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Vera Frenkel

Cartographie d'une pratique / Mapping a Practice

Vera Frenkel, ...from the Transit Bar (1992)

It is indeed an honour and a privilege for Queen's University Archives (QUA) to have been chosen by Vera Frenkel as the repository of choice for her archival material, encompassing the complete information media universe from traditional paper-based records to leading-edge technological formats. The Vera Frenkel fonds, as this organic corpus is to be known, has presented QUA with a wide range of exciting programming opportunities, so much so that we were invited to participate, using a segment of her material as a case study, in a global initiative to train an emerging generation of conservators on the documentation and conservation issues they will face when addressing new media art. The Vera Frenkel fonds has also allowed us to strike out in a bold new thematic direction, that of the acquisition, preservation, and accessibility of the documentary record of the multidisciplinary artist in Canada. We are extremely proud that Ms. Frenkel has entrusted Queen's University Archives with the stewardship of her legacy, both as individual and as artist.

Being the custodian of the Vera Frenkel fonds represents another non-traditional benefit for QUA. It is not every day that an archival repository becomes one of the major contributors to an exhibition staged in a setting such as the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art. We are therefore very excited to be a focal point underpinning Dr. Sylvie Lacerte’s research: an investigation that has resulted in her assembling a varied array of documents and artefacts in order to provide rich and fascinating insights into many of Vera Frenkel’s best known and deeply engaging works. By bringing these works once more into the public realm through the archival record, such as that held at Queen’s University Archives, we allow the establishment of an effective dynamic between the research of the scholar and the work of the artist. Hence, this analytical relationship permits the embrace of the critical ingredients that lead to a better understanding into the realm and the evolution of the creative and artistic processes.

Queen’s University Archives salutes and applauds Dr. Lacerte’s initiative and is delighted to have this opportunity help bring deeper insight into the artistic genius that is Vera Frenkel. We trust all visitors to this exhibition will feel the same way!

Paul Banfield, University Archivist
Queen's University Archives

© 2010 FDL