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The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a major new commission for the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station by influential Vancouver–based photographer Marian Penner Bancroft.

Since the late sixties, Penner Bancroft has defined herself as a photographer, dedicating her practice to the medium, meditating on its conventions while also considering the dematerialization of the art object; combining conceptual art strategies as well as pushing the presentation and production of the photographic image into more immersive forms. She is known for drawing attention to the lines between where an image begins and what constitutes an image – at times using the physical framing device as a tangible three-dimensional photographic field.

The subject of Penner Bancroft’s work often resides in the personal, following her family, tracking their daily movements both real and, in the case of her ancestors, imagined. She embeds these inquiries into images of the landscape, using visual traces of a colonial transit to and across Canada as part of an individual yet generalized narrative of immigration and displacement. In recent years she has widened the scope of her research to include the histories of the fur trade, farming, music and religion in relation to the landscape and mapping.

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Marian Penner Bancroft - Boulevard


Jürgen Partenheimer
The Archive – The Raven Diaries
September 12 to November 9, 2014

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by acclaimed German artist Jürgen Partenheimer. Reflecting the diversity of the artist’s practice, the exhibition comprises works on paper, text, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, produced in Vancouver in spring 2014 during his recent residency as the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, hosted by Emily Carr University of Art + Design .

Partenheimer’s work is essentially abstract; his drawings and paintings are remarkable for their fragile beauty, whilst sculpture and ceramic work, suggesting some usefulness, remain elusive with respect to any specific function. His visual language, the particular form of poetic abstraction, and his life-long interest in notions of representation with consideration of locality, space and place, suggest a key resonance with artistic practice in the city, asserting continuity between these forms and an experience of daily life.

The imaginary archive that gives the exhibition and associated book its title provides the framework for the exhibition based on the oeuvre of the artist. They are the visible expression of both intellect and emotion carrying traces of their process, temporality and correspondence with other objects. To this end, in Vancouver the exhibition has a subtitle, The Raven Diaries, referencing the symbol and characteristics of the Raven to west coast First Nations culture, while simultaneously drawing analogies to similar figures in cultural myths elsewhere in the world, and especially to the role of the artist as trickster, representative of a catalyst for change in life, for creativity and humour.

Additionally, a selection of Partenheimer’s ceramic works will be on view at the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver in the Koerner European Ceramics Gallery. Reflecting Partenheimer’s interest in the interconnectivity of cultural disciplines, in October we will host performances of electro-acoustic music by Vancouver Electronic Ensemble as part of the Vancouver New Music Festival.

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Jürgen Partenheimer: The Archive – The Raven Diaries


Kevin Schmidt’s solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery presents a survey of recent works including two major new pieces, EDM House and High Altitude Balloon Harmless Amateur Radio Equipment, both made in 2013.

Schmidt is an artist who has consistently developed a body of work that addresses notions of a displaced spectacle, often within a consideration of the sublime. This ongoing proposition is tackled not so much through exclusive references to landscape, of being awestruck at the point of apprehending such beauty and wilderness, but by juxtaposing seemingly disparate elements within these environments. Works are often situated in remote locations, where Schmidt stages remarkable events which transfer elements of urban culture into untouched natural contexts. In this way, he simultaneously examines both the seductive elements of contemporary cultural production and the constructions that surround the idea of nature.

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Kevin Schmidt


The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by the renowned British artist Mike Nelson. Comprising two significant new commissions, the exhibition includes an ambitious series of sculptures produced in partnership with The Power Plant in Toronto, and a new photographic work made in association with the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, its starting point family photographs taken between 1957 and 1972 by the distinguished Canadian
anthropologist Dr. Wilson Duff.

Nelson is best-known for his labyrinthine architectural installations that unfold as narrative structures, where the viewer moves through rooms like a reader turns pages in a novel. These immersive environments are often seemingly abandoned, devoid of figures, yet imagining the unseen occupants of these intricate spaces is central to the viewer’s experience. For I, IMPOSTOR, Nelson’s major work for the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), much of the elaborate space appeared vacated, with the exception of a small room where lines of drying black and white photographs hung from wires that crisscrossed the ceiling. These images documented a seventeenth century caravanserai, photographed within the very building that housed a previous installation by Nelson during the 2003 Istanbul Biennale. The darkrooms within the Venice piece were a reconstruction of those adapted ‘found’ spaces in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, the architecture within the British Pavilion a disjointed facsimile from memory and from the photographs of the caravanserai. Visualizing this ghostly photographer supposedly moving through the same space as the viewer, simultaneously suggested the architecture as narrative, but confused time and space; a shift of cities and decades shadowing personal and world histories. It presented a fractured and multi-layered narrative, a set of atmospheres that similarly inform Nelson’s discrete sculptural works.

While his cultural references are broad, touching on particular moments in science-fiction, literature and the Beat era, much of Nelson’s work can be linked through an archetypal figure of the lone wanderer. For the Contemporary Art Gallery, Nelson revisits ideas and forms first seen in The Amnesiacs, a serial project begun in 1996, which references a narrative involving an imaginary cast of characters — a group of ‘outsiders’ to the mainstream who uncannily resemble a disembodied late twentieth century biker gang, albeit without bikes. These quintessential outlaws of myth and literature, as depicted in the popular imagination of North America, are paralleled here with another favourite genre; that of the hunter or fur trader, exploring both groups’ economic underpinning of these romantic façades, and the resulting conflicts involved in the expansion of territory.

In this new work it is as if a beachcomber has gathered material from the ocean, imagined by Nelson as a gigantic intelligent entity, much like that of Lem’s planet ‘Solaris’, sifting the debris as a means to uncover truths about contemporary culture and our place within it. The roving characters, The Amnesiacs, have come together as interpreters, deciphering the collected material by creating assemblages akin to some form of disjointed memory or flashback, that when brought together may effect communication or reveal hidden meaning, the potential for a new and unified system of understanding. Nelson originally developed these thoughts after the unexpected death of his friend and collaborator, Erlend Williamson. In 1996 he had fallen to his death whilst climbing in the Scottish Highlands, at the time that Nelson was working on his first incarnation of what would become The Amnesiacs. Williamson, an artist and mountaineer whose family ancestry was of Orcadian descent, will contribute again; this time parts of his own narrative, and the very materials that surrounded him — those that remain present in his absence — will be woven into the fabric of the work.

Each of the new works is derived from the Canadian landscape: one is quite literally built with flotsam and jetsam collected off local shores, while the other re-imagines it. The second new piece is a sequence of projected 35mm slides produced during recent road trips across British Columbia and into Alberta, images that appear out of time. Collectively they trace another movement across the landscape as well as capture momentary pauses, underlining human interventions to the land. Nelson’s interest in the photographic depiction of the Canadian landscape came through seeing a series of slides from Dr. Wilson Duff’s family trips across the province, presented at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. As an anthropologist Duff was dedicated to understanding North West Coast cultures, even such private holidays were spent viewing aboriginal festivals or visiting the workshops of totem pole carvers. These images resonated with Nelson as much as the objects in the museum, as a language to be unraveled. They were of a time and place, but already displaced. In relation to this, Nelson has made a work that talks about the land itself and the artistic traditions inherent within it, especially those borne out of North America in the twentieth century and their re-translation as part of a British oeuvre. Nelson unearths the possible re-reading of such activities as cultural imperialism within both strands of the movement — an accusation that could ultimately be reflected within the activities of the artist himself.

Mike Nelson is represented by 303 Gallery, New York; Galleria Franco Noero, Turin; Matt’s Gallery, London; and neugerriemschneider, Berlin.

We acknowledge the generous support of Rick Erickson and Donna Partridge, Jane Irwin and Ross Hill, and Randy and Julia Heward.

With thanks to the Erlend Williamson Art Foundation.

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Mike Nelson


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 presented the exhibition Endless Renovation an evolving installation by Corin Sworn, which combined found objects and texts, light and shadows, storytelling and speculation. With this work, Sworn transformed the Alvin Balkind Gallery into a set animated by audio and images.

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Corin Sworn - Endless Renovation


This exhibition explored the traditional genre of still life and how it is a sustained practice within contemporary visual art making. The number of artists and works was large for the exhibition spaces of the Contemporary Art Gallery, and yet it seemed small in relation to the subject. The quantity of works reflected this genre’s continued importance in current art production and discourse, and was conceptually tied to conventional formal aspects of still life, gathering together many objects for contemplation.

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Triumphant Carrot: The Persistence of Still Life


Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun refers to his drawings as preliminary studies serving as background work and the measuring-stick for developing the forms and ideas that have come to identify his style and distinguish his pictorial inventiveness. Neo-Native Drawings and Other Works features three decades of drawings extending from 1980 to 2009. The most recent tree studies (2004 – 2009), as well as ovoid portraits (2002 – 2005), figurative works (1985 – 2009), etchings (1993 – 2009), watercolours (1980 – 1993), and a number of sketchbooks comprised the first exhibition to focus on Yuxweluptun’s works on paper.

Yuxweluptun refers to his work as a discourse. In his work, art and politics intermix with a Salish cosmology to critique and transform the conditions arising from colonial displacement, returning the notion of an empty newly discovered land to an indigenous sense of place. In this way a cultural landscape becomes known, if not fully understood, through the myriad forms that are central to Yuxweluptun’s image making. While his work often lays out the terms of a grim pedagogy addressing racism and abuse of the land, Yuxweluptun explores these ideas with a liberating and playful humour.

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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun - Neo-Native Drawings and Other Works


 An ideal context for an examination of the competitive nature of group exhibitions was during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. In order to take stock of the current state of artistic interventions in the physical space or institutional workings of a gallery, guest curator Eric Fredericksen brought together an international roster of artists for An Invitation to An Infiltration

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An Invitation to An Infiltration


Elizabeth Zvonar’s work often uses iconic images from pop culture to reference art historical works, mixing images through collage or rendering popular forms in traditional materials. Through collage and sculpture Zvonar manages to connect the aesthetic, social and conceptual conventions of art history with those derived from the larger pool of popular culture.
On Time, Zvonar’s show at the CAG, carried this collision of representation into the realm of science, philosophy and religion by examining how the desire to move between realms, earthly, spiritual or dimensional, is portrayed through invention, ritual and, ultimately, image. This new work embodied Zvonar’s interested in the connections between Cubism, representations of the 4th dimension and rubber bands as metaphors for time. “I find that at the end of a journey, which of course is neverending; I have found things out.” This quote by British playwright Harold Pinter, is an apt description for On Time, which included an array of sculptures and collage that act as possible portals into implausible places. Zvonar’s reflection on Cubism and its relationship to Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, as well as her consideration of counter-cultures such as the beat generation and hippy culture, focuses on a common desire to transcend the physical limits of temporal reality. Whether it is the simple gesture of the thumbs up or a picture of a popular music icon, she captures this ambition by drawing on familiar images. Through her use of scale, mix of materials and combination of imagery, Zvonar manages to render the familiar somewhat absurd. She captures a humour that taps into an optimism and innocence that seems to belong in some other realm.

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Elizabeth Zvonar - On Time


Repetition, exaggeration and processes of making were common threads that tied the works together in Face Up. The work of three artists was combined to articulate how representations of the body could be broken down into single gestures. In three works by Lee Lozano, she repeats the same gesture over and over through oil painting and pastel drawing. Bruce Nauman’s silkscreen print suite Studies For Holograms captures five different contorted facial expressions emphasized by the use of acid yellow, grey green and inky blacks. Sarah Lucas’s Cigarette Tits, from her notorious cigarette sculpture series of the early 2000’s, is an iconic female form made from the meticulous and repetitive stacking of cigarettes, capturing the full slump of a heavily bosomed female form through an economy of means. Each of the works is an exaggerated caricature of recognizable gestures, left open and ambiguous to override static meaning.

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Face up


Playing Homage was an international group exhibition in which the artist was the subject matter. Central to all of the works in the show was a focus on the figure of the artist, used by each artist as a reference point to address their own subjectivities as makers, as institutional critique, and in sincere homage to an historical cast of artists and to the cult of the artist persona.

Several of the artists in Playing Homage directly took on the specific identity of another artist, while others play a more generalized character. Some of the works were remakes or restagings of earlier works in which the artists became, quite literally, actors playing a role, while others dictated what it meant to be an artist.  The exhibition brought together new and older works, including My Late Early Styles (Part I, The Middle Period) (2007 – 09) by Rodney Graham, an image first conceived for the pages of Artforum (2007), but never previously realized as a large format photograph, and General Idea’s little known video, Press Conference, which was taped at the Western Front, Vancouver in 1977.  Also included was Mark Leckey’s Made in ‘Eaven (2004), shown as part of his winning exhibition for the 2008 Turner Prize, and Andrea Fraser’s sharp re-articulation of a Martin Kippenberger speech in Kunst Muss Hängen (2001).  Martha Wilson’s premiere video from 1972, a selection of posters by Kippenberger, and new work by Kerstin Cmelka, Christos Dikeakos, Evan Lee and Ming Wong were also included.

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Playing Homage


The Contemporary Art Gallery opened a unique group exhibition that brought together six British Colombia artists who use the journey as a way to engage with landscape traditions. In Sentimental Journey, all the artists went on expeditions, traversing the landscape to collect inspiration and gather materials to document their experiences. The works in Sentimental Journey were both real and fictive representations of often undetermined treks. Many of the works had an optimism that was tied to the landscape, the desire to be outside and the character of the artist/wanderer.

