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It’s how you play the game

Traditional printmaking techniques show the playful side of conceptual art

David Bowie dolls featured on Lost at E Monor website


“This fascination with collecting and sorting becomes just as much my artistic process as drawing or painting.”

Winnipeg, home to Suzie Smith’s Albert Street studio in the Exchange, is the city of palpable layers. Change is just slow enough to be able to recognize previous incarnations. A Main Street dive is turned into an organic eatery. Nighttime stencil artists blanket the city with visual exhortations. Graffiti-laden buildings speak new cultural appropriations. The art of retouching comes in many forms. As Smith explains of her project Second Hand, “I wanted to have a bit more fun like when you were a kid and drew a moustache on someone’ s portrait.”

Shhh. If you stop for just a minute you might be able to hear them. There are walls and doorways holding stories of a fight you had with your mother or the time you found your cat, dead on the front porch. There are bricks, each one stacked and stuck together with mortar, holding tight to one another, holding tight to the memories of where you used to read every Saturday morning, or the smell of burning toast from the time you had no money for food so you tried to make dinner from the stale bread you found in the dumpster a few blocks away. And maybe they aren’t your stories, maybe they are stories from a life lived 40 years ago, but they are there for you, in this very moment, nonetheless. You have to be listening.