Allyson Clay works

Receive updates for this collection

Digitized works of SFU Contemporary Arts professor Allyson Clay. The works include artworks on paper, paintings, mock-ups and sketches for projects, chapbooks, special projects for journals, catalogues, essays in books, sketchbook pages and journal excerpts, and objects that resulted from the process of making art. The works are in this collection and in the following sub-collections.

A Foreign Place.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinable. 

File(s): 

Instead.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinable. 

Document type: 
Image
File(s): 

It Was Different Here.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinable. 

Document type: 
Image

Traveling.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinable. 

Document type: 
Image
File(s): 

Cigar.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinable. 

Document type: 
Image
File(s): 

Water.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

The paintings in Allyson Clay’s series "Some places in the world a woman could walk" combine abstraction, photo silkscreen, and text to describe the experiences of women in the city. The works call up Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur; far from being detached observers, Clay’s flâneuses reflect on their relationship to others and to public spaces. In each diptych text divulges the experiences, predilections and desires of individual women as they navigate public and private spaces within the dispassionate setting of the city. For example, in “Routines” a woman is transformed by the fiction she is reading and this leads inexplicably to an ordinary work promotion. Clay’s texts often evoke the gaze, the awareness of being looked at, and the understanding that bodies are vulnerable. For example, in “Danger” the text suggests vulnerability, but it is complicated by a perverse irony: “I begin to enjoy the presence of danger.” While photography shows us people and places, it is nevertheless soft and even out of focus. This strategy appropriately expresses uncertainty about the exact locations and enriches the fragmentary and ludic quality of the narratives.  Abstract painting is also used strategically to evoke psychological states commensurate with the narratives, although indefinab

 

 

Document type: 
Image
File(s): 

Traces of a City in the Spaces Between Some People.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1992
Abstract: 

"Traces of a City in the Spaces Between Some People" is a catalogue designed by Allyson Clay and David MacWilliam to accompany the eponymous exhibition, curated by Greg Bellerby, at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr College of Art & Design, from June 4-July 12, 1992. The catalogue essay by Joan Borsa titled “The Parody of Her Own Disguises” contextualizes Clay’s work and elucidates her material and conceptual strategies. It also draws upon other writings about Clay’s work to show how different interpretations, not only of Clay’s work but of art generally, create unstable discourses that call for reexamination and deconstruction. 

Document type: 
Book

Stories.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1989
Abstract: 

A black and white image of a labyrinth accompanies each of the ten anecdotes in Allyson Clay’s artist’s book "Stories". In the preface Clay gives an account of different kinds of labyrinths, notably the nature of their goals.

Document type: 
Book
File(s): 

Loci.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1990
Abstract: 

Allyson Clay’s artist’s book Loci includes five sets of instructions for performances accompanied by diagrams showing the spatial movements of the performer. In addition to the artist’s book, Clay made gouache, watercolor and pencil drawings for exhibition with the instructions. The subjects of Loci are ones that Clay engages throughout her practice and include conceptual art, writing, feminism, and identity. Loci refers to other conceptual artist’s books, notably Lawrence Weiner’s “Statements” from 1968 which, like Loci, describes projects. Also, Clay’s descriptions of performances echo Weiner’s famous Declaration of Intent from 1968 since her texts make it clear that the performances, while they embody potential, do not necessarily come to fruition. It is as if the book is enough.  In fact, Clay elides the certainty of the performances even further by moving from straightforward description to writing that slips fugitively into the ludic quality of free verse poetry. Poetry is used to subvert the austerity of the conceptual artist’s book from inside it. With its references to kitchen utensils, among other things, the first text in Loci calls to mind Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen. Clay’s writing isn’t sardonic, but it is sharp and penetrating; the text gains momentum as words run into each other, separated by dozens of commas, wild and effulgent. It is astonishing how much exhilaration Clay infuses into the small pages of Loci. It is almost like there is a surplus of feeling that can barely be contained by the book. In the second text the description of the performance is woven with a description of real world events, namely an encounter between strangers in a city, and seems to blur the distinction between art and life. Similarly, in the third text, the straight description of the performance quickly collapses into a fragmented narrative describing people in urban spaces. Also in this text female authors are signified when the narrator takes books by Simone De Beauvoir, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf and transubstantiates them by soaking them in milk and kneading them like bread. The importance of women’s literature and literary discourses is transgressed by this performance but, ironically, reaffirmed because it is Clay who asserts her autonomy as an artist and a writer by creating this performance. Consistent with her interest in women in urban spaces, Clay’s “Two Walking Performances”, the final two instructions in Loci, are narratives in which female subjects in a city commit bold actions, such as throwing books out of a window, an action that Clay herself performs in “Heft”, and following a stranger through the city.  

Document type: 
Book
File(s): 

Allyson Clay Recent Work.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993
Abstract: 

In this publication, Vancouver-based writer Judith Mastai discusses Allyson Clay's recent paintings with reference to feminist visual art theory andpractice as well as to anthropological and sociological texts.

Document type: 
Book