Night School IV
March 9 to May 7, 2016
This spring the Contemporary Art Gallery launches its fourth instalment of Night School, a program for new collectors and contemporary art enthusiasts. Night School is an introductory contemporary art survey that is intentionally accessible, intelligent and engaging. Through a curriculum built from the history of exhibitions at the CAG, participants will learn about common themes in recent visual arts and ways in which they are interpreted and discussed. Night School participants will also engage with internationally recognized local artists through studio visits. This semester includes: Vikky Alexander, Gareth Moore and Elizabeth McIntosh.
The program offers dialogue with artists and curators in the city. Alongside its curriculum, studio visits, exhibition previews and social events will provide an expanded perspective on
the Vancouver art scene and an opportunity to get into the community and build a greater awareness and appreciation of art production in the city.
Space is limited with only 20 seats available for this semester.
Monthly payments can be arranged.
Contact Kristin Cheung for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bo Ha, Chris Mills, Diego Romero, Elizabeth Ellis, Megan Low, Natalie Murao, Robert Psutka, Sophia Wolfe
Re-visions brought together eight emerging artists from diverse backgrounds in visual, performing and literary arts. Unique perspectives combined into a larger collaborative multi-screen piece, the shared objective being to highlight the dynamism inherent in the processes of rapid (re)building as Vancouver evolves, remembering a recent past while gesturing towards an imagined future.
Read on for a report by emerging artist and Re-visions participant Elizabeth Ellis:
“In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.
We spent a couple of months researching through studio and gallery visits, workshops, and artist talks. After generating some ideas, we set out as a group and began experimenting with different documentation tactics throughout the city. We walked through urban spaces and improvised along the way. We tried same-space shooting, giving each other instructions, and exploring methods rooted in psychogeography. We continually revised our ideas but were overwhelmed with the amount that we had, as a group of eight. It felt like there were unlimited directions to pursue.
We also had lectures given by artists in the city and during a final talk at the CAG, artist Laiwan reminded us to deeply listen: to be in-tune with the phenomena that’s personally interesting, and to expand our visual and emotional vocabulary—linking metaphors and creating language. This advice motivated the group to share what we were each invested in. Artists with dance and performance backgrounds approached the project focusing on movement, through the choreography of the camera body and the collection of images. Others considered integrating city archives and found footage, while some explored concepts around urban space and telecommunications. The challenge then became how to weave seemingly disparate ideas together into a collective piece. How did we experience the city space as individuals and yet also as a collective?
As we looked through each contribution in the editing stage, patterns emerged and a new language started to collectively form. We realized that what we initially thought were disconnected ideas actually echoed our diverse experiences of the city. Our process and works entangled with one another, and for me, this was one of the most rewarding aspects about the collaboration.
Thanks to our mentors, Cineworks, and the Contemporary Art Gallery for your generosity of time, dialogue, and support throughout this valuable learning opportunity.”
A CAG video featuring Keg de Souza, Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence, she discusses her projects made during her residency earlier this year. Watch out for Keg’s return for a follow up project in July.
Keg de Souza
July 20 to August 3, 2015
Australian artist de Souza continues work towards a series of public events in 2016 exploring food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement. In April, de Souza’s handmade inflatable dome became a temporary space at the Burrard Marina Field House for a public picnic engaging Canadian colonial narratives via a consideration of national food traditions. Meeting with local chefs, food activists and residents de Souza prepared a truly Canadian feast as a source for an afternoon of unfolding dialogue that the artist mapped directly onto the inflatable’s flooring. A starting point for the discussion was the ephemerality of the event itself — the only remnant left behind an intertwining of disconnected dialogues, mapped together with dirty dishes, crumbs and more questions posed. After the meal was eaten the structure deflated, the temporary community dispersed. De Souza will be hosting a second event in July, continuing to use food as an avenue to discuss local spatial politics.
Curatorial Intern April Thompson sat down with John Wood during his recent visit to Vancouver.
Artists John Wood & Paul Harrison have been collaborating since the 1990s. With an interest in observing the human condition, they create art that questions how things work. Wood & Harrison are investigators, best known for their intricately structured film performances which carry the illusion of graceful accident. John Wood was recently in Vancouver to workshop their upcoming collaboration with Ballet BC – a choreographed live performance with up to 10 dancers (a first for the duo, who have not previously exhibited in Canada). I sat down with John to find out more about their practice, intent and progress.
AT: When did you and Paul Harrison begin to collaborate?
JW: Paul had a residency working in a local school in Bristol, where he was working on movement and the human body. I went and visited him to see what he was up to and we recognized that we were really interested in similar things. Our first collaboration didn’t come out until some years later in 1993. We had both been in MFA programs within painting but we were both not interested in painting and so I had my eye on Paul, I was aware that we had that similarity.
AT: As an artistic team you have been termed sculptors, architects, scientists, a slap-stick duo, magicians, mimes, conceptual performers and choreographers. Each of these titles speaks to your practice yet ultimately fails to contain you entirely. Is it your intention to evade definitive categorizations of your art practice?
JW: We are definitely a mixture of all of those things. It’s not that we try to evade categorization, more so that we are interested in blurring the boundaries. All of those things interest us in various ways and so our practice becomes a fusion of them. We have always been interested in popular materials and mass culture as much as any high art objects. We have watched a lot of bad movies and gained many ideas from there.
AT: Your creative process almost always begins with a sketch or diagram. As artists you are constantly switching between the realms of 2D and 3D. The filmed piece “100 Falls” features Paul Harrison entering a white room, dressed in black. He ascends a wooden ladder that leads off camera only to fall to the floor suddenly from above. The editing allows a seamless transition so that the viewer at first is unaware that the falling figure is a dummy. The gesture is repeated, with the figure again ascending the ladder, disappearing and falling. It is easy for one to imagine how this piece may have looked originally sketched out in a minimal diagram-like format. Do you encounter difficulties in this translation of your work from drawing into movement?
JW: Lots. When we work in 2D we have this kind of limitless freedom because we can imagine ideals in terms of movements and bodies and effects. It’s very different when we then move to 3D and are restricted by actual bodies and space. The genesis of drawings is very important to us as a part of the work. We like to create this kind of looping process: taking something from 2D form and making it into a 3D performance, but filming that to turn it into a flat 2D video, then placing it in a gallery where the viewer experiences it in a 3D setting. So, we are constantly switching between the two forms. We now have works that stand alone as drawing pieces, which is a new thing for us to move into – the drawing as having its own endpoint as a solo work. We are both really interested in the idea of the drawing as a kind of lexicon or encyclopedia. It’s a nice way of looking through our work, since we have a huge amount of drawings and sketches from our ideas – I would say about 300 stored up from the working out process.
AT: Your films have been described as being like a magic trick in which the trick is disclosed in the very act of carrying it out. Do you intend for the initial drawing to be somewhat perceptible in the end piece or do you seek to conceal the schematic process?
JW: The drawings are part of the process and so they are very much a part of the work in themselves. I would say that our sketches are perceptible in the end action, in that watching the performance you could imagine their initial form as drawings. It was always our idea, especially with the videos, for them to have that feel of a school textbook with diagrams, generic figures and drawn out instances.MORE
On Thursday September 10th, Ryan Gander’s Make every show like it’s your last was a brilliant opening night. Drinking cocktails from his Artist’s Cocktails book and stumbling upon his surprising and sometimes hidden pieces, visitors were treated to a playful and entertaining show. The biggest hit of the night by far was Magnus Opus, Gander’s animatronic eyes that move around the room, blink, and offer a confused stare at onlookers. This lifelike work has now been posted by many on Instagram with the hashtag #RyanGander.
Instagram has been talked about lately as having a huge impact on the art world, on collecting and on artists’ careers. A recent article on Artsy pointed out how much art is collected, discovered and promoted on the app. A New York collector is quoted as saying “If your artwork isn’t represented on Instagram these days, do you exist?” In our digital society, many of us check Instagram multiple times a day and use it to stay up-to-date on our favourite public figures, new styles, current events, sports and for those of us that love art, art! It is a great way to access the happenings of the contemporary art world. Notable, and sometimes contentious photographer Richard Prince recently exhibited New Portraits at the Gagosian in New York, a show featuring blown-up screenshots on canvas of other’s Instagram images. There is an ongoing debate about whether Prince’s works are “stolen” or whether his use of the public application as a source for his work is completely fair. Clearly, Instagram has pervaded the functions of the art world and influences it considerably.
At the CAG, we use our own Instagram account (@cagvancouver) to share images from our exhibitions, artist-in-residence projects, openings, new art publications, behind the scenes at the gallery, from our archive, a sneak peek at future exhibitions and our learning events. It is wonderful to see others posting images from our exhibitions and events. It allows the followers of those posting the images to discover a new favourite artist or encourage them to come see the show. We also get an insight into visitors’ own thoughts on the exhibition.
Visit the CAG before November 11 to see Ryan Gander’s solo exhibition, Make every show like it’s your last. If you take a photo, be sure to tag #RyanGander and @cagvancouver so we can see it and share it, too!MORE
A ‘behind the scenes’ report by CAG curatorial intern April Thompson.
Regardless of your familiarity with Ryan Gander’s work, if you have visited his current exhibition Make every show like it’s your last, you will have seen how the CAG can pull-off a show that contains an eclectic assortment of mixed mediums. A quick Google search of Gander’s practice will show you just how diverse his art ‘objects’ can be – ‘fictional products’ that can range from an Adidas tracksuit worn by Gallery Attendants to a gallery exhibition that cannot be entered. Indeed, it is Gander’s intention to evade any kind of predictability in his work and this means avoiding the ‘sedentary’ fixation on a specific medium. But what does this eclecticism entail for behind-the-scenes operations and those who are involved with the psychical realization of a show on Gander’s work? Gander’s studio in London alone attests to the immense logistical and engineering aspects that go behind every piece. Having been present for the install of the current Ryan Gander exhibition, I thought I would write about some of the unusual things I learned long the way.
