Australian artist de Souza investigates the politics of space informed through a formal training in architecture combined with her experiences such as squatting in Redfern, Sydney. De Souza’s work emphasises participation and reciprocity, and often involves the process of learning new skills and fostering relationships to create site and situation-specific projects. For over ten years she has self-published her hand-bound books and ‘zines under the name All Thumbs Press.
In Vancouver, De Souza will develop a series of community based workshops throughout 2015-16 engaging participants in a critical dialogue regarding local food production. De Souza is working closely with various local urban farmers, food security activists and community members to explore the food politics within the city as both evidence of and a metaphor for urban displacement through gentrification. Continuing this research de Souza will host a public picnic in April.
In 2013, de Souza developed projects for the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. More recently, at the Delfina Foundation, London, she hosted a series of picnics held inside an inflatable tent installation designed to fit within the gallery space. Notionally “traditional” English food such as cucumber sandwiches, Cornish pasties and Ploughman’s Lunches were made linking to specific cultural histories as a way to discuss class, privilege, space and colonialism. As picnickers ate and spoke, de Souza mapped the discussion on the floor creating a giant cartography of the conversation. Also in 2014 she completed a residency with KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working closely with community organizers and residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house and a film featuring drawings by local children made during a ghost story workshop. Their local government had announced a major development plan affecting the Ratmakan area and the squatters residing there started to be displaced. The area is built on a graveyard so ghosts are constantly appearing to the residents, ongoing exorcisms by the local ghost expert, paralleling their own evictions in the living world.MORE
Join us to celebrate the opening the exhibition:
Time, People, Money, Crickets
July 10 to August 30, 2015
Opening: Friday, July 10, 7-10pm
Join us for an evening live performance in partnership with Vancouver New Music concurrent with the opening of the exhibition.
Friday, July 10, from 8.30pm
Emery Barnes Park, Richards and Davie Street
To create Crickets, Thomson collaborated with composer Michael Webster to transcribe field recordings of crickets from around the world (France, Cameroon, Senegal, Martinique, Borneo, Thailand and Venezuela) into a musical score. The initial result was a dynamic composition for a 17-person classical ensemble, the score containing 25 chapters, or ‘movements,’ such as “12. Reunion Island, the Cirque de Cilaos at 1300 m. altitude, February 1998, nightfall in a banana plantation.” Thomson and Webster have subsequently developed Crickets for solo performers—individual musicians scattered around a park, each simulating the sound of a single cricket with a different instrument.
In partnership with Vancouver New Music, the Contemporary Art Gallery presents a new performance comprising these solo performances with Mark McGregor (Piccolo), Françoise Houle (Clarinet), Llowyn Ball (Violin) and Martin Fisk (Percussion).MORE
Book Launch and Reading
Meriç Algün Ringborg and Erdem Taşdelen
Investigations on Artistic Subjectivity
Saturday, May 16, 2–4pm
Join us for this book launch and reading to celebrate a new publication, a collaborative project by Turkish artists, Algün Ringborg, who exhibited at the CAG in 2013, and Vancouver-based Taşdelen.MORE
Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, 12-6pm
The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a weekend of epic sound working with Vancouver based NURSE.
Performing two six-hour presentations, this group of tonal alchemists intend to create free improvisational music or Free-Continuum Music. They comprise two basses, one full of riffs, the other a distorted drone, a haunting slide guitar and one constant ‘phase-drone’ guitar, providing the continuum. A wash of space synths make this spare drone-scape lush. The performances will be ongoing throughout the day, the sound reacting to and in response to the environment as it unfolds over time, a constantly evolving texture ebbing and flowing throughout the building.
NURSE prescribe heady medication. Releases to date include Heads Remain (C20 on Soldierpumps); Camping Jam and X-Ray (both cd-r on Get Medicated).MORE
Vancouver Electronic Ensemble
Monday, October 6, 7pm
In response to the exhibition by Jürgen Partenheimer, VEE
will create a special improvised performance as part of the
Vancouver New Music Festival. Players will be scattered across
the gallery rooms, as sound, light and colour flow throughout the
building creating an abstract sonic environment. Places are free
but space is limited. Please contact the gallery for further details.
Sunday, November 23, 7pm
Off-site: Burrard Marina Field House
1655 Whyte Avenue
In partnership with Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, CAG presents a weekend of events with American experimental filmmaker Ben Russell. A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Russell’s films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. He has toured worldwide with solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and was named by Cinemascope in 2012 as one of the ‘50 Best Filmmakers Under 50’.
