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The Contemporary Art Gallery presents an ambitious new neon commission across our building façade with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, as part of a larger partnership of presentations, performances and events with British artist Tim Etchells. Arguably best known for his work with Forced Entertainment, Etchells has developed his own practice as an artist outside of their ground-breaking performances, his solo work is diverse, moving from a base in performance into visual art and fiction. Through writing, producing neon, video and text, collaborations with the photographer Hugo Glendinning on photographic work, and performance projects with an ever-expanding group of artists from around the world, including Franko B and Vlatka Horvat, Etchells opens up new possibilities to approach related ideas via different routes by working across these different media and contexts.

In all aspects of his practice Etchells is often concerned with live-ness and presence, with the unfolding of events in time and place. The site where things happen could be an LCD monitor or a computer screen, a stage, the space of a page, a gallery, a found location, a street, or some private space — a room or a car for instance — in which a person might listen to the radio or read a text. Who Knows is typical of Etchells’ approach in that something happens — there is an encounter, a process, the unfolding of an event and its implications, and an exploration of the dynamic relationship between the work and the viewer. Who Knows reveals a fascination with rules and systems in language and in culture, in the way these structures are both productive and constraining. Individual phrases of ‘I know’, ‘You know’, ‘We know’, ‘They know’, produces a playfully paranoid flavour, yet a tone that takes on something of the surveillance, snooping, watching topic, that’s even more on our minds since the information leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in May of last year. Through the repetition of phrases, the text stages or implies an event or an idea that is at once unravelled and assembled. The mechanisms and economies of this process — of exposure and concealment, construction and deconstruction, appearance and disappearance — are at the heart of what Etchells does.

In addition to this installation we co-present a series of performances — The Quiet Volume with Ant Hampton and Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First with Jim Fletcher — and public talks involving Etchells detailed elsewhere in this bulletin. Collectively these form our hosting of Tim Etchells as PuSh Festival 2014 artist-in-residence. Presented in partnership with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver.

Born in 1962, Tim Etchells is based in Sheffield and London, UK and is the artistic director of Forced Entertainment, a theatre company founded in 1984. With Forced Entertainment he has directed, written, and occasionally performed in, dozens of critically acclaimed performance works that have been shown at major festivals and theatres around the world.

Recent solo exhibitions include Sketch and Butchers (both London); Netherlands Media Art Institute and de Appel, Amsterdam; Void Spaces, Site Gallery, Sheffield; Sparwasser HQ, Berlin; Art Sheffield 2008; ArtFutures, Bloomberg SPACE, London; Exit Art, New York; Kunsthaus Graz; Manifesta 7, Rovereto, Italy; Acts of Voicing, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Aichi Triennale, Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya and Lonely at the Top: Modern Dialect, MuHKA, Antwerp. Etchells co-curated and commissioned work in the Performing Sculpture section of the DLA Piper series This is Sculpture at Tate Liverpool (2009) and took part in the Gothenburg International Biennale, What a Wonderful World; After Architecture, CASM, Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona and The Malady of Writing, MACBA, Barcelona in 2009. His books include a critical exploration of contemporary performance and theatre as well as an introduction to his work with Forced Entertainment titled Certain Fragments (Routledge, 1999), a book of short stories, Endland Stories (Pulp Books, 1998), an ironic dream dictionary, The Dream Dictionary for the Modern Dreamer (Duckworth, 2004), and a novel titled The Broken World (Windmill, 2009).

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Tim Etchells - Who Knows - PuSh Festival Artist-In-Residence 2014


What stories simmer just beneath the surface of the public spaces that we dwell in? What characters are the strangers we
brush shoulders with? What characters are we? Argentinean artist Mariano Pensotti’s ingeniously voyeuristic work Sometimes I think, I can see you places writers in public spaces and uses them as literary surveillance cameras. Over the three weekends of the 2013 PuSh Festival, a group of Vancouver writers including Michael Turner, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, Adrienne Wong, Kay Slater, Charles Demers, Anakana Schofield, OZ and Caitlin Chaisson, were stationed in the lobby of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch equipped with laptops connected to projection screens. Their directive? To write a live account of whatever it is they saw — or imagine they saw — in these urban surroundings. Through the eyes and minds of these various writers, speculations unfolded, narratives were woven, and the anonymous individuals around us became implicated in a series of beautifully spontaneous fictions.

