St Marie φ Walker: A(d)version
A(d)version, St Marie φ Walker’s Lèche Vitrine: Open Sesame Project Window installation, examines how advertising subversively exploits our “natural” aesthetic preferences and our instinct to take in all information available to us in a given moment. The work mimics the mechanics of advertising while questioning the relationships that sustain branding and capitalism.
St Marie φ Walker are artist-researchers investigating the applied nature of perception, belief, illusion, and value. They officially started collaborating in 2009 and became known for their outdoor urban interventions under the moniker Timeanddesire. Conceptualism, iterative creation, and public engagement intersect in their interdisciplinary practice.
Denise St Marie first inserted work into streetscapes as she pursued her BFA in visual arts at the University of Victoria, influenced by her study of psychology and sociology at McMaster. She also completed a B.Ed in visual arts at Western University. Timothy Walker specialized in philosophy at the University of Toronto , where he was selected for the Socrates Project during his final year . Both artists received MFAs from the University of Waterloo, and travelled to New York via UW’s Keith & Win Shantz International Research Fellowship in 2016. St Marie was awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant in 2016–17.
About Lèche Vitrine
“Lèche-Vitrine: A CAFKA Project at Open Sesame” enables Waterloo Region artists to present photography and other two-dimensional work in a highly visible, constantly accessible publicspace: A ground-floor store window on King Street in Downtown Kitchener.
Inspired by the French phrase for “window shopping,” Lèche-Vitrine refers to Open Ses ame’s role as a store, as well as the connotation of “vitrine” as a museum display case. Like CAFKA’s biennial projects, Lèche-Vitrine invites passersby to encounter art in their everyday environment, for free, just as skillfully designed store windows allow people to explore and enjoy products without making a purchase. It expands CAFKA’s reach by emphasizing mediums that are usually difficult to include in the biennial, and by operating during a period when the biennial is not on view.
As it supports Open Sesame’s goal of promoting local artists, Lèche-Vitrine acts like any other shop window, tempting visitors to enter the gallery/store to engage directly with the exhibitions and products inside.
Open Sesame and CAFKA would like to thank the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund for their support of this program.