Russell will host a free Film Social, screening Renzo Martens’ Episode III: Enjoy Poverty, followed by an open conversation.
This will be followed by two events at Cineworks’ Howe Street studio on Monday November 24: a daytime master class on subject and frame in moving-image arts, followed by an artist talk and free public screening of A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, a feature-length film collaboration between Ben Russell and Ben Rivers (UK). Places for both free events and the master class will be limited and will require booking. More information
at www.cineworks.ca and www.contemporaryartgallery.ca.
Fluid Frames is an ongoing series of screenings, socials and workshops with internationally renowned filmmakers co-organized by Cineworks and the CAG.
Visiting curators talks
Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7pm
Please join us for a series of presentations discussing their programs and institutions by German curators Maike Behm (Kunsthalle Lingen), Bart van der Heide, (Kunstverein München) and Melanie Bono (Westphälisches Landesmuseum Münster and Skultpturprojekte Münster), on the occasion of their research visit to Vancouver. Presented in partnership with Or Gallery and the Embassy of Canada in Berlin.MORE
Please join us to celebrate the launch of our new book shop at the CAG with a special talk and book signing with Jürgen Partenheimer
Saturday April 5, 1.30–2.30pm.
Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
February to May, 2014
In partnership with ECUAD, German artist Jürgen Partenheimer will be living and working in Vancouver for three months, work produced during this residency forming part of his forthcoming solo exhibition at the CAG in September 2014. There will be a series of associated events as part of the residency. Please visit our website for further details.
An accompanying book DAS ARCHIV/THE ARCHIVE published by Distanz Verlag, Germany in partnership with CAG, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Gemeente Museum Den Haag and Deichtorhellen Hamburg Sammlung Falckenberg is available from the CAG Bookshop and online at the special price $50.MORE
Canadian Art Magazine Spring Launch
Saturday, April 12, 6–8pm
Join us for the launch of the new edition of the magazine.
Saturday, April 12, 5.15pm
As part of our contribution to the city wide Canadian Art Gallery Hop, this year artist Kevin Schmidt will lead a walking tour and discussion of the ideas and themes present in his exhibition.
In 2013, the CAG took part in a schedule of events throughout the city. CAG Director, Nigel Prince gave a talk about our current exhibitions on display including works by Erin Shirreff, Nancy Holt and Raymond Boisjoly.MORE
Please join FUSE magazine and the Contemporary Art Gallery to celebrate the launch of the FUSE Summer 2013 issue: Survivors and Survivalists in the CAG Field House Studio space at the Burrard Marina. The evening will feature a musical performance by artist and Dhrupad vocalist Harkeerat Mangat from 7-8pm followed by the DJ stylings of artist Helen Reed. Refreshments will be served. Suggested donation at the door includes a copy of the latest issue of FUSE and what is sure to be a fun evening on shore of False Creek.MORE
Krista Belle Stewart
Nisga’a Museum New Visions Artist Residency
This Fall, in partnership with the Nisga’a Museum, the CAG launched a collaborative artist in residence project. Vancouver based Okanagan/Upper-Nicola artist Krista Belle Stewart travelled to Nisga’a in late October to mid-November to develop new work that will be exhibited at the Nisga’a Museum. A key component to this residency is community engagement and participation. Stewart’s project is centered on narrative and storytelling. She is curious to explore, learn about and listen to the stories/oral histories of Nisga’a people, their life and connection to the land. While in residence Stewart engaged with youth and elders throughout Nisga’a’s Nass Valley through visits, talks, workshops and the sharing of stories. Investigating how these stories are being preserved in the community; how they are shared and how community members talk about the past are critical components to the residency and future work created by the artist. Out of these community engagements Stewart is developing a video-based work.
Krista Belle Stewart is a member of Okanagan/Upper Nicola Band. She lives and works in Vancouver. Stewart holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and is currently working on a MFA from Bard College in New York. Recent exhibition and performance history includes Music from the New Wilderness at The Western Front, Shelved at the Burnaby Art Gallery (with Rebecca Belmore) and the Fiction/Non-fiction at the Esker Foundation (Calgary). Krista’s work explores First Nations identity, particularly by individuals and groups who have no direct links to North American Native culture, other than through romanticized/ fetishized interest such as health products that tap into the wisdom of the elders to help relieve your carpal tunnel syndrome; sculptures and trinkets that depict proud, ideal figures, and phenomena such as the German Indianer Klub, where members don elaborate buckskin outfits while interpreting Native American song and dance. Stewart’s photographic practice creates a dialogue between past and present, the romantic and the real, creating an awareness of the implications of misrepresentation, stereotypes, and racism. Her work engages the complexities of intention and interpretation made possible by archival material. The work approaches mediation and story-telling to unfold the interplay between personal and institutional history.
