Image: Installation View of All that we carry, 2022, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
Angeline Simon: All that we carry
February 2022 – February 2023
Public Art Installation at Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.
Photography satisfies the human desire to record and remember, but photographs can be lost, forgotten, or fade with time, leaving us with questions about our not-so-distant past. Lethbridge-based artist Angeline Simon mines her family photographic archives for source material to create collages that span multiple time periods and geographies, fulfilling a human desire for connection and belonging. Grappling with the disconnection the artist feels to her Malaysian Chinese and German roots, All that we carry (2021) urges us to consider how culture and family history are altered or lost in the process of immigration.
Informed by early twentieth-century photomontage artists Hannah Höch and John Heartfield, Simon’s method involves cutting, pasting, and erasure, reinforcing the idea that memory is fluid and evolves over time. In addition to traditional collage methods, Simon uses a tool in Photoshop that replaces portions of the image with the surrounding content. In this process, an algorithm decides what is removed from or included in the image, infusing the works with an element of chance. For example, the figures of distant relatives become replaced with landscapes, leaving only the eerie and melancholy outline of ancestors lost through the passing of time. Simon, in this way, revisits and revises her family history, honouring her ancestors’ distant cultures while creating a new, subversive archive that tells a story of transcontinental immigration and resists the fading of intergenerational memory.
Presented in partnership with TransLink for the 2022 Capture Photography Festival. Curated by Interim Visual Arts Manager, Kate Henderson.
About Angeline Simon
Angeline Simon is a multidisciplinary artist from Lethbridge, Alberta. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2018 with a BFA in Art Studio. As a second generation Canadian, Simon explores familial narratives and the dynamics among contrasting cultures. Her physical distance from family members and lack of participation in both German and Malaysian Chinese cultural traditions motivates Simon’s investigation into her ancestral past. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions including Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, Edmonton; Contemporary Calgary; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Casa, Lethbridge; Trianon Gallery, Lethbridge; and the University of Lethbridge Dr. Foster James Penny Building.