Often when I look at an object in a touring exhibition, I wonder about its past life. What has the object seen and what stories could it tell. These thoughts were accentuated upon un-packing Magnus Opus, Ryan Gander’s artwork of animatronic eyes which are installed within the gallery wall. There was an uncanny sensation to opening the crate and finding two cartoon-like eyes, rolled up as if the object had been sleeping during its trans-Atlantic voyage. Installing the work into the CAG involved the construction of an artificial box-like wall which Magnus Opus could be placed in and wired up. While the wiring of the object took some time and intricate manoeuvring, it was a success to see the piece taking viewers by surprise as it came to life in the gallery space during the opening night.
If the I is… sculptures elicit a sense of mystery by appropriating the shape of objects covered up, then their arrival to the CAG in three 8 x 5 feet wooden crates only added to this suspenseful play on obstructed representation. Receiving these artworks that were shipped from the United Kingdom felt a lot like Christmas – though you can’ t touch or play with them. Instead, one must scrutinize their appearance for any sign of deterioration. Once the crates were half-opened and placed within the gallery, a condition report was conducted prior the object being lowered to its place on the gallery floor. Adorned with our white gloves, Assistant Curator, Jas Lally and I carried out our inspection – lightly brushing the surface of these resin marble structures. There is something that occurs during this process of touch. It is as if the curiousness of wanting to touch – of wanting to obtain the knowledge of how something feels – is profoundly disappointing. I don’t mean disappointing in that it lessens the enjoyment of the art object. What I mean is that, once you acquire that knowledge as to how something feels there is no going back. One cannot imagine other possibilities for what it might feel like. The same occurs from reading the label which lists exactly what objects contributed to the sculptures formation. When I researched these structures they seemed like impermeable, heavy classical marble things that would be cold and solid to touch. Yet, even in my white gloves, I felt that the material was lighter than I expected, hollow and less impenetrable. Thinking about this contrast between my expectations and my actual handling of the work, I began to appreciate even more the ways in which Gander plays with suspending our knowledge. The I is … series is powerful in that it juxtaposes what began as light playful creativity in order for these structures to be conceived and built by his daughter, with the ‘serious’ classical, high art materials and appearance of the marble sculpture object.
These vignettes behind the CAG install are only a snippet of the expansive organizational systems in place in order for Gander’s work to operate the way it does. Having witnessed first-hand the communications, interchanges and logistics that go behind putting on a show of Gander’s work, I have new found appreciation for what his work achieves. Gander’s work enables us to exist within a temporary moment of suspended knowledge, and in that moment we catch a glimpse of what it was like to be a child. The fact that so much organization and planning goes behind making this occur gives his work a special quality. It is at once intricate and complex, while also sweeping us up in what is often a simple curiosity.
– April ThompsonMORE
My name is April Thompson and I am thrilled to be a curatorial intern at the CAG.
My first experience with the CAG occurred two years ago when I arrived in Vancouver with the intention to stay just a month. When I came to Vancouver, I felt the strange sensation of visiting a place for the first time, yet feeling like I had come home. Needless to say I stayed much longer as I began volunteering at the CAG as a front of house attendant.
I am now currently in my second year of a Masters program in Critical Curatorial Studies at University of British Columbia. It has been fascinating to experience first-hand the differences within art historical and curatorial pedagogies taught here in North America compared to my undergraduate studies in Australia.
Working at the CAG has made me feel engaged with artistic dialogues that are occurring locally within Vancouver, as well as internationally. The CAG’s ability to maintain this network with both the local and the global is one of its great strengths and for me, what sets it apart within the cultural climate of this city.
Working closely with Assistant Curator, Jas Lally, I have helped with the logistical preparation for both Mungo Thomson’s recent summer show and the current Ryan Gander exhibition. Through dealing with the objects from these artists I was exposed to the challenges that come with moving art into Vancouver from America and the UK.
I look forward to working alongside the diverse and multi-faceted team here at the CAG, as I continuously learn about new aspects of the art world that often evade the University curriculum. At the moment I am researching works for an intriguing upcoming exhibition – stay tuned for more! See you at the CAG!
After much anticipation, Mungo Thomson makes his return to the CAG with his solo exhibition, Time, People, Money, Crickets, opening this Friday. The team has been hard at work preparing for the show. Now that it is down to the last few days of the install, I talked to programs assistant Jas Lally to find out about the challenges they have faced and the exciting things that will be occurring over the next month.
Because of the multitude of mediums explored by Mungo, from sculpture to performance to film and sound, the preparation has been unique. “When we install the works we have to be careful about the TIME mirror pieces in particular, because they weigh about 100 pounds each, so they’re quite heavy,” Jas said. “We’ll have to be careful with the projection of the rolodex film as well.” Untitled (Margo Leavin Gallery 1970-)(2009) is a stop-motion 16mm film. “I am very excited to work with a 16mm projector again after Jeremy Shaw’s exhibition earlier this year” Jas added.
All of the pieces have been shipped from SITE Santa Fe, who the CAG is collaborating with to present this exhibition. The only issue was a slight hold up at the border. “You have to be prepared for delays in customs clearance,” Jas mentioned. “Once you speak to the agent and explain that it is artwork, it works out.” Thankfully, they are here in perfect shape and being hung up/suspended/tested/configured for Friday evening.
Jas mentioned that she is looking forward to Void and Observer (2013-2015). “Hopefully the viewer will read the label and go, ‘Hey, where’s this piece?’ I think the mis -marked coin will be the most unique and the most interactive piece.” The front desk staff might just have the answer.
Mungo’s Crickets (2012-2013), which one will be able to see, hear and read in the large gallery room, will also be performed live on the night of the opening. “We collaborated with Vancouver New Music to have four musicians perform the piece in neighbouring Emery Barnes Park,” Jas smiled, “The musicians will essentially be playing the role of crickets. That will be fun.” This work definitely defines the show, being presented in live performance, video, sound and debossed score during the course of the exhibition.
Jas also organized a feedback talk around Crickets on July 28 with speakers Murray Isman, Professor of Applied Biology from UBC; Lucas Abela, a performance artist and Giorgio Magnanensi, Artistic Director of Vancouver New Music. “It’s really about getting something different and taking a chance. I hope the speakers will be able to engage with their personal experiences and reflect upon the piece,” Jas explained her unexpected choice of participants. “I believe that it’s important to bring in different perspectives so that the viewer has a more engaged experience.” We can’t wait to hear what the speakers have to say.
Finally, Jas expounded why we should all be looking forward to Mungo’s show. “Well, it’s Mungo! He’s been really great to work with and you can see how invested he is in his work. It is going to be interesting to see how all the works come together in relation to each other, the everyday life, the wider historical contexts and the cosmic scale. I am most excited to see how the interactive aspects of the exhibition work out whereby the public are no longer just the audience, but participants.”
Join us this Friday, June 10 at 7pm for the opening, and head over to Emery Barnes Park at 8:30pm for the live performance of Cricket Solos for Clarinet, Piccolo, Percussion and Violin. Don’t miss the Feedback Talk on July 28, either!
– Kelli Sturkenboom
Hello! My name is Shalon Webber-Heffernan, and this Summer I am super excited to be working and learning at the CAG!
I’m very happy to be working alongside CAG Curator Shaun Dacey in the role of Summer Learning Assistant, and I look forward to getting to know all the staff and volunteers at the gallery. I’m equally excited to be working with some of this Summer’s amazing Burrard Marina Field House Studio residency artists, including Maddie Leach, Keg de Souza, Walter Scott, Sameer Farooq, Harrell Fletcher and Marie Lorenz. Aside from the CAG, I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University where I focus on embodied and affective knowledge, performance studies, and the so-called “pedagogical turn” in contemporary art practices.
My background is in performance, dance and theatre paired with years of experience working within community outreach settings has me thinking deeply about genuinely engaged arts praxis—what that means, and what are the implications—as well as experiential and alternate (un)learning processes and methodologies.
At the summer’s end I am lucky also to be working with international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra, where I will deepen my studies of radical performance pedagogy during an immersive training program in Tijuana, Mexico.
I look forward to seeing you around the CAG this summer!
Located near to the gallery entrance, Michelangelo’s Place is the final version in a series of marble benches Bool has recently produced. The sculpture references the benches found circling the elevated Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy built in 1869 to showcase copies of Michelangelo’s most famous works and to provide a stunning panoramic view of the city. Working in Vancouver for three weeks prior to the opening, Bool reproduced the exact graffiti that covers some of the benches.
Read on for a behind-the-scenes report by CAG Program Assistant, Jas Lally on the delicate installation of the new sculptural commission Michelangelo’s Place by Berlin-based, Comox, BC born artist Shannon Bool:
On the day of the installation of Michelangelo’s Place, Shannon and I had many phone calls back and forth with each other trying to come up with a Plan B, because it had been raining ALL DAY! We were lucky that a few hours before the install the sun came out and we were able to prep the dry ground – who knew Bianca Carrara marble was such a finicky material.
When the pieces arrived, the bench looked much bigger than I thought it was going to be. The four legs were easy to carry and place in front of the CAG, but when it came to the bench top things got a little more tricky. The top had to be balanced on a dolly that looked like a unicycle! I could see Shannon and assistant Teal holding onto the sides of the bench top for dear life as it was steered down the sidewalk with passerby’s giving us very curious looks.With the bench legs positioned in the perfect spot the top was affixed, then with the right amount of glue the job was done. I was surprised how easily and quickly all the pieces came together.
The bench has been installed for a week now and visitors have been engaging with the bench by taking a moment to sit on it and read some of the one hundred year old Italian graffiti. Even all the little furry friends in the neighbourhood have been giving the bench curious sniffs!If you haven’t already, stop by and take a moment to sit on the bench and visit also Julia Dault’s exhibition Blame It On the Rain!
– Jas LallyMORE
This is the second installment in a series of three parts of a Q&A that Patrick O’Neill conducted with Jeremy Shaw. Part 1 can be found here.
Patrick O’Neill: The soundtrack seems to occupy a pivotal role in both films in this exhibition. To what extent has your artistic practice been informed by your experiences with Circlesquare and vice versa?
