The CAG has partnered with Cineworks, Hua Foundation and Access Gallery to bring you…
‘Strathcona Drawing Party’ is free collaborative community art project at several locations on Saturday June 20 from 11-5:30pm. Come explore unique cultural spaces in the Chinatown/Strathcona. Participants of all age are welcome to create and experiment at three drawing events throughout the day.
Workshops and venues include:
Drawing on Film / Cameraless Moviemaking
11am – 1pm
Cineworks – Annex
235 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Instructor: Nisha Platzer
This drop-in workshop will introduce participants to the magical possibilities of direct animation! Make your own hand drawn animations on 16mm film by drawing, painting and scratching right on the film itself. Experiment with drawing on clear film, scratching on black film or marking film that already has images on it. See your own patterns of shape and colour come to life with the magic of the movie projector!
Nisha Platzer is an artist and filmmaker working in multiple formats including stop-motion, 16mm, 8mm and handmade found footage. Some of her past projects include a series of film-poems made on HD, 8mm, and found footage, narrative shorts, and music videos for artists in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society (est.1980) is an artist-run production and exhibition centre that supports independent filmmakers and media artists. We engage our membership and the broader community through initiatives and services that foster dialogue and experimentation with the moving image and expansive approaches to cinema. www.cineworks.ca
1:30 pm -3:30 pm
Hua Foundation / Mah Society Benevolent Society
418 East Hastings, Vancouver
Instructor: Howie Tsui
Artist Howie Tsui will lead a tracing workshop creating hybrid monstrous plants. Hua refers to three phrases in Mandarin: ‘change’ 變化 [M: bian hua C: been faa], ‘people of ethnic Chinese descent’ 華人 [M: hua ren C: waa yun], and ‘culture’ 文化 [M: wen hua C: man faa].
Mongrel Vegetables: As a follow-up to the Hua Foundation’s Choi Project, which enhanced our familiarity to Chinese produce, artist Howie Tsui will lead a workshop that asks participants to hybridize elements of these vegetables into a portrait. This workshop will put a more Sino-centric spin on Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s portraits of heads comprised of vegetables and fruits. Perhaps in our current context, these portraits will reflect how our bodies are sustained through a melange of crossbred and modified ingredients; or in a more benign way, these constructions just illustrate a combination of ingredients in a satisfying stir-fry.
Hua Foundation develops solutions and build movements for the Hua community that strengthen our connections with culture, heritage and environmental sustainability. http://
The Chamber, Ian Johnston
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
222 East Georgia Street, Vancouver
Instructor: Alex M.F. Quicho
Join a time-based drawing workshop led by Alex M.F. Quicho and explore artist Ian Johnston’s installation ‘The Chamber’. The Chamber is an enormous inflating and deflating installation that shrouds and reveals an enormous mass of discarded household items diverted from what the artist terms “the waste stream.” Mesmerizing and sobering, The Chamber suggests to viewers, as Johnston states, “the paradoxical relationship between limited resources and seemingly unlimited appetite.”
Alex M.F. Quicho (b. 1990, Boston, USA) is an artist and writer from Manila, Philippines. Her works in graphite approach decolonization, dystopia, paranoia, and female agency, among other things. She is the creative director and founder of Highway, a publication for experimental culture.
An artist-run centre established in 1991 and situated in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, Access Gallery is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and presenting the work of emergent artists, curators and cultural practitioners, as well as those entering a new experimental phase of their practice. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists and community.
We gratefully acknowledge support of Vancouver Foundation Neighborhood Small Grants.MORE
A School for Design Fiction
As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG is
working with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform
Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum
of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon will
offer a short course in reading objects, environments and
messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon will conduct a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.
The workshop is not concerned with speculative design or futurism, but with documenting and manipulating the narrative potential of ordinary artefacts through conside ration of their essence; their relations with each other; and the meanings they might be made to express.
Space is limited to 12 participants. further information at
email@example.com or 604 681 2700.
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.MORE
September 10, 2014
The Russian Hall
600 Campbell Avenue, Vancovuer
Anne Riley, Charlotte Newman, Hannah Axen, Kelly McInnes, Kristina Jaggard, Lexi Vajda, Maia Nichols, Matilda Cobanli, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Ryan Genoe, Sophia Wolfe
Over the course of ten weeks, the Contemporary Art Gallery brought together eleven emerging artists to explore the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art in its inaugural Summer Intensive. This has culminated in the production of a new choreographic work, 600 Campbell.
Considering the absence and presence of objects and bodies, this durational performance examines ways in which each happening intersects with another, connecting the work, the audience and the space. The artists collaborate to present the viewer with an invitation for interaction, allowing them to influence the work and the space both as observers and active contributors.
