Fausta Facciponte’s Little Tragedies and New Beginnings are photographic tableaux depicting the fragile moments of life and the complexities of repair. Her playful still lifes of broken figures and objects tell the stories of heartbreak, humor, tragedy, and ultimately, healing.
These narrative fragments highlight the beauty and sadness in the absurdity of everyday situations and chance encounters. Fausta’s ears are always perked to collect snippets of stories and gossip from family members, friends, and strangers passing by. She uses these accounts to form bizarre scenes with ceramic pieces that invite the viewer to map their own plot and construct different stories.
Like the folklorists, Brothers Grimm who published existing tales and children’s fables with a modernized twist, Fausta shatters the old to re-imagine the new and bring a dark twist to timeworn classics.
Little Tragedies and New Beginnings positions the original ceramic pieces in conversation with the photographs and the clay works of the AGB’s permanent collection. In response to Fausta’s series, we’ve added some little tragedies and new beginnings of our own. Collections Manager Christine Saly-Chapman selected works from the permanent collection that use methods of reconstruction and storytelling to comment on cultural and social paradigms.
The tableau has long been used to illustrate a snapshot in time. The subjects are captured in dramatic poses and appear completely unaware of the viewer’s presence. We are given the opportunity to study each moment without interrupting the scene. Artists such as Édouard Jasmin use this format to depict images based on real events ranging from personal memories to key moments in Québec’s history. Jordan MacLachlan’s work focuses on fictional characters to comment on abstract themes of identity through layers of temptation, love, and tragedy. David Thauberger’s complex and quirky tableaus draw from the folk-art style created in the 1970s and 80s by other Saskatchewan ceramicists such as Victor Cicansky and Joe Fafard. Artists Léopold Foulem and Carole Epp take the rearrangement of traditional and familiar forms into new contexts, creating new narratives for the original objects. Foulem approaches his practice through the deconstruction of the idea of craft by reconstructing familiar functional forms into what would be viewed as fine art. With the removal of previous functions and meanings, these objects disrupt our preconceived notions of what can be considered art. Carole Epp’s approach is like Fausta’s in the use of familiar, kitsch figures to gently engage with complicated subject matter.
Fausta Facciponte is supported by the Ontario Arts Council.
AGB is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.