White, Steel, Slice, Mask
September 10, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Bear Claws Salad Hands
Off-site: Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line
September 10, 2016 – March 19, 2017
The Contemporary Art Gallery presents an ambitious new multi-venue commission by collaborators Dutch artist Mirjam Linschooten and Canadian artist Sameer Farooq, interrogating the ways in which cultural diversity is narrated and represented. Working together for over a decade, the duo’s interdisciplinary practice creates community-based models of participation in order to reimagine a material record of the present. Utilizing installation, photography, design and writing, they investigate the tactics and methods of anthropology to examine various forms of collecting, interpretation and display. The result is work that reveals how institutions speak about our lives, evoking an archeology of the present often existing beyond the framework of the gallery. Their expansive projects develop intricate, speculative archives repurposing found objects and language to expose ruptures within cultural representation, questioning the invisibility of the archivist and interrogating the inherent value bias in collecting.
Over the past year Farooq and Linschooten have undertaken a series of cumulative research trips via the Burrard Marina Field House Studio Residency Program toward the development of installations at CAG, the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). Core to the various commissions are participatory workshops led by the artists with the Native Youth Program (NYP) at MOA, a program for Indigenous youth from Greater Vancouver where students engage in various aspects of working within a museum context, leading public tours, completing research projects and participating in presentations. Farooq and Linschooten invited NYP participants to consider their personal narratives in relation to the anthropological museum’s displays, identifying key elements for examination in the Multiversity Galleries. Throughout the histories of colonialism and capitalism innumerable cultural objects have entered museum collections around the world detached from the communities and physical bodies they belong to. Ripped from context and trapped behind glass, rearranged and discombobulated, the cultural authenticity, specificity and vitality of these objects are dismembered into taxonomies of otherness. Within the window spaces at CAG, Farooq and Linschooten consider such acts of ethnographic curation. Reflecting tensions between local communities and their representation in museums, Farooq and Linschooten focus on ongoing cultural forms that persist in contemporary culture. Replicating, yet also subverting, the supposed objective aesthetic of museum vitrines, Farooq and Linschooten have installed a collection of mass-produced cultural objects purchased from shops across the lower mainland, notionally representative of Vancouver’s largest immigrant communities. Display mechanisms such as shelves, hooks and bars are used to disrupt and unsettle the objects, disturbing the meticulous arrangement and suggestive of the uneasy relations between the conserved and custodian, artifact and everyday object, revealing the unintended violence of display.
At Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Farooq and Linschooten repurpose found language from a local souvenir shop highlighting the active commodification of culture. During their time in Vancouver the artists discovered Hudson House Trading Company, a typical tourist store in Gastown selling a plethora of Canadian ‘knick-knacks’ that capitalize on perceptions of Vancouver’s identity via a collection of cultural reproductions for sale. Through the simple act of reproducing the language of the store’s inventory list and applying the names of a selection of items directly onto the station windows, the Canada Line façade operates like an advert exaggerating the wholesale co-opting of culture as currency.
The re-appropriation of found images, objects and language developed into public installations both exaggerate and subvert the ethnographic strategies of representation and implicate such practices into a larger system of commodification utilized to propagate cultural hierarchy, difference and discrimination.
Projects are generously supported by the BC Arts Council Innovations Program, the Mondriaan Fund and the Hamber Foundation. Farooq and Linschooten’s collaboration with the Native Youth Program is developed in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology. The project at Yaletown- Roundhouse Station is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — IntransitBC.
The interdisciplinary practice of Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (Netherlands) can be situated as an expanded documentary practice, presenting counter archive’s, new additions to museum collections or making buried histories visible. Their work has been exhibited in various countries, including: Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Recent projects include The Figure in the Carpet, Blackwood Gallery, Toronto (2015); Faux Guide, Trankat, Morocco (2014); The Museum of Found Objects, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2011); The Museum of Found Objects, Sanat Limani, Istanbul (2010) and Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, Artellewa, Cairo (2014).MORE
Thursday, January 19, 6.30pm
Taşdelen will discuss his multidisciplinary practice involving video, installation, sculpture, drawing and artist books along with recent works on view at CAG.
The Contemporary Art Gallery presents two new works by
Toronto-based Turkish artist Erdem Taşdelen. Commissioned by
CAG in partnership with Cineworks, ‘Wild Child’ is an ambitious
two-part video installation which takes as its starting point, An
Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage
Man by Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, a physician who decided to care
for a feral boy found in Aveyron, France in 1798. Convinced that he
could “civilize” the boy by teaching him language, Itard was left
frustrated in his attempts to make the boy transcend his so-called
savagery when he proved incapable of learning to speak.