Jeremy Shaw: As far as my skill sets go, [sound design] has been a massive influence. I spent countless hours/days/months working on Circlesquare music – experimenting with production, writing and recording, learning programs, samplers, instruments, etc. All of this is all very useful in technical ways with how I am working now. I used to really try and keep these two practices separate, but since disbanding Circlesquare I’ve felt a real freedom to use music in a much more present way in my art works. I brainstorm in both a visual and musical way – rarely do I think of one without the other.
PO: You seem to be quite conscious of the power of technology to inscribe or convey belief structures to the viewers or users of those technologies. Is this idea simply of personal interest, or is it something you try to explicitly acknowledge in your works?
JS: It’s a device I use as a way to lure a viewer into something via an assumed awareness. Their personal understanding of/relationship to the technology puts them somewhat at my disposal to subvert that familiarity; to propose something new via this comfort. It is definitely acknowledged in the works – for example, in Variation FQ, the first 3 minutes are mono sound and the antiquated 16mm image authentically mimics a 1960’s aesthetic. If one was not to know of contemporary voguing, they could believe this was an archival work. But at 3 minutes in when Leiomy takes her hair out, the audio switches dramatically to surround sound and an MP3 quality digital sound is introduced while she shakes her head in a way that would be difficult to believe was shot anytime before the late 1980’s. So here the projector and media and music all come into question as no longer endorsing the initial set-up. I like the idea of collapsing time this way.MORE
Patrick O’Neill is a UBC Art History student who has come on board as an intern at CAG to assist with the research connected to our Reading Room. While Jeremy Shaw was in town, they took some time to discuss the three works that are currently on display. This post focuses on the work Quickeners (2014).
Patrick O’Neill: What inspired you to create Degenerative Imaging (In the Dark) (2015) as a glow-in-the-dark, light-sensitive piece?
Jeremy Shaw: Degenerative Imaging is continuation of work I’ve done in the past (Representative Measurements) where I reformatted fMRI brain scans of subjects after cumulative use of MDMA as black light silkscreen posters. This time I’ve used SPECT scans of the cumulative effects of various mind altering drugs on blood flow in the brain and transferred them to the same material that is used to make glow-in-the-dark constellation stickers that adorn bedroom ceilings. It is a bringing together of these two very disparate drug experiences – one which is attempting to map and explain, the other attempting to enhance or further the experience itself. This pushes the 80’s “this is your brain on drugs” propaganda with the idea of looking at a scientific representation of what something has done/could do to your brain via the experience you are currently having. The representation is aiding in positively enhancing yet presumably seen as a negative when considered in its cumulative context.
PO: What inspired you to start working within a more explicitly narrative structure for Quickeners (2014) and what did this juxtaposition allow for in your exploration of themes which are familiar in your practice?
JS: The decision to work with a narrative was due to my desire to be able to talk about all these seemingly disparate interests in a more cohesive or straightforward way. It is the first time I was explicitly able to address a lot of these things – ideas around scientific rationalization of transcendental experience, parallel realities, belief systems of many degrees, etc. The creation of a narrative in which a new, entirely rational species was experiencing a degenerative syndrome that incited reversionary, irrational behaviour allowed me to create characters in varying states of decline from which I could address many different perspectives on said topics. Here I was able to explicitly vocalize via these characters speech/subtitles rather than submerging the ideas into a nonlinear or abstract piece. I had the footage for Quickeners for years and knew that I wanted to work with it, but hadn’t quite figured out how. It ended up being a logical progression in my practice – specifically after Introduction to The Memory Personality – where I felt the desire to push further with linear structure. I still did end up with an immersive, experiential section within this that reads like previous works – but it is submerged within the narrative form. I liked the idea of almost pushing the viewer into submission or a kind of exhaustion before introducing this cathartic release in the narrative aspect of the work and for the audience as well.MORE
Hello! My name is Nicola Krohman and over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, and Jill Henderson, Communications Coordinator, as a volunteer and now in my new role as Communications Intern. I first met Jill four years ago when I started as a volunteer in the CAG’s Abraham Rogatnick Library, where I was introduced to many CAG publications in addition to the various other resources the library holds. Since then I moved to London to complete my MA in Fine and Decorative Art. My dissertation examined the evolution of, architect and designer, Eileen Gray’s furniture designs, considered through her innovative use of materials. This experience led me to New York, where I worked for a furniture dealer and restorer, and continued to explore my interests in art and design. Last fall when I decided to spend the year back home in Vancouver, I wanted to return to the CAG to learn from and participate in the workings of such an exciting Canadian art institution. It’s been nice to see familiar faces again and to meet many new ones, as well as, interesting to see how the CAG has continued to grow and evolve. During the next few months I hope to share with you through the blog some of the CAG’s upcoming exhibitions and events.
I also wanted to mention that Berlin-based Canadian artist Jeremy Shaw’s exhibition Medium-Based Time opened at the CAG last week. We are very happy to see that the exhibition was included in both The Vancouver Sun and The Georgia Straight’s art features (see here and here), as well as, with a great review of the exhibition by Marsha Lederman in The Globe and Mail.
Come by the gallery to see Jeremy Shaw – Medium-Based Time, which runs through to April 19th!MORE
As part of my internship at the CAG, I was able to assist with the installation of Grace Schwindt’s exhibition. The fun part of this installation was being able to assist with the colour coordination of the 9 jewel toned and naturally dyed ribbons. There was no formula or method to the colour selection, just what looked well together. Grace liked the arrangement so much that she is repeating the colour sequence at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp where the show is traveling to. In Canada, you can catch the film next at Contemporary Calgary!
– Jas LallyMORE
What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?
I’ve always had an interest working in an art gallery, and I discovered the CAG last summer while exploring. I began chatting with Jocelyn at the front desk, picking her brain regarding her journey on how she got to work there, and she recommended I submit my resume to volunteer. I believe that volunteering at a place you are passionate about alters the perspective you have on yourself as well as how you are spending your time. It is not only a great experience, but you single-handedly place yourself in a position where opportunities that pertain to your interests or career path are presented to you. I wanted to work and learn from curators, artists and other fellow volunteers, as this was my first time working in a gallery. Now, being at the CAG since May, I’ve made new friends and have learned a great deal about the art world and all its facets!
What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?
Currently I help at the front desk, and being able to answer any questions that visitors may have I find really rewarding, as it aids in their exploration of artwork that the CAG exhibits. Opening nights are always great as well, since I get to check out the new exhibitions the day of, and mingle with like-minded individuals as well as the artist(s).
What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?
Some of the first Contemporary artworks I experienced were probably back when I was living in Amsterdam as a teen.
What other creative activities do you do?
I have been sketching since childhood, and have just begun teaching myself how to paint this year! I’m very much enjoying the process. I have also been drumming since I was a teen, and I also edit films on the side, as it is part of my job in the film/TV industry.MORE
What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?
I finished my BFA degree from Lahore, Pakistan, six years ago and have been painting and showing ever since. When I moved to Vancouver at the beginning of this year, I wanted to figure out how the art world functions here. I did a lot of gallery hopping through the summer, I was still thinking about where to volunteer when I came across the design fiction workshop being held at the Contemporary Art Gallery in September. The workshop was very interesting and the people at the gallery were welcoming and friendly. It felt like the right place for exposure to contemporary art, not only in Canada but also around the world. I am glad I started volunteering at CAG because the past few months have confirmed that it most certainly is a hotbed for the exchange of new ideas and information, holding immense potential for growth, and innovation.
What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?
I love the flexibility of being a front desker- thats not a word- being at the front desk? You can check out books available at the lovely shop, even read, if it is a quieter day. If there’s a lot of people coming in, you might have a chat with someone about the ongoing exhibition; sometimes you find they have a completely different take on it. If help is needed for an upcoming show or project you might be asked to do that. I like that I come every week, I am in touch with everything that is going on at the gallery and I get to do different things.
What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?
I can’t remember when I experienced my first contemporary art work, it was probably at the Alhamra Arts Complex, Lahore. I do remember when I first fell in love with a contemporary art work, it was “The Painter” by Marlene Dumas.
What other creative activities do you do?
I enjoy photography. I love illustration; I do it for my blog and freelance for childrens books and magazines. Refurbishing and painting old furniture is a lot of fun. Travelling. Walking around, discovering new cities.MORE
What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?
I am a student studying art history and was looking to gain experience in the field of art. I chose to volunteer with the CAG because it provides an intimate platform where people have the chance to meet and interact with artists and others in the art scene.
What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?
Meeting people and hearing their opinion on the artworks being exhibited.
What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?
I have always paid attention to public art around the city, but my first really great experience of interactive contemporary art was at the one night festival Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2013.
What other creative activities do you do?
Painting, photography and creative writing.
Hello all! My name is Jas Lally and for the next 10 months I will be working as the Programs Assistant. I am excited to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, the staff and volunteers at the CAG. I have been working and volunteering in the arts for the past few years and some of you may have seen me at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Access. I worked a the Vancouver Art Gallery for 5 years in Visitor Services and Administration where I was able to meet local and international artists. At Access, where I first met and worked with Shaun, I was able to work one-on-one with the Director/Curator and artists. I really enjoyed this more intimate level of work.
My experiences at both galleries solidified my choice in pursing my Masters in the History of Art which I recently completed at the University of Birmingham, UK. I studied at the Barber Institute of Fine Art where I co-curated an exhibition on portraiture with the Barber and the National Portrait Gallery. I also completed my dissertation on exhibition practices where I examined why textiles change meaning when exhibited. I was able to use Lady Barber’s lace collection as my case study. My time at the Barber gave me perspective and hands on experiences into the multidisciplinary world of curatorial.
My first introduction to the CAG came only three days after starting when I helped set up and greet guests at the CAG’s annual Art Auction. The auction went really well and it was such an exciting way to start a new job! My new role will allow me to help coordinate some interesting learning programs. For example, we recently launched the Telus Garden project, The City in Motion, where 11 young emerging artists are creating an original film to be permanently installed at the new Telus building. Look out for my blog on this project where you can follow along on the progress. I have also started to work with the artist in residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. The CAG recently hosted Fluid Frames: Filmmakers Series with Ben Russell. We hosted a film social at the Field House.
