Tegan Forbes

Tegan Forbes has recently completed her Masters of Fine Arts at Concordia University, Montreal, in conjunction with teaching a print media class. She believes that the marks and symbols found in public locations form the basis of a personal cartography, which prompts the viewer to confront the role of history and social convention in shaping the experience of public space. By articulating their aesthetic qualities, Forbes’s images and interventions transcend their locations and re-emerge as personal expressions conveyed through subtle critique.


The Gropiusstadt Moden Project / The Gropiusstadt Fashion Project
> Exhibit and Artist Talk
Presented Friday 19 October @ National Monument Café

The Gropiusstadt Moden Project consists of snapshot images of myself wearing propaganda t-shirts that I have designed. As I explored the city of Berlin during a residency, I invited random people to take my picture. Through this process the documentation became arbitrary and frequently the images were too small or flawed. I found that by giving away the control of photo documentation, my role as the performer/artist became dependent on the actions of strangers. This created a unique performative collaboration as well as unexpected tensions throughout this project.

During my stay in Berlin, I lived in an apartment block that had 37 000 rooms. This is a lack-luster complex almost never seen by tourists. By using common tourist items such as t-shirts, I worked to subvert the relevance of the commercial souvenirs.

My work represents a challenge to the presumed banality of urban environments. Using digital media technology as a point of departure, I rework images of commonplace locations into subversive critiques that promote awareness of the subjective experience of public space. What begins to emerge through my imagery presents contemplations of our private presence in exposed locations.

Subtle strategies of intervention take commonplace tokens of memory, such as postcards or snapshots, and transform them into biographic imagery that records our private presence in these exposed locations.