James Prior, James Pierre and Pom Pom: Two Hearts Beat as One

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James Prior, James Pierre and Pom Pom: Two Hearts Beat as One March 15 – April 12, 2003 Opening March 14, 8 pm

Exhibition publication essay by Donato Mancini

James Pierre and Pom Pom: Two Hearts Beat As One is a narrative photographic series that follows the monotonous life of James Pierre, a lonely middle-aged male, who is living an awkward life in the feminine spaces of his deceased mother’s home. Unwilling or unable to move on in his own life, he seemingly continues to find companionship and comfort in his cat, Pom Pom. Through the recreation of moments like birthdays and christmas, the series embraces the cliche and turns it into a humorous consequence of one man’s pathetic and predictable life. However, a sadness exists in James’ lonely life, and the viewer is left with a paradoxical impression, uncertain whether to ridicule or pity this pathetic cat-loving man.

The photographic narrative of James Pierre and Pom Pom: Two Hearts Beat As One operates within the cliches of loneliness to simultaneously examine both the comedy and the tragedy of James Pierre’s existence. As a series of self-portraits, the work also melds issues of performance, gender, and identity, attempting to explore my own social dependencies and predictability. In James Pierre’s life, the viewer is to find both a heart felt commonality and amusing triviality. Although the series remains a humble and yet comical approach to lonelieness, its use of the cliche strives to establish a negotiable fragility within the lines of difference that construct and maintain our identities.

– James Prior

James Prior’s Previous exhibitions include James Johnston Presents: The New 1001 Push Up Man, VAV Gallery, Montreal, 2000; Eastern Edge Gallery St. Johns NFD, 2002. Prior received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Communication Studies and Photography) from Concordia University in 2001.