makes window-like facets and portals you can peer into.


I often think about the shape of memory, or rather its shapelessness. The spaces between objects, points or the lines. The negative space that shapes it, and therefore is its container. Serisa’s Altars is a repository. The parol is the temporal shape that momentarily holds this pile of memories, stories and colours. They flow across it like a stream or a freestyled verse.


flips Neva flop!


Text by Christian Vistan
Excerpts/poems by Serisa Fitz-James


The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to present Altars, a new exhibition by Serisa Fitz-James. This work will be exhibited in the Southwest corner window of the Libby Leshgold Gallery and is viewable from outside.


Serisa Fitz-James
In Serisa’s world there is NO MORE SUFFERING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They do all kinds of junk: ceramics, mold making, bad acting, sock puppets, shadow making, light moving, water bubbling, bendy, put things on stuff that are hard to put stuff on, and all stuff in general. They are extremely good at making up games. Serisa held a Rock olympics while waiting for a friend at a parking lot. I never knew how much fun I could have with a pile of rocks till we hung out. They are one of the funniest guys i know and are VERY very crazy sexy cool. They will pick up the phone and talk to anyone about anything. Collaborations come easy and they love to have folks around. They'll probably be big because they leave good impressions, I think, and they know enough to give okay advice. And they are nice to have around. So if you are reading this as someone in a position of money you should give them some - or don't and just say hi or whatever—they are pretty open—but don't take my word for it just email them or somethin. i'm just a small subway rat with a brooklyn accent. they have friends in high and low places. whaddami doin here on a keyboard? im a subway rat leave me alone or drop a slice on the platform for me will ya?? sheesh
In Serisa’s world there is NO MORE SUFFERING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Glass Corner is a project that aims to support emerging and diverse art practices and encourages that artists make work directly for the site. The work on display is presented at a physical distance from the viewer and a curatorial distance from the regular programming of the Libby Leshgold Gallery.




Canada Council for the Arts


Image courtesy of the artist.