Most recently, Stewart was commissioned by the City of Vancouver as part of the Year of Reconciliation. The City’s Public Art Program commissioned 10 new artist projects overall with the first five debuting in March 2014 and new projects being introduced monthly through August 2014. The Granville and Georgia entrance of the Canada Line City Centre Station will host Krista-Belle Stewart’s Her Story, a large photo mural and a video work derived from the 1967 CBC documentary Seraphine: Her Own Story about her mother, the first Aboriginal public health nurse in BC. The images reflect personal and institutional histories and the complexities of residential school history. It touches on the young woman’s journey from residential school to UBC and the city.
This artist residency is supported by and made possible through the generous funding provided by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, British Columbia Arts Council, and the Nisga’a Nation through the Nisga’a Lisims Government.MORE
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.
Talk info + audio: www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/learning/a…yam-jafri/MORE
Emerging Dance Summer Intensive:
Call for participants ages 17 to 25yrs old
July 3 – September 4, 2014
(Every Tuesday and Thursday for three hour sessions)
Hello! My name is Helen Wong and I am the Summer Development Assistant here at the CAG. I’m very excited to start working at the CAG where I will be helping out with the Annual Gala and Art Auction alongside Development Officer, Kristin Cheung.
I’m currently in my last year of undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia with a major in Art History. With this looming ahead of me, it’s nice to be surrounded by individuals who are able to impart some knowledge and experience as to their post-undergraduate lives. I’ve done a lot of travelling through UBC, I have taken a 15th Century Art History course in Venice and I have studied abroad in Bristol, UK. Through my time abroad, I was exposed to so many different cultures and types of art that it has really expanded my areas of interest.
My interest in Art History was sparked during a 200 level Renaissance art class at UBC, and from then on I haven’t looked back. I think art becomes a way in which we can speak about so many contemporary issues and subjects because of its interdisciplinary nature, plus I feel like a detective when I’m analyzing a piece of work which is another reason why I love it!
My interest in the CAG began when I wanted to learn more about local art and artists. I think that the CAG is a natural hub for dialogue and I wanted to be a part of that. I look forward to the rest of my summer here and learning more about ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘what it takes’ to plan a grand Gala and Auction event like this! Stay tuned for more Gala and Auction news as the summer progresses…
- Helen WongMORE
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.MORE
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
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
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
We are very excited to launch and follow the progress of our Kickstarter campaign for a new partnership commission with Ballet BC and artists Wood & Harrison. Since launching last week we have 12 initial backers and lots of press on the project.
Click below to read what they are saying about us!
More on the project….
The CAG and Ballet BC in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative are excited to announce a new project.
For our project, selected by independent jury for Art|Basel’s curated page on Kickstarter, we are commissioning visual artists John Wood and Paul Harrison to team with the renowned dancers of Ballet BC, to produce a collaborative cross-disciplinary performance combining the very best in both contemporary dance and visual art.
The funds will be used to bring the visual artists to Vancouver for an intensive development period during spring and fall 2015 with the premiere in 2016.
The collaboration between CAG and Ballet BC recognizes the distinctive contribution each of us brings to the project, making the whole much bigger than the sum of its constituent parts. Our supporters are a major part of this, extending that partnership into a broader sense of sharing and building a real community involvement in this dynamic venture.
The cost of developing and producing such a commission can often be prohibitive despite the strength of idea and partners involved. While accessing of funds for the actual production and performances in 2016 provides many openings, the research phase is where we need help now. We need assistance in supporting the artists’ commissioning fees and expenses in order to get the project started.
We need to bring the artists to Vancouver for the research/development phase, an initial one week orientation and introduction in April-May 2015 where ideas can be discussed and meetings made, to be followed by a second two week intensive period developing the project through a series of rehearsals and workshops.
The completed work will receive its premiere in Vancouver in 2016 and then have potential to be presented on tour.
Since Wood and Harrison’s first collaboration in 1993, their work has evolved from single shot ‘studies’ filmed against neutral backgrounds to longer pieces in which a sequence of actions unfold within constructed locations that have more implicit meaning and contribute to greater narrative complexity. Pieces maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this ‘logical world’ action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed.
