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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.

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Video | Keg de Souza


Artist Shannon Bool discusses her work and the process of making the sculpture ‘Michelangelo’s Place’ installed at the entrance to the CAG from May 1 to June 28, 2015. Film by Brian Lye.

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Video | Shannon Bool


CJSF interns Ana Costa + Anh Dang interview New York visual and video artist Maryam Jafri about her work AVALON (2011), which is Contemporary Art Gallery’s June 2014 exhibition The Act Of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes.

Jafri weaves themes of production, representation and role playing throughout her work.

Aired originally on CJSF’s Spoken Word Surprise July 1st (Tuesday 4pm)

Includes notes from CAG curator and excerpts from the June 26th artist talk.

www.maryamjafri.net/

Talk info + audio: www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/learning/a…yam-jafri/

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CJSF Radio interview with Maryam Jafri


Hiba Abdallah is a Senior Research Fellow at Broken City Lab and is currently an Artist in Residence at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House in Vancouver.

Broken City Lab is working on a series of installations and community projects during the residency at the field house studio site entitled Flagged for Review.

Hiba Abdallah sat down to speak with the Jaclyn Bruneau from the CAG about how Vancouver offers a different set of conditions for city-specific social practice, and how she confronts the gap between contemporary practice and socially-engaged, community practices, and what Flagged for Review might look like in action.

This is part one of a two-part interview.

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Interview | Hiba Abdallah, Broken City Lab - Part 1 of 2


This is the third and final installment of a series of interview questions between UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill and Jeremy Shaw, around Jeremy Shaw’s 2015 exhibition here at CAG, Medium-based Time (February 26-April 19).
Patrick O’Neill: In an interview with 032c Magazine you said that you had a “[...] real fondness for the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience.” If we look at how Variation FQ relates to Quickeners, this idea about the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience is especially present in both works. Various cinematic elements are utilized in each film and in the way each room is crafted as an immersive installation. Is the idea of cinema as manipulative experience something you wish the viewer to pick up on?

Jeremy Shaw: I think the way that I am amplifying these manipulative possibilities is quite pronounced in the work – my use of devices and clichés is very apparent.  This isn’t to say that that makes them obvious to the viewer, as they’re proven manipulative by design, so may be working in a way that people don’t recognize immediately.   If I was truly creating work that’s in keeping with this potential, they may never be picked up on, but I don’t mind either way. I have always loved walking away from an art work or film with the feeling that I’ve been had a little bit – like I’ve been tricked or lead some way or other unknowingly and possibly even against my own usual judgement.

In what way do you think this understanding, or awareness, might affect the reading of the themes within each film?

This use of techniques are an amplification of the things I love about cinema, music video, documentary, etc – so I see them as a way to push the themes even harder, but to do it in a way that’s moving, alluring, entertaining, repelling, whatever – it’s amplified.  I tend to celebrate things in my works – even things I may not fully agree with, but that I find a beauty in the core of.  I often ride a line between this celebration and critique via this use cinematic device, but essentially, I leave things nebulous.  I don’t attempt to force a certain reading – only possibilities.

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UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 3 of 3


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.

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UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 2 of 3


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.

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UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill interviews Jeremy Shaw | Part 1 of 3


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.

Check out Sara’s website here and her blog here.

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Volunteer Profiles: Sara Khan


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.

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Volunteer Profiles: Jennifer Tuan


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