Look back to the CAG’s Blog for exciting updates about what I’m getting up to!
PS: if you haven’t already seen When Sky was Sea by Shimabuku drop by and say hello and sign up to attend one of the talks on the exhibition!
PSS: Did you hear about our exciting new project in partnership with Ballet BC? and in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative and commissioning artists John Wood and Paul Harrison? to find out more click here: http://bit.ly/cagXbbc
See you at the CAG soon! – Jas LallyMORE
My name is Sally, I’m a temporary addition here, volunteering at the CAG, and with my time here hurrying by I wanted to fill you in on how I got here and all the cool stuff I’ve been doing at the CAG.
I’m from the UK and have come to Vancouver for six weeks as part of a four month adventure that has been the most memorable of my life.
My time here is part of a plan that involved leaving all the sensible things in my life, like a job and a flat so that I could stretch my legs over to the West Coast …or I should say, the ‘Best Coast.’
Things took shape after I sent some emails, one to Anchorage Museum in Alaska and the other to the CAG. I have been involved in arts and museum education since University, volunteering or working for different organizations and so I thought it would be brilliant to gain some experience overseas. The reply emails were nerve racking to open but I received, to my delight, welcoming replies. So it was decided and before I knew it I was Alaska bound, looking at the glaciers below wondering what the next four months would bring.
I spent seven weeks in Anchorage, with six of those as a volunteer at the museum getting to develop informal learning activities and facilitate family events. The photo below was taken on my phone in Sitka, onboard a little boat as I looked out for and encountered humpback whales. For me it captures how I feel about my time in Alaska.
After Anchorage I spent a couple of weeks exploring South East Alaska, Seattle and San Francisco before arriving here! My time in Vancouver keeps getting better. At the CAG I have been helping Shaun Dacey and Jas Lally with exciting projects that are teaching me loads. I have been developing learning resources for teachers to accompany the current exhibition, Shimabuku, When Sky Was Sea, helping with the CAGs first Teachers Social as well as the monthly Free Family Day (I am now an Octopus expert… ask me anything!). I have also had the opportunity to get to know the talented team selected for The City in Motion – CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art project, I’ll have to come back to see the final installation!
I have been supported and welcomed by the CAG team, they have made sure that I eat at yummy places, find the best coffee and of course see loads of exciting art. And so I can’t say thank you enough, I’m sure my last week here will be a brilliant conclusion.
– Sally PageMORE
As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG worked with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon presented a short course and workshop in reading objects, environments and messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon conducted a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.
CAG volunteer Sara Khan writes about her experiences taking part in the three day workshop:
As an artist who enjoys telling stories through two dimensional media, the School for Design fiction workshop caught my attention; I was curious about what fiction through design could entail. On our first day we were asked to bring in three objects, organic or designed. People brought along things ranging from eggshells and apples to metal birds, buttons, bottles, and moth traps.
Before we started working on the activity set for the day James Langdon had us watch a short film. It replayed the same event but with slight variations with each iteration. A human figure used different objects in unconventional ways, from dumping food on a laptop to sitting on a book instead of reading it. At a glance the human figure came across a sort of a machine that had malfunctioned. Mulling over the film afterward made me wonder about why objects around us are operated the way they are and have a specific function or name, how come we almost use them like robots not really questioning their history, form or task.
Once we started talking about the objects we’d brought along and the workshop progressed; I realised more and more that in the everyday structure and organization of things and lives, we had forgotten to ponder the existence of what surrounds us. It reminded me of Sartre’s Antoine in “Nausea” and how he wonders about the bark of a tree and why it is considered to be black.
As we arranged and rearranged the items with each other, we saw how meaning was added to or subtracted from them. One of the last exercises led some of us to completely deconstruct the objects we were working with; which resulted in a lot of them either being completely stripped off their meaning or not changing at all, which was interesting to see.
By the end of the workshop though, I think, perhaps we were reading too much into everything, as humans often do; put anything before us and we’ll make up a story. At this point we watched a documentary about the Piltdown man. The film reminded me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
It is amazing how if you put forth a thought with enough conviction and confidence most people will believe it as the truth. It makes me wonder what falsehoods lurk in our histories.
So, as we wonder in awe at the totality of this existence, it is important to question the things we experience.
– Sara Khan
Check out a selection of books by James Langdon in the CAG book shop, on a specially dedicated shelf.
A School for Design Fiction – workshop
16-18 September 2014, 6pm-9pm
We are so happy to be teamed up with Satellite Gallery and Audain Gallery for the Downtown Gallery Tour series.
Every few months, members from the public are invited to spend a Saturday afternoon on three respective tours of the current exhibitions at Audain Gallery (1pm), Satellite Gallery (2pm) and the Contemporary Art Gallery (3pm).
The most recent incarnation of this series took place on Saturday, November 22nd and the next one will likely be in early 2015. Keep your eyes peeled!
Ellie from Satellite Gallery hosted a mail art workshop with a committed group of local art admirers and artists after the final tour. As a result, this morning we received a whole pile of postcards relating to Shimabuku’s exhibition! Everyone at the CAG greatly enjoyed reading and receiving the cards, as it’s always so rewarding to see what people take away from the exhibitions.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out and to those who created and sent the cards!
This could indeed be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…
– Jaclyn BruneauMORE
After an amazing week of talking, sharing, conceptualizing and relationship building- the Indigenous Acts Gathering has come to an end. On Friday, August 8th we hosted the participants at the Contemporary Art Gallery for a chance to share and exchange experiences, and potential “next steps” from their week together. Vancouver-based curators, directors and artists were invited to listen, share and respond to the topics and themes that surfaced over the week.
It was an opportunity for the participants to meet and hear from those involved in Vancouver galleries and urban/artistic planners from around the city and artistic community at large. Dylan Robinson and Candice Hopkins facilitated an engaging and thought provoking closing discussion that allowed for the participates to engage with each other and begin dialogues with the invited guests.
It was an honour to have been able to participate and work through topics that are owed so much attention. I look forward to seeing all of you again, and to continue to learn from your works and teachings!
– Lindsay Lachance
CAG Curator Jenifer Papararo joins our series of CAG book recommendations with a short review of the popular 2004 publication SUPERNATURAL.
When I began working at the CAG in late 2004 this exhibition catalogue was well under production, in its final stages of proofing and colour correction. Unfortunately, I missed the exhibition SUPERNATURAL curated by Roy Arden, but feel the catalogue captures the radical and reflective drive behind pairing the wall and collage work of abstract painter Neil Campbell next to the masks of master carver Beau Dick.
The slim hardcover book which respectively features an image of each artist’s work on the front and back covers, immediately sets a formal opposition between the two artists practices: Campbell’s as a cool white and Dick’s bathed in dramatic black. The numerous installation shots throughout the publication establishes this divide, showing Campbell’s work presented in the typical starkness of a white cube while Dick’s work is suspended in darkness.
The aligning of these two artists is mysterious, but also seems to make perfect sense. Arden states, “Supernatural aims … to entertain the similarities of intention, means, and effect in their work without losing sight of their significant differences.”
SUPERNATURAL can be purchased, with a special discount of 40% during August, either online (click on the titles above – on check out use the coupon code CAGSUMMER) or in person at the CAG bookshop.MORE
That’s me with a little bit of a smirk bidding last year at the annual Contemporary Art Gallery auction.
I’m pretty sure that smirk was a paddle-lifting induced buzz. It’s a natural high — nerve wracking, exhilarating, nauseating, and exciting, all at once, especially when there’s something that really speaks to you. Auctions are fun, and hopefully you’ll join us November 8th for our next one.
If you follow the CAG on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see there’s all kinds of ways – most of them free! – you can come experience the exhilaration of art. Hanging out with art is a gift, and I’m proud to be able to be a service to the CAG and in some small way help ensure this institution can continue to provide that opportunity to everyone.
It’s meant a lot to my life. Contemporary art has so much to tell us about the world, about our experiences, and how we relate to each other. The wonders of the world and the magic of our complicated relationships to each other and to the current moment.
I can see or experience something that gives me that “a ha” feeling. Where the artist is able to evoke something that maybe has crossed my often too busy brain, but that I was unable to express or quantify. An elegant representation of a feeling or a sense that I wasn’t sure I had. I’ve caught myself at times in galleries silently nodding as this thing that was on the tip of my tongue is represented to me, and there’s a kind of feeling of relief that goes with that. It’s magical to me in those moments.
Almost, dare I say, a place where I experience spirituality – my connection to the bigger we.
Sometimes it might take me to a place of sadness. Social anxiety; human suffering; the loss of love; the struggle with sorrow. Sometimes it’s joyous, or funny. Outrageously ridiculous, or ridiculously outrageous….those moments are the best! I’ve even at times been disgusted by pieces of contemporary art where I’ve walked in and turned around moments later.
But it’s all good as the saying goes…it all matters, it all sticks and swirls around inside and makes some sense of the sometimes chaotic world we live in and that lives in us. It is all worth it for the sense it provides that we are not alone in the universe. That the infinite uniqueness of our experiences can be represented and shared and we have places like the CAG where we can gather to experience, discuss, and celebrate them.
It’s pretty great.
Please keep in touch, and I hope to see you soon at a CAG event.
Marcella Munro became President of the Board of the Contemporary Art Gallery on June 19, 2014.MORE
Burrard Marina Field House Artist in Residence, Brendan Fernandes and Vancouver-based choreographer Justine Chambers led a workshop for the Summer intensive program this week that explored collaboration, conceptualization and authorship. Brendan and Justine are very generous instructors and really encouraged the participants to express themselves through an embodied practice and collaboration.
Justine and Brendan led exercises that brought the participants and their interests together through embodied practice. The participants were asked to write a performance choreography score in five minutes that would have a five minute performance time. After writing their pieces, they put them in the middle and everyone chose someone else’s choreography to perform. We saw people working with their bodies, with the spectators bodies, with the room, with chairs, with shoes… with whatever was in sight! Through this work the participants learned how to conceptualize, create and rehearse a full piece. The group will create their own performance at the end of this program so this work was a great start in helping them learn to share, create and perform ideas.
