Janis Hoogstraten

6 September 1990 - 6 October 1990
Opening Reception 6 September 1990 8pm

East Gallery:


Opening Thursday September 6 at 8:00pm, Mercer Union presents an installation by Toronto artist Janis Hoogstraten entitled Expeditions. Involved primarily with the interaction between remembered image and verbal text, Hoogstraten’s recent works investigate the influence of one image on another. The juxtaposition of related and seemingly unrelated images and ideas illustrate shifts in meaning, altering or modifying the reading of a narrative.

Expeditions‘ her installation for Mercer Union, is based on the diaries of Leonidas Hubbard and his wife Mina. An American writer for Outing Magazine, Hubbard undertook an expedition in 1903 to Northern Labrador, accompanied by a friend and an Indian Guide. His impractical but romantic nature and his reluctance to follow the guide’s navigational suggestions led to his own death, and the near starvation of his two companions. In an attempt to prove that her husband’s actions had not been the cause of the expedition’s failure, Mina Hubbard travelled the same route two years later. Her survival of the trip, however, merely drew attention to Leonidas’ character traits that led to his death.

Combining drawings from expedition photographs, route maps of the trip, and excerpts from Hubbard’s diary stamped ln aluminum, Hoogstraten illustrates the two journeys. With their corresponding diaries, they represent two sections of the installation, Mina’s factual and pragmatic account and her husband’s contrasting record evoking a generosity of spirit and a sense of romanticism.

Janis Hoogstraten has participated in solo and group exhibitions since 1971 throughout Ontario, and in Halifax, Sackville, and Vancouver as well as Paris, France and London, England. Her upcoming exhibition at Mercer Union will be her first major solo exhibition in Toronto since 1976, Expeditions opens in Mercer Union’s West Gallery Thursday September 6 at 8:00 pm and continues through Saturday October 6.