Presented in our windows is ‘The Quantified Self Poems’, a new series of twelve screen prints. Over a period of three months in the summer of 2016, Taşdelen reported his moods approximately three times a day on “Emotion Sense”, a self-improvement smartphone app developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. As he answered a series of questions the artist’s feelings were numerically encoded as data, effectively quantifying the unquantifiable. Working with programmer Ali Bilgin Arslan, Taşdelen developed an algorithm that translated this information into words drawn from a unique dictionary created by Vancouver-based poet Daniel Zomparelli. Unusual sentences emerge from which we attempt to make some kind of sense.MORE
Are you a teacher seeking to develop work with your class based on our exhibitions? Or are you planning a field trip and would like further guidance?
The CAG offers engaging arts learning for students from K-12. Our school programs involve an interactive guided tour of gallery exhibitions and the option of thematically connected art making. Rooted in enquiry and discussion our education programs invite students and teachers to creatively explore visual art materials and processes as well as critically reflect upon the power of contemporary art to engage diverse themes, perspectives and complex ideas.
Our school programs are designed to meet the areas of learning identified in the BC Education Ministry’s Arts Education curriculum.
1 hr. – $50.00 (maximum 30 students)
The guided program for students from K-12 involves an insightful, inquiry-based exploration of the exhibitions allowing for creative learning and developing key transferable skills such as problem solving, communication and literacy.
Guided Program + Art Making activity
2 hrs. – $90 (maximum 30 students)
For the guided program combined with art making activities in response to our exhibitions for students from K-12, in-depth tours of current exhibitions combine with workshops investigating the techniques, medium and practices of the work on display. These workshops enable meaningful dialogue to emerge developing critical thinking, making and understanding.
Considering spending a full day with your class in downtown Vancouver? We are in close proximity to a range of other cultural organizations that also offer school programming.
For more information or to book a program for your class, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 604 681 2700.
To apply for funding to support your visit to the CAG, please visit daytrippers.ca
Exhibitions for 2016/2017
The CAG exhibits national and international artists that work with a diverse range of media, processes, and practices offering an important opportunity to engage with current ideas and issues.
Isabel Nolan: The weakened eye of day
July 29 – October 2, 2016
Isabel Nolan’s exhibition is an unfolding story of light as a central metaphor for truth and optimism. This exploration of our place beneath the sun includes text works, sculpture, ceramics, drawings, paintings and photographs.
Guillaume Leblon: UNTANGLED FIGURES
October 14, 2016 – January 1, 2017
New York-based French artist, Guillaume Leblon creates fictional spaces through sculptures made with familiar everyday objects. A figurative presence is suggested through imprints, clothing and other remnants.
January 13 – March 19, 2017
U.K artist Haroon Mirza makes immersive kinetic installations that deal with the distinctions between noise, sound and music. For CAG plant forms and solar panels are used to explore the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current.
Capture Photography Festival
March 31 – June 18, 2017
We will curate a group exhibition as the feature show for The Capture Photography Festival including local to international artists, more details to come.
With a practice rooted in performative interventions, our newest Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Diane Borsato explores the effects of minimal gestures on larger social structures. Her work—which in the past has dipped into the varying fields of mycology, astronomy and beekeeping—surprises with an immediately established intimacy. A feat for her projects which typically take years to develop and execute.
She is currently focused on Ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement, for an upcoming exhibition at the CAG in 2017. Diane has long held a fascination for Japanese aesthetics, and her interest in the ephemerality of flowers has early beginnings in her university job as a florist. As part of her research in Vancouver, Diane has been visiting with local practitioners and organizations, including the Vancouver Ikebana Association (VIA).
Hollis Ho, a teacher in the Sogetsu school of Ikebana, introduced Diane to some of her students and gave a preview of their work for an upcoming exhibition at the Nitobe Memorial Garden. The special two-day show will be the Sogetsu school’s first large-scale outdoor exhibition in Vancouver, and opens this Friday (July 29).
Diane also met with Kuniko Yamamoto, president of the VIA, and Judie Glick, a former head of the association. The VIA will participate in the 40th Annual Powell Street Festival this weekend with a display and twice-daily demonstration at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple.
Her next meeting was at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. She toured the centre’s garden with director-curator Sherri Kajiwara and Nick Sueyoshi, of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association. Diane had a chance to become familiar with plants native to the Northwest Coast, as well as some Japanese transplants. The climate this year has been particularly encouraging to a loquat tree (biwa), which produced fruit for the first time since it was planted—perhaps an auspicious sign for Diane’s work to come.
Continuing her research, Diane visited the Nitobe Memorial Garden with Naomi Sawada, a fellow student of Ikebana and manager of public programs and promotion for the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. A stroll through the quiet garden on a hot summer’s day was perfect for a conversation about the development of Diane’s project. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), for whom the garden was named, was a vital figure in bridging the culture of North America and Japan.