– Lindsay LachanceMORE
“What if where you are right now is all you need to be?”
This was a question Christopher House repeatedly asked us during his “Dancing in the Now” workshop. The CAG’s Youth Summer Intensive participants and mentors were lucky enough to participate in a very thought-provoking, educational, and exciting two hour workshop with Toronto based choreographer, Christopher House. As a part of the 2014 Dancing on the Edge programming, Christopher House performed a piece co-choreographed by Deborah Hay entitled The Body in Question. His final performance was Friday, July 11th 2014- check the Dancing on the Edge website for more schedule and programming information.
The Contemporary Art Gallery launched their Summer Youth Intensive, a ten week course for emerging artists interested in cross-disciplinary movement-based performance last week. Led by four established artists, the 11 participants are considering the intersections between dance, choreography and visual art, culminating in the creation and production of a new work. A part of this intensive allows for the participants to attend workshops, artists talks and studio visits, and Christopher House’s workshop was one of them!
House’s workshop encouraged the participants to dance in the “now”, to really focus on the embodied present and not to second guess our actions. In encouraging us to move in the “ways that we see the space around us”, House taught us about giving our bodies agency, timing and to consider the differences between space and place.
After the workshop, House stayed to speak with our group where he answered our questions about his work and regarding our individual practices. He shared methodological and creation process tips that will be useful for the Summer Intensive group as they move into developing their own works!
This group is ambitious, talented and inspiring- I can’t wait to follow their process during this summer intensive!
– Lindsay LachanceMORE
Brendan Fernandes, the CAG’s summer artist in residence has begun the creation process for his new work! I had the pleasure to visit Brendan during one of his rehearsals earlier this week. Fernandes talked about how he will incorporate themes of labour, the duration of time, notions of self-hood and identity into the creation of this piece.
He is challenging the notion of muscle memory and exploring ideas around the foot as a fetishized object. I’m excited to see how Fernandes will integrate notions of stillness and repetition into his piece. We will be following Fernandes’ creation and rehearsal process over the next few weeks, and stay tuned to find out details regarding his open in-progress performance.
– Lindsay Lachance
As the new Development Assistant for the Contemporary Art Gallery’s 26th Annual Gala & Auction, I am so excited to be a part of the CAG’s team and to connect with the CAG’s surrounding community.
My name is Olivia de Fleuriot de la Coliniere – I usually shorten my last name to de Fleuriot to avoid confusion or bewilderment. I was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Toronto with my family when I was five years old. I grew up amongst creativity and colour, which encourages me to pursue my passion to create and study fine art. I recently completed my Bachelor of Art degree, majoring in Art + Design, at Trinity Western University and will be continuing this upcoming academic year as an Honours student. I aspire to pursue a career in a gallery setting and educational environment, as well as my own artistic practice.
The team here, at the CAG, has been welcoming and supportive. I work directly with Sue Lavitt, Head of Development and Communication, and also other staff and volunteers at the Contemporary Art Gallery.
It has been an exciting adventure corresponding, researching, and writing about the various artists being presented at the gala fundraiser this year. I can’t wait for you to experience the fantastic night and participate by supporting both the artists and the CAG in their role locally, nationally, and internationally. It is very tempting to blurt out the broad display of talent being presented this year, but I shall keep you in suspense a bit longer!
I am quite happy to say that my experience here at the Contemporary Art Gallery does not end this August. Before my current position, I volunteered and assisted Shaun Dacey, the Curator of Learning and Public Programs, with research and educational practices. From this experience I will be co leading the Family Day events that take place the last Saturday of every month. It would be great to see you at a Family Day event or at the Annual Gala & Auction this fall!
There will be more blogs coming up to give you a taste of this year’s Gala & Auction in retrospective of a 25 year history.
– Olivia de FleuriotMORE
This post written by Kelli Sturkenboom is the first in a series titled ‘From the Archives’ which will highlight and explore moments in CAG history related to current programming and events. Look for new posts every Thursday.
I was looking through publications from past CAG exhibitions and stumbled upon a catalogue for Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City, an exhibition displayed here in 1996. Guest curated by Rubén Gallo and Terence Gower, this exhibition featured eight artists from Mexico and touched on notions of the difficulty of explicitly defining “Mexican culture” and “Mexican identity.” The artists were; Rodrigo Aldana, Marco Arce, Aurora Boreal, Eduardo Cervantes, Silvia Gruner, Yishai Jusidman, Daniela Rossell and Saúl Villa. Gallo discussed how, rather than being an exhibition of “Mexican art,” this collection challenges us to think about the limitations of categorizing these works as such.
Currently, the CAG is presenting an installation by Mexican artist Stefan Brüggemann; Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies and the CAG Shop has copies of his limited edition bookwork of the same name. Although Brüggemann’s first language is Spanish, the installation features a collection of news story headlines and quotes from movies spray-painted in English on the gallery’s boarded-up façade. The headlines are collected from both local and global sources; some even referencing Vancouver.
What I like most about this work is the fact that it creates conversation. I’ve seen many people posting on social media questioning whether it is “for real” or vandalism, identifying their favourite phrases, and guessing what sources some of the lines come from. Like Tendencies, it also addresses the idea of the artist’s identity and whether Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies, with references to Canadian news stories and Hollywood films, can be described as “Mexican art.”
Join the conversation–come visit us at 555 Nelson Street before September 7 to see Brüggemann’s installation and check out Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City and Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies in the CAG bookshop!
Visit the CAG then tweet or post your pics of the mural to @CAGVancouver #headlinesandlastlines
– Kelli SturkenboomMORE
My name is Kelli Sturkenboom and this summer I will be working as the Communications Intern at the Contemporary Art Gallery. I have just completed my third year of study towards a B.A.Hons. in Art History with a minor in Management at McGill University in Montreal. For the past nine months I have been on exchange at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and having returned only two weeks ago, I’m still adjusting to this completely different pace of life (and time zone).
I am really looking forward to gaining hands-on experience at the gallery this summer. I have always been interested in working in a space like this, but until now I have only been given the opportunity to experience similar institutions as a visitor. I am excited to be involved in the production of the gallery’s functions for its enthusiastic guests, as well as contribute to spreading information and creating buzz about the awesome exhibitions, programs and events that the Contemporary Art Gallery puts on for those who may be unfamiliar with it. So far, I have been working on research related to social and online media and how use of certain platforms can benefit the gallery.
Stay tuned to the CAG Blog for updates about my projects throughout the summer.
PS: I can’t wait for the upcoming exhibition at the CAG; Legion by Kelly Richardson which opens on Thursday July 10, 7-10pm. Join me for the opening!MORE
My name is Lindsay Lachance, this Summer’s Learning and Public Programs Assistant and I am excited to be working with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs and other staff and volunteers at the CAG. I’ve just completed the first year of my PhD in Theatre and First Nations Studies at the University of British Columbia. I will be contributing to the CAG blog via interviews with artists, reviews, and news on upcoming learning events and residencies. I am really looking forward to participating and helping with the education and community programs that the gallery is organizing this summer, and to engaging with Brendan Fernandes, CAG Burrard Marina Field House Summer artist-in-residence. Please stay tuned for my updates!MORE
Brooklyn based artist and Burrard Marina Field House Studio artist-in-residence, Marie Lorenz has arrived back in Vancouver and has got to work right away on building her handmade driftwood boat.
Check out the images above of her progress so far.
The first image is the first step in the process, it is of the frame that the boat will be built on and is a marker or guide for the whole shape of the boat. Lorenz pre-made this frame and shipped it from New York in order to assemble it here. This is the same boat frame that was used to build the boat she rowed at the Frieze Art Fair in NYC in early May (see pictures here and above). The piece of driftwood, that is seen in the photos on top of the frame, will become the bow of the boat – this is first piece of the actual boat – she will be using found driftwood from beaches in the lower mainland to make the rest, stay tuned for more updates on the building process and launch.MORE
We are pleased to welcome back Brooklyn based artist Marie Lorenz at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio for a residency and project titled ‘Driftboat’. Marie will be here until early June building a new vessel as part of her ongoing project www.tideandcurrenttaxi.org. Look for updates on this blog of Marie at the Field House Studio, getting to work building her boat from driftwood sourced from the lower mainland. Read more about her residency and the Burrard Marina Field House here.MORE
Hi everyone, my name is Sojin. I’m a recent Visual Arts graduate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD). During my studies at ECUAD I began to develop my interest in curatorial practice. I’m particularly interested in the idea of space both in its physical and metaphysical (re)presentation. Creating unity out of fractured pieces and coming up with a narrative of my own is what I enjoy the most about curating. Besides my curatorial interest, I also paint and sculpt! For the past two years, I’ve worked with Vancouver’s experimental galleries and artist run centres to study how galleries function. For this year I’ll be working at the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) as Program Assistant, assisting the CAG team with the highly anticipated public programs and further learning about galleries in depth.
My first week of work was action-packed. For the first couple of days, I studied the two current exhibitions—Aurélien Froment Fröbel Fröbeled and Tim Etchells Who Knows. I had an opportunity to glimpse at how the exhibitions are organized from scratch by being involved in the process, you will be surprised to know the amount of time and effort it takes to actualize an exhibition. In the last few days of the week I helped staff and volunteers with the packing of Mungo Thomson and Erin Shirreff publications for them to be shipped to the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, which the CAG is participating in.
There always is a bitter emptiness when art works are taken down from gallery walls. The spatial emptiness was particularly evident in the de-install of James Welling’s show since the exhibition itself was quite bodily in its presentation. As you can see from the pictures above, Welling’s works were packed up into crates, leaving only the skeletal structure of the walls that once embodied the energetic volume and rhythm of the corpus. The memory lingered on me for a while.