The art works in this context brought forward the tight relation between the journey and its presentation, embracing the romance of the journey while also recontextualizing and privileging the terms of storytelling in order to question sentimentality. Sentimental Journey captured sentiments of eighteenth and nineteenth century Romanticism.  Most of the artists in the exhibition kept true to this tradition, using the journey as their primary source of inspiration, translating their journeys materially to create a new experience in its own right. As many of the works in the exhibition showed us, our visual fields are saturated with representations of landscapes, but here the artist’s to reinvigorate our perception of nature through their distinctive working methods.

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Sentimental Journey


bgl is an artist collective based in Québec City. The acronym bgl is the first initial of the surnames of the three artists Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicholas Laverdière. They create large scale installations, public art projects that are responsive to the intended environment or surrounding culture. Combining humour and social critique, using popular consumer culture to address global and local political issues, they have worked together for over ten years, exhibiting widely. Most recently they participated in the Montréal Biennial, were nominated for the Sobey Art Award and have had a solo exhibition at Diaz Gallery in Toronto.

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Bgl - MARSHMALLOW + CAULDRON + FIRE =


Canadian artist Tim Gardner is well-known internationally for his figurative works based on personal snapshots of family events, vacations with friends and day to day activities.  Mostly realized as intimate and precise watercolor paintings and oil pastel drawings, his early work used photographs of his older brother and friends as source material, capturing the sometimes excessive leisure activities of these post adolescent men engaged in sporting activities or partying. For his solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, his first in Canada, Gardner placed new emphasis on the landscape and watercolour. In this new work, the landscape became a place to formally engage with the properties of watercolour as a medium that offers a unique immediacy.

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Tim Gardner


Shannon Oksanen works in a variety of media from video to drawing. She has a growing international reputation and has participated in group exhibitions at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2004), VTO Gallery, London, England (2004), 303 Gallery, New York (2005) and The Charles. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2006). Oksanen had participated in There are Those: Drawing by Six Artists at the CAG. For her solo exhibition, she presented a new 16mm film and a painting series. The film continues her interest in showmanship sports following in the line of works such as Break Away and Vanishing Point that focus on figure skating and surfboarding. Here waterskiing becomes the subject matter, which Oksanen sets back in time through the filter of the medium and layers of melancholy music. Her painting series continues her interest in portraiture.

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Shannon Oksanen - Summerland


Vancouver based artist Elspeth Pratt produced an abstract sculpture for the gallery’s street front windows. Using common building materials, Pratt constructed a cohesive composition to create a unified design over nine windows. In general Pratt uses forms and materials that align closer with architecture than the history of visual art. At times she directly references the space she exhibits in, but more often her abstract sculptures carry direct references to other, more ubiquitous architectural spaces. World Traffic’s (2004) curving cardboard dome and grated base reflects the now pervasive shape of many new airports. Her wall piece Pendulum (2000), which uses a stick, sponge and wire to precariously balance a protruding block of wood and suspend a carved piece of pink foam, is characteristic of a cantilevered stadium balcony. For Bluff, her work for the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pratt did both. She responded directly to the space, but also made reference to more general and proverbial architectural forms.

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Elspeth Pratt - Bluff


Drawing holds a particular place in the hierarchy of art media. It is a method for sketching; a way to solve problems, a mode of research; a part of a larger practice and a place to begin. It is traditionally distinguished as being made with a pencil, pen, charcoal, marker or crayon, usually consisting of lines, patterns or shading. There are Those was an attempt to look more deeply at the process of drawing and those reasons to draw. We used this exhibition to answer questions like why are we seeing so much drawing, why are we interested in it and how are artists using it? This group exhibition was a small selection of Vancouver-based artists who use drawing as part of a larger practice, but who also use it in a particular way, as a means to slow down their thinking process. All the works in this exhibition were labored, generally overdrawn. They had a slightly obsessive character, either through exhaustive detail, repetitive gestures, or the obvious working and reworking of a motif. All the works made reference to historical material, either stylistically or thematically.

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There Are Those: Drawings by Six Artists


For Kristan Horton’s first exhibition in Vancouver, the Contemporary Art Gallery presented a selection of 38 photographs from Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove. The doubling of the title of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film is the first key into this ambitious project in which the artist reproduces scenes from the film Dr. Strangelove as sculptures. Using various commonplace items from his studio (a glue-stick, garbage bags, cutlery, felt markers and dirt to name only a few) Horton constructed the overall composition of each scene. He then placed, side by side, a black and white photograph of his improvised constructions with a reproduction of the original film still, amalgamating them into a single printed image.

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Kristan Horton - Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove


A Shallow Flight of Stairs, Robin Peck’s solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, consisted of a single large scale work using all eight standard size acrylic sheets. Peck worked through many different configurations to bring the separate pieces of material together in a composition that responded to the gallery as a frame and in consideration of the way a viewer moves around the work in the exhibition space. The relation that was created by assembling the similar but slightly differing material was one that was contingent on the architecture of the gallery but with the primary concern of putting the viewer in motion. The sculpture and architecture were static and activated by the viewer’s movement, which revealed subtle incremental changes in perspective caused by the differing thickness of each transparent sheet.

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Robin Peck - Shallow Flight of Stairs


Euan Macdonald isolates ideas, making them manifest with simple gestures and through simplifying the visual field. For Nebula, his solo exhibition at the CAG, Macdonald presented a 16mm film loop of a nebula captured through the telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles. Unlike the human eye, which cannot translate colour at such distances, film and video cameras can read the multiple colours particular to nebulae. Yet Macdonald still chose to forget the awesome spectrum of color, portraying the cluster of stars in black and white. He removed information not just to represent how the human eye sees, but to draw attention to the means of representation in order to create a lull between spectacle and sublime understanding. As part of Nebula, the CAG co-published a limited edition artist bookwork with Verlag Fur Moderne Kunst, Nurnberg that consist of an amalgamation of stills and drawings.

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Euan Macdonald - You Are My Nebula


These emerging Vancouver-based artists have recently come together as collaborators. In combining their practices they have created a specific dialogue, one that centers on a formal exchange and a continued interest in simplifying the terms of their visual surroundings in an attempt to see what the other sees. For their exhibition at the CAG, Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky presented a sculptural series of these formal conversations, which used base materials to geometrically represent common and household objects. They continued this dialogue in the windows in two dimensional terms, graphically rendering and extending their conversation.

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Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky


Vancouver-based artist and writer Roy Arden curated an exhibition of work by internationally renowned artist Hans-Peter Feldmann. Feldmann has had profound influence on the shape of contemporary conceptual art and photography, paralleling text and image and redefining methods of exhibition and distribution. For Feldmann’s first solo exhibition in Canada, and in order to introduce local audiences to the breadth of the artist’s work, Arden selected an array of Feldmann’s signature bookworks, posters and smaller works. The exhibition also included 100 Years, an ambitious photographic series of 101 black and white portraits of people ranging in age from 8 months to 100 years old. The formal composition of the images strongly relate to work of the early 20th century photographer August Sander. In conjunction with the exhibition, the CAG published Birgit Doing Her Make Up, a bookwork comprised of 72 successive photographs.

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Hans-Peter Feldmann - 100 Years


In his budding career, Christian Kliegel has deftly managed to mesh the grand gestures of monumental sculpture with more subtle and personalized actions. Since 2003, the artist has routinely detoured from his day-to-day travels to gather the material for Production Postings, an on-going project. Kliegel compiled a vast collection of location signs used by film and television production companies to direct crew and extras to film shoots. Each production uses a cryptic code to identify itself, but the general design and style of these brightly coloured signs are formulaic and a ubiquitous part of Vancouver’s urban landscape. Kliegel filled the Contemporary Art Gallery’s twelve street level windows with over three hundred of these signs, creating a vibrant spectacle that is reminiscent of the industry’s commonplace, but excessive and showy presence in the city.

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Christian Kliegel - Production Postings


Vancouver-based artist team Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens (Hadley+Maxwell) examine the relation of politics to aesthetics. For their project, I Love You, they combined graphics from the Atelier Populaire, a French workshop who produced posters for the May ’68 riots, and text appropriated from Wings’ 1976 hit Silly Love Songs. The resulting works played image against word, testing the power and effect of the activist graphics against the clichéd pop lyrics. For Screen Test, their solo exhibition at the CAG, Hadley and Maxwell produced three new works that continue to build a tension between politics and aesthetics, reflecting on issues of taste and its historical construction. They have exhibited their collaborative work across Canada at the Kyber Center in Halifax, Artspeak and Western Front in Vancouver and have been included in group exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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Hadley+Maxwell - Deleted Scenes


Myfanwy MacLeod’s work is trademarked by her wry sense of humour, and her layered referencing of consumer and popular culture. Using the language of cartoon-style drawings and sculpture, MacLeod brings together a blend of art historical references and a humorous take on the self-absorbed and entertainment-saturated culture in which we live. For Where I Have Lived and What I Have Lived For, Macleod drew inspiration once again from the world of popular culture, this time beginning with Scottish folklore. At Glenfiddich artist residency programme in Duff Towns, Scotland (summer 2005), Myfanwy produced a series of photographs of the interiors of derelict houses in and around the Glenfiddich Distillery. These photographs, which investigate the idea of the supernatural, start the artist’s exploration of vernacular representations of the otherworldly.

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Myfanwy MacLeod - Where I Lived, and What I Lived


To Be Sorted: Blank/Circle to Square/Organizing Principle was a series of three consecutive vitrine displays with objects from the collection of Micah Lexier, with each display accompanied by one of the artist’s works. Lexier, a Canadian artist based in New York, has developed his practice out of a reconsideration of the quasi-documentary strategies of early conceptual art, retooled to accommodate his concerns with time, identity and difference. Lexier has a sustained interest in the ephemeral products of conceptually based practices and over the years has amassed an extensive collection of such materials, along with thousands of anonymous products that share similar graphic and aesthetic qualities. Three separate groupings of material from this collection were selected, each group was accompanied by one work by the artist, obliquely demonstrating their reciprocal qualities.

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Micah Lexier - To Be Sorted : Organizing Principle


Andrew Reyes is an artist who lives and works in Toronto. He was included in the show News From Nowhere, curated by Derek Sullivan at the Susan Hobbs Gallery in June 2005 and included in the inaugural show at Diaz Contemporary in September 2005, Toronto. For display in the CAG’s street front windows, Andrew Reyes produced 120 photographic posters. In general, Reyes’ photographic work plays with the aesthetics of advertising, using visual effects to enhance or clean up otherwise mundane or dreary scenes. His series Day Place/Spray Palace (2002) is composed of nondescript generic images from his work place. With a few simple gestures, the careful addition of a couple of flares and sparkles, and by saturating the image with colours, Reyes transforms his ordinary work place into an ideal setting.

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Andrew Reyes - Posters


To Be Sorted: Blank/Circle to Square/Organizing Principle was a series of three consecutive vitrine displays with objects from the collection of Micah Lexier, with each display accompanied by one of the artist’s works. Lexier, a Canadian artist based in New York, has developed his practice out of a reconsideration of the quasi-documentary strategies of early conceptual art, retooled to accommodate his concerns with time, identity and difference. Lexier has a sustained interest in the ephemeral products of conceptually based practices and over the years has amassed an extensive collection of such materials, along with thousands of anonymous products that share similar graphic and aesthetic qualities. Three separate groupings of material from this collection were selected, each group was accompanied by one work by the artist, obliquely demonstrating their reciprocal qualities.

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Micah Lexier - To Be Sorted: Circle to Square


Clement Greenberg described collage as “a major turning point in the evolution of Cubism, and therefore a major turning point in the whole evolution of modernist art in this century.” Bit by Bit incorporated the work of emerging artists who continue to explore this material practice. All the artists in the exhibition apply conventional notions of collage, physically collecting, combining, cutting away, covering up and layering found images and commonplace materials – one piece at a time – to create new images and thus to construct new meanings. Whether the artists are boldly forming an aesthetic moment or overtly putting forward a political agenda, each element within the overall collage is considered a separate piece of information that combines with other pieces to generate something whole, and it is this tenuous and apparent relation between the pieces and the whole that gives this material practice its potency and continued relevance. As part of Bit by Bit, the CAG  published a special issue of I Got Killed I Got Killed I Got Killed in World War Three.

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Bit by Bit


To Be Sorted: Blank/Circle to Square/Organizing Principle was a series of three consecutive vitrine displays with objects from the collection of Micah Lexier, with each display accompanied by one of the artist’s works. Lexier, a Canadian artist based in New York, has developed his practice out of a reconsideration of the quasi-documentary strategies of early conceptual art, retooled to accommodate his concerns with time, identity and difference. Lexier has a sustained interest in the ephemeral products of conceptually based practices and over the years has amassed an extensive collection of such materials, along with thousands of anonymous products that share similar graphic and aesthetic qualities. Three separate groupings of material from this collection were selected, each group was accompanied by one work by the artist, obliquely demonstrating their reciprocal qualities.