We acknowledge the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Council Youth Engagement Program.MORE
Saturday June 14, 12–4pm
Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Mainland and Davie Street
Free, no registration required
Closing reception at the CAG, 6–9pm
Vancouverites of all ages are invited to take part in free hands-on drawing workshops, across the city in community centres, museums, art galleries, and on the street! Workshops, developed and led by professional artists, offer the opportunity
to rediscover drawing in everyday life. This day-long, city-wide celebration focuses on the process, pleasure and diversity of drawing, rather than on skill and technical ability.
For Vancouver Draw Down 2014 CAG hosts a workshop that works directly with Penner Bancroft’s installation at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. Participants will develop their own collective drawing collage by taking tracings of Bancroft’s branches and adding them to an ever growing communal drawing.MORE
Exchange: Youth Workshop
Open Call for youth 14 – 19 yrs old
Program Dates: July 22 to 31, 2015, 10 -5pm daily except July 26.
Exchange is a unique summer workshop connecting youth with two local arts institutions Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and the CAG, introducing future artists to Vancouver’s arts community. Designed and facilitated by educator/designer Lisa Novak, this free 10 day program pairs participants with acclaimed artists Keg de Souza and Walter Scott. Hosted in classrooms at ECUAD, and split into two groups, each will work with one artist to collaboratively develop an installation considering the unique site and context of Granville Island. Both groups will develop instructional written guides of their process and once completed will trade instructions and attempt to create what the other group has just made. The concept is to recreate the other group’s initial work “blindly”, with only written, abstract instructions and occasional hints regarding the use of materials. The Exchange will culminate in a public presentation of the works developed on July 31 and a subsequent publication will be produced by Novak after the project documenting the exchange, including interviews with participants.
This project presents teens an opportunity to participate in a free program exploring ideas of co-authorship and participatory practice in art and design with one-on-one mentorship from professional practitioners, engaged in a cultural discourse around the idea of home and identity. Offering an alternative experience of creation, pedagogy and knowledge Exchange welcomes young people into the galaxy of a temporary artist studio where learning is valued in a different way.
To apply: Please submit digital images of three pieces of your best original work and/or a one page letter of interest /artist statement to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday July 9, 5pm
Letter of Interest/Artist Statement: Describe your interest in the program and your commitment to actively participate for the duration of the program. Include a brief statement about your work and current artistic practice.
Keg de Souza
In 2013, de Souza developed projects for the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. More recently, at the Delfina Foundation, London, she hosted a series of picnics held inside an inflatable tent installation designed to fit within the gallery space. Notionally “traditional” English food such as cucumber sandwiches, Cornish pasties and Ploughman’s Lunches were made linking to specific cultural histories as a way to discuss class, privilege, space and colonialism. As picnickers ate and spoke, de Souza mapped the discussion on the floor creating a giant cartography of the conversation. Also in 2014 she completed a residency with KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working closely with community organizers and residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house and a film featuring drawings by local children made during a ghost story workshop. Their local government had announced a major development plan affecting the Ratmakan area and the people living there started to be displaced. The area is built on a graveyard so ghosts are constantly appearing to the residents, ongoing exorcisms by the local ghost expert, paralleling their own evictions in the living world.
Scott is an artist from Kahnawake who currently lives and works between Toronto and Montréal. His work is based in writing and illustration. His ongoing comic book series, Wendy, follows the fictional narrative of a young woman living in an urban centre, whose dreams of contemporary art stardom are perpetually derailed by her own fears and desires. For the Images Festival 2015, Scott produced Wendy Live! where a cast of English, Japanese and Mohawk-speaking performers enacted the newest Wendy book before its 2016 North American English-language release. Alongside his comic work, Scott produces work involving printmaking and sculpture and is represented by Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver. He recently completed a residency at the Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan.
A CAG video featuring Keg de Souza, Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence, she discusses her projects made during her residency earlier this year. Watch out for Keg’s return for a follow up project in July.
Keg de Souza
July 20 to August 3, 2015
Australian artist de Souza continues work towards a series of public events in 2016 exploring food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement. In April, de Souza’s handmade inflatable dome became a temporary space at the Burrard Marina Field House for a public picnic engaging Canadian colonial narratives via a consideration of national food traditions. Meeting with local chefs, food activists and residents de Souza prepared a truly Canadian feast as a source for an afternoon of unfolding dialogue that the artist mapped directly onto the inflatable’s flooring. A starting point for the discussion was the ephemerality of the event itself — the only remnant left behind an intertwining of disconnected dialogues, mapped together with dirty dishes, crumbs and more questions posed. After the meal was eaten the structure deflated, the temporary community dispersed. De Souza will be hosting a second event in July, continuing to use food as an avenue to discuss local spatial politics.
The City in Motion
CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art Commission
November, 2014 – February, 2015
This fall the CAG embarked on a unique public art commission and intensive program for emerging artists ages 17 to 25 years old. Selected to develop a community-based permanent multimedia installation for the TELUS office located in the new TELUS Garden building on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, the CAG has organized The City in Motion, an intensive four month program for emerging artists interested in investigating the city through the frame of moving images. Supported by Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and led by