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Sault artist Sarah Fortais exhibits at Art Gallery of Algoma

Saturday, December 14, 2013   by: Staff



Sault artist Sarah Fortais exhibits Uniforms for Everyday Rituals at the Art Gallery of Algoma

Sarah Fortais’ Uniforms for Everyday Rituals, the newest exhibition at the Art Gallery of Algoma, presents eight videos of a single character performing banal tasks in eccentric and cumbersome sculptural garments. 

The uniforms intentionally require the characters to navigate and complete activities while consciously working with the uniforms. 

The repeated and comprehensive incorporation of strange uniforms into everyday life presents the possibility of performance as life.

The artist states, Fortais says that her work "presents a dialogue between the familiar and unfamiliar as experienced through sensual processes, while using this position of experience as a platform to more abstractly investigate interactions that both transform the perception of an object/activity/event and leave the object/activity/event physically unchanged."

Fortais employs the artistic technique of Ostranenie, which presents to the audience common things in an unfamiliar way in order to change our perception of the familiar.  

Her character, dressed in highly constructed and colourful garments, performs ordinary chores such as walking the dog, frying eggs or clipping toenails. 

The wearing of these costumes heightens these mundane tasks and allows the viewer to become attentive to the undertaking.

Uniforms for Everyday Rituals, invites us to confront the conformity that we personally and often unconsciously experience in areas like fashion and trend in our daily lives.

When absurd and cumbersome cultural ‘rituals’ become readily absorbed and go unquestioned, a simple act of wearing a motorcycle helmet covered in sparkly dinosaurs or refusing to shave one’s legs may result in anxiety or alienation.  

Whilst presenting these situations, Fortais challenges us to reflect upon the value of what is ‘normal’.

Fortais’ exhibition will run until March 1, 2014 in the Project Room. 

The public is invited to attend Sarah’s talk about her artwork at the Art Gallery of Algoma on December 27, 2013 at 1 p.m.

Sarah Fortais grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. 

She earned her BFA from the University of Western Ontario in 2011 and her MFA from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London in London, England in 2013. 

She is currently completing a Practice-Led PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art and writing a book about coolness as form of value judgement. 

Fortais is the 2010 UWO bursary and three-time grant recipient, a recipient of a four-year Overseas Research Scholarship (2013-2017), and will be featured in the 2014 issue of the Catlin Guide in January.

For more information on Sarah Fortais and her work visit and


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abba 12/14/2013 5:32:20 PM Report

Artist................. ??
EcoSarah 12/14/2013 6:44:40 PM Report

Awesome! Congrats Sarah!
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