Ghosts and Whispers / ‘such are my pictures of the dead’

Your intrepid #artcriticfromhell visited North Welland (what some of you call ‘St. Catharines’, ahem) the other day. As I so often do when that occurs, I made a point of visiting Rodman Hall Art Centre. Though now shuttered, a number of cars had parked there, and people roamed the grounds – things that will come to an end, as the site is turned into whatever the developer who purchased it desires, and that will likely be long after Brock University has already spent the profit they made on the sale. In any event: admiring the architecture, and speaking to a friend of the unique interior, I was reminded of a past exhibition. Gunilla Josephson’s exhibition Houses and Whispers was installed there, and I offered the following response to it, back in 2016, for the U.K. magazine Long Exposure. I share this as my visit rekindled this memory, but also the theme of ghosts, hauntings and whispers also seems appropriate, with the demise of RHAC and visiting the place as an act of mourning, or grievance…..

“The dead look so terribly dead when they’re dead.” (Somerset Maugham, Razor’s Edge) The quote in the title is from Atwood’s Cat’s Eye.