In no time at all the new crates arrived, walls were painted white, but more importantly, the artist Aurélien Froment arrived. During the conversation I had with Nigel Prince, the Director of the CAG, I was able to imagine the new exhibitions viscerally. For Fröbel Fröbeled, the gallery is divided into two different spaces, one for adults and the other for children; Fröbel’s Gifts will also be displayed on plinths for public interaction. Fröbel, a founder of kindergarten and an inventor of the Play Gifts, will be introduced with photographs. When you come see the show, it is important to understand that these Gifts are not just cylinders, spheres, square blocks and strings, but are creative tools to (re)imagine oneself in relation to the Universe or to something much more expansive. Meanwhile, the building’s façade features a new neon commission by British artist Tim Etchells. The façade is set up with twenty-two phrases of single line block neon letters stating ‘I KNOW, ‘YOU KNOW’, ‘WE KNOW’, ‘THEY KNOW’. The short sinister statements along with vibrant neon colours makes it seem like you are standing in front of someone who is looking deep inside you. Full of character and attitude, Etchell’s neon works bring out an eerie but comical atmosphere to the neighborhood. The display sparks with theatricality in the text with the very act of reading and further investigates the idea of surveillance with humor and wit. The works of both Aurélien Froment and Tim Etchells suggest new ways of understanding identity formation through various interactive approaches.
For this partnership with PuSh International Performing Art Festival, Etchell’s Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend to Lose First and The Quiet Volume was also available for public viewing.
I am thrilled to work on these multi-faceted exhibitions, exciting off-site programs and performances. I am sure that the dialogue they create with the public will disseminate well beyond the walls of the gallery.
I look forward to meeting you all!
British artist Mike Nelson continues his scouring of Vancouver and lower mainland beaches for flotsom and jetsam in preparation for his ambitious solo exhibition at the CAG which opens on Friday September 13. Photographs by Phil Dion.
The exhibition includes two brand new commissions, a sculptural work produced in partnership with Toronto’s Power Plant and a new photographic work made in association with the Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery.MORE
Afternoons with Raymond – PART III
JB: Can you talk a little bit about how your own heritage relates to your work? I know you’ve talked about challenging these more classical, traditional ways of representing indigenous cultures.
RB: Well it does come to inform my work, but not in any simple way. I have made works that sort of trade on traditional imagery. I’m always sort of concerned with making sure that the work doesn’t come to be mistaken for the thing it represents. I’m interested in my capacity as an indigenous artist to be able to make work about indigenous issues that doesn’t simply reduce that to me making work about indigenous issues because I am myself indigenous.
I would like to think that I am also making work about these things because they’re important to everyone. They concern certain circumstances that we’re all in the midst of that come to impact us in uneven ways. So it becomes something that I definitely want to make accessible in a way that is about it coming to have this capacity to communicate something of that experience but in a strange, unfamiliar, unforeseen way.
So my heritage comes to influence that and it’s kind of about seeing a certain possibility in that, in terms of making contemporary art that doesn’t have to come close to aboriginal cultural practices as it is known, but could potentially work towards creating some sort of intuitive change to things or a subtle way of actually just letting material come to do something in and of itself. It’s a complex process in that—in a lot of works, my heritage isn’t necessarily readable in it and I’m interested in that discrepancy, where it becomes sort of, like, a furtive presence. It ultimately requires a certain activity to understand that relationship.
JB: What other cultures have affected you and influenced your work?
RB: A lot of things I’ve been interested in have been about the analyses of subcultures. I look to music a lot. I look at a lot of things that primarily address ideas of cultural transformation as represented through popular music, like the strange idea that both funk and heavy metal are derived from rhythm and blues in a way that each musical form was subtly transformed in a certain transitional process to communicate to a particular audience at a given time and place, but somehow leads to these very divergent forms.
So I’m really interested in that thing where it scarcely becomes that thing that it’s going to be. At least, looking at funk and heavy metal—not specifically cultures, but subcultural forms—becomes an interesting analogy between, at least for me—in terms of trying to understand that process—simply conceiving of an artistic practice isn’t about knowing what it is but realizing that my work can come to transform my understanding of things I have done previously.
JB: What does digital culture have to do with all of this? I’m thinking about the LightJet prints that were on display in March and April which you created by dragging your iPhone around a flatbed scanner as it played musical performances from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Is there a particular comment you’re making by converging these multiple electronic processes of new and old?
RB: So they’re prints made by laser exposing the piece of paper. It’s processed like any photograph, so I guess that melding becomes a strange thing of finding some other sort of way to show the manner in which photography can index time. In a lot of cases, strangely, many of the scans that I made scanned right to left rather than left to right, so it creates these weird tensions that might not be visible. But I like that strange thing in which these different technologies come to function—that they can be used in these ways that they weren’t necessarily intended to be used for; to create some image of these different types of image-making. The ipod on the scanner leaves this layer in between the two of them—the dust and scratches on the glass, so it’s this strange thing of there being a depicted sort of material and an actual material, somehow.
I’m hearing all these stories about children’s intuitive use of touch screen technology that comes to affect the way that they expect printed magazines to function. It leads me to think of that strange thing where our encounter with visual material just creates this different relationship we have to it that is about interacting with it; seeing a certain capacity with it to touch it to make it work.
I think that process of using the ipods and the scanners means to—well, that easily manipulable aspect of it to hold an ipod in my hand—it’s sort of about stressing that physical manifestation of it. That it persists as an object that can be used in these weird ways. So it’s just a present capacity of an ipod and a scanner to produce an image in a very ad hoc way.
JB: Tell us about some of the books on your shelves.
RB: [Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language], I’m looking at it because I’m teaching a course that is ostensibly about text-based art. The book is this really amazing thing—there are chapters in it that deal with the use of geological metaphors and biological metaphors in our understanding of language… so the idea that a language could be said to die as being a biological metaphor. Looking at shifts, thinking of the way in which language shifts where two languages can come to encounter one another and have subtle effects on one another is often discussed in terms of geology. So it’s a really amazing in the sense that it finds all this incredibly rich imagery in the way people sort of discuss language; and what people expect of it.
JB: How does it read?
RB: It’s quite academic, but really kind of a fascinating thing in the sense that it’s episodic. I know a lot of these started as individual articles—like, H & Co. was first published in Cabinet. So it reads very easily in the sense that it’s not very demanding and fairly short and accessible. So it’s a really incredible book that I’ve been returning to for quite a while and that I’m excited to finally be able to share with students.
JB: Where are you at with the course?
RB: I’m teaching it at Emily Carr and there’s a lot of planning to do for it this month [August].
JB: What else have you got in that pile?
RB: [chuckles] What else?
JB: Show me one more.
RB: Well, there’s this incredible Jimmie Durham catalog—A Matter of Life and Death and Singing. [Begins flipping through the book and does not stop until his response concludes]. This is part of a career-long retrospective. It’s this incredible document that is exciting in the sense that it seems tied to a lot of these other things, like a collection of his poetry and critical writings that are also coming out, but he’s just someone that I really admire and it’s nice to see this kind of extended document concerning his career.
JB: Thank you so much for your time.
RB: No problem.
Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.MORE
British artist Mike Nelson arrived in Vancouver last Friday to begin work on his upcoming exhibition at the CAG for which he will present two new works.
With just over a month to the opening Mike is getting right to the task of collecting beach debris off local and regional shores, to build what will be his first solo exhibition in Canada. On Monday he started combing the beaches along the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Iona Beach in Richmond.
Here are a few images from his first day’s search and findings!
Posted by Michaela Rife. Photos by Derek Brunnen.MORE
My name is Brenna and I am a GAG Volunteer in the Abraham Rogatnick Library. It took me a while to discover the library and the great resources it holds. I’ve been volunteering in the library for about 7 months now and I think it is a great way to spend my time. Below, you will find a few of the reasons why I love being a library volunteer.
1. I get the chance to research contemporary art. This is one of the main reasons I love the library. We are constantly receiving and entering new materials, which means I get to look through them as I enter the information on the Database. We are also searching and updating the material already existing in the library and I will often come across items that I want to take a look at. Basically it is a gold mine of information on Contemporary Art.
2. It is peaceful. I love coming in after a hectic week and sitting down, cracking open a book and working away. There are of course other people to talk to, but for the most part it is a meditative task that helps me unwind and relax.
3. It helps me stay informed. The library has current periodicals and catalogues of current shows ready to be looked at right on the main table. It’s great to take a flip through these and see what’s going on.
4. The great people I’ve met. It’s great to connect with other volunteers and staff. The great atmosphere at the gallery is because of these people.
5. It’s rewarding to be a part of something that benefits the community. The materials in this Library are amazing and anyone can come in and take a look at them for free.
So there you have it, that’s why you will find me spending Sunday afternoons in the Library at the CAG. Come by and say hi sometime and check out the great resources the library has to offer. You can search the library database or book an appointment to use the library by using the CAG website.
A behind the scenes look at the installation of Itee Pootoogook’s Sky at Night, a Cape Dorset sunset comes to Yaletown.
The offsite project at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — IntransitBC.
New guided visits | Nouvelles visites guidées
Did you know that there is a free guided visit at the CAG almost every week during an exhibition? | Savez-vous qu’il y a une visite guidée chez la galerie d’art contemporain presque chaque semaine au cours d’une exhibition? (lisez ce poste en français).
The CAG team has worked very hard to ensure that guided tours are scheduled regularly throughout the course of our exhibitions, and that dedication has given recently given birth to a new series of tours starting this month: multi-language guided visits. For the first time ever, our guided visits are now offered in Mandarin and Spanish!
I have been proud to present our guided visits in French for the past 3 exhibitions, taking over from artist Patricia Huijnen following her return to Switzerland last year. It’s been a real pleasure for me, as I love the French language and often lament that I do not have the chance to speak it as much as I would like. I also love talking about art, and the opportunity to do so at the Contemporary Art Gallery is both challenging and satisfying. Contemporary art can be difficult to understand at first glance, and bringing context, new ideas, and new ways of thinking to visitors has been, for me, an incredibly rewarding privilege.
When I was in school, it was always a struggle to fully appreciated fine-arts field trips when the exhibitions weren’t being presented in the language in which we were being instructed. My teachers would be diligently providing us with French vocabulary and tools with which to engage with the art, but when it was time to visit a gallery, museum or event, it was often jarring to listen to tours in English. There was something really special about the tours that were offered in French.
When Shaun Dacey, our new Curator of Learning and Public Programs, joined the CAG team in April, I wrote to him to tell him about how much I loved working in French at the CAG. Imagine my delight, when he not only echoed my enthusiasm, but informed me that he was already working to add additional language tours to the schedule.
