Whitney's Biennial

Jamie Cooper

It is only one year since Whitney Houston's life was tragically ended. gallerywest is transformed into a fictional biennale exhibition of works inspired by Victoria-based artist Jamie Cooper's ardent admiration for pop icon Whitney Houston. Star performers have long been an integral component of subjectivity, a resource for survival, as well as a source of inspiration for generations of queer children, adults and artists. Tracing the aesthetic lines that connect and separate kitchen-table craft projects and art, d├ęcor from installation, artifice and reality, Cooper's project is equal parts collage, shrine, scrapbook, installation and assemblage. Through critical exploration of the tropes and conventions of both "high" and "low" cultural production, Cooper's homage to legendary diva Whitney Houston moves beyond irony and towards the sphere of the intimate and subjective.

Originally from St. Johns and currently based in Victoria, Jamie Cooper's creative practice spans a broad range of media and exhibition practices from performance, writing, collage and installation to designing for numerous theatre and film productions. He holds a BFA in theatre design, and earned an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Regina in 2012. Current research interests include, the artist as an identity, cultural agency, dance moms, divas, and gayness as cultural practice.