in absentia

Nina Leo

A Space Windows

June 24 – July 30, 2005

Nina Leo explores themes surrounding society’s growing dependence upon media and technology and our disconnection with sensory experience with in absentia. Through a series of mixed media installations, Leo presents fetishized scientific materials, including hair and blood samples, fingerprints and stains which are collected, catalogued and re-presented to the viewer. Displayed with Polaroid photos and under microscope plates of glass, these remnants are installed as sculptural artifacts, inviting the viewer to experience them in physical reality. The context and meaning of this evidence remains ambiguous, creating an unmediated space in which we can draw our own conclusions and ultimately confront our preconceptions regarding the essential questions of existence.

As with media and technology, the viewer is presented with processed information out of context that can offer no possible resolution to any one truth. In these pieces however, the intervention is foreign and the viewer is provoked to consider how much of what they see truly exists and, how much is the making of their own preconceptions, for whatever beauty/ fear/ hope/ repulsion they may find, lies somewhere in the space between. In each case the perspective of the viewer, both literally and metaphorically, will directly impact their reading of the installation.


Nina Leo has exhibited her work regularly in galleries and public institutions since 1990. She received her BA in visual art from the University of Western Ontario and has received grants and awards from the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Society of Artists.