Why should you support it?
This cross-disciplinary approach to contemporary culture signals an ambitious attempt to join together in the production of what will be a major new work, combining great opportunities for artists and audiences alike. This project will be a first for all involved, marking a significant and transformative partnership between each institution as well as an exciting and key opportunity for all artists. For Wood and Harrison, despite their work often being written about in relation to contemporary dance, it will be the first time they have ever worked toward a live performance.
- Jill HendersonMORE
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
On Thursday, October 10th a Brand New View (Vancouver) is coming to Vancouver courtesy of the Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg.
Klingberg uses familiar corporate logos to create quasi-oriental installations that take the cold and corporate and transforms it into warm and inviting art.
A former graphic designer, her work considers how these public icons come into our “private spheres.” She calls her art “craft work” that creates a feeling similar to embroidery.
Klingberg’s exhibition will consist of two murals – one at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line and one on the façade of the Gallery at Nelson and Richards.
It’s the first exhibit of her work in Canada and I’m particularly happy it will be shown outside for people to enjoy as the soggy winter season settles in. Check out this short video to learn more about Klingberg’s work and what motivates her.
- Don Millar, CAG Board of DirectorsMORE
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
Continuing our Summer series of book recommendations from CAG staff, volunteers, interns and board members, CAG Director Nigel Prince highlights three publications from the CAG’s thirty year publishing history:
Some Detached Houses
Robin Collyer, Todd A Davis, Dan Graham, Amy Jones, Bill Jones, Robert Linsley, Warren Murfitt, Margaret Naylor, Ed Ruscha, Nancy Shaw, Greg Snider
Contemporary Art Gallery
March 29 – April 1989
This was a crucial exhibition and publication linking West and East Coast conceptual practices, including a number of key artists. The photograph on the cover is an aerial view of the Eastside of Vancouver circa 1960. Included in the exhibition were Dan Graham’s New Balloon Houses, Surrey made in the then suburb of Vancouver. It was one of the first CAG publications I purchased on my initial visit to Vancouver in 2000.
Contemporary Art Gallery
November 14, 2003 – January 4, 2004
Terada often uses the things normally thought of as ancillary to art itself as raw material for exhibitions, for example, by employing promotional and didactic material as the objects for display. Catalogue took the form of an exhibition publication but highlighted the patronage of those who collaborated with the artist in support of the show by their logos becoming the actual artwork on display on the gallery walls. The book itself becomes the exhibition representing everything that it encompasses.
For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons sur la Société Industrielle
Contemporary Art Gallery
January 14 – March 6, 2005
A key exhibition for the Contemporary Art Gallery and the artist, Christopher Williams’ work grows out of the history of conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, which used language and photography to address issues related to painting and sculpture. The publication, beautifully designed and conceptually rigorous with the exhibition, was curated by Claudia Beck, an individual who along with husband Andrew Gruft has made a significant contribution to Vancouver’s artistic scene.
All three of these publications 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
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
We are very pleased to welcome Sofia and Eva as Curatorial Interns at the gallery, please read on as they introduce themselves:
Hi, my name is Eva Tweedie, the UBC CCST Curatorial Intern. I am halfway through my first year in the Curatorial and Critical Studies (CCST) program at the University of British Columbia and am looking forward to getting some hands-on gallery experience this summer. So far during my time at the CAG I have been working with artists in our upcoming summer exhibition The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes to prepare for the installation of their works. I have also been doing research on other artists who will be exhibiting here at the CAG later this year, and in 2015.
My name is Sofia Stalner and I am a Curatorial Intern and recent graduate from the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program at the University of British Columbia. I have been working on the collection which helped establish the CAG and is owned by the City of Vancouver, updating the database and registry, as well as receiving artworks from the collection that have been displayed throughout Vancouver, primarily on office walls. I am currently compiling information as research toward a hopeful and necessary move of the collection to a larger storage facility. Here is a little bit of a background on the unique collection we have:
Established in 1971 as the Greater Vancouver Artist’s Gallery, through federal employment programs for artists, the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) was incorporated as a non-profit charitable society in 1976. From 1971 to 1978, artists were hired for six month periods to produce art for exhibition which was then accessioned into the City of Vancouver Art Collection. The City of Vancouver Art Collection of 3,000 works of art which are circulated in public spaces throughout City buildings and loaned for exhibition to museums and galleries.