Mariano Pensotti is known internationally as one of the foremost directors in contemporary theatre. His work El pasado es un animal grotesco was presented on a revolving stage in the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at PuSh, and his work La Marea presented outdoors in the streets of Gastown at PuSh 2011.

Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, The Playwrights Theatre Centre and Vancouver Art Gallery, and supported by Vancouver Public Library.

Produced with Ciudades Paralelas, a co-production between HAU Berlin and Schauspielhaus Zürich, in collaboration with Goethe-Institute Warschau and Teatr Nowy.

January 18-20, January 25-27 and February 1-3, 12-4 pm.

Located at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Atrium and Vancouver Art Gallery, Lobby.

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Mariano Pensotti - Sometimes I think, I can see you


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


The Contemporary Art Gallery presented the premiere of The Pixelated Revolution a new performance by Lebanese actor, director, and playwright Rabih Mroué. Mroué’s storytelling pits facts against propaganda imbued with a particular sense of humour and a visual sensibility. By means of a semi-documentary style of theatre, his often-controversial work draws attention to issues and events overlooked in the current political climate of the Middle East. Taking the form of a lecture-performance about the usage of mobile phones during the Syrian revolution, The Pixelated Revolution examines the contemporary and recent phenomenon of photographs made during such events of conflict, broadcast and shared via Facebook and other virtual communication tools, as a means to direct and communicate events to the world.

Presented in partnership with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and grunt gallery.

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Rabih Mroué - The Pixelated Revolution


Looking for a Missing Employee is a thoughtful and provocative performance puzzle in which Mroué follows the true story of a man who disappears from his low-level post at the Ministry of Finance in Beirut, never to be seen again. Merging storytelling with live sketching, the artist takes us on a perplexing search for the ‘truth’, littered with a sea of documents, clippings, photos and found objects. The material accumulates under multi-camera live feeds as we are exposed to the ways media shapes public perception, rumours, accusations, political conflicts and scandals. What unfolds is a commentary on the phenomenon of disappearance and proof that “between the truth and a lie, there is but a hair.”

Supported by The Roundhouse. Presented in partnership with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and grunt gallery. This tour is made possible through the collaboration of P.S. 122 (New York), On the Boards (Seattle), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) and The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh).

Rabih Mroué, Looking for a Missing Employee
The Roundhouse, January 26–28, 8pm
Post-show discussion led by Vanessa Kwan, January 27

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Rabih Mroué - Looking for a Missing Employee


A Way To Go was the first part of the “GPS PROJECT” generated through the Education Program of Contemporary Art Gallery.

The word “Alley” comes from the original French root word “Allée” which literally translates as; A Way To Go. This was a walking journey project that consisted of using the GPS mobile device to navigate an alternative route through the downtown core by only taking alleyways and shortcuts. The passage was less distracting than crowded streets and avoided being a target for consumers by staying off the main roads. These routes are named after brief encounters with objects and/or subjects found in each individual alleyway rather than being named after important political figures or national historical references like most main roads in Vancouver. The names of the alley were included in the GPS map application. Through this journey, the participants came across site-specific installations, images activated by the GPS device, video clips and information about hidden spaces in the back alley.

Examples of this were images taken from inside an abandoned Japanese Auto Centre that has no access to the general public. Also an installation that was installed behind the fenced up corner in an underground parking lot to prevent homeless over-night staying, another example were details about a recycled water container underneath the Emery Barnes Park. This project continued to unfold describing more hidden objects/subjects in the allies of Vancouver’s downtown core over the following 3 months.

This program is generously supported by TELUS, 2010 Legacies Now and the Canadian Art Foundation. With thanks to Hannah Hughes and Autobox.

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Ron Tran - A Way To Go


For over 25 years, FASTWÜRMS, a collaborative art team formed in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, have been durable generators of DIY culture in Toronto and have been able to maintain a diverse and dedicated audience, and a distinct lineage of imitators and followers. They have built a practice that collides the rigour of conceptual art with pagan rituals and popular aesthetics, creating a fresh language of their own where they are alien witches who make films, video, installations, performances and teach at the University of Guelph, Ontario. With a sobering humor and a love of their community they have produced large public commissions and participated in the 2006 Sao Paulo Biennial. FASTWÜRMS have produced solo projects in Toronto’s many Queen Street West galleries and spaces, including Paul Petro Contemporary Art, X Space, the Gladstone Hotel, the late ZsaZsa Gallery, as well as internationally, including Southern Exposure Gallery (San Francisco), Osaka 90 (Osaka, Japan), Canadian Cultural Centre (Rome), Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), Ideal Copy Office (Kyoto, Japan), and in La IV Bienalle de Poesia Visual (Zapata Subway Station, Mexico City).

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FASTWÜRMS - Donky@Ninja@Witch


Isabelle Pauwels is a Vancouver artist with an abiding concern about the effect of architecture on social relation. In collaboration with Vancouver’s Trapp Editions, the Contemporary Art Gallery published an artist’s bookwork by Pauwels. Unfinished Apartment for Rent details, in seven screenplays, the interaction between a series of fictitious apartment dwellers. Forced through financial constraints to assemble furniture from the walls of their individual accommodations, these renters sacrifice more and more privacy as they cannibalize their dwellings for creature comforts. Pauwel’s bookwork was displayed in an installation designed by the artist.

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Isabelle Pauwels - Unfurnished Apartment for Rent


In collaboration with the Charles H. Scott Gallery, CAG presented an exhibition of Cai Guo-Qiang, one of China’s most internationally recognized artists. His works insert traditional Chinese ideas and materials into contemporary Western idioms, contrasting the values of these disparate cultural systems. His work for the CAG began with a four-day performance in Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, an authentic full-scale classical Chinese garden. Fog machines were installed in this garden, creating a misty landscape that was painted on site by four traditional ink-brush painters. The paintings were displayed subsequently in the Binning Gallery, alongside an additional work created collaboratively by all five artists.

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Cai Guo Qiang - Performing Chinese Ink Painting


Vancouver Electronic Ensemble
Alternative Energies
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.

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Vancouver Electronic Ensemble - Alternative Energies


00 Campbell
September 10, 2014
6-11pm
(durational performance)
The Russian Hall
600 Campbell Avenue, Vancovuer

Free

Performers:
Anne Riley, Charlotte Newman, Hannah Axen, Kelly McInnes, Kristina Jaggard, Lexi Vajda, Maia Nichols, Matilda Cobanli, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Ryan Genoe, Sophia Wolfe

Over the course of ten weeks, the Contemporary Art Gallery brought together eleven emerging artists to explore the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art in its inaugural Summer Intensive. This has culminated in the production of a new choreographic work, 600 Campbell.

Considering the absence and presence of objects and bodies, this durational performance examines ways in which each happening intersects with another, connecting the work, the audience and the space. The artists collaborate to present the viewer with an invitation for interaction, allowing them to influence the work and the space both as observers and active contributors.

We acknowledge the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Council Youth Engagement Program.

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600 Campbell - Summer intensive performance


Tim Etchells
Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First
Monday, January 20  , 7 pm, by donation
The Fox Cabaret,  ‚2321  Main Street

Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First, written and directed by Tim Etchells, is a long free-associating
monologue that tumbles from topic to topic to create a vast, failing iteration and explanation of the world. Comical in its apparent naivety and preposterously encyclopedic in scope, the piece explores the absurdity and horror of consciousness as it tries and fails to seize and define everything that it encounters. Performed by Jim Fletcher, legendary New York actor, best known for his work with Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players and Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz, the monumental, word-for- word, eight hour staging of Fitzgerald’s prose masterwork. Join us post-performance for a drink and a conversation with Jim Fletcher and Tim Etchells, hosted by Norman Armour, Artistic and Executive Director of PuSh, in the newly renovated Fox Cabaret.

Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

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Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First - Tim Etchells


Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells
The Quiet Volume
January 17–19,  24­–26€, 31‚, February 1– 2
12–ƒ5 pm (€…60 minutes, no intermission)
Performances every 20 minutes, last performance 4­:…ƒ05pm
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch
3‚rd Floor, ‚ƒ… 350 West Georgia Street

In The Quiet Volume — set at the library, designed for two at a time — recorded instructions and a stack of carefully selected books direct you through this contemplative, self-generated performance. The Quiet Volume takes what is considered a deeply personal and internal process and pushes it out into the surrounding environment so that one reader’s sphere collides with another’s. It exposes the particular tension common to libraries worldwide: a combination of silence and concentration within which different peoples’ experiences of reading unfold. In this performance, you and your co-reader/fellow audience member study printed words, conjure mental images, examine the act of reading in a new light in this surprising piece of ‘autoteatro.’ For the bibliophile and reluctant reader alike, The Quiet Volume exposes the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience.

Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and supported by Vancouver Public Library.

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The Quiet Volume - Ant Hampton & Tim Etchells


Tim Etchells
Tuesday, January 21, 4 .30 ‚…pm
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema
SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street

In conjunction with the exhibition Who Knows, we join forces with PuSh to host Tim Etchells as a PuSh Festival   artist-in-residence and embrace the full scope of his practice. Whether, on stage or off, Etchells is concerned with liveness and presence and with the unfolding of events in time and place. At the centre of many of his projects, produced solely or with Forced Entertainment, there is a fascination with rules and systems in language, and in culture, and the way these systems are both productive and constraining. This artist talk forms a keynote
address as part of PuSh Assembly. Presented with PuSh International Performing Festival.

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Tim Etchells - Keynote Speech


Jürgen Partenheimer
Thursday, May 8, 6pm
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Room 301, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island

This special event involves multiple voices approaching notions of abstraction from a variety of poetic, philosophical and theoretical standpoints by Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Jürgen Partenheimer. Born in Munich in 1947, Partenheimer studied the theory and practice of art in Germany, the USA, Mexico and France. As a representative of a subjective abstraction, he is considered one of the most important contemporary artists of Germany. With theory, poetry and prose as his referential grammar for artistic expression, Partenheimer’s work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and text. Marked by a post-minimalist background and a poetic intensity, his art has been referred to as metaphysical realism. He became internationally renowned following his participation in the Paris, Venice and São Paulo Biennials, and in 2000 became the first contemporary German artist to have a retrospective in China at the National Museum of Art in Beijing. His work has been part of major exhibitions including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, the Miró Foundation in Barcelona and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

Featuring guest appearances by Nigel Prince, Nicholas Lea, Mayko Nguyen and Aoife MacNamara.

Partenheimer’s work has received many national and international prizes and awards, among others the Art Critics’ Prize of Madrid, Spain; the NEA Grant, National Endowment of the Arts, New York; Canada Council Grant, Montréal and the Federal Cross of Merit of Germany for outstanding international achievement. Partenheimer has taught as Professor, Distinguished Visiting Professor and Visiting artist among others at San Francisco Art Institute; Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf, University of California at Davis; Rijks Academy in Amsterdam; Royal College of Art, Edinburgh; Rhode Island School of Design and WITS School of Arts in Johannesburg.

Partenheimer’s residency at Emily Carr takes place from February – May, 2014 in preparation for an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery in the fall of 2014. The exhibition in Vancouver forms part of an open cooperation with the Pinakothek der Moderne München (The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Munich); Falckenberg Collection, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, exploring site and space-related installation concepts. Parallel to the different exhibitions, all of which will be held in 2014, the participating institutions closely worked on a publication with the artist that aims at commenting on and integrating the various aspects of his work as an additional ‘fifth room’. International authors from a variety of different disciplines, including Anne Carson, Lebogang Mashile, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, Antje v. Graevenitz, John Burnside, Oswald Egger and Rudi Fuchs, have taken up the invitation to write contributions and become involved in this project. Published by Distanz Publishers, Berlin, 2014.

Established in 2012, the Audain Distinguished Artist in Residence Program has a mandate to bring nationally and internationally renowned contemporary artists to Vancouver, create curriculum specific to each individual visiting artist, and support the creation of new works. Adopting a flexible model that encourages experimentation, collaboration, dialogue and engagement, the program will benefit artists, the academic community, the Vancouver art community at large, and will greatly contribute to Vancouver’s stature within the international art world. The Program, housed within the Audain School of Visual Arts encompassing the Faculty of Visual Arts + Material Practice, provides support for two artists per year to live and work in Vancouver for a one to three month period, and includes living and travel expenses, support for production costs, exhibitions and honoraria.

Please note that Aoife MacNamara’s reading has been removed due to technical difficulties. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenient.

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Video | Jürgen Partenheimer - Renga: Dimensions of Abstraction


Dhrupad vocalist Harkeerat Mangat and Tabla drummer Sunny Matharu performed at the Burrard Marina Field House, Vancouver, Wednesday August 14. The occasion was a launch for the 2013 Summer issue of FUSE magazine.

Images by Maria Fedorova.
Sound by Phil Dion.

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Harkeerat Mangat & Sunny Matharu - Perform Live at the Field House


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

 

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Indigenous Acts: Art and Activism Proposal Sharing


The Contemporary Art Gallery is hosting Australian artist Keg de Souza as an up-coming Burrard Civic Marina Artist in Residence in 2015.

I have been lucky enough to spend the last few days with Keg as she begins to conceptualize her upcoming residency. Keg’s most recent works explore ideas surrounding space, place and food. These themes appear to be forming around her residency here in Vancouver. Keg has visited community centre’s and women shelters in the Downtown East Side, UBC Farms, MOA and places in-between to reflect on the use of local foods and spatial politics.

We have also learned that Keg is an amazing vegan and dairy-free cook… so we’re counting on taste testing some of her own recipes!

Check out more about Keg and her work on her blog here and stay posted to find out more about her upcoming residency.

- Lindsay Lachance

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Mapping Food in Vancouver with Keg de Souza


Recently Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Brendan Fernandes held a life drawing class at the CAG. The gallery was buzzing with over twenty-five artists and the model, Rachel Meyer, a member of Ballet BC. Fernandes worked with Rachel to create a multitude of poses on various sized plinths that highlighted her feet and encouraged participants to focus on this area.

The drawing tasks varied from 30 seconds to 5 minutes then 20 minutes poses. It was really amazing to see the range of differences in drawing style and form that everyone used to interpret Rachel’s poses. We got great feedback from the participants and we’re hoping to hold more life drawing classes at the CAG in the future.

Check out some of these amazing life drawings above and stay tuned to find out more about Brendan Fernandes residency!

- Lindsay La Chance

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Life Drawing with Brendan Fernandes: Seeing the Dancer’s Foot


This week the CAG’s Summer Dance Intensive Program attended a movement workshop run by Delia Brett and Daelik of MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society. Delia and Daelik led a workshop that taught the participants to collaborate with their instincts and movements and not to rely on verbal forms of communication.

The embodied exercises led the group to think about creation and rehearsal techniques that they can bring forward with them as they begin to conceptualize their final projects. Delia and Daelik’s teachings and exercises were really engaging and allowed for the participants to get to know each other’s practice and methods for creation.

The next workshop will be held by the CAG’s artist in residence Brendan Fernandes and Vancouver-based contemporary dance artist Justine Chambers.

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Bodies Moving in Space and Time: Summer Intensive Workshop with Delia Brett and Daelik


Last week I attended my first artist talk as the CAG’s Learning and Public Program assistant. New York and Toronto- based artist Brendan Fernandes is currently in Vancouver for a two month residency at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House Studio.

While in residence Fernandes will be developing a new solo dance piece, co-mentoring a summer intensive youth dance program, and leading a life drawing class that focuses on the dancer’s foot. On Tuesday, June 10th Fernandes gave an artist talk at the CAG where he led us through the creation, rehearsal, and performance processes of his recent works; The Working Move (2012), Encomium (2011), and Night Shift (2011).

(Find out more about Fernandes’ past and upcoming works on his website at www.brendanfernandes.ca)

Brendan’s talk was as charming and insightful as his work, which engages with various disciplines including visual arts, dance, performance and theatre. He explained how his work focuses on corporal and embodied lived experiences—which raises questions about “liveness versus stillness”, “space and audience” and “single action versus relational action”. The focus on the body challenges us to re-examine the aesthetics of his works—how do we react as spectators when the body becomes the object, the subject, the artifact and the archive? Fernandes’ works question how we conceive the space, time and performative codes of bodies moving in gallery and museum spaces. I’m stoked to follow Fernandes’ process this summer and find out how the new projects are shaping up!

- Lindsay Lachance

Click here for: Information regarding his Youth Intensive Dance Workshop

Listen to the artist talk here:

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Brendan Fernandes Talks the Talk and Talks About the Dancer’s Walk


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

 

 

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Brendan Fernandes and ‘The Foot Stretcher’


As I mentioned in my National Aboriginal Day post I headed down to the Trout Lake Community Center to experience and participate in the fun! It was a beautiful sunny Saturday where everyone was enjoying the weather, the food, the company and the performances!

We attended the performance of Songs for Reconciliation,a part of  William Hiłamas Edward Wasden Jr‘s  residency with  The Vancouver Park Board.  Wasden Jr brought Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together to learn, share and perform Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw cultural stories, songs and dances. The project focused on revisiting cultural histories and knowledges that emphasize the importance of creating and maintaining loving relationships within families and especially towards children. William shares cultural knowledges and histories so that the participants and the audience can reflect on the many cultural elements that have been suppressed due to the residential  school systems.

We heard songs for young boys learning to hunt, songs for infant and toddlers, and one called the duck song. The audience was encouraged to participate and sometimes the dancers would  take you by the hand to get up and dance with them!

Another part of the project allowed for the participants to make their own regalia. Each piece was handmade, generally in black or red and had an animal on the back.

This collaborative residency allowed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to learn, remember, and share in Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw cultural knowledges and stories. As an Anishnaabe person I was honoured to be there, and to have shared in the performance of this work!

Meegwetch (Thank you)  William for initiating this project and for sharing your stories, songs and dances with us!

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William Wasden Jr: City of Vancouver Artist in Residence Performance


The Contemporary Art Gallery is excitingly awaiting this year’s National Aboriginal Day events! On June 21st Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across Canada gather to acknowledge and celebrate the histories, knowledges and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Trout Lake National Aboriginal Day Organizing Committee explains:

Setting aside a day for Aboriginal Peoples is part of the wider recognition of Aboriginal Peoples’ important place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. As former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson said, “It is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our respect and admiration for First Nations, for Inuit, for Métis — for the past, the present and the future. ” (NADOC 2014).

This year’s events will take place at various venues across the city including Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive in East Vancouver. Throughout the day there will be a pancake breakfast, a community walk, dance performances, live music, storytelling, and much more! There will also be food and art vendors. At Trout Lake from 2-3pm, the performance of  Songs For Reconciliation will take place. Artist in Residence William Wasden Jr, Community members from Hillcrest, Hastings and Britannia Community Centres, UBC Learning Exchange, Britannia Elementary and Hamber Secondary share and celebrate the learning of Kwakwaka’wakw culture.

William Hiłamas Edward Wasden Jr. is ‘Namgis (Nimpkish Valley and Alert Bay Area) from the Kwakwaka’wakw “Kwakwala Speaking Nations”. William was taught traditional Kwakwaka’wakw artwork by late ‘Namgis Chief / Master Carver Pal’nakwalagalis Wakas Douglas Cranmer and also from Haida Artist Don Yeomans. He was taught singing and the traditions around ceremonial culture by the last Kwakwaka’wakw Song Keeper/Composer/Historian, the late Nakwaxda’xw Chief Hiwakalis Tom Willie “Mackenzie” from Blunden Harbour and his late wife, matriarch ‘Malidi Elsie nee Wamiss from Kingcome Inlet. William credits the survival and strength of present Kwakwaka’wakw culture and ceremonies to the teachings of dedicated Elders such as them (Songs For Reconciliation Online, 2014). William Wasden Jr’s residency in Vancouver is coming to an end, but his work with art and reconciliation continues on through the communities he has worked with.

The celebration of National Aboriginal day allows for all interested to learn, share, and enjoy traditional cultural elements like traditional dialects, song, dance, art, histories and knowledge. It is a day of celebration and community building. I can’t wait for Saturday, and hope that you make it out too!

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National Aboriginal Day 2014 Celebration


On Wednesday night, about 50 people came down to the Burrard Marina Field House at 1655 Whyte Street for the launch of the FUSE Summer 2013 issue: Survivors and Survivalists. It began in the marina’s locker room lounge with a sublime performance of traditional Indian music by artist and Dhrupad vocalist Harkeerat Mangat and Tabla drummer Sunny Matharu. Listen to the performance here.

After flipping through the fresh pages, people sauntered around the lawn and eventually upstairs for a drink of something classic or the aggressive and delicious summer punch made by FUSE Contributing Editor Amy Fung. Helen Reed rocked the upstairs patio with her awesome combination of beats that crossed decades and countries until no more dances could be danced.

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Fuse Magazine launch at the Field House


We’ve had a very eventful week here at the CAG. In Celebration of our 40th anniversary and the opening of our Current Exhibition we’ve held not one, not two, not three, but four fun events! It’s been pretty great (albiet a tad exhausting for some of our dedicated staff).

On Wednesday September 7th we held a donors preview and screen printing workshop. We were lucky enough to have thirteen of Corita Kent’s original screens to combine in any way guests pleased. Everyone was provided with preprinted cloth aprons to protect their fancy wares and Meggan Winsley from Malaspina Printmakers was on hand to help guests pull the  screens. Best of all, everyone who participated got to walk away with their very own Corita Kent inspired print.

Present as well were members of the University of British Columbia Opera. In ode to Corita’s influencial friends (Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and John Cage to be counted among them), Heather Malloy and Rebecca Paulding performed two of John Cage’s lesser known songs (and by that I mean lesser known than the famous Four minutes, thirty three seconds), Number Sixteen from Song Books and Aria.

The following night welcomed a crowd for the official opening of our current Corita Kent, Thomas Bewick, and Federico Herrero exhibition. What began as a typical art opening (what does that really mean, anyways?) quickly turned into a full blown party.

Members of the UBC Opera performed for a second time, and as the lights dimed everyone loosened their shirt collars to dance to the musical stylings of DJ David Wisdom. The loading bay was tranformed into party central with cupcakes provided by Coco cupcakes, goody bags, a Corita Kent inspired stamp station, personalized crepe paper ‘hats’ for the especially festive guests, and a slideshow showing exhibition documentation from our last 40 years in operation.

The week’s events wrapped up on Saturday with Family Day. We were pleased to welcome children, big and small, to come and see the new exhibition, print t-shirts, and hold a Happening/Parade. With newly minted Corita Kent inspired shirts and banners, guests and musicians took to the streets on one of the warmest days of the summer to celebrate art and life.

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Preview, Opening, Birthday, Family Day, Oh my!


This Saturday, February 19, from 3 to 5 pm the CAG will host a special performance by Jonathan Middleton to celebrate the launch of our latest exhibition catalogue, An Invitation to An Infiltration. Middleton is a Vancouver-based artist and curator, whose practice examines the relationships between language, failure, and the structure of comedy. He is one of the artists who participated in the exhibition An Invitation to an Infiltration, which coincided with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The above image shows Middleton engaged in an act of intervention, replacing the exhibition title with  his own. On Saturday Middleton will be here to sign your catalogues with fictionalicized dedications.

An Invitation to An Infiltration was guest curated by Eric Fredericksen. He invited Fia Backström, Lucy Clout, Hadley+Maxwell, Jonathan Middleton, Dexter Sinister, Holly Ward and Jordan Wolfson to participate in an exhibition that explored the potential competitive nature of group shows against the background of one of the world’s major sporting competitions.

The publication is designed by participating artist collective Dexter Sinister, edited by Jenifer Papararo and printed by Fillip. For more details see our web page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Upcoming Performance by Jonathan Middleton and Publication Launch


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