Blue Republic Water Drawings, Pillow,

Blue Republic, Water Drawings, Pillow

Blue Republic, Water Drawings, Pillow, 2019. chromogenic print, 76 x 114 cm (30×45 inches)

Blue Republic
Water Drawings, Pillow, 2019
chromogenic print
76 x 114 cm (30×45 inches)
Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre
Gift of the artists, 2019

Blue Republic is an artist collective and collaboration comprising artists Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski, based between Toronto and Krakow, Poland. Their Water Drawings series are photographs of ephemeral interventions on the landscape, which use lake water from Georgian Bay to temporarily mark the rugged shoreline. The simple line drawings take the shape of objects, signs and symbols; Combat Trousers, Wheelchair, Pipes, Torso (all 2011) show the evanescent drawings before they disappear entirely.

The drawing in Pillow (2019) reveals itself in subtler ways than its companion photographs. Situated centrally in the image, a rock lifts its head above the surface of a pool. In this case, the rectilinear drawing smooths out the natural contour of the rock’s surface, its sharp angles belying its first impression as a slow tide lapping up on the rock’s edges. Its geometrical marks belie the nature of a downy pillow, while the location underscores the strangeness of a pillow made of water or stone. Pillow was recently exhibited in Uncanny Outdoors, a MacLaren group exhibition which pointed toward a familiar yet unsettling Canadian landscape, revealing the potentially uncomfortable relationships we have to the land that sustains us. This exhibition can be viewed online, here.

Blue Republic’s multifaceted practice–including painting, drawing, immersive installations, performance and more–reveals notions of globalization and how art fits within broader social spaces. They have completed public commissions in Toronto, Oslo, and Hong Kong, and their work can be found in public and private collections internationally. They are represented by Georgia Sherman Projects in Toronto.