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Micah Lexier - To Be Sorted: Blank


Ceal Floyer’s art practice has developed out of a playful approach to the tenets of minimalist sculpture. Using familiar objects and common figures of speech, she upends conventional meanings, creating works that are both elegant and absurd. Her small gestures, reductive reasoning and literalist approach to materials yield works that exploit the sometimes surprising outcomes of a perfectly logical process. This exhibition included new works created especially for the CAG.

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Ceal Floyer


Daniel Olson uses performance as a means to ignite his material production. The Montreal-based artist transforms existing objects with somewhat discrete interventions, at times enhancing or exaggerating their use value. For example, he adds a bell to a wooden walking stick, which can be rung with the simple flick of the thumb; he adheres a magnifying glass to a music box, exposing its inner workings; or melds a fan to a music-maker so both operate simultaneously. For Twenty Minutes’ Sleep the artist revisited earlier installations where he combined objects, sound, video, photographs and performance, to create an office space that sets the stage for a shifting cast of characters.

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Daniel Olson - Twenty Minutes Sleep


Vancouver-based curator Seamus Kealy organized an exhibition of Vienna-based artists through the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the CAG. This project offered an international exchange and collaboration and was aimed to involve and address younger artists. With this exhibition we aimed to create a dialogue between two seemingly disparate art communities of Vancouver and Vienna. Unterspiel brought together work that challenged prevailing limitations of contemporary art and as such, considered the function of the museum and other cultural institutions, and the ephemerality of the avant-garde and then the historicization of such activities. The exhibition considered Austria’s complex and often contradictory art traditions, many young Vienna-based artists continue to tackle notions of identity and cultural difference, and challenge institutional and social structures perpetuating class-confirming policies.  Participating artists included Patrick Baumueller, Severin Hofman, Marlene Haring, Hans Schabus, Catrin Bolt and the collective Monochrom.

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Unterspiel


The Spiders are comprised of Vancouver artist Damian Moppett and Toronto artist Zin Taylor. A collaborative outfit, The Spiders have adopted the sub-cultural administration of fashion in order to operate and produce work. For this exhibition, the street-front windows of the CAG contained a variety of ephemera (posters, buttons, stickers, displays, recordings) documenting The Spiders output over the last couple of years. For this special occasion, a limited edition necklace reading “The Spiders” was made from bent silver wire in a spider-like font and was available for purchase at the time of the exhibition.

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Damian Moppett & Zin Taylor - The Spiders


This exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery assembled a wide spectrum of Shearer’s recent work with the aim of profiling its many convergent strains. The centerpiece for the show was a recent sculptural installation in the form of a steel garden shed inside of which a guitar P/A system played a heavy metal guitar solo specially commissioned by Shearer. The ‘music’ was amplified and distorted by the metal of the shed, creating a keening shrine to angry, cloistered youth.

Vancouver based artist Steven Shearer  works in a broad range of disciplines including painting and collage, and continues to investigate the vernacular aesthetics of the 1970s as a site for looking at the emancipatory energies and sometimes revolutionary potential of teens and youth. He has assembled a growing archive of photographs, mostly downloaded from the web, of amateur record and tape collections, guitars and other totems of youthful rebellion and identification. He has also produced a number of works anthologizing images of ‘70s teen pop idols like Shawn Cassidy, whose androgynous sexuality and rapid climb into and then out of the heights of teen fandom is used for its autobiographical metaphors.

Exhibition text:

Steven Shearer is a collector of content, which he gathers in the form of images and lists. His accumulation and selection is derived from a researched interest in popular modes of representation that is specific to forms that have not yet established themselves or conformed to a set of established conventions. Within his collection there is often a subject matter that reflects a certain time period, and acts as social commentary, which at times Shearer defines through a personal history. But the overarching commonality running through his collection lies in formal concerns, in the manner, form or context in which a subject is represented.

Shearer has compiled an assortment of images from early teen magazines, at a time when the emerging genre was still experimenting with ways to represent its subject matter. The marketing power of a single image was not fully realized. Instead these fan magazines presented more of a scrap book approach that incorporated a large portion of non-professional and non-staged photographs. In the early days of fan magazines when their numbers were limited, they published a seemingly endless number of images, creating icons through sheer quantity with almost blatant disregard for the quality of the image or its layout on the page. Using this abundant resource of material, Shearer looks for particularities, selecting like images through similarities in poses, action or framing devices, reconfiguring them into groupings in order to find new ways of seeing and reading the imagery.

In Kaleidoscope (2001), one of Shearer’s early and now signature collage works, he compiles predominantly frontal shots of the 70s heart throb Leif Garret into a large and tight grid-like pattern without cropping or altering them; an approach he repeats in a number of works in this exhibition. Shearer reformats these images of a common subject matter into a monumental scale, a single field of hundreds of found images. Even though Shearer rarely alters the images, the overall collage creates a highly mannered effect that looks like it has a rigid structure imposed on to it: each four-sided image is framed by an almost symmetrical white border. Shearer does not want to deny the content of the individual images and tries to maintain the integrity of the original source material, while also considering the composition of the reconfiguration as a whole. It is a matter of proximity. From a distance the work appears as a color field, even the harshness of the negative spaces softens, melding the individual images instead of dividing them.

Shearer pushes this play with distances in List (2004), a large scale print of thousands of extreme underground black/death metal recordings sourced from tape trader lists. From a distance the columns of titles, band names and tape descriptions have a formal quality reminiscent of large scale abstract paintings. It is not until you stand directly in front of the work that the pattern breaks into columns, and then lines, and then words. Shearer uses a painterly approach, giving information a physical presence and even though the text is discernable at a certain vantage point the amount of information in its sheer volume is almost indigestible in anything other than its formal representation.

Part of Shearer’s collection is dedicated to images of handicrafts originally published in craft specific magazines from the late sixties and early seventies. With the craft imagery in particular, Shearer takes the most liberties, removing them from their background and adjusting their shape and size. He then reproduces them as silk-screen prints, reanimating them using a craft based technique and giving them a renewed context. Countless hours were spent making these beloved and be-laboured crafts, but when it came to their representation, like the countless images of teen idols, there was a carelessness; the work was usually self-photographed under poor conditions, and badly reproduced.

Slumber is the latest piece in Shearer’s large format collages. It breaks in content from his earlier works, moving away from youth and music cultural references to a less self referential subject matter and a direct pointing to the history of portraiture. For Slumber, he has culled images from the web, compiling photos of people sleeping. Shearer is specific about his sleepers. All of them are captured photographically sleeping, but usually not in bed or lying down. They are all caught in unlikely and often comical and mannered positions, half-sitting in chairs, slumped over tables or propped against walls with contorted bodies, twisted necks, and gaping mouths. He then combines these multiple images into a rigid structure that in a way conflicts with the subject matter, arranging them into a loose grid and finding a way to display the images in a painterly manner. For Shearer, the self-published images that he finds on the web are reminiscent of the amateurish and haphazard reproductions of early fan and craft magazines.

Sheds — the typical aluminum tool sheds found in almost every suburban back yard — are also a worthy subject matter for Shearer’s collection. Using his signature method of collage, he creates a grid of nondescript backyard sheds. Within this assembly of like images, he inserts a single image of a longhaired teenager playing a guitar. Adding this one inconsistency gives the shed new meaning. It now has the potential to become the practice ground for the guitar playing youth, a fertile ground for creativity and a place of freedom. For his exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Shearer brought this possibility into the gallery by assembling a “performance space” from prefabricated panels for such sheds. For the majority of the exhibition the shed sat closed with only slivers of light escaping from its cracks. On one occasion only, the sculpture became active via prerecorded death metal riffs specifically constructed to blare from within the closed aluminum walls causing the shed to vibrate and shudder in response to the different notes.

As much as Shearer is constantly looking for content he is also looking for innovative modes of display. He often returns to traditional forms of representation in order to recontextualize his collections. For Dirtyface (2003-4), Shearer unites seven images from his collection of teen idols in a series of seven silver point drawings. The old school technique creates a weird rift in time, converting the familiar 70s pop stars into 19th century street characters: from Adam Rich look-a-like (the youngest sibling from the television series “Eight is Enough”) to chimney sweep. In a similar manner, Longhairs, a series of crayon drawings, depicts five longhaired men, all shirtless. The medium and Shearer’s particular choice of characters transforms the contemporary low resolution jpegs to echo models of historical portraiture. He also reworks select images on canvas, moving deftly between painting, silkscreen and collage. The use of traditional mediums and the meditative focus of these hand made images contrast and compliment the glacial accumulations of printed images in Shearer’s archive.

There is something so optimistic and obsessive about all the subjects he chooses to collect, something that is reflected in his own act of collecting, and extended to the manner in which he presents his archive. How to give these things, his collection of images and text, a physical form or body? In their origin the items in his collection were neglectfully presented and reproduced, and in acquiring these images he can take the role of their caretaker, attempting to create a new context and aesthetic form in which to represent them or by using them as source material for traditional forms of image making.

- Reid Shier

 

 

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Steven Shearer


Alex Morrison’s practice spans a variety of media in work that examines the relationships between urban and domestic space, memory, and the struggle for subjective identity. His new work, Free Room, translated these themes into a three-channel DVD work based, in part, on Lindsay Anderson’s cult classic film, If, of 1968. Freely interpolating from the film’s depiction of the claustrophobic relationship between alienated youths, Free Room was set in a single room where the characters discuss, joke and plot, about sex, politics and death – the elements of a projected free life. Using images clipped from a variety of magazines, the three characters mapped out a set of identifications and the means to deflate them; they appropriated images in order to domesticate their rhetorical force. The work illustrated this transitional point of experience, a plane of action that is divorced from both the compliance of childhood and the complex morality of independent choice.

Accompanying Free Room in the exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, was a selection of silkscreen posters and drawings, together called Gesucht! (Wanted!). Similar in theme to *not the actual apartment (2001), these works dealt with idealized architectural space as lifestyle.

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Alex Morrison - Free Room


Marina Roy is a Vancouver based artist and writer whose works combine interests in historical book illustration with psychoanalytic theory and word play. Past works include a series of illustrations the artist crafted on the fore-edges of books, which illustrate the books’ titles while making overt sexual puns about their subject matter.

For her exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Roy presented an ambitious series of new paintings using glass and mirrors. In these works, abstract ‘blobs’ of paint are poured onto sheet glass; Roy then created representational paintings inspired by 18th and 19th-century illustrational styles on the reverse side of the painted glass. Arranging a mirror behind the glass, the illustration can be glimpsed hovering behind the monochromatic blob. Parallels with Rorschach tests bring to mind and literalize the often sexual nature of suggestion.

Several of the images in the paintings have been used in the accompanying video animation. Using kinetic devices such as bodily emissions or expanding clouds, the relationships between background and foreground are blurred or trade places, operating in much the same way as they do in the mirror painting structures. All of the images are figurative and make reference to landscape traditions, exploiting our abiding interest in nature and human nature.

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Marina Roy


Jerry Pethick (born London ON 1935, died Hornby Island BC, 2003) was an artist whose work probed the historical and conceptual cross-pollination of ideas about the nature of visual experience with scientific and technological inquiry into optics. He was a pioneer in the field of holography and much of his early work took the form of optical-sculptural bricolage. Since the early 1970s his work often took the form of quasi-sculptural “arrays” – compositions of serial photographs and Fresnel lenses that generated ethereal three-dimensional images. Such arrays were often accompanied by sculptural elements that served to extend the “virtual” aspect of the images into the “real” space of the viewer.

Pethick was a tireless researcher into the early history of photographic imaging technologies. (His notebooks and essays make mention of Edison, principally his efforts to claim the invention of the motion picture camera for himself, though he liberally adopted the work of many others.) On the basis of these writings, one might speculate that Pethick’s arrays were inspired by the ganged cameras developed by Auguste Le Prince, Eduard Muybridge and Jules-Etienne Maray. One of Pethick’s earliest arrays is featured in this installation.

 

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Jerry Pethick - Typology of Space


This exhibition proposed a look beyond obvious differences to examine commonalities of intention, technique, and effect in the distinct work of two artists. Vancouver artist Neil Campbell’s abstract, quasi-geometric paintings are scaled to the human body, and despite their apparent flatness, are performative in nature. They exact a calculated effect on viewer’s bodies and senses. Far from ‘abstract’, the experience is both physical and spiritual.

Beau Dick is a Kwakwaka’wakw chief, one of the most accomplished and talented traditional carvers and artists on the West Coast. Actively engaged in all aspects of Kwakwaka’wakw culture, he is highly regarded as a teacher and mentor. Dick has concentrated on studying and revivifying the traditions of carving, dance and storytelling, and this exhibition presented several of Dick’s masks in the admittedly compromised and alienated context of the Contemporary Art Gallery, far from their purpose integrated into rituals of dance and Potlatches. Dick mitigated these circumstances by preparing a dance for the exhibition opening.

The work of both Campbell and Dick share a basis in bold graphic design and theatrical effect. Supernatural shed light on these parallels while questioning the aesthetic apartheid which separates the conditions under which similar artworks have been (and continue to be) displayed, with the aim of producing a serious dialogue on the relationship between artistic cultures and traditions.

