I KNOW THIS SOUNDS A LITTLE WEIRD by Artist in Residence Jill Stanton


Jill Stanton
The Main Gallery . October 6 – November 25, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 6, from 7 pm – 10 pm
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton

“I am interested in female identities and how they relate to themes of vanity, narcissism, female competition, self-loathing and self-love. The protagonist I use in much of my work is an alternate-reality version of myself, named “Sybil”; I use her as a tool to explore these ideas in different forms. I am keen on developing the idea of the Self (or anti-self) as protagonist, and building alternate-reality universes surrounding Sybil, through graphic narrative, video, and environmental works (murals). What does it mean to mythologize this fabricated protagonist (who does not truly exist in reality) in contrast with myself (the corporeal, and, crucially, the “artist”)? How can I use these fabricated universes to speak about themes including technology, self-care, feminism, utopia/dystopia, and the future? 

The work I am presenting here is an extreme parody on the self portrait. The character I use in my work—Sybil—functions both as a proxy for a broad female experience, as well as an acute portrait of myself as a female artist. In this narrative, Artist Sybil meets another version of herself—a scientist who hails from an alternate universe, having developed the technology to travel through dimensions. Artist Sybil is enthralled with this exact replica of herself, who is familiar (and exactly the same) in many ways, but somehow just “better”. The two fall in love and have a brief but passionate relationship before Scientist Sybil disappears, leaving Artist Sybil to wonder what happened and wish she had her brilliant counterpart back. She sees her reflection everywhere, and instead of seeing the lovely Scientist Sybil in that reflection (as they were replicas of each other, physically), all she can see is her own “gross, dumb face”. She creates a series of idyllic work based on Scientist Sybil in order to relive the feeling of being in love with someone who looks like her—speaking to the disconnect between the curated, “perfect” lives and images we put forth through social media (that we ourselves are in love with), and our real-life feelings of inadequacy behind the scenes.”