Untitled (Jeopardy Painting), 1999
acrylic on canvas
165.4 x 147.5 x 5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40368)
© Ron Terada
Ron Terada approaches the realm of popular culture as an expanse of democratic material, free for the taking and ripe with artistic possibility. In his "Jeopardy Paintings," he borrows trivia from the well-known television game show of the same name to create a series of unconventional portraits. By combining this seemingly random, perhaps even trite type knowledge with the purity of the monochrome canvas, Terada collapses the time and space between the highly venerated tradition of modernist painting and the everyday. His equal treatment of both demonstrates his interest in exploring not so much the specific meaning embedded "within" the text he uses, but rather in the discursive space - economic, social, and political - that "surrounds" it. For him, meaning is made, claimed and re-articulated within these spaces of cultural overlap.