 

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Neil Campbell & Beau Dick - Supernatural


Luanne Martineau joins interests in early twentieth century social realism with midcentury modernism to produce works that speak to ongoing biases and entrenched exclusions. She uses turn of the century comic books for their racist depictions of a North American immigrant polyglot as sources for elaborate drawings. Martineau copies select bits from these comic books on tracing paper, building up large palimpsests of marks whose aggregate quality is abstract, but which on close inspection reveals traces of illustrative realism, exaggerated stereotypes and received prejudices. In her exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Martineau planned a suite of drawings accompanied by a large sculptural installation. Working with outdated manufacturing technologies for fabricating textiles – such as flocking and felting, and employing an antiquated knitting machine, Martineau has recently been crafting a series of large, soft sculptures that play base, comic referents off of high modernist ideals.

 

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Luanne Martineau - Bed Sitter


In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, the Contemporary Art Gallery presented an exhibition and project honoring its early years. On February 23, 1973, the Artists’ Gallery opened its doors at 555 Hamilton Street. Later to be renamed the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Artists’ Gallery was initiated by an arts advisory committee under the umbrella of the City of Vancouver. Central to its early mandate and philosophy was the promotion and creation of local visual arts.

During this time the City of Vancouver began a program, with assistance from the Federal Local Initiatives Program (LIP) to purchase works by local artists. In support of this ambitious project, the Artists’ Gallery was conceived as both a depository and exhibition space. The Contemporary Art Gallery continues to act as custodian for over 3000 collected works, many dating from the early to mid 1970s when the bulk of the collection was assembled.

The history of this important collection of art, of the Artists’ Gallery, and of the early years of the community that shaped what would become the Contemporary Art Gallery will be showcased this summer in an exhibition featuring works from the collection.

Project Organizers: Reid Shier and Shawn Preuss

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L.I.P. Service, CAG 30th Aniversary: The Collection 1973-1983


Scott McFarland is a photographer whose images are highlighted by meticulous staging and high-production values. McFarland documents a discrete range of subjects in ongoing suites, and his close attention to the minutia of his subjects allows for an empathetic yet critical viewpoint. The exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery concentrated on one of these projects: a large body of photographs documenting a rural cabin on the Sunshine Coast of BC. The series combines portraits of individuals with close familial ties to the cabin, an exterior shot of the cabin at night and a number of interior details, including rich and uncanny depictions of the cabin’s accretion of furnishings.

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Scott McFarland - Coastal Cabin


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


The Contemporary Art Gallery was pleased to announce the Canadian premiere of Vancouver based artist Stan Douglas’ film work Journey into Fear (2001). Douglas is one Canada’s most internationally acclaimed artists, and this marked his first exhibition in his home town since 1998.

Journey into Fear takes its name from two movies. The 1940 original features Orson Welles’ Mercury Players. A 1975 remake was one of the first motion pictures ever shot in Vancouver by a local crew. It starred Sam Waterston and Vincent Price in a shipbound suspense thriller. Douglas’ work is a DVD video installation that stages an antagonistic exchange between a woman and man in a cyclical, ever mutating loop, a formal device characteristic of Douglas’ recent practice. Set on a container ship en route to Vancouver, the work examines the 1970s as an historical moment of flux between internationalism and globalism, to which the ship acts as stage and metaphor. The DVD was accompanied by a suite of photographs of Vancouver set locations, including Douglas’ 16 foot long depiction of the south side of the 100 Block of West Hastings Street.

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Stan Douglas - Journey into Fear


In both over-sized wall-drawings and miniature sculptures, Scottish-born, New York-based artist Jill Henderson’s funky bog creatures ooze through the seams of ordinary architectural space. Her installation in the gallery’s street level windows, Highwideshallow, both described the physical dimensions of the windows and repopulated the neighborhood with her colorful homunculi.

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Jill Henderson - Highwideshallow


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


This was one of the exhibitions featured at the opening of the CAG in its new facility at 555 Nelson Street. Vancouver artist Ken Lum is internationally recognized for his photo/text reworking of contemporary advertising and signage. His new work for the CAG simulated outdoor signs for ‘Mom & Pop’ businesses such as restaurants and muffler shops, combining stereotypical advertising language with personal, political and socially charged declarations.

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Ken Lum


Liz Magor is a Canadian artist who lives in Vancouver. She began exhibiting her work in 1973 and has been included in numerous prestigious international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennial, Sydney Biennial, Documenta VIII in Kassel, and inSITE in San Diego/Tijuana. While she is widely known across Canada and beyond, this was Magor’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery in Vancouver in a decade.

Magor is primarily recognized for her sculptural work – although she has developed significant projects in other mediums such as photography – which is expressed in various forms ranging from full-scale installations to individual pieces. Stores presented her most recent sculptural work and incorporated non-traditional materials such as silicone rubber and pigmented plaster and resin. With these materials, she made casts of objects with startlingly realistic results. However, while the large pile of rocks placed on the floor is convincingly real, the discovery of actual junk food stashed within its hollow cavity renders the mantle of reality questionable, bringing forward a focus on the work’s materiality.

Magor’s sculptures at first resemble literal, easily accessible representations, but the play between what is real and what is an illusion, and the curious combination of food with other unrelated objects, complicate their apparent simplicity. The minimal yet evocative presentation suggests narratives and the activity of unknown personae obsessed with squirreling things away as insurance  against anticipated disasters or shortages.  It also implies larger social/psychological issues about the relationship between the desire for security in the face of unidentifiable fears, and the fundamental question of what people store away and why.

 

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Liz Magor - Stores


Eleanor Bond is recognized internationally for her large-scale oil paintings of urban landscapes in which a labyrinth of forms include both the actual and the imaginary. Although Bond’s paintings do not represent a specific built environment, their starting point is a specific urban place, space and landscape. This exhibition presented 2 works produced from research undertaken in Vancouver during February of 1999. Bond spent ten days walking and driving throughout Vancouver and its environs making photographic and video documentation which influenced the painting of Glass City and Tent City. - Curator, Petra Watson.

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Eleanor Bond - Quick aging pivoting city


Life Drawing Workshop: The Dancer’s Foot

Hosted by Field House Artist in Residence: Brendan Fernandes

Contemporary Art Gallery
(555 Nelson st.)

Tuesday July 15, 7-8:30pm

Free: Limited space, please RSVP to Learning@contemporaryartgallery.ca

Join our summer artist in residence Brendan Fernandes for a unique life drawing class focused on the dancer’s foot. Fernandes has invited dancers from BC Ballet to model their well-trained feet for drawing. Basic drawing materials will be supplied (paper, pencils, conte and charcoal) but participants are welcome to bring their own.

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Life Drawing Workshop: The Dancer’s Foot


Marie Lorenz
Beachcombers in Conversation
Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Avenue
Vanier Park
Thursday, May 29, 6pm

Join us for a conversation with Burrard Marina Field House Studio artist-in-residence Marie Lorenz, artists Rebecca Bayer and Josh Hite plus invited locals who will discuss their relationship to beachcombing.

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Beachcombers in Conversation - Marie Lorenz with artists Rebecca Bayer and Josh Hite


Two Beachcombing Workshops: Knot tying and Metal Detecting.
Sunday, June 1, 1pm-3pm – Free

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Two Beachcombing Workshops: Knot Tying and Metal Detecting


France-Vancouver: a curatorial conversation
Saturday, June 14, 6–8pm
Western Front, Grand Luxe Hall, 303 8th Ave East
Free, please RSVP to admin@front.bc.ca

Join a panel discussion with Claire Le Restif, director of CREDAC; Laurence Gateau, director of Frac des Pays-dela- Loire; Marie Cozette, director of La Synagogue de Delme; Vincent Verlé, director of Centre d’art Bastille in Grenoble; Alexandra Baudelot, co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers; and Marta Ponsa, director of artistic projects, le Jeu de Paume, hosted by Western Front and co-presented by
the CAG with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC and Consulat général de France, Vancouver.

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France-Vancouver: a curatorial conversation


Broken City Lab
Flagged For Review
Burrard Marina Field House Studio
1655 Whyte Avenue
Every Tuesday evening:

March 18 to April 29, 7- 8.30pm

NEXT: Tuesday, April 8, 7-8.30pm

The Trouble is…

Bring your questions, suspicions, and inspirations for art in public spaces to an open conversation on art as troublemaking and troublemaking as art.

Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver.

For this residency we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Creative Communities Award.

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Broken City Lab - Flagged For Review


Social Practice Pot Luck
Saturday April 26 7-9pm

To mark the end of Broken City Lab’s Field House residency we are hosting a pot luck and intimate conversation regarding social practice with special guest artist and Founder/Director of the Art and Social Practice MFA program at Portland State University, Harrell Fletcher. Fletcher is visiting Vancouver as a part of the ‘Working as an Artist’ workshop series at Purple Thistle and will be giving an artist talk at the Thistle (Friday April 25, 7:30pm) and leading a workshop (Saturday April 26, 1-4pm) with local artist Carmen Papalia. http://purplethistle.ca/

Bring a snack and join in on the conversation. Broken City Lab with Harrell Fletcher will lead an open conversation regarding the current state of social practice.

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Social Practice Pot Luck with Harrell Fletcher


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


Canadian Art Magazine Spring Launch
Saturday, April 12, 6–8pm
Join us for the launch of the new edition of the magazine.

Kevin Schmidt
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.

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Gallery Hop Vancouver 2014 | Talk by Kevin Schmidt & Magazine Launch


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


Join us for an afternoon of unconventional drawing at the Contemporary Art Gallery as part of the city-wide initiative DRAW DOWN.
Responding to the current CAG exhibitions by Erin Shirreff and Nancy Holt, visitors will develop their own drawn-on-film animations and flipbooks.
The CAG has invited Cineworksto present collaborative drawing-on-film and flipbook drop-in workshops for all ages. Working with filmmakers Zoe and Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty, participants will create their own simple animations on film, projected live in the gallery.Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty is a Vancouver based interdisciplinary artist working with photography, experimental filmmaking, video and sound. She received her BFA in 2008 from Concordia University in Montreal and currently manages the Cineworks analog darkroom and experimental lab with her sister Ariel by offering open darkroom nights, hands on workshops and performance/screening events. Zoe’s work has been shown in Canada, U.S. and Japan, her solo recording project Night Sides was released in April 2013 by Fixture Records.

Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty is a photo-based artist and film-maker living in Vancouver. Along with her sister Zoe, she manages the Cineworks Analogue darkroom and experimental lab space, and was a co-organizer of the Vancouver Darkroom Co-op from 2009-2011. Ariel has a BA in Philosophy and Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and a Photography Certificate from Langara College. She has worked with many types of alternative process photography and filmmaking, and also teaches digital storytelling. Ariel is currently completing a short film shot on 16mm film, and producing an event at the Cineworks Annex in collaboration with Art Waste. Her work has been shown in Canada and internationally.

Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society is an artist-run production and exhibition centre that supports independent filmmakers and media artists. Through initiatives that foster dialogue and experimentation with cinematic practices.

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Drawing Experiments on film | Draw Down 2013


Join us at the CAG and the False Creek Community Centre for free hands-on drawing activities with CAG artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly as part of the city wide event DRAW DOWN. Join artist Raymond Boisjoly to invent new tools for drawing and create new, experimental drawings.

WHERE:
False Creek Community Centre
Granville Island, 1318 Cartwright Street

WHEN:
Saturday June 15, 1 – 4 pm, free

Raymond Boisjoly is the Contemporary Art Gallery Artist in Residence at Burrard Marina Fieldhouse beneath the Burrard Bridge. A Vancouver based aboriginal artist of Haida and Quebecois descent Raymond combines contemporary craft, pop culture and street art with traditional Northwest Coast imagery in his work.

Draw Down 2013: On Saturday June 15, 2013, twenty-three different arts and cultural organizations across Vancouver will host a wide array of diverse, hands-on drawing workshops in community centres, museums, art galleries and on the street!

http://www.vancouverdrawdown.com/

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Re-inventing Drawing | Draw Down 2013


Button Wall was created for the CAG by Rethink Communications as the first step in the CAG’s first-ever public awareness media campaign. Fifty thousand buttons, each bearing a word that might describe your response to an artwork, were attached to the façade of our building. In less than 48 hours almost all of them have gone walking, attached to gallery visitors and now circulating among a vast potential audience for contemporary art in the city.

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CAG Button Wall


Join us for family activities and create your own Corita silkscreen print on T-shirts, bags, banners and boxes or rubber stamped artwork. The workshop will be followed by a birthday procession through the Yaletown neighbourhood.

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CAG Birthday and Family Day


Richter 858 - Bill Frisell in conversation with Nigel Prince
Held at The Vancouver Playhouse

Bill Frisell turns brushstrokes into sounds with Richter 858, a live, multi-media event that presents compositions inspired by eight abstract works by celebrated German painter Gerhard Richter, one of the most important visual artists working today.

Before the Vancouver premiere of the piece, also featuring music from Sign of Life: Music for the 858 Quartet, Frisell was joined by CAG Director Nigel Prince for a conversation about art as inspiration and music as the medium.

Presented in collaboration with Vancouver New Music.

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Artist Talk | Bill Frisell


Held at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver with after party at the CAG

The CAG is partnered with Cause+Affect to present a night on art and the city. Pecha Kucha is a global event held in š3 cities around the world gathering local creatives from across many fields to share their passions in a unique, concise format: each presenter shows images for seconds each.