I attended the Mandarin tour, hosted by artist Tommy Ting, on Saturday the 18th, and was delighted to see the engagement in our visitor’s faces while they discussed and engaged with the work in their own language. While I was unable to make the following week’s tour, hosted by photographer Avelina Crespo, I have been told it was well attended and equally well received. Both Tommy and Avelina have agreed to join us again later this summer to again present Mandarin and Spanish language tours at our upcoming exhibition.
I am truly proud to be part of the team providing multi-language tours at the CAG. I invite you to join me on June 1st at 3PM for my guided visit, in French, of the Nancy Holt/Erin Shirreff exhibition currently on display at the CAG.
Kay Slater (@kdot) is a Vancouver illustrator, and proud volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.
L’équipe à la galerie a beaucoup travaillé pour s’assurer que les visites guidées sont programmées régulièrement tout au long de nos expositions, et ce dévouement a donné récemment naissance à une nouvelle série de visites ce mois-ci: des visites guidées multilingues! Pour la première fois, nos visites guidées sont maintenant offerts en mandarin et en espagnol!
Je suis fière d’avoir organisée nos visites guidées en français pour les dernières 3 expositions, succédant à l’artiste Patricia Huijnen après son retour en Suisse l’année dernière. Cela a été un réel plaisir pour moi, comme je suis amoureuse de la langue française et se plaignent souvent que je n’ai pas la chance de parler (ou d’écrire) en français autant que je le voudrais. J’aime aussi parler de l’art, et l’opportunité de le faire à la galerie d’art contemporain est à la fois stimulante et satisfaisante. L’art contemporain peut être difficile à comprendre au premier vu, et apportant le contexte, des nouvelles idées, et de nouvelles façons de penser à nos visiteurs est, pour moi, un privilège extrêmement enrichissante.
Mon français est devenu assez rouiller après avoir pas eu la chance de l’utiliser quotidiennement, mais j’espère que mon passion pour l’art et pour la langue le compense.
Quand j’étais à l’école, c’était toujours difficile d’apprécier des excursions beaux-arts lorsque les expositions n’ont pas été présentées dans la langue dans laquelle nous étions instruits. Nos enseignants seraient diligents en nous fournir le vocabulaire et des outils pour s’engager avec l’art, mais quand il était temps de visiter une galerie, une musée ou un événement, il était souvent choquant à entendre des visites guidées en anglais. Il y avait quelque chose de vraiment spécial dans les visites qui ont été offerts en français; c’était peut-être simplement parce qu’ils étaient si rares, mais peut-être c’était également comment facile c’était à comprendre et à apprécier ces œuvres.
Quand Shaun Dacey, notre nouveau curateur de l’apprentissage et des programmes publiques, a rejoint l’équipe CAG en Avril, je lui ai écrit pour lui dire combien j’adore travailler en français au CAG. Imaginez ma joie, quand il a non seulement fait écho à mon enthousiasme, mais m’a informé qu’il travaillait déjà à ajouter d’autres visites en plusieurs langues à l’horaire.
J’ai participé à la première visite guidée en mandarine, organisée par l’artiste Tommy Ting, et j’ai été ravi de voir l’engagement dans les visages de nos visiteurs pendant qu’ils ont eu la chance de discuter et de s’engager avec le travail dans leur propre langue. Tandis que je n’ai pas pu participer à la visite guidée en espagnol la semaine suivante, organisée par le photographe Avelina Crespo, on m’a dit qu’il a été bien fréquenté et tout aussi bien accueilli. Tommy et Avelina ont accepté de nous rejoindre cet été pour présenter à nouveau des visites en mandarin et en espagnol à propos de notre prochaine exposition.
Je suis vraiment fière de faire partie de l’équipe offrant des visites multilingues à la CAG. Je vous invite à me rejoindre le 1er Juin à 15 heures pour ma visite guidée, en français, de l’exposition Nancy Holt / Erin Shirreff présentement exposée au CAG.
Kay Slater (@ kdot) est une illustratrice de Vancouver, et bénévole à la Galerie d’Art Contemporain. Venez la rendre visite tous les dimanches de midi à 15 heures.MORE
We are all set up and excited for tonight’s opening of the New York Art Book Fair at PS1 MoMA, come by our booth Q49 on the second floor. We are presenting CAG publications from 30 years of publishing, among them Christopher Williams, Robert Orchardson, Sarah Browne, Roy Arden, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ken Lum, Shannon Oksanen, Frances Stark and many more. We are also featuring limited edition prints by Robert Orchardson and Thomas Bewick. We will also have some rare signed copies of several of our publications as well!
See you at the fair, yours Jill and Soledad.MORE
Since mid-July, WAVES by Nicolas Sassoon has been on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain Station. This is the second commission the CAG has produced for this public space. The first was Scott Massey’s poetic blue sky.
Currently Nicolas Sassoon’s graphic mural is installed on the north window of the Station. For this work, Nicolas created a multi-layer Moire pattern to intentional cause an optical effect that gives an impression of movement – so commuters can see WAVES “moving” as they are passing by to catch their train.
The installation seems to evolve during the day with the change of light. WAVES is highlighted in the morning from the inside of the station, because of the rising sun, and from the outside in the late afternoon. The wind also accentuates the pattern by making the layer vibrate gently and when a train passes through the turbulence adds a dramatic tension.
Every day I commute through this station myself, and as I go down the stairs, I can sense the effect’s of the mural. It catches my field of vision and when I look closer, I notice the coloured screen of WAVES, which not only draws my attention to my own movement but also the trees and the light outside through its pixels.
Nicolas Sassoon’s Off-site project WAVES will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until January 20, 2013.MORE
On Wednesday July 11 between 1:30 and 4:30 am Nicolas Sassoon with four extension ladders and some expert help installed the first layer of WAVES at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line Station.
It was a difficult task getting to the North windows above the stairs. We tried the morning before with a boom, but couldn’t get the massive machine through the door.
Thanks to Contrada Enterprises LTD for helping us solve the problem. In less than 24 hours they pulled together a great crew who fearlessly climbed the 40 foot extension ladders and clamped on the frame in less than three hours.
The mural was finished the next afternoon by Proper Design who perfectly applied the second layer to the outside windows.
Many thanks to both. The piece looks great. It is on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until January 20, 2013. We hope you get to see it numerous times.MORE
“Hello & welcome to the Contemporary Art Gallery!”
Have you been by in the last few months? There are 3 great exhibits showing right now, and you should make time to come visit! When you’re by & chatting with the friendly front desk volunteer, you might spy a few Artist Edition prints behind them. Don’t forget to look behind you as well, because there is another print hanging to the left of the BC Binning Gallery entrance. Let me tell you about these pieces that we have displayed in the entrance foyer. For even more information, visit the publication page at www.contemporaryartgallery.ca
Thomas Bewick, Limited Edition Print, Apr 2009
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 75.
A limited edition printed on a hand press by Iain Bain from the original wood-blocks. Of the 3 subjects, the Bulldog was engraved for the 1790 edition of the Quadrupeds; the Lesser Redpole, and the tail-piece of the man relieving himself beside a fragment of ruined wall were made for the first 1797 volume of the British Birds. What is amazing about Thomas Bewick’s work is both the delicate and intricate marks he was able to make with the tools of the time, and the witty narrative that Bewick injected into his work. To quote the exhibition notes:
Intended as illustrations of ‘some truth or point of some moral’ they provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating the artist’s imagination and wit. As such these narrative works will provide an interesting counterpoint to the work of many internationally established artists in Vancouver, engaging in image making which critically examines and reflects on the city and conditions which surround them.
Robert Orchardson, Study for Endless Façade ,Limited Edition Giclée print, Nov 17, 2011
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver / Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 50.
This limited edition print, 13″ x 18.5″, was produced to coincide with the exhibition Robert Orchardson Endless façade which ran from November 2011 until January 2012. The show transformed half of the gallery into another world as visitors walked through a giant triangular entrance way into a science-fiction-like set featuring Robert’s work. I quite liked the following quote from the exhibit notes:
He also sees this sense of possibility inherent in stage sets, where a narrative exists between the material character of the set itself, and the ‘other’ identity it adopts within the context of a play.
His installation partially revisited stage sets designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1955 for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear.
Rodney Graham Jacob Grimm’s Study in Berlin/Wilhelm Grimm’s Study in Berlin (1960), Etchings, 1992
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2 prints unframed.
$2,000 (pair), unframed
Perhaps you’re stopping by the gallery after having spent some time checking out Rodney Graham’s new exhibition over at the Vancouver Art Gallery? Remember, the CAG is only 5 blocks away from the VAG so you can continue your gallery-viewing excursion all afternoon!
We are showcasing a set of etchings by Graham that was published by the Contemporary Art Gallery in 1992, and was conceived in relation to Five Interior Proposals for the Grimm Brother’s Studies in Berlin (1992), the project Graham exhibited at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The images are variations on the studies occupied by the Brothers Grimm in the 1860s in Berlin, based on period watercolours.
Scott Massey, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) – Limited Edition Print, Feb 2012
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Archival inkjet print, edition of 15, unframed.
There is still time to see Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station (Canada-Line), co-presented Contemporary Art Gallery and Translink for the Canada Line Public Art Program.To coincide with the exhibition, Massey has produced a limited edition, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) (2012), an archival inkjet print, edition of 15, 20 x 20 inches.
In Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake), Massey combined 170+ photographs of the night sky on the same strip of film. I like that I can walk down to Davie street and not only see the night sky in the middle of the city, but I also get to see it during the day time. For more information about this exhibition, please see: http://www.thecanadaline.com/
Interested in buying one of these editions? Come down to the Contemporary Art Gallery Tuesday – Sunday, Noon-6PM and speak to someone at the front desk, or email email@example.com.MORE
If you were walking down Nelson Street in the evening between February 3rd and May 16th, you hopefully spied the work Aurorae by Scott Massey in the CAG street front window spaces. During the day, the window spaces appeared to be coated in some kind of nondescript blue paint and visitors would come into the gallery either unaware that there was something on display or perplexed as to what it represented. When on my volunteer shift at the gallery, I would welcome visitors to make a date to come back to the gallery after dark so that they could enjoy the light-show piece, but as the gallery was closed most evenings after 6 pm, I never really saw if anyone came back to satisfy their curiosity.