- Stay tuned to the CAG blog for updates from Eva and Sofia on their projects and upcoming exhibitions.MORE
You are invited to visit the brand new CAG Bookshop!
The CAG Book Shop is launching this Saturday (1.30pm-2.30pm) with the first book launch and signing in the newly renovated space:
DAS ARCHIVE / THE ARCHIVE by Jürgen Partenheimer
The transformation is complete, with a new look, new shelving and increased space for many many more titles. Visitors can now browse and purchase publications from over 80 titles from our 30 year publishing history.
The bookshop features the CAG’s exhibition catalogues and artist’s book works from as far back as 1986, the shop is a great resource for anyone wanting to get a better idea of the CAG’s exhibition history including notable and pivotial publications by Stan Douglas, Christopher Williams, Damian Moppett, Hans-Peter Feldman and Frances Stark.
We are also proud to present new CAG publications on Erin Shirreff, Mungo Thomson, Nathan Coley and Jürgen Partenheimer, all available for sale in the shop.
We also carry additional publications on artists exhibited at the gallery with select books on Nancy Holt, James Welling, Mike Nelson, and Kay Rosen to name a few.
In addition to buying books and catalogues, visitors can also find information on upcoming talks and events and use the space to sit down and leaf through information binders on our exhibitions and projects, currently Kevin Schmidt, Marian Penner Bancroft, Tim Etchells and Broken City Lab.
Please visit the shop section of our website for detailed information on all our publications. Click here for the CAG online SHOP.MORE
On Thursday, December 12th, the Point Grey Secondary grade twelve, Art Careers class visited the Contemporary Art Gallery for a full day workshop.
They spent the day exploring James Welling’s exhibition The Mind On Fire with a focus on studying curatorial practice and conceptual art practices. As part of the investigation they undertook an experiential response to Welling’s working methods, by conducting a photo-shoot in which students were asked to explore in-camera abstraction techniques. They spent their lunch hours creating images while exploring downtown Vancouver.
The students were interested in questioning our assumptions of perception and the photographic image, as well as how the inherent ambiguity affected the reading of an image. The students met afterward to discuss and edit the images and categorize them based on the abstraction technique or subject matter of the photographs. In effect the students curated an exhibition of photography, taking a cue from Welling in grouping images based on intended effect.
The CAG is excited to present a selection images of their work, see above for a slide show. A big thank you to the whole Point Grey HS Art Careers class and the artists we are presenting here: Kiel Torres, Catherine Wang, Cosette Bote, Aly Slobadov, Nancy Tseng, Forever Young, Kevin McAllum. They’ve posted more images on their Point Grey Art Blog.
The CAG welcome groups of all ages and levels for free guided visits. We also produce guided visits with art-making responses to the exhibitions on display.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public ProgramsMORE
Take a look, above at a selection of images from the previous two family day Saturday events, held at the Burrard Marina Field House. Don’t miss joining in the next family day event on Saturday, August 29, from 1-4 pm!MORE
I spoke with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly, who was on the other side of the big pond, and he took a few minutes to fill me in about where he was, and what he was up to.
Where are you right now?
I am in Manndalen within Sápmi, the land of the Sami people that extends across Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Kola Peninsula of Russia.
What are you doing there?
I am attending Riddu Riđđu, an indigenous arts festival that has been running for 22 years.
What comes to your mind about being there?
Having been gifted a book of Sami proverbs, I found this: “When in a new country, follow its ways.”
Have you seen any art you want to tell us about?
Yesterday I was told about a house here in Manndalen built to spite local Norwegian authorities following the Second World War. Anton Sjåbakken built a house from scraps found from various sources. The Norwegian government want to tax him and collect the equivalent of one years wages for this provisional shelter. Sjåbakken wrote a letter outlining his frustration which also gave the house the name by which it is now known: The Shit Hell Fucking House.
Tell me about a meal you’ve enjoyed…
I have been enjoying traditional dried reindeer meat.
… and a reason you wouldn’t want to leave?
The midnight sun provides many good working hours, I often see people simply going about their business at absolutely any time of day.
- Thanks Raymond, see you back in Vancouver, Jaclyn.
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
Today, the CAG (and people across Canada) celebrate Nunavut Day, a day that commemorates the NLCA (the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement). The NLCA is the largest comprehensive claim settlement in Canada, and it marked the first time that the Canadian map has changed since 1949 (with the incorporation of Newfoundland and Labrador).