PRESENTERS:
Andrew Young • dyoung.co
Caitlin Jones • front.bc.ca
Germaine Koh • germainekoh.com
Kaput • wackytupaky.com
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun • Artist
Michelle Allen • greencouchsessions.ca
Nicole Ondre • exercisecanada.com
Shaun Dacey • accessgallery.caburnabyartgallery.ca
Stephen Waddell • stephenwaddell.com
Zach Gray • thezolasmusic.com

http://www.pechakuchanightvancouver.com/Vol-23

 

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Artist Talk | Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver - Vol.23


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

Film Screening at Pacific Cinematheque

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

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

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Film Screening | Aelita: Queen of Mars


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

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Film Screening | Corita Kent


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

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

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Talk | Dal Puri Diaspora


Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly hosts a talk and discussion with Nathan Crompton.

Nathan Crompton co-editor of The Mainlander, will speak about the history of the land where Vanier Park and the Burrard Marina Field House are located, previously the Kitsilano Reserve. 2013 marks the 100 year anniversary of the dispossession and displacement of the reserve.

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Field House Talk | Nathan Crompton hosted by Raymond Boisjoly


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.

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Fuse Magazine launch and Performance - Burrard Marina Field House


The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery. This initiative seeks to support and nurture artists whose practice moves beyond conventional exhibition making, echoing the founding origins of the gallery where artists were offered support toward the production of new work. Our goal in presenting art outside of the boundaries of our exhibition spaces is to reach out to communities, offering new ways for individuals to encounter and connect with art and artists, expanding audiences as well as strengthening our commitment to nurturing artists through example, context and commissioning. Running parallel to the residency program are an ongoing series of public events for all ages.

Speaker Series: Artists in Public
This summer the CAG launches a new series inviting creative and cultural producers to share their theories, thoughts, and experiences of developing projects in the public realm.

Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau
Saturday, June 22, 4pm
Field House Studio at Burrard Marina
The first talk presents collaborators Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau who are currently working on a public project throughout Vancouver entitled Unlearning Weekender, (A project by Goethe Satellite @ Vancouver, in cooperation with Dance Troupe Practice, Windsor House School, Public Dreams and Revised Projects). They will discuss this series of workshops which invite the public to create rituals as a means of challenging invisible social structures aiming to strengthen community bonds.

Justin A. Langlois
Saturday, August 17, 4pm
Field House Studio at Burrard Marina
Langlois will discuss his work as co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, an artist-led interdisciplinary creative research collective and non-profit organization working to explore locality, infrastructures and creative practice leading towards civic change. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Windsor. In the fall of 2013, he will join the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.

Family Days at the Field House Studio

Join us on the Field House Studio balcony for free drop-in art activities for all ages responding to the work of Raymond Boisjoly and our current CAG exhibitions.

Saturday, June 29, 1–4pm
Saturday, July 27, 1–4pm
Saturday, August 24, 1–4pm

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.

Raymond Boisjoly, As It Comes continues until June 16 and is located in the window spaces at the CAG and off-site at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line and The Burrard Marina Field House Studio Residency Program.

As It Comes at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — IntransitBC.

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Field House Studio - Summer Programs


25th Annual Gala & Auction
Saturday November 2, 2013, 6.30pm
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
801 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

This evening is an important benefit event for the CAG which allows us to continue our crucial role as the longest standing FREE independent public art gallery dedicated exclusively to presenting the very best in contemporary art from Vancouver, Canada and abroad.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS PLEASE CALL, Lisa Fedorak at tel: 604 681 2700.

Payment accepted by Visa, MasterCard or American Express or cheque.

No tickets are printed. Names will be on a list at the door.
Absentee bids will be accepted for those who cannot attend, click here to download the absentee bid form.

For absentee bids and enquiries  please contact Lisa Fedorak at auction@contemporaryartgallery.ca or 604-681-2700.

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25th Annual Gala & Auction


Night School is a series of informal lectures and studio visits that are intentionally accessible, yet intelligent and engaging. Through a curriculum built from the history of exhibitions at the CAG, participants will learn about common themes in recent contemporary visual arts and ways in which they are interpreted and discussed. Guest instructor Lee Plested will introduce work by important artists from Vancouver and around the world during four lectures and a suggested reading list complementing the discussion program.

Night School participants will also be involved in studio visits with three, internationally recognized, Vancouver-based artists. Steven Shearer, Geoffrey Farmer and Liz Magor have all held important exhibitions at the CAG and their projects will be introduced during the previous lecture. These field trips will be paired with cocktail events.

Night School offers direct access to and dialogue with artists and curators in the city. Alongside its curriculum, a passport of local events, openings and lectures will provide an expanded perspective on the Vancouver art scene plus opportunities to build a greater appreciation of art production and presentation in the city.

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Night School


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

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

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

This is part one of a two-part interview.

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


Federico Herrero discusses his CAG exhibition “Vibrantes”, September 9, 2011 to January 15, 2012.
Video production by Adrian Buitenhuis.

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Video | Federico Herrero


Roy Arden discusses his exhibition UNDERTHESUN at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Canada.

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Video | Roy Arden


This video, Roy Arden: UNDERTHESUN was made to coincide with the exhibtion of the same name at the Contemporary Art Gallery from January 28 to March 27, 2011.

Video by Adrian Buitenhuis

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Video | Roy Arden - UNDERTHESUN


Eli Bornowsky Interviews Elizabeth McIntosh (Part 1 of 2)

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Video | Eli Bornowsky & Elizabeth McIntosh (Part 1)


Eli Bornowsky interviews Elizabeth McIntosh on the occasion of the exhibition – Eli Bornowsky: Walking, Square, Cylinder, Plane - November 26 – January 22, 2011
© Contemporary Art Gallery, The Western Front and The Artists, 2011.

 

 

 

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Video | Elizabeth McIntosh & Eli Bornowsky (Part 2)


Artist Alex Morrison discusses his work and the group exhibition Following A Line at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, September 2010.

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Video | Alex Morrison


Dexter Sinister discuss the exhibition An Invitation to An Infiltration, 2010. An ideal context for an examination of the competitive nature of group exhibitions was during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Organized by guest curator Eric Fredericksen, An Invitation to An Infiltration was a group exhibition of local and international artists ranging from emerging to established.

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Video | Dexter Sinister


Holly Ward discusses her work in the group exhibition An Invitation to An Infiltration, 2010. An ideal context for an examination of the competitive nature of group exhibitions was during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Organized by guest curator Eric Fredericksen, An Invitation to An Infiltration was a group exhibition of local and international artists ranging from emerging to established.

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Video | Holly Ward


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.

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Marcella Munro, Art is a Gift


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


“What if where you are right now is all you need to be?”

This was a question Christopher House repeatedly asked us during his “Dancing in the Now” workshop. The CAG’s Youth Summer Intensive participants and mentors were  lucky enough to participate in a very thought-provoking, educational, and exciting two hour workshop with Toronto based choreographer, Christopher House.  As a part of the 2014 Dancing on the Edge programming, Christopher House performed a piece co-choreographed by Deborah Hay entitled The Body in Question. His final performance was Friday, July 11th 2014- check the Dancing on the Edge website for more schedule and programming information.

The Contemporary Art Gallery launched their Summer Youth Intensive, a ten week course for emerging artists interested in cross-disciplinary movement-based performance last week.  Led by four established artists, the 11 participants are considering the intersections between dance, choreography and visual art, culminating in the creation and production of a new work.  A part of this intensive allows for the participants to attend workshops, artists talks and studio visits, and Christopher House’s workshop was one of them!

House’s workshop encouraged the participants to dance in the “now”, to really focus on the embodied present and not to second guess our actions. In encouraging us to move in the “ways that we see the space around us”, House taught us about giving our bodies agency, timing and to consider the differences between space and place.

After the workshop, House stayed to speak with our group where he answered our questions about his work and regarding our individual practices. He shared methodological and creation process tips that will be useful for the Summer Intensive group as they move into developing their own works!

This group is ambitious, talented and inspiring- I can’t wait to follow their process during this summer intensive!

- Lindsay Lachance

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Keeping ‘one eye in’ and ‘one eye out’ at Christopher House’s Dance Workshop


As the new Development Assistant for the Contemporary Art Gallery’s 26th Annual Gala & Auction, I am so excited to be a part of the CAG’s team and to connect with the CAG’s surrounding community.

My name is Olivia de Fleuriot de la Coliniere – I usually shorten my last name to de Fleuriot to avoid confusion or bewilderment. I was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Toronto with my family when I was five years old. I grew up amongst creativity and colour, which encourages me to pursue my passion to create and study fine art. I recently completed my Bachelor of Art degree, majoring in Art + Design, at Trinity Western University and will be continuing this upcoming academic year as an Honours student. I aspire to pursue a career in a gallery setting and educational environment, as well as my own artistic practice.

The team here, at the CAG, has been welcoming and supportive. I work directly with Sue Lavitt, Head of Development and Communication, and also other staff and volunteers at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

It has been an exciting adventure corresponding, researching, and writing about the various artists being presented at the gala fundraiser this year. I can’t wait for you to experience the fantastic night and participate by supporting both the artists and the CAG in their role locally, nationally, and internationally. It is very tempting to blurt out the broad display of talent being presented this year, but I shall keep you in suspense a bit longer!

I am quite happy to say that my experience here at the Contemporary Art Gallery does not end this August. Before my current position, I volunteered and assisted Shaun Dacey, the Curator of Learning and Public Programs, with research and educational practices. From this experience I will be co leading the Family Day events that take place the last Saturday of every month. It would be great to see you at a Family Day event or at the Annual Gala & Auction this fall!

There will be more blogs coming up to give you a taste of this year’s Gala & Auction in retrospective of a 25 year history.

- Olivia de Fleuriot

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Hello from Olivia de Fleuriot!


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


Wine & cheese boards — engaging critical & theoretical discussions about contemporary art in Vancouver — where do I sign up?!

Night School is a new intensive program  for anyone interested in broadening their understanding of contemporary art. Facilitated by independent curator Lee Plested, participants engage in seminars, studio visits and special events in order to unpack the concepts and thematics of contemporary practice via the history of CAG exhibitions.

Lee Plested is an engaging and charming lecturer who encourages group discussion from those in attendance. At last Thursday night’s seminar Plested introduced works by Stan DouglasRebecca Belmore, Nan Goldin and Stephen Waddell. He clearly articulates the social, political and historical themes particular to each artist. He then initiates critical discourse forming relationships between each. The round table format is very inviting and allows for insightful critical dialogue.

In addition to studio visits and talks, Night School participants will attend exhibition openings and other arts and culture events across the city! This is an amazing initiative that introduces its students to the multiple ways in which conversations regarding the philosophical, aesthetic, socio-political and creation processes of contemporary art can be articulated and received. The CAG is currently planning a second session of Night School in early 2015. This is something you won’t want to miss so stay tuned for more information regarding registration and programming!

- Lindsay Lachance

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Night School at the CAG: Teaching us to say what we mean & mean what we say


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.

For more information on the residency program and Marie Lorenz’s residency click here.

For details on related events click here.

Click here for some  press on the Frieze Art Fair boat rides with Marie Lorenz.

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Boat building with Marie Lorenz


Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

For the first two Tuesday night events, BCL are inviting participants to contemplate and define the use of flags in the urban setting, with the  aim of highlighting a range of curious and challenging ideas that inform the ways we experience, imagine and historicize the city of Vancouver.

During the evening on Tuesday March 18, a series of 12 questions were asked  to the attendees. Questions included conceptions of Vancouver as a place and an how individuals engage with politics. It was very interesting to talk about how we perceive the city in positives or negatives and to share with strangers our political thoughts. The evening finished with a game of ‘spin the bottle’ with participants answering the questions one on one with each other and with Broken City Lab members, Hiba and Justin. Above are a selection of images taken by Caitlin Carr from the evening.

UP NEXT:  

Tuesday April 1, 7-8.30pm
Projecting Forward

This Tuesday’s, Flagged For Review gathering with Broken City Lab will imagine what the future holds for the city of Vancouver, with a series of short declarations created and projected onto the Burrard Bridge. These declarations will be our hopes, doubts and dreams for the future of Vancouver.

Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver.

For this residency we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Creative Communities Award.

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Flagged For Review with Broken City Lab – Tue April 1


The Vancouver Art/Book Fair occurred this month on Oct 5/6, 2013, drawing crowds of varying age groups from the curious to the connoisseur. Exhibitors occupied various rooms, on three different floors, within the annex area at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Exhibitors had on display zines, magazines, books about art, artist books and ephemera were on display to peruse, discuss and purchase.

Exhibitors were local, national and international in scope. Grassroots organizations; distributors and publishers; established galleries; and more set up displays to sell limited editions and/or mass produced publications. I noticed a selection of the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) publications gracing the tables of various exhibitors. The subtle salesmanship from seasoned exhibitors (with stacks of their select publications) took place alongside earnest first time exhibitors launching singular publication.

Also taking place were Fair programmed talks and workshops where publishers, galleries and artists spoke about their publishing practices and experiences. Workshops about artist books occurred, with artists and publishers outlining their processes from the initial concept to publishing options.

