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Curated Collection: Corrie Jackson, RBC Senior Curator, Toronto

What is it like collecting while working in the art world? How does that impact the way that you collect?

I believe deeply in the value of spending time with art, and that while great work can have an impact even in a fleeting glance, there is real importance in a durational relationship to an art piece. I think about this often as we install and care for the RBC Collection, knowing that each artwork will impact conversations around it throughout the day, and many works will be revisited over time by those who share space with it.  Working with the RBC Collection has really expanded how I think about my personal relationship with art as well. When my partner and I collect for ourselves, it’s so often shaped by our personal interests, experiences and memories, and what conversations we want to bring into our personal space; whereas working with a collection for a broader audience has pushed me to think outside of my personal experiences and consider the multiplicities of experiences that could be brought to an artwork by the viewer. 

Are there certain threads that run throughout your collection, or is there a way that you describe it to people?

The RBC Art Collection is really focused on the ongoing support of emerging artists. This means it’s ever evolving, and new threads are regularly being spun. The RBC Collection has been active since 1929, so it’s exciting to take  this focus on emerging artists and bring it back into a context with works by artists that have come before, and at times impacted and influenced the next generation of makers. At the moment, I keep returning to works in the collection that tie back to performance and the body. I’ve been spending time with Francoise Sullivan’s beautiful documentation of her performance Danse Dans La Neige, and how she uses her body as an echo of the landscape. As we all continue to be actively aware of how are bodies are in relation to each other, it’s been a comfort to reflect back on these works that consider the history of Canadian performance and, present them in spaces where audiences will be thinking about the relationship between shared spaces and their bodies.


What is one sentence that connects the artwork you selected?

They each hold their own space fully. I so often think about works in relation to each other, but a strong piece can hold an entire room, and penetrate every corner.

Is there an artist that is on your radar?

If there was only one artist on my radar that would certainly be a problem.  I am always listening to hear who are the makers other artists are talking about – what is the work that other artists feel is pushing something? My radar is maybe more of a sonar – it’s just constantly listening.


What are you working on?

Luckily every day is different for me, but I am very excited for a few upcoming projects that have given me some time and space to think about the role and history of the RBC collection and how we can share more of the collection publically. This year has also been really grounding in that it has been riddled with shifts and pivots; and made clear the importance of having a strong groundwork from which to build. I have had the pleasure of working with my brilliant colleagues, reflecting on how we can be the best possible stewards for the collection, and ensure works as well as the narratives each piece holds, can be cared for and contextualized.

Collection

Meghan Harder, fin lipid, 2021 (the plumb)

Joyce Wieland, Rack, 1972 (Caviar20)

Monica Tap, Far Shore with Tulips, 2021 (MKG127)

Sara Cwynar, Red Rose III, 2020 (Aperture Foundation)

Shaan Syed, Disintegrating Split Double Minaret 5, 2021 (Bradley Ertaskiran)

Oreka James, To be titled, 2021 (Projet Pangée)

Tristan Unrau, Metasequoia, 2021 (Towards Gallery)

Azadeh Elmizadeh, Hundred Times Why?, 2020 (Franz Kaka)

Virgil Baruchel, mercury in gatorade (again), 2020 (Corkin Gallery)

Graham Coughtry, Moonlit Interior, 1958 (Rukaj Gallery)