Nunavut Day is a day to celebrate arctic traditions and the northern way of life. As our current exhibition features Inuit artist Itee Pootoogook, we invite anyone interested in celebrating Nunavut Day in Vancouver to join us and experience his work.
While you might seek out Wikipediato learn more about Nunavut today, the listing doesn’t say much about their fine arts scene. There has been an accelerated change in artistic expression in the past 50 years as many modern Inuit artists react to the present and the wider, more accessible world. Today’s northern nunavut artist is not as isolated, and the work produced is more contemporary, but no less representative.
As I was researching more about Nunavut Day, I learned that while the official languages of Nunavut are English and French, 8% of the population speaks neither English, French, nor Inuktitut (the primary language of Nunavut). Unfortunately, my language skills are limited to English and French, so to those remaining 8%, I say: Nunavut Quviahugvik (Happy Times Nunavut in Inuinnagtun!)
Aujourd’hui, le CAG (et les personnes à travers le Canada) célèbrent la journée Nunavut qui commémore l’ARTN (Accord sur les revendications territoriales du Nunavut). L’Accord est le plus important règlement de revendications territoriales au Canada, et il a marqué la première fois que le plan canadien a changé depuis 1949 (avec l’incorporation de Terre-Neuve et Labrador).
La journée du Nunavut est une journée pour célébrer les traditions arctiques et la vie nordique. Comme notre exposition actuelle présente l’artiste inuit Itee Pootoogook, nous vous invitons à célébrer la journée du Nunavut à Vancouver avec nous et à découvrir son travail.
Alors que vous pourriez rechercher Wikipedia pour en savoir plus au sujet du Nunavut aujourd’hui, l’article ne dit pas beaucoup à propos de leur beaux-arts. Il y a eu un changement accéléré dans les expressions artistiques dans les 50 dernières années et nombreux artistes inuits modernes réagissent à l’actualité et à le monde plus accessible. Ces artistes d’aujourd’hui n’est pas aussi isolé, et le travail qu’ils produisent est plus contemporain, mais non moins introspective.
Si vous n’arrivez pas à venir aujourd’hui à la galerie, n’hésitez pas à nous rendre visite à nos visites guidées à venir en anglais, français, et espagnol de les expositions au CAG.
Comme je faisais des recherches au sujet de la journée du Nunavut, j’ai appris que même si ses langues officielles sont l’anglais et le français, 8% de la population ne parle ni anglais, ni français, ni l’inuktitut (la langue principale parlé au Nunavut). Malheureusement, mes compétences linguistiques sont limitées à l’anglais et le français (rouillée), donc à ceux qui tombent au 8%, je dis: Nunavut Quviahugvik (temps heureux Nunavut!)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
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
I’ve posted a few research images from my recent trip to Belgium and Germany, starting in Genk at Manifesta 9 and ending in Kassel for Documenta 13. The slide show represents a fraction of what I saw, but here are some highlights.
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
There are only a few days left to see both Guo Fengyi and Frances Stark’s work at the Contemporary Art Gallery.
And YOGA. After a very successful and sold out yoga event on Sunday March 25th at the Contemporary Art Gallery, we have once again partnered with Yoga Outreach to present one last yoga workshop on the closing day of the exhibition, this Sunday from 11am to 1pm.
To accommodate for this special yoga fundraising event we are thrilled to extend our hours on Sunday from 1 pm to 7pm for a final view of these two extraordinary exhibitions. We look forward to seeing you this weekend at the Contemporary Art Gallery.
Sunday, April 15, 11 am - 1 pm
Participate in a yoga workshop in the gallery surrounded by the large-scale drawings by Chinese artist Guo Fengyi. Master Tantric yoga teacher Mary-Jo Fetterly leads a class held in the context of the solo exhibition of Fengyi’s complex and intricate drawings.
On Sunday April 1st at the CAG, Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey gave an engaging talk on Frances Stark’s practice in relation to her work My Best Thing to over 100 visitors. Frances Stark’s My Best Thing is a feature length animation film currently on view until Sunday April 15. Here are some images of the event taken by CAG volunteer Jamie Dolinko.MORE
Join us at the Contemporary Art Gallery on Saturdays at 3pm for a series of guided visits and public discussions on our current exhibitions. Recent discussions, led by Neil Campbell and Carla Nappi, have focused on Guo Fengyi’s work now on view until April 15th, 2012. Their talks ranged from issues relating to artistic process to traditional methods of Chinese healing and medicine. Guo Fengyi began drawing as a form of healing within the practice of Qi-qong, referring to her work as ”painted perscriptions.” Over the course of twenty years her drawings evolved to engage relationships between history and myth, and knowledge and mystery.
