The Impossible Blue Rose
Letting go or giving up isn’t an act of cowardice; quite often it’s an act of supreme bravery.
— Lisa Lipton
Halifax-based artist Lisa Lipton brings together the nine chapters of her film and performance opus THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE. Three years in the making, Lipton’s project is the culmination of video, theatre, dance, poetry, sculpture, and more that surfaced on her dreamy and rebellious journey throughout North America. In this final iteration, basketball games, food vendors, and long distance running merge with live music, dance, and a feature length screening offering the visitor a collaborative opportunity for exchange. For more information on the live performance click here.
Lipton’s story follows its own path, one of spontaneity and intuition, yet with recurring characters, objects, and symbols. It began with Room 95, a film documenting her trip across North America to Los Angeles meeting drummers along the way, swapping tales, and finding a shared rhythm in the conflation of personal/private spaces with the public stage. Since then she has gathered stories from around the continent, among them dance parties in Vancouver, looking for her own grave in Death Valley, and in the end, searching for paradise in Oahu. With each episode, Lipton’s narrative grows rhizomatically, accumulating signifiers like souvenirs that she invests with meaning, recurring like an echo but repurposed in multiple forms. Thus, the tropical palm tree, that superlative symbol of paradise and longing, first introduced in the fabric of the California party shorts worn in Room 95, resurfaces often, including as a glittery prop in HARANA (Chapter Four). Nostalgic pop references from the 80s and 90s are found throughout, such as Dawson’s Creek’s Joey Potter, Axel Rose, or her appropriation of John Cusack from the iconic movie Say Anything.
THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSEis as much a metaphysical quest for the self as an interdisciplinary “docu-fiction.” For all the loaded references, the circuitous narratives, the gender switching, and general ambiguity, there is a strong sense of letting go – of a lingering past, of an anticipated future, of hang ups and conventions, of high school crushes, and of teenage angst - and in doing so, a connection is made. It is in this exchange, be it between the artist and audience, the actors, the musicians, and even between the various and multifaceted forms of her practice itself, that Lipton’s journey truly takes place.
Maritime-born Lisa Lipton is a multidisciplinary artist and musician who received her B.F.A. from NSCAD University in 2003, and M.F.A. from the University of Windsor in April, 2006. She has exhibited her work on both a national and international level, most notably in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Windsor, Winnipeg, New York, Detroit, Texas, Berlin, and Amsterdam. She recently served as one of the Shortlist representatives for the Maritime Provinces within the Sobey Art Awards (2015).
THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE is organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in association with MS:T Performative Arts Festival. Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Lethbridge.
Performance: Saturday, October 1 at 6:30 PM at Fritz Sick (420 11 St S) and the Yates Memorial Centre (1002 4 Ave S)
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1 at 8 PM
Reception sponsored by North & Company LLP
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