Artist books seemed prevalent at the fair. For those unfamiliar with the concept of an artist books, I will explain some features to differentiate this form of publication from other art books. I would describe an artist book as an artwork that is primarily conceived of and/or produced by an artist. They can be handmade (from concept to content) or produced by the artist(s) and processed as a limited edition through a printer and/or publisher. In recent months, I’ve encountered artist books at CAG exhibitions by artists such as Ciprian Muresan, Kay Rosen and currently Mike Nelson. Additionally, I’ve had the pleasure of cataloging various artist books, while volunteering at the CAG working in the Abraham Rogatnick Library collection. These art objects can have a tangible permanence in an individual’s life or literary collection beyond an exhibition time frame. By this I mean that limited editions of artist books might circulate as an art object within a collection (public or private) and be handled and seen by a wider audience, than for example, an artist’s painting or installation.

Moreover, artist books have been described as leading to new outlets of development or avenues of production for the artist(s). The work developed in an artist book might be the starting point of a project that is transformed or developed into other means of production and so forth. For example, I sat in on a presentation by a small publishing house, La Silueta Ediciones, based in Bogata, Columbia. The speaker stated that their mandate was to “publish books that [they] believe should exist.” He described how one of the artist books they produced gave rise to its development into an awards winning animated film. Here we saw a book with personal, community and political undertones depicted with the artwork engaging with individual and groups. Other artist books have been seen to have impact in terms of addressing political issues, fostering advocacy work, and more.

Artist books seem to be a sort of bridge to exhibition spaces for both producer and viewer. And according to some exhibitors producers of such work have been finding a surprisingly successful production return. Not only in terms of a viable revenue stream, but also for drawing interest that are non-arts based. One exhibitor described the art world as a “somewhat incestuous group,” but that they have seen interest for artist book from a following that was not the usual arts based suspects. Artist books are garnering interest from a diverse spectrum of the population; individuals from all walks of life and varying interests are engaging with art in their everyday lives in unexpected forms and places. Could this be the humanist perspective at work? The belief that art plays an important part in an individual’s life.

Even so, any art publications and their life beyond or instead of an exhibition, raises questions about the effects on the individual seeing original art work versus reproductions within alternative formats. This is a topic that was raised during Erin Shirreff’s recent exhibition at the CAG with respect to her engagement with the sculptures of Tony Smith in texts versus in person. Does prior knowledge about an artwork alter ones perception, in the reading or researching of work prior to seeing the work itself? I’ve been challenged by this conundrum when researching artists and artwork. Often the only means of viewing work is in some from of reproduction removed form the original form. For me it has been a question about the impact of art work and the journey one takes in engaging with artwork. I consider the possibilities of what might be overridden or misdirected in an initial processing of an artwork due to the filters of others critiques echoing through my own thoughts. However this is a larger discussion this is perhaps best saved for another time or place.

- Jocelyn Statia, CAG library volunteer

 

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Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2013


Nathan Crompton hosted by Raymond Boisjoly
Burrard Marina Field House
Saturday September 28, 4 pm

This year marks 100 years since the dispossession of the Kitsilano Reserve, a year the city of Vancouver has also declared  the Year of Reconciliation.

Local writers Nathan Crompton and Maria Wallstam wrote an article in The Mainlander called City of perpetual displacement: 100 years since the destruction of the Kitsilano Reserve in July of this year. It explores the relationship between the rampant gentrification of the DTES & Grandview-Woodlands, and the colonial settlers’ unjust treatment of indigenous populations in the early 20th century. The article piqued the interest of our current Burrard Marina Field House artist in residence, Raymond Boisjoly, who identified that the Kitsilano Reserve discussed in the article is located in the exact same spot as the Burrard Marina Field House (1655 Whyte Avenue) where he’s been working for nearly six months. Throughout his residency at the Field House Boisjoly has been interested in the history of the land the Marina sits on. Crompton’s research and response to the dispossession of the Kits reserve aligns it with the current rash of forced evictions of low income residents in the DTES. A link can be drawn between Boisjoly and Crompton through their evocation of histories as a way to engage urgent current dialogues in the community.

For more detailed maps and history of the Kitsilano Indian Reserve lands go to UBC’s Indigenous foundations online mapping tool http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/land-rights/mapping-tool-kitsilano-reserve.html.

- More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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.

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Nathan Crompton talk at the Burrard Marina Field House


Today at the Burrard Marina Field House! (Saturday September 28th at 4 pm)

Nathan Crompton co-editor of The Mainlander will be speaking  about the history of the land where Vanier Park and Burrard Marina Field House are located, previously the Kitsilano Reserve (Crompton co-wrote an article about the reserve here).   This year marks 100 years since the dispossession of the Kitsilano Reserve, a year the city of Vancouver has also declared  the Year of Reconciliation .

Our Field House Intern (Jaclyn Bruneau) interviewed Crompton about the article and his upcoming talk this past week. Here is an excerpt where Crompton draws out the analogus connection between the history of the dispossessed land and current situations in the city. We will be posting the rest of the interview in the coming days.

Jaclyn Bruneau: Your article in The Mainlander draws attention to the linkage between the kinds of aggressive colonialist displacement and dispossession that took place 100 years ago in 1913, and the accelerating gentrification happening in Gastown, the DTES, and extending as far as Grandview-Woodlands. What kinds of excuses or justifications are people making for these new developments that render such a seemingly obvious linkage invisible? You cite a The Province editorial is titled, “The sooner the Downtown Eastside is cleaned up the better” which touches on this.

Nathan Crompton: I think that “cleaned up” is a telling choice of words in this case. What the editors of the Province want today is what they have always wanted as they lean in on the benefits of a capitalist, colonial society while disavowing the consequences of displacement, exclusion, endemic unemployment in the cities, etc. Our article tries to draw on old Province editorials. There is a 1903 editorial calling for the displacement of the Kits reserve, which describes the First Nations settlement in familiar terms, as an “eyesore” that should be removed because it does not maximize the financial value of the land.

It is important to read those old articles, because despite the passage of time they resonate with our troubled present. What the Province wants to “clean up” is of course the same communities that have been resisting and surviving since the beginning of colonial settlement. This is why the proposed cleaning is so deeply political and social. The cleansing of Vancouver’s low-income neighborhoods is a social cleansing, and we need to look beyond the realm of ideology and discourse to identify the process. The “proposals” being put forward by the Province already being acted upon by the real-estate developers and the police, so we have the white press, the State and capital, each forming their own part of the eternal recurrence of colonialism.

Be sure not to miss Nathan’s talk today at 4pm at the Burrard Marina Field House.

Nathan was invited to speak by our current CAG Field House at Burrard Marina artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly. 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 of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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Interview with Nathan Crompton (Part 1)


British artist Mike Nelson continues his scouring of Vancouver and lower mainland beaches for flotsom and jetsam in preparation for his ambitious solo exhibition at the CAG which opens on Friday September 13. Photographs by Phil Dion.

The exhibition includes two brand new commissions, a sculptural work produced in partnership with Toronto’s Power Plant and a new photographic work made in association with the Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery.

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Beach combing with Mike


I knocked on the door of the Field House to be greeted by Raymond who had set out two glasses and a bottle of mineral water. We chatted about Miranda July’s latest project involving personal e-mails and Sheila Heti’s admirable (and very literary) contributions to it; about women writers who incorporate auto-biographical elements into their work; and Wendy, a tragically hilarious fictional character whose haphazard attempt to become part of the contemporary art world is rendered as a comic column by Walter Scott. With the click of a button, we began:

Hey Raymond. What are you up to at the field house?
I’m a Vancouver based artist working on a lot of assorted things here. No one big project but just working toward a lot of stuff coming up—producing work as well as doing research for future work.

How have you enjoyed using this space, now that you’ve been here for a few months?
It’s really amazing. Especially since the weather has gotten better, there’s been this incredible thing where there’s always a lot of activity around here, with Bard on the Beach being really proximate. It’s made for some interesting times.

You were recently in Norway, for a festival called Riddu Riddu which brings Sami people together with indigenous people from around the world. What were you doing there and what did you learn?
I was there presenting work in the context of the festival which was nice. There was less pressure, because everybody there is going to see Buffy Sainte-Marie. It was sort of just like “yeah, I’ve got something in the library” so it feels a lot different [than having a solo exhibition]. I learned that it–it was just nice to come to understand the different circumstances that people sort of come to claim indigenous identity within. It gave me ways to think about how those processes operate in the Americas—things that otherwise just seem really kind of straightforward or easy—that there are different models for how those things happened.

And what was the work you exhibited there?
They were derived from a body of work I made a few years ago where I made indigenous place name black metal logos.

Check us out again soon (Part II on its way!) for more about Raymond.

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 of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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Afternoons with Raymond – Part I


This is Part 2 of an interview with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly and CAG Field House intern Jaclyn Bruneau. Read Part I here.

Afternoons with Raymond – Part II

Jaclyn (JB): Raymond, your recent trip to Norway wasn’t your first connection to Norwegian culture. I heard  a connection of yours to Norway was the black metal music text works made in response to the proposed re-naming of Stanley Park. The City was bouncing around the idea of reintroducing the name of the indigenous tribe that resided on that site since as long as 3000 years ago. What was it about the aesthetic of black metal that specifically jarred you and made it seem right for the project?

Raymond (RB): My interest in it was about being able to approach indigenous issues that didn’t necessarily have to reproduce familiar, established understandings of aboriginal artistic practice. It was about the ability to frame it through another aesthetic that isn’t premised on primordial belonging—that isn’t about what we think we already know about the aesthetics but the capacity to come to see it differently.

JB: Right, and so hence the appearance of the text which is sharp, thorny and harsh-looking. Why were those characteristics the best fit for a project that was trying to reclaim or reestablish a name, considering that the conditions now are completely different in this city for the way we think about First Nations people?

RB: I just like the idea that a lot of it is really decrepit or withered—that it seems to place itself in the midst of the process of decay; that it somehow, at least for me, registers somehow, the less than ideal circumstances that we find ourselves in; where maybe we can’t necessarily conceive of a solution to the complexity of the relationship between aboriginal peoples, the Canadian government, and Canadians generally. And that became this really sort of weird thing that could register those complexities in a certain way. That it was about cultural competency that wasn’t premised on aboriginal identity or belonging but was an elective affinity—that somebody who likes black metal might come to encounter them, and it maybe smuggled in a concern for aboriginal issues that maybe could be communicated or could be legible to a different audience.

JB: You make use of text in some really intricate and thoughtful ways that invite people to re-read and re-assess, testing different potential meanings. I’m talking about your project ‘As it Comes’  in the window of the CAG as well as at Yaletown-Roundhouse  Station, Canada Line. Has text always been part of your work? Why is it important?

RB: Ever since I was a photo student at Emily Carr, I had supportive instructors who allowed me to do something other than making photographs, so it just became this thing that was within a lot of work that I came to encounter. There could be this discrepancy between the work and its description—I found that was a really active place to situate myself, in terms of thinking through (in the very imprecise way) that messages can be communicated.

Like there was this idea that I had about the possibility for thinking of how a failure of translation could actually be a productive thing, that it could be about simply looking at those contingencies of communication and the fact that we use these various strategies, but they produce a very particular framing; that language becomes an interesting way to conceive of that process through which ferry the messages across from person to person, from place to place.

JB: The choice of typeface seems inextricably important from the overall formation of the messages you create. Do the text and the typeface arise somewhat simultaneously in your ideation process, or how is the decision made for that pairing?

RB: It seems very straightforward to me, at least. There’s not necessarily any sort of long process of trying to figure out what typeface might work. So it becomes primarily more about simply what seems like a manageable typeface to use—something that doesn’t necessarily call too much attention to itself, which I guess is a lot different from the black metal works. I sort of see it as being active but somehow not really directive for the message in any particular way. Instead, somehow the message comes to fill it, strangely. So it’s a weird process that I don’t know if I can really articulate.

It’s—at least to me—some not very interesting logistical phenomenon. It’s like, I just have to pick one.

JB: You are hosting a talk at the Field House by writer  Nathan Crompton for Culture Days on Saturday, September 28th at 4 pm . Can you tell me a bit about the thought behind inviting him ?

RB: I don’t really recall the first place I encountered him but he’s really active in Vancouver, and he’s asking difficult questions about a lot of civic processes, and framing them in an accessible way that allows people to talk about them.

But I was interested in talking with him specifically about the article that he co-authored that was recently published on The Mainlander website about the Kitsilano Reserve which is immediately proximate to this studio—because it had come up a few times, so I was just really anxious to think about the necessity to think through that process. The studio being given by the City of Vancouver to arts groups, and individuals, and institutions like the CAG—it seems like a good means not simply to activate the space but also to come to understand something too—that there’s a more complex history behind the fact that these field houses have fallen out of use, and it seems like an interesting thing to talk about. So it’s actually a convenient thing, sort of seeing that article and realizing the potential for some kind of public discussion.

Stay tuned for the third and final installment of this discussion!

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 of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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Afternoons with Raymond – Part II


This is Part III of an interview with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly and CAG Field House intern Jaclyn Bruneau. Preceding Part III was a Part I and II. Check ‘em out.

Afternoons with Raymond – PART III

JB: Can you talk a little bit about how your own heritage relates to your work? I know you’ve talked about challenging these more classical, traditional ways of representing indigenous cultures.