I was lucky enough to have a friend live in the building across the street and we made a special tea & art viewing date together, specifically so that we could spend an evening with Aurorae.
But even if you didn’t have a friend living across the street from the gallery, or if you didn’t find the time after dark to see Massey’s light display piece in the window spaces, you’re able to see it here thanks to his time lapse video below.
As the night sky lightens on Massey’s celestial light-show phenomenon, the light takes on a more earthly halogen with Josephine Meckseper’s discussion on consumer culture and the world of advertising. The exhibition American Leg by Josephine Meckseper opens on Thursday, May 24th (7-10 PM). Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada. Additionally Josephine Meckseper will talk on her work on Wednesday May 23 at 7 pm at SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, this talk is free and all are welcome.
Scott Massey’s Off-site project Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until July 1st. This piece, also dealing with the night sky, can be seen in the day time (or night time).MORE
Matthew Monahan is interviewed for Life on Mars the Carnegie International in 2008. Matthew Monahan’s first Canadian solo exhibition opens at the Contemporary Art Gallery on Thursday April 26 and continues until July 1, 2012.MORE
Beginning May 25 through September 2 2012, Josephine Meckseper will create eight new works for the window vitrines on the CAG’s exterior. Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada. Utilizing these spaces as a site that mimics a commercial display, her work invites a critique of the aesthetic and political connotations of the objects presented within. The juxtapositions of materials and objects in her installations compose a kind of narrative that challenge the world of advertising and consumer culture.
Below is an interview with Josephine Meckseper and Flavin Judd from Bomb Magazine speaking about her work and practice.
Karina Irvine – Curatorial InternMORE
Flesh and Blood, Shary Boyle’s solo exhibition closed yesterday. It was a busy weekend with nearly 100 visitors. Today Phil Dion is fastidiously packing it up and preparing to ship the works back to Toronto. The gallery will be closed for the next two weeks. We will reopen on the September 8, from 6-9pm with three new exhibitions To create is to relate by Corita Kent, Tale-pieces by Thomas Bewick, and Vibrantes by Federico Herrero, regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 12-6 pm. Hope to see you soon!MORE
The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to welcome returning staff member, Lisa Fedorak!
Lisa joins us now from her post as the Executive Director of Malaspina Printmakers to take up the post of Program Administrator. Lisa states that; “She is thrilled to be back and she is looking forward to all the exciting programming in the months to come”. Speaking of which, don’t forget to check out the current Shary Boyle exhibition and Ron Tran off-site before they both close on Sunday August 21st.MORE
On Saturday July 9th, Ron Tran gave a personal walking tour of his latest project, A Way to Go, which is itself a guided tour. Tran lead the attendees and a pony through alleys, which he named based on his earlier experience. The artist interspersed personal antidotes to elaborate on the prerecorded audio and images of the augmented reality tour.
At “stops” along the way Tran spoke about his interest in using the form of a guided walk to structure and depict his own experience of the city. Its formal characteristics spurred him to traverse places he wouldn’t normally consider, build narrative associations between specific locations, establish relationships with people he encountered and employ new technologies to guide an audience on an unexpected route through Vancouver’s downtown core.
Tran led a pony on his walking tour. This performative gesture was deliberately comic, adding a fantastical element that no doubt caused some double takes and created a degree of surprise. However, the animal also functioned romantically, as a poetic device to conjure a past time, becoming the antithesis of the GPS technology utilized as a guiding tool for this project.
A Way to Go, is the first in a series of projects using interactive technologies which take programming outside of the gallery allowing audiences to experience contemporary art within the wider context of the city. Working with Autobox Media and Hannah Hughes, the Contemporary Art Gallery has designed a program that uses Layar Reality Browser to guide audiences on a journey where they can explore and interact with artwork they encounter along the way. These projects will work on iphone and android smartphone’s. Devices are available at the gallery for visitors wishing to borrow one.
Hello dear CAG Blog readers,
My name is Kevin Day. I am one of the new curatorial interns who just joined the Contemporary Art Gallery this month. Today I had the privilege of taking Ron Tran’s A Way to Go, an off-site project involving a guided tour of the artist’s earlier experience of walking through the downtown area. The following are some thoughts I had while taking the tour.
As I came to Emery Barnes Park and listened to the interview with the caretaker of the fountain, there was an uncanny doubling as I was confronted with the feeling that the caretaker was right there talking beside me, yet concurrently, with the realization that he is at that very moment, elsewhere, operating the fountain’s machinery.
At numerous times, I made mental notes to myself that what the artist saw and experienced contrasted with what I was experiencing, such as the realization that the section between Richards and Seymour at Drake was closed off today for construction, relieving myself of the dread and danger of crossing the street that was most likely faced by Tran. Other difference included the fact that “Screaming Alley,” for me, exuded not so much screaming as its most evident trait but a strong waft of fresh laundry, and how in that same alley I did not find five dollars like Tran did but instead a red suitcase.
At Davie and Red Scarf Alley where the artist directed us towards the Found Balloon, I followed Tran’s exact point of view and movements as I watched the video of the balloon traversing the streets.
A constant sentiment that occurred to me throughout the walk was how the two distinct times/experiences (between the artist’s idiosyncratic journey and my own) forcefully merge together, simultaneously and paradoxically, even as their distinction is made evident.
The tour came to an end with an accompanying song, highlighting the common contemporary condition of not just looking at one’s phone all the time (as made evident and necessary throughout the tour), but listening to music everywhere as well, giving the semblance of having a perpetual personal soundtrack.
Here is an audio sample of A Way to Go.MORE
Dear CAG Blog readers,
My name is Lara Szabo Greisman and I have the pleasure of joining the CAG this summer to help coordinate the catalogue for the annual Art Auction taking place November 5th at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Currently, I am studying at Stockholm University’s International Master’s Program in Curating Art with Management and Law. (Yes, that’s actually the title. We call it “the curating program” or, between ourselves we sometimes call it “school”). Before that I was at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario during which I was a primary collective member of The Artel Arts Accommodation and Venue (another long title) which is an artist-run center whose program includes exhibitions, screenings, workshops, magazine launches and concerts. During my time in Kingston, I was a member of the artist collective Works Cited which put together inter and multi-media performances on subjects such as the tragedy of linear time, the frustration of unscrambling an egg and the colour blue.
As part of my summer contract at the CAG, I am researching local and international artists and their works as well as writing the catalogue texts that will (hopefully) give you a lovely intro into the impressive range of pieces included in the auction this year. So far I have been compiling information on a wide variety of interesting works by artists such as Pablo Bronstein, Hadley + Maxwell, Peter Gazendam, Elizabeth McIntosh and Marcel Dzama, to name just a few.
While I am here, I will also be helping with exhibitions. Speaking of which…have you seen the Shary Boyle show, Flesh and Blood yet? The light and sculpture installation Virus is fascinating as it changes before your eyes from a pure white, mythological type figure to an animated creature in a fantastical neon landscape. Other highlights will be working with Ron Tran’s piece A Way to Go, which leads you on a journey through the alleys, pointing out gems and gestures in places you would never look.
Our two new exhibitions, In the Near Future by Sharon Hayes and Beyond Guilt – The Trilogy by Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir are opening tomorrow evening, Thursday April 7, 6-9 pm. All of the CAG staff have been working hard in preparation. Ruti and Maayan arrived from Tel Aviv yesterday and Sharon flew in from New York City very early this morning. They were all at the gallery today to help with the installation and to talk to our volunteers and interpretive guides. Please come to the opening reception to meet the artists and view these two great works. The CAG will also present In-Conversation with Sharon Hayes, Ruti Sela and Maayan Amir moderated by CAG Curator Jenifer Papararo on Friday, April 8, 6 pm.
Here are some photos of the exhibitions in process. See you tomorrow.MORE
Roy Arden’s solo exhibition at the CAG is now closed. It was extremely well attended, with 2,479 visitors. On March 19th we celebrated the launch of Arden’s artist publication, UNDERTHESUN, which was available at the gallery free of charge and distributed to various locations around the city. We still have some of the publications left and they will be available at the CAG for the price of $10 once we reopen next week. We also released a special edition of 15 black and white archival pigment prints by Roy Arden. They were a great deal and sold out in a flash!
A new persistent presence is being felt all around the CAG, it has moved in and left its thin ghostlike trace over most surfaces, DUST, Dust and more dust.
Yntil finally, from hard work and new activity, by the opening of the next exhibition it shall all be gone.
The CAG is currently installing the exhibition Following A Line: Pablo Bronstein, Peter Gazendam, Susanne Kriemann, Kyla Mallett, Alex Morrison, Frances Stark and Paul Sietsema.
Please join us for the opening next Thursday Sept 9, 6 – 9 pm.
Links about dust:MORE
This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition of Kevin Schmidt within the International Studio Programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.MORE
Night School IV
March 9 – May 15, 2016
(payment can also be made monthly)
Includes a complimentary CAG membership
Space is limited with only 20 seats available for this semester.
Night School is a program for new collectors and contemporary art enthusiasts, an introductory contemporary art survey that is intentionally accessible, intelligent and engaging. Through a curriculum built from the history of exhibitions at the CAG, participants will learn about common themes in recent visual arts and ways in which they are interpreted and discussed.
Lectures by instructor Lee Plested will introduce work by important artists from Vancouver and around the world. A suggested reading list will complement the discussion program. Night School participants will also participate in four studio visits with internationally recognized local and international artists including: Vikky Alexander, Gareth Moore, Elizabeth McIntosh, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.
Night School offers direct access and dialogue with artists and curators in the city. Alongside its curriculum, studio visits, exhibition previews and social events will provide an expanded perspective on the Vancouver art scene and an opportunity to get out into the community to build a greater exposure and appreciation of art production in the city.
Contact Kristin Cheung on 604 681 2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.MORE