This upcoming Saturday Keith Wallace, editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, will expand further on Guo Fengyi’s work in the context of art in China. The following Saturday, March 24th, The CAG’s Executive Director Nigel Prince, will give a Guided Visit.
In the following weeks we are offering guided visits of all our exhibitions, including Frances Stark’s My Best Thing and Scott Massey’s Aurorae. On March 31 CAG volunteer and educator Patricia Huijnen will give a tour in French and on Sunday, April 15 (the last day of the exhibitions) Jill Henderson, CAG Gallery Coordinator, will present.
Admission is free so please join us for this series of discussions on Saturday afternoons plus one Sunday. Conversation is encouraged and all are welcome! Please visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Curatorial Intern – Karina IrvineMORE
We wish to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone for their generous support of the Contemporary Art Gallery’s 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction this past Saturday night at the new Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
This was the 23rd edition of the event and in our 40th year we are exceptionally grateful for the overwhelming support from members, friends, supporters and artists, locally, nationally and internationally. We had forty nine exceptional works this year and the nod to our founding year of 1971 created a fun evening that raised an amount in excess of $230,000 (the most the CAG has ever raised at any fundraising event to date) THANK YOU!
It was a fantastic evening full of great artwork, fabulously dressed guests, a blasting birthday guitar solo by artist Kevin Schmidt and birthday cake delivery and dance routine by sequin bedazzled artist Germaine Koh and the roller derby girls, the Faster Pussycats. Each lucky guest also received a beautiful handmade sculpture by artist Natalie Purchswitz as their take home gift. The evening directly supports the programme at the Contemporary Art Gallery as we grow in scope and ambition, and allows us to continue our crucial role, since 1971, as the longest standing free public art gallery dedicated exclusively to presenting contemporary visual art in Vancouver.
The CAG is honoured to continue this role and with Nigel Prince, our new Executive Director, we look forward to an expansion and diversification in our programming, striving to introduce new audiences, increasing accessibility and supporting visitors in their interaction with and interpretation of contemporary art. With this unequivocally successful evening we can proudly move forward in presenting the very best in contemporary visual art from Vancouver, Canada and abroad.
Thank you again to the artists, guests, members, volunteers Board and staff who made this special evening a memorable and successful one. We can’t wait to see you next year at further events and benefits for the CAG.MORE
The CAG has launched a new website to announce our Annual Gala and Art Auction, www.cagauction.com.
This year’s event will be held at the NEW Rosewood Hotel Georgia on Saturday, November 5th at 6.30pm.
The website showcases the artists and the exceptional works they have generously donated in honour of our 40th year.
Some of the artists include Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Dexter Sinister, FASTWÜRMS, Germaine Koh and Hadley + Maxwell, just to name a few.
The evening is an important benefit event for the CAG which allows the CAG to continue its crucial role as the only FREE independent public art gallery dedicated exclusively to presenting the very best in contemporary art from Vancouver, Canada and abroad.
Tickets are on sale now and selling quickly!
Thank you for your generous support and we hope to see you there!MORE
It is always exciting to retrace the path of an artist you admire.
Today, the gracefulness and lightness of Elspeth Pratt’s work adorns the urban Offsite exhibition space of the VAG. It looks novel and contemporary, seemingly hand-made and whimsical but rendered in a scale that is normally out of proportion to the material.
In this blog entry, I’d like to consider Pratt’s journey towards becoming an important figure in the Vancouver art scene in relation to the CAG.
In several ways the CAG played an important role in her artistic career, being the site of her first solo exhibition. In 1985, Pratt reflected on social commentary, urban issues, art, architecture and man-made environment through her formal sculptures.
In 1988, Robert Linsley, with assistance from the CAG, curated an exhibition of three Canadian sculptors held at Sala 1 gallery in Rome. Among them, Elspeth Pratt would travel to Italy to present her abstract yet gestural sculptures to a European audience in an exhibition entitled “Architettura: Astrazione”.
These are not the only instances Pratt has shown work at the CAG. She also exhibited Bluff in the gallery’s street front windows in 2007. This site-specific work commented on the lack of foresight that characterises downtown Vancouver’s residential-highrise industry.
Currently Pratt’s name is listed among 1000 others in the windows as a reminder of the gallery’s artistic legacy and in commemoration of their 40th anniversary.
To view a short video of the artist commenting on her work, please follow this link:
To read a recent article on Elspeth Pratt’s work at the VAG Offsite location, please refer to:
The Contemporary Art Gallery is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and as part of commemorating the occasion we’ve been reflecting on our past, searching through the archives and discovering some random mementos.
We found the above poster in the ‘best of the ’80′s file’, did you or do you know someone who might have attended any of the advertised talks? If so, we would love to hear your recollections of what must have been some memorable Summer of ’84 Vancouver nights.MORE
The Contemporary Art Gallery is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and as part of commemorating the occasion we’ve been reflecting on our past, searching through the archives and discovering some random mementos.
We found this photograph, but have no factual information about it. We assume it was taken in the CAG’s old office and is of Gallery staff and Vancouver artists, but we don’t know when it was taken or who is in the photo. We’ve posted it here to see if anyone can help. The puppet is obviously the key.MORE
Tomorrow afternoon at 4:55 pm there will be a guided visit of our current exhibitions Beyond Guilt – The Trilogy and In the Near Future led by CAG curator, Jenifer Papararo. This special guided visit is part of the Canadian Art Foundation’s Gallery Hop Vancouver. For information on the other events going on at galleries around the city visit canadianart.ca/vancouverhop.
Photos by Scott MasseyMORE
Come down to the CAG to check out our new street front window display!
Since it was established in 1971, the CAG has exhibited the work of almost one thousand artists. In recognition of our 40th anniversary, we wanted to make this history visible by displaying the names of the artists who have contributed to our exhibition programming.
The impressive list includes local heroes such as Jeff Wall, Liz Magor, Ken Lum and Stan Douglas as well as the names of rising stars like Holly Ward, who currently has a banner of her own hanging in front of the CBC building, and Stephen Shearer who is representing Canada at the Venice Biennial.
Putting the list together was a big job that involved scouring the archive. We think we got everyone, but let us know if you think a name is missing.
We would like to thank our volunteers Ksenia Cheinman and Kitsum Cheung for their work on this project.MORE
This week is National Volunteer Week and the CAG takes its hat off to our dedicated team of over 50 volunteers. We thank them for their valuable gift of expertise, amazing energy and dedication.
As Gallery Coordinator I consider myself privileged to work alongside volunteers who fulfill so many necessary roles in the organization. It might be a surprise to some to discover the sheer diversity of their backgrounds. This has encompassed occupations ranging from students, artists, teachers, architects, librarians, marketing professionals and designers through to treaty negotiators! In recognition, I would like to share with you a series of profiles that highlight the interests, backgrounds and experiences of these dedicated individuals.
What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?
I love contemporary art! I think that there is nothing that can relay various life experiences and different perspectives better then art. It really is the best storyteller. So being an artist since the age of two, I decided to get a post secondary education in art and pursue it as a career. That meant I was looking for “experience”, but also something fun relating to art which made me want to get involved with the CAG.
What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?
I like talking with the various gallery visitors. I have had some interesting chats. I also like my position in that I am the first person who people get a chance to talk to after they have seen the exhibit.
What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?
It was at the Vancouver Art Gallery on a school field trip. I was quite young, in early elementary school. I remember seeing a piece hung on the gallery wall which consisted of a single straight line pointing upwards. It must have been Barnet Newman or something else like his work. But I remember I didn’t get it! I couldn’t see the point for a creation of such simplicity hanging in a museum! I guess my abstract mind was still developing. Of course now I understand and enjoy the intricate use of meaning in all disciplines of contemporary art.
What other creative activities do you do?
I am of course an artist in that I paint and draw with a focus on creativity and experimentation. I compose and record various genres of music by playing several different instruments, but my main musical focus is playing the guitar. I also write about art by including my various musings on life as they pertain to a particular art exhibition taking place around town. Check out Dan’s blog here: http://we-all-get-it-in-the-end.blogspot.com/
Thank you Dan for sharing! More profiles coming soon.
- Jill Henderson
Here are some favourite pics of our volunteers in action:
This morning an unknown person hung this handmade poster outside of the CAG. It features a photograph, which appears to have been taken at our opening last Thursday. Printed on top of the image is the text, “The piece in the other room is amazing”.
We like the poster and are curious about the story behind this intervention. Do you know anything about it?MORE