RB: Well it does come to inform my work, but not in any simple way. I have made works that sort of trade on traditional imagery. I’m always sort of concerned with making sure that the work doesn’t come to be mistaken for the thing it represents. I’m interested in my capacity as an indigenous artist to be able to make work about indigenous issues that doesn’t simply reduce that to me making work about indigenous issues because I am myself indigenous.
I would like to think that I am also making work about these things because they’re important to everyone. They concern certain circumstances that we’re all in the midst of that come to impact us in uneven ways. So it becomes something that I definitely want to make accessible in a way that is about it coming to have this capacity to communicate something of that experience but in a strange, unfamiliar, unforeseen way.

So my heritage comes to influence that and it’s kind of about seeing a certain possibility in that, in terms of making contemporary art that doesn’t have to come close to aboriginal cultural practices as it is known, but could potentially work towards creating some sort of intuitive change to things or a subtle way of actually just letting material come to do something in and of itself. It’s a complex process in that—in a lot of works, my heritage isn’t necessarily readable in it and I’m interested in that discrepancy, where it becomes sort of, like, a furtive presence. It ultimately requires a certain activity to understand that relationship.

JB: What other cultures have affected you and influenced your work?

RB: A lot of things I’ve been interested in have been about the analyses of subcultures. I look to music a lot. I look at a lot of things that primarily address ideas of cultural transformation as represented through popular music, like the strange idea that both funk and heavy metal are derived from rhythm and blues in a way that each musical form was subtly transformed in a certain transitional process to communicate to a particular audience at a given time and place, but somehow leads to these very divergent forms.

So I’m really interested in that thing where it scarcely becomes that thing that it’s going to be. At least, looking at funk and heavy metal—not specifically cultures, but subcultural forms—becomes an interesting analogy between, at least for me—in terms of trying to understand that process—simply conceiving of an artistic practice isn’t about knowing what it is but realizing that my work can come to transform my understanding of things I have done previously.

JB: What does digital culture have to do with all of this? I’m thinking about the LightJet prints that were on display in March and April which you created by dragging your iPhone around a flatbed scanner as it played musical performances from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Is there a particular comment you’re making by converging these multiple electronic processes of new and old?

RB: So they’re prints made by laser exposing the piece of paper. It’s processed like any photograph, so I guess that melding becomes a strange thing of finding some other sort of way to show the manner in which photography can index time. In a lot of cases, strangely, many of the scans that I made scanned right to left rather than left to right, so it creates these weird tensions that might not be visible. But I like that strange thing in which these different technologies come to function—that they can be used in these ways that they weren’t necessarily intended to be used for; to create some image of these different types of image-making. The ipod on the scanner leaves this layer in between the two of them—the dust and scratches on the glass, so it’s this strange thing of there being a depicted sort of material and an actual material, somehow.

I’m hearing all these stories about children’s intuitive use of touch screen technology that comes to affect the way that they expect printed magazines to function. It leads me to think of that strange thing where our encounter with visual material just creates this different relationship we have to it that is about interacting with it; seeing a certain capacity with it to touch it to make it work.

I think that process of using the ipods and the scanners means to—well, that easily manipulable aspect of it to hold an ipod in my hand—it’s sort of about stressing that physical manifestation of it. That it persists as an object that can be used in these weird ways. So it’s just a present capacity of an ipod and a scanner to produce an image in a very ad hoc way.

JB: Tell us about some of the books on your shelves.

RB: [Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language], I’m looking at it because I’m teaching a course that is ostensibly about text-based art. The book is this really amazing thing—there are chapters in it that deal with the use of geological metaphors and biological metaphors in our understanding of language… so the idea that a language could be said to die as being a biological metaphor. Looking at shifts, thinking of the way in which language shifts where two languages can come to encounter one another and have subtle effects on one another is often discussed in terms of geology. So it’s a really amazing in the sense that it finds all this incredibly rich imagery in the way people sort of discuss language; and what people expect of it.

JB: How does it read?

RB: It’s quite academic, but really kind of a fascinating thing in the sense that it’s episodic. I know a lot of these started as individual articles—like, H & Co. was first published in Cabinet. So it reads very easily in the sense that it’s not very demanding and fairly short and accessible. So it’s a really incredible book that I’ve been returning to for quite a while and that I’m excited to finally be able to share with students.

JB: Where are you at with the course?

RB: I’m teaching it at Emily Carr and there’s a lot of planning to do for it this month [August].

JB: What else have you got in that pile?

RB: [chuckles] What else?

JB: Show me one more.

RB: Well, there’s this incredible Jimmie Durham catalog—A Matter of Life and Death and Singing. [Begins flipping through the book and does not stop until his response concludes]. This is part of a career-long retrospective. It’s this incredible document that is exciting in the sense that it seems tied to a lot of these other things, like a collection of his poetry and critical writings that are also coming out, but he’s just someone that I really admire and it’s nice to see this kind of extended document concerning his career.

JB: Thank you so much for your time.

RB: No problem.

Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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Afternoons with Raymond – Part III


Another sunny Saturday brought lots of folks ’round for our 3rd and final Family Day of this summer season. Ros offered a step-by-step demo of how to create functional pinwheels of all shapes and sizes. There were lots of different papers, from patterned origami to neon construction, and some sparkly pipe cleaners to add that final zing. Thanks to everyone who came out for our Family Day series this summer and we hope to see you all soon.

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Family Day – Pinwheel Making at the Field House


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.

If you are unable to make it today to the gallery, be sure to visit us on our forthcoming English, French, and Spanish tours of the current CAG exhibitions.

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!)

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Happy Nunavut Day | Joyeuse journée du Nunavut


Okay, well, if you have a friend who is 12 and under, they can accompany you, but otherwise, it’s kids only as the CAG hosts a month of Children’s Film screenings! Continuing his tradition of challenging traditional methods of display, artist Gareth Moore has worked with an impressive set of international artists (including Ulla Von Brandenburg, Keren Cytter, Geoffrey Farmer, Julia Feyrer, Harrell Fletcher, Mike Marshall and Sylvain Sailly)  to produce a series of 2-3 minute short films for children.

Kids know that art museums and galleries are mostly for adults. No touching, no loud talking, no rough-housing. In this series, the exhibition has been taken out of the gallery so that there is no confusion that this is not a program for adults. There’s no shushing (unless the other kids want you to be quiet) and if you should want to laugh or sing-along, then that’s what you do.

I’ve been lucky enough to host 2 sessions so far, and I’ve really enjoyed watching the different groups interact with the program. Today’s modern Vancouver kid is not entirely unfamiliar with a 16mm projector, but it’s definitely not something that most of them see regularly. At the Moberly Arts and Culture Centre afternoon showing, the long school day and the novelty of the projector inspired a few of the watchers to project their own shadow puppets over the silhouettes of The Little Hunchback and  The Man and the Wild Boar. At Emery Barnes, we spent 2 days outdoors in a tent, inviting kids to check out the film during some of the hotter, last days of summer. Many of the park-goers were under 5, and while we had many in-and-out visitors,  30 minutes of contemporary film was a little much for the toddler crowd.

Some of my highlights so far have been singing along with Tina Fenomena, by Keren Cytter (♫meow, meow-meow-meow♫) and watching the reactions to (my personal favourite) The Drawer, by Geoffrey Farmer, as he draws on top of a picture of David. While the initial flash of the famous genitals can cause a bit of a stir, it’s more the fact that the Drawer draws inside an art book which causes confusion and delight in the crowd.

My next date with the Children’s Films is our screening at the Strathcona Community Centre from 9AM-12:45PM. Tell your friends under 12 to make a date. If they can’t make it on a school day, I’ll also be hosting 2 weekend screenings at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre from 11-4PM on Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th. See you then!

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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No Adults Allowed!


In partnership with the City of Vancouver Field House Studio Residency Program, the Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Canadian artist Raymond Boisjoly as our inaugural resident artist.

For six months he will occupy the Burrard Marina Field House, using it as a studio and a place for community engagement, coinciding with the launch of As It Comes, two new interrelated public works. The title appears at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station as a discrete piece, humorously foreboding, and more comic than terrifying, presented in brightly coloured vinyl like a credit from a B-list horror film. Linked to the text in the gallery windows, Boisjoly removes all suggestions of the past, not to deny what has become history, but with the intent to restore belief systems that are still intact.

Raymond Boisjoly
As It Comes
February 8 to June 16, 2013
Window Spaces and off-site at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line and Field House Studio Residency Program.

Opening reception: Thursday February 7, 7–10 pm
Please join us to celebrate the opening of our new exhibitions and to launch this new initiative.

The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver through its Field House Studio Residency Program and by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

As It Comes at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — Intransit BC.

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Announcing: The Fieldhouse Studio Residency Program partnership


Here are a few images from PechaKucha Night Vol. 23 which took place on September 21st, 2012 at the Vogue Theater. This edition was presented by Contemporary Art Gallery in partnership with the design firm Cause + Affect.

This highly successful evening focused on the visual arts as you can see from the list of speakers below. The presentations were very diverse, often funny and very informative. Many presented on their individual art practices while others discussed the organizations they work for. Overall it was a great evening, capturing a large audience of over 1000, and continuing to the after party, which was hosted by Contemporary Art Gallery.

We’d like to thank all the speakers:

Andrew Young • dyoung.co
Caitlin Jones • front.bc.ca
Germaine Koh • germainekoh.com
Kaput • wackytupaky.com
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun • Artist
Michelle Allen • greencouchsessions.ca
Nicole Ondre • exercisecanada.com
Shaun Dacey • accessgallery.ca, burnabyartgallery.ca
Stephen Waddell • stephenwaddell.com
Zach Gray • thezolasmusic.com

With special thanks to Cause + Affect for inviting us to participate and pulling the evening together, and we’d like to extend our warm regards to the wonderful group of volunteers who made the event possible.

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PechaKucha Night Vol. 23 Vancouver


Since mid-July, WAVES by Nicolas Sassoon has been on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain Station. This is the second commission the CAG has produced for this public space. The first was Scott Massey’s poetic blue sky.

Currently Nicolas Sassoon’s graphic mural is installed on the north window of the Station. For this work, Nicolas created a multi-layer Moire pattern to intentional cause an optical effect that gives an impression of movement – so commuters can see WAVES “moving” as they are passing by to catch their train.

The installation seems to evolve during the day with the change of light. WAVES is highlighted in the morning from the inside of the station, because of the rising sun, and from the outside in the late afternoon. The wind also accentuates the pattern by making the layer vibrate gently and when a train passes through the turbulence adds a dramatic tension.

Every day I commute through this station myself, and as I go down the stairs, I can sense the effect’s of the mural.  It catches my field of vision and when I look closer, I notice the coloured screen of WAVES, which not only draws my attention to my own movement but also the trees and the light outside through its pixels.

Nicolas Sassoon’s Off-site project WAVES will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until January 20, 2013.

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Moving WAVES


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.

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Open Your Eyes and Watch Your Step at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station


If you were walking down Nelson Street in the evening between February 3rd and May 16th, you hopefully spied the work Aurorae by Scott Massey in the CAG street front window spaces. During the day, the window spaces appeared to be coated in some kind of nondescript blue paint and visitors would come into the gallery either unaware that there was something on display or perplexed as to what it represented. When on my volunteer shift at the gallery, I would welcome visitors to make a date to come back to the gallery after dark so that they could enjoy the light-show piece, but as the gallery was closed most evenings after 6 pm, I never really saw if anyone came back to satisfy their curiosity.

I was  lucky enough to have a friend live in the building across the street and we made a special tea & art viewing date together, specifically so that we could spend an evening with Aurorae.

But even if you didn’t have a friend living across the street from the gallery, or if you didn’t find the time after dark to see Massey’s light display piece in the window spaces, you’re able to see it here thanks to his time lapse video below.

As the night sky lightens on Massey’s celestial light-show phenomenon, the light takes on a more earthly halogen with Josephine Meckseper’s discussion on consumer culture and the world of advertising. The exhibition American Leg by Josephine Meckseper opens on Thursday, May 24th (7-10 PM). Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada.  Additionally Josephine Meckseper will talk on her work on Wednesday May 23 at 7 pm at SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, this talk is free and all are welcome.

Scott Massey’s Off-site project Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until July 1st. This piece, also dealing with the night sky, can be seen in the day time (or night time).

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Window Spaces Fade to Black


Thanks to all who attended Catherine Soussloff’s engaging discussion last Tuesday. She brought together the theoretical concepts of  Walter Benjamin’s writings and thoughts in relation to Matthew Monahan’s work. It was a successful start to the many conversations the CAG will be hosting with cultural and critical producers  in the coming weeks for our “Feedback Series.”

Please join us again next Tuesday May 15 at 7pm, for Anthropologist, curator and UBC professor Nicky Levell’s discussion entitled, “Art Through Anthropology.” She will be responding to Monahan’s work through the interdisciplinary folds of anthropology, theoretical museology, material culture and critical curatorial studies. Looking forward to seeing you then!

Karina Irvine

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Catherine Soussloff on Benjamin and Monahan


There are only a few days left to see both Guo Fengyi and Frances Stark’s work at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Sunday April 15th is your last chance to view the exhibitions Guo Fengyi and Frances Stark My Best Thing.

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.

Yoga Workshop

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.

Cost $35
Register here 
Proceeds go to support the work of Yoga Outreach.

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Exhibitions close this Sunday, practice yoga in the gallery and extended hours


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.

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A full house for Mark Godfrey’s talk on Frances Stark


Beginning May 25 through September 2 2012, Josephine Meckseper will create eight new works for the window vitrines on the CAG’s exterior. Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada. Utilizing these spaces as a site that mimics a commercial display, her work invites a critique of the aesthetic  and political connotations of the objects presented within. The juxtapositions of materials and objects in her installations compose a kind of narrative that challenge the world of advertising and consumer culture.

Below is an interview with Josephine Meckseper and Flavin Judd from Bomb Magazine speaking about her work and practice.

http://bombsite.com/issues/999/articles/3233

Karina Irvine – Curatorial Intern

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Next on at the CAG: Josephine Meckseper


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 j.henderson@contemporarygallery.ca for more information.

Curatorial Intern – Karina Irvine

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Every Saturday at 3pm!


Endless Renovation, Corin Sworn’s solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, incorporated a freshly cut floral bouquet which sat on the floor illuminated by an old school slide projector.   On five mirrored shelves were ten vases, spanning different decades from as early as 1880 to the late 1980s.   Once the flowers started wilting, almost weekly,  a vase was selected from one of the shelves and brought to the local florist, who was asked to design an arrangement according to the era of the vase. Here is a record.

For images of the exhibition visit http://contemporaryartgallery.ca/#exhibitions

Thanks to Divine Vines http://www.divinevines.ca/



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Temporary Arrangement


The latest participatory offsite project at the CAG, inspired by Federico Herrero’s CAG commission Vibrantes, witnessed a wonderful turnout at its project launch last Saturday, December 3rd.

The new project provides participants with the opportunity to interact with emerging colour shapes that appear through their smartphones, creating layers of abstract forms over their surroundings.  The shapes are accessible throughout the downtown Vancouver area and can be captured as far as Granville Island and some participants have even found them in Kitsilano. 

For more information on how to interact with this participatory project go to offsite.contemporaryartgallery.ca for easy-to-follow instructions.

Again, participants are encouraged to share their digital ‘paintings’ by taking screenshots and uploading these images to Twitter under the project hashtag: #CAGOFFSITE.

See a few examples below and on our Flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/contemporaryartgalleryvancouver/

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Photos from Vibrantes: Offsite Project Launch, Dec 3


The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, the meals heartier, and the urge to stay in bed more persistent. Luckily there’s a great reason to get dolled up and hit the town! The CAG Annual Gala Dinner and Art Auction is less than a week away, and what better way to spend an otherwise dull November Saturday than supporting the Contemporary Art Gallery and the artists they exhibit!

The date is November 5th, and the festivities begin at 6:30pm at the new Hotel Georgia.
Tickets are still available, $250 ($225 for members), $2250 for a table of ten.

You can check out the great artworks here.

Happy bidding!

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So close you can almost touch it!


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!


$30.00

Published:
110 pages

This publication is produced in conjunction with Erin Shirreff: Available Light, curated by Sandra Dyck and Jan Allen and presented at the Carleton University Art Gallery and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and Erin Shirreff: Pictures, curated by Jenifer Papararo and presented at the Contemporary Art Gallery. It includes essays by Sandra Dyck and Jan Allen and an interview with the artist by Jenifer Papararo.

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Erin Shirreff


$25.00

Published:
83 pages

This full colour publication features an introduction by Ben Tufnell and an essay by Douglas Fogle, and was published on the occasion of the exhibition Photoworks, June 7 to August 25, 2012 by Haunch of Venison, London.

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Nancy Holt - Photoworks


$1.000.00

Published:
pages

The CAG is the longest standing independent public art gallery dedicated to presenting contemporary visual art in Vancouver. We deliver between ten and twenty exciting exhibitions and off-site projects each year, provide an extensive range of learning and public programs for adults, families and children, offer a series of residencies for Canadian and international artists directly contributing to the local scene, and publish insightful catalogues that create a lasting legacy of exhibited work.

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Patron


$10.00

Published:
16 pages

UNDERTHESUN, an artist publication by Roy Arden. was produced as part of his solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the publication documents the majority of the nearly one hundred works on view. It serves as a representation and record of the exhibition, as well as provides the artist with an opportunity to formally reconsider the excess of images, his reasons for selecting them and their relational context. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Roy Arden UNDERTHESUN at the CAG, January 28 to March 27, 2011. Photography by Scott Massey. Design Roy Arden and Mark Timmings.

Mimicking commercial advertising layouts, Arden's design is a cacophony of colour and image. The publication has a refined newspaper-like quality. Printed on large broadsheets folded down to loose sheets, each page opens into individual collage posters.

This publication was made possible with support from the City of Vancouver's 125th Anniversary Grants Program. The exhibition was sponsored by The Hamber Foundation.

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UNDERTHESUN - Roy Arden


$30.00

Published:
94 pages

This publication was produced from the exhibition An Invitation to An Infiltration, held at the Contemporary Art Gallery as part of the Cultural Olympiad Vancouver 2010, January 21 - February 28, 2010.  The publication was assembled by Dexter Sinister. Contributions are included by Fia Backstrom, Lucy Clout, Hadley+Maxwell, Jonathan Middleton, Dexter Sinister, Holly Ward and Jordan Wolfson. The exhibition was curated by Eric Fredericksen. The publication includes the essay: Contemporary Art Versus Its Envelope by Thomas Crow.

The publication was edited by Jenifer Papararo, proofread by Snowden Snowden, variously designed by the exhibition's participants, assembled by Dexter Sinister, and coordinated by them together with Jeff Khonsary who printed the monochrome pages on Pacon Sulphite Paper using a RISO 3750 stencil printer at the Fillip offices in Vancouver, and who outsourced the lithographic colour pages to B & L Printworks, then collated and bound the lot in-house with Erin Marranca.

The covers are cut from strips of the screen printed wallpaper Bronzé by Dexter Sinister (2010) displayed in the gallery windows during the exhibition An Invitation to An Infiltration. The pattern of linked rings extends the extant range of heraldic cross-hatching, a medieval system for representing colour in black and white.

The half-title page is cut from one of three different colour variations of the poster produced for, and exhibited within, the exhibition by Jonathan Middleton as part of the work, Strange, the first time I've known of a Piano with Four legs. (Hey! I keep fallin' Down). The publication also includes an audio CD of the work GAME-SET-MATCH by Fia Backstrom. Photography by Aquiles Ascencion and Scott Massey.

The exhibition was co-presented by Contemporary Art Gallery and VANOC and was sponsored by the British Columbia Arts Council under the Unique Opportunities program.

 

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An Invitation To An Infiltration


$40.00

Published:
45 pages

This book was published on the occasion of the launch of the Time Top Project public art work created by Jerry Pethick in October 2006 which was commissioned by Concord Pacific Group Inc. The publication contains a pull out booklet with a text by Margaret Pethick and a comic strip drawn by Neil Wedman. The publication contains an essay by Scott Watson and a forward by Jack Jeffrey.

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Jerry Pethick - Time Top Project


$20.00

Published:
106 pages

ALEX MORRISON - GIVING THE STORY A TREATMENT is published by Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, and Nicolaus Schafhausen, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main With a text by Lars Bang Larsen and an interview by Jeff Derksen, with texts in English and German. Giving the Story a Treatment is the first comprehensive publication on the Canadian artist Alex Morrison (*1971). 

In his documentations of youth lifestyles, particularly the culture of skaters, Alex Morrison questions to what extent sub-cultural expressions can be considered authentic, especially in the face of strategies of staging and their commercialization by the media. The renowned Canadian writer Jeff Derksen and Danish art critic Lars Bang Larsen contribute penetrating perspectives into Morrison's work, linking it in a historical continuum with activist moments of recent history and contemporary events.

(...) I have always been interested in what forms radical or sub-cultural activities will inhabit once they eventually make their debut upon the greater cultural field. Perhaps, in these new forms, the message becomes buried under commodification and the particularities of critique lost through the move towards a greater generality and appeal to the largest demographic. In Free Room one question I sought to ask was: are these forms capable of carrying a viable critique? Or in simpler terms: which is more effective, direct action or cultural production? (Alex Morrison)

Published with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Foreign Affairs Canada and Künstlerhaus Bethanien.

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Alex Morrison - Giving the Story a Treatment


$30.00

Published:
47 pages

This beautifully designed and important publication on the work of Christopher Williams was produced to coincide with his exhibition curated by Claudia Beck at the Contemporary Art Gallery in January 13 - March 6, 2005. It includes a forward by Christina Ritchie , an essay by John Miller Mechanization takes command: Modernization, Terminable and interminable and an additional pull out essay Some References for Christopher Williams by Claudia Beck.

The publication like William's work, is part straightforward exhibition catalogue and also part bookwork directed by Williams and impeccably designed by Yvonne Quirmbach.

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Christopher Williams - Archäologie Beaux Arts Ethnography Théâtre-Vérité


$30.00

Published:
31 pages

This publication was produced to coincide with Supernatural, an exhibition curated by Roy Arden featuring the work of Neil Campbell and Beau Dick, 12 March to 25 April 2004 at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

The work of these two artists would at first appear to be quite different. However, Supernatural proposes that we look beyond the obvious differences and examine some commonalities of intention, technique, and effect. In part, Supernatural aims to question the aesthetic apartheid that usually consigns First Nations art to the anthropological museum, providing an opportunity for serious consideration of the relationships between cultures and their traditions.

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Neil Campbell & Beau Dick - Supernatural


$15.00

Published:
177 pages

Issue #28, Public - Art/Culture/Ideas - edited by Reid Shier and William Wood - includes a music CD. Contributors: Rodney Graham, Phillip McCrum, Althea Thauberger, Michael Turner, Geoffrey Farmer, Marina Roy, Michael Euyung Oh, William Wood, Ron Terada, Steven Shearer, Kevin Schmidt, Peter Culley, Reid Shier, Peter Mahovsky, Peter Hudson, Neil Wedman, Amy Pederson. Co-published with the CAG and Public Access, journal of contemporary cultural issues.

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Public #28: Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas


$20.00

Published:
79 pages

Published in 2003 by The Contemporary Art Gallery and Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland this publication: Martin Boyce, This Place is Dreaming includes an  interview between the artist and Vancouver writer Douglas Coupland and an essay Dead Modern by Douglas Coupland. Also included is an essay Sneaky Feelings by Raymond Macdonald.

This publication accompanied the two exhibitions, Our Love is like the Earth, the Sun, the Trees and the Birth, at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, January 17 to March 2, 2003 and Our Love is like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland,  November 22, 2002 to January 19, 2003.

 

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Martin Boyce - This Place is Dreaming


$22.95

Published:
119 pages

The book is based on a monumental-sized print of the south side of 100 West Hastings by Stan Douglas. Douglas created a 66 x 427 cm panorama of epic scope, photographing each building and compositing the individual prints to assume a fantastic, impossible perspective. The print is reproduced in the book as a removable full-colour poster. The book is a homage to Ed Ruscha's fold-our book Every Building on Sunset Strip, 1966.

Edited by Reid Shier, with essays by Denise Blake Oleksijczuk, Neil Smith and Jeff Derksen, Jeff Sommers and Nick Blomley. This publication was also produced to coincide with the exhibition Journey Into Fear by Stan Douglas, September 12 to November 3, 2002 at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

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Stan Douglas - Every Building on 100 West Hastings


$25.00

Published:
97 pages

This publication was produced to coincide with the exhibition Some Detached Houses curated by Bill Jeffries, March 29 to April 22, 1989 at the Contemporary Art Gallery.This exhibition featured: Robin Collyer, Todd A Davis, Dan Graham, Bill Jones, Amy Jones, Robert Linsley, Warren Murfitt, Ed Ruscha, Margaret Naylor, Nancy Shaw, and Greg Snider. The publication features texts by Rodney Graham, Robert Kleyn, Robert Linsley, Jennifer Oille Sinclair, Robert Smithson, and Greg Snider.

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Some Detached Houses


$15.00

Published:
27 pages

Published on the occasion of the opening of the Contemporary Art Gallery in its new facility and the exhibition Germaine Koh, May 4 to July 14, 2001. This publication features a forward by Keith Wallace, and essay Immanent Domain by Laura U. Marks.

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Germaine Koh


$10.00

Published:
32 pages

This publication was produced on the occasion of the exhibition Nations in Urban Landscapes held at the Contemporary Art Gallery, October 28 to December 9, 1995 and at Oboro, Montreal in 1994. It includes texts by Marcia Crosby "Nations in Urban Landscapes" and "Lines, Lineage and Lies, or Borders, Boundaries and Bullshit" and Paul Chaat Smith "From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station" and includes a preface by Keith Wallace.

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Nations in Urban Landscapes


Book the library

The Abraham Rogatnick Library

Abraham Rogatnick (1923-2009) was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Contemporary Art Gallery for many years and Honourary Chair of the CAG’s Capital Campaign to establish its current facility. The CAG’s library is named in his honour in recognition of his long-standing dedication and support. Abraham recognized the unique character of the CAG’s exhibition program, saying it ‘fills a critical gap that other public and private institutions in the city cannot accommodate.’

The library plays a primary role in supporting the mandate of the CAG. It is a reference only collection of over 4,000 items consisting of exhibition catalogues, monographs, periodicals and ephemera, which facilitate and support CAG learning programs and the research of contemporary art. As these are often produced in limited runs, it provides a critical and rare resource. The library is available to the public by appointment, to book a visit use the form on this page. To search the library type in the fields below.

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