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The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes is a group exhibition of recent film and video that seeks to interrogate notions of uncertainty within the documentary format. Work by ten artists engages with the conventions of source footage, narrative voice and re-enactment, questioning perceptions of such devices, while also reclaiming them in order to redefine their intent and potential. Not all works critique these characteristics, but each examines the consumption of knowledge and truth, using the body as form and performance as a site, to address where meaning may reside.

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The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes


Nancy Holt is one of the leading artists of her generation and a pioneer in conceptual, site-specific art and film and video work. She is one of a group of important international artists who initiated the Land art movement in the late 1960s. The Contemporary Art Gallery brings together a selection of photographs from 1967 onwards, many seen for the first time, alongside pivotal film works.

Holt deals with themes centering on memory, perception, time and space. She uses the natural environment as both medium and subject with a focus on the cyclical time of the universe, the daily axial rotation of our planet Earth and its annual orbit around the sun. Photography has always played a central role within her work, both as a way of engaging with the landscape and as a way of documenting site-specific projects.

This exhibition includes major photographic pieces, including early work such as Concrete Visions (1967), an important project made on Dartmoor while visiting the UK with the artist Robert Smithson over forty years ago, Trail Markers (1969); a series of photographs entitled Light and Shadow Photo-Drawings (1978); and photographs by Holt of her most famous work, Sun Tunnels, 1973 – 76 among others. Vancouver itself could not be a more appropriate location for this exhibition, the city renowned for its setting within magnificent natural surroundings, the ongoing photographic legacies in picturing within international visual arts practice, and also being the site for the seminal Glue Pour (1970) by Robert Smithson, Holt’s late husband.

 

 

 

 

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Nancy Holt - Selected Photo and Film Works


The screenings of work by Smith and Robakowski brought together two filmmakers who interrogate the language and mechanics of film itself. They share an interest in the world unfolding around them and in front of the camera, examining occasions and incidents with a humour which undercuts the rigorous nature of their work. Both reveal the narrative potential within the everyday while simultaneously making us aware of the actual and constructed nature of the images we are viewing.

British filmmaker Smith’s work is associated with ‘structural film’, an experimental and analytical approach focused on the illusionary nature of the media itself, specifically looking at its ‘material’ qualities such as the projected light, the film strip and the projection apparatus. The series of films shown here from the 1970œs and 1980œs including his iconic The Girl Chewing Gum (œ1975), demonstrate how Smith expands on the concerns of structuralist practice through new means, including the use of narrative structure, the relationship between sound and image, humour and a close engagement with popular culture.

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John Smith - Shorts


The screenings of work by Smith and Robakowski brought together two filmmakers who interrogate the language and mechanics of film itself. They share an interest in the world unfolding around them and in front of the camera, examining occasions and incidents with a humour which undercuts the rigorous nature of their work. Both reveal the narrative potential within the everyday while simultaneously making us aware of the actual and constructed nature of the images we are viewing.

Józef Robakowski is a pioneer of independent Polish film. From the early 1970œs he interrogated the language, material and mechanics of film, combined with a long-standing interest in conceptualist avant-garde traditions filtered through an insistence on authenticity and personal identity. Presented were a series of pieces produced between 1970 and 2009œ including From My Window, 1978 ˆŠŸ‰– 1999ˆŠŠŠ (2000) shot from Robakowski’s apartment. By filming the world around him and narrating everyday events in his own, often wryly humorous voice, he deployed a kind of personal resistance to the political situation imposed upon him.

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Józef Robakowski - My Own Cinema


The Contemporary Art Gallery worked with Vancouver artist Gareth Moore to co-commission a project comprising seven new films, screened offsite and a series of related posters in the window spaces at the gallery.

For Children’s Films Moore approached a number of international artists to produce short films for children, each person free to focus on any particular topic, shaping the content and form of their respective piece. Artists invited consist of some from Europe as well as other Vancouver based practitioners familiar to our local audiences. Moore then collated the two to five minute pieces into one longer work, providing it with open and closing credits, each section acting as a discrete but interconnected episode.

Akin to the early days of cinema with travelling magic lantern shows, weekly screenings of the 16mm films took place in different locations throughout the city of Vancouver such as community centres, schools and a tent in Emery Barnes Park in downtown Vancouver.

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Children's Films


The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the Canadian premiere of two new films, by British artist Andrew Cross.

The Solo features Carl Palmer, legendary rock drummer of the 1970s supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer, performing a series of specially composed drum solos in a work that explores the relationship between drummer and drum kit. The film examines different aspects of percussion, with the solo snare drum giving way to brushes, cymbals, hands, felt beaters, and finally a full drum kit solo. Through a process of rigorous editing, sequences of tightly framed images are constructed; Cross’ minimalist style giving rise to a consideration of the shifting nature of cultural value.

Ensemble is Cross’s latest collaboration with 1970s progressive rock musicians, focusing on a group once dubbed Europe’s biggest cult band: The Enid. Throughout their 36 year checkered history, The Enid have both captivated and confounded audiences, always defying clear categorization. In this characteristically restrained film—contradicting the conventions of the “rock-umentary” with the unlikeliest of rock stars—Cross presents an intimate portrait of enigmatic founder Robert John Godfrey together with current band members at their studio and collective home in Northampton, England, and their recent concert with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

In partnership with PuSh Festival and SFU Woodward’s.

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Andrew Cross - The Solo & Ensemble


Sameer Farooq
Burrard Marina Field House Studio, 1655 Whyte Avenue
Tuesday, September 9, 7pm
The CAG presents an evening screening of documentaries shot
in China over the past decade by Field House artist-in-residence
Sameer Farooq: I Want to Grow Old (2008) and The Silk Road of
Pop (2013).

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Film Screening - Sameer Farooq: I Want to Grow Old & The Silk Road of Pop


Screenings and reception at Western Front, 303 E 8th Avenue, Vancouver

Reception: Thursday, June 26, 7-9pm.
Screenings: Friday, June 27 – Sunday, June 29, 12 -5pm.

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG), Western Front and Dim Cinema present a weekend-long screening in the Grand Luxe Hall of 2014 Turner Prize nominee, Duncan Campbell’s film Bernadette, as part of the CAG exhibition The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes. Bernadette presents an open and indirect account of Irish dissident and political activist Bernadette Devlin, constructed out of archival footage from the 1960s and early 1970s. Campbell approaches documentary as form of fiction, revealing the complex relationship between author, subject and audience.

Duncan Campbell, born 1972 in Dublin, lives and works in Glasgow. His solo exhibitions include: Duncan Campbell, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2012);  Arbeit, Hotel, London (2011); Duncan Campbell, Belfast Exposed, Belfast (2011); Make It New John, Artist Space, New York and Tramway, Glasgow (2010); Duncan Campbell, Kunstverein Munich, Munich (2009); Bernadette, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2009); Bernadette and Sigmar, MUMOK, Vienna (2009); Art Now Lightbox: Duncan Campbell, Tate Britain, London (2009); 0-60, ICA, London (2008); Art Statements, Art Basel 38, Basel (2008); The Unnameable, Lux at Lounge, London (2006); Something in Nothing, TART Contemporary, San Francisco (2005); Falls Burns Malone Fiddles, Luis Campaña, Cologne (2004). His group exhibitions include: The Big Society, Galerie Vallois, Paris (2011); British Art Show 7,  Nottingham and Hayward Gallery, London  (2010); Critical Fetishes, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2010); Asking Not Telling, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2009);  Fight the Power, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009); After October, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York (2008); Art Now, Tate Britain, London (2006); The Need to Document, Halle für Kunst, Lueneburg (2005); Manifesta 5, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, San Sebastian (2004); Advertence, festival of documentary film , Belfast and Dublin (2003); Fresh and Upcoming, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2003); Shadazz, Royal College of Art, London (2002). He had been nominated for the 2014 Turner Prize.

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Bernadette - Duncan Campbell


Interludes: Aurélien Froment
Monday, January 20 , 7.30 pm
Tickets $9 – $11– (plus $3 Cinematheque membership)
The Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street

DIM Cinema, an ongoing series at The Cinematheque, presents videos by the French artist Aurélien Froment, to complement his first Canadian solo exhibition, at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Often using the format of instructional videos, Froment examines the semantic power of images and their elusive relationship to words. Viewers will emerge from the screening having learned more about the production of paper, the life cycle of the medusa, the ergonomics of sitting, the invention of kindergarten, the tying of knots and the palace of memory, than they ever thought possible in the space of 90 minutes. Each one of these analytical, self-reflexive studies works in its own way as a witty or poetic reminder that interpretation is subjective, meaning is never fixed and what one sees is not what others see.

Presented in association with The Cinematheque and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

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Screening - Interludes: Aurélien Froment


Aelita: Queen of Mars (USSR, 1924)
Director: Jakov Protazanov

Film Screening at Pacific Cinematheque

Programmed on the occasion of Orchardson’s Endless Façade this marks a partnership between the Contemporary Art Gallery and Pacific Cinematheque. The most celebrated Soviet film until Battleship Potemkin, and perhaps second only to Metropolis as the most influential science fiction movie of the silent era, the exotic, extravagant Aelita — the world’s first-ever feature film about interplanetary travel — is a key example of Constructivist decor and costume.

Black and white, DVD, 111 minutes. Silent with English intertitles and musical score.

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Film Screening | Aelita: Queen of Mars


Please join us for a special one night film screening of four film works by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Nancy Holt is one of the leading artists of her generation and a pioneer in conceptual, site-specific art and film and video work. She is one of a group of important international artists who initiated the Land art movement in the late 1960s. The Contemporary Art Gallery brings together a selection of photographs from 1967 onwards, many seen for the first time in public, alongside pivotal text and film works.

Nancy Holt
The Cinematheque
June 10, 2013, 7pm
Duration: approximately 83 minutes

Mono Lake (1968–2004)
Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
19:54 minutes, color, sound 16 mm film transferred to video

Swamp (1971)
Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
6:00 minutes, colour, sound 16 mm film transferred to video

Pine Barrens (1975)
30:24 minutes, colour, sound 16 mm film transferred to video

Sun Tunnels (1978)
26:31 minutes, colour, sound 16 mm film transferred to video

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Film Screening | Nancy Holt


Free screenings of films about Corita’s life and work.
Become a Microscope: ’“ Statements on Sister Corita
(2009), a documentary by Aaron Rose.

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Film Screening | Corita Kent


Richard Fung will present Dal Puri Diaspora (2012), an 80 minute film tracing the development of the dal puri roti, a dish originated in eastern India that traveled with South Asian and Caribbean Diasporas to Canada. There will be a post-screening conversation between Fung, Dr. Sneja Gunew (Professor of English and Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC) and Michelle Jacques (Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria).

Funded by the UBC President’s Endowment Fund in partnership with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre and the CAG.

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Talk | Dal Puri Diaspora


Maryam Jafri
Thursday, June 26, 7pm

Please join us for a talk by artist Maryam Jafri. Her video work Avalon (2011) is included in The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes.

In her moving image works, Jafri blurs the distinction between scripted films and unscripted documentaries. In Avalon (2011), Jafri seamlessly weaves together stories from real life workers in an unnamed leather company in an unspecified Asian country, with a script that she wrote herself. The workers in this factory are not told that they are making fetish products to be sold to the masses in the United States, and this selective disclosure can be seen in the disconnect between the production process and the final product itself. Parallels can be made between the secretive nature within the leather factory, the viewer’s unsurety of who is an actor and who is not, as well as to the overall editing process which yields a carefully restrained video work about the complex topics of overseas factories and the world of fetish paraphernalia.

Jafri’s solo exhibitions include: Mouthfeel, Gasworks, London (2014); Backdrop, Bielefelder kustverein, Bielefeld, Germany (2013); Stages, WYSPA Institute of Art, Gdansk (2012); Geographies, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde (2012); Headlines and Small Print (with Anderas Fogarasi), Galerie Nova/WHW Zagreb (2012); Global Slum, Beirut, Cairo (2012) and Shanghai Biennial and Taipei Biennial (2012). She has also exhibited in group exhibitions including: Fassbinder Jetzt – Fassbinder and Contemporary Art, Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt (2013); Past is Present (Murals), Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); Ten Thousand Wiles, Hundred Thousand Tricks, MuKHA, Antwerp (2013); When Attitudes Became Forms Become Attitudes, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); Manifesta 9, Genk (2012). Maryam Jafri lives and works in New York and Copenhagen. She holds a BA in Literature from Brown University, an MA from NYU/Tisch School of The Arts and is a graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

www.maryamjafri.net/avalon.htm

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Artist Talk | Maryam Jafri


$40.00

Published:
160 pages

UK based artist Kelly Richardson has won international acclaim for her large scale, multi-channel video installations. This superbly illustrated retrospective of audiovisual installations works is the first retrospective publication featuring an extensive look at the UK-based Canadian born artist's audiovisual installation works of the last fifteen years. The Last Frontier is a comprehensive survey of Richardson’s artistic output, features four beautiful cover options to choose from, and includes essays by Alistair Robinson, Holly E. Hughes and Kelly Gordon and an introduction by Ryan Doherty and Louis Grachos. Designed by Three Legged Dog Design.

This publication is available in a choice of three covers, Orion Tide, Leviathan and Mariner.

*Special exhibition price of $40, only during the exhibition.

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Kelly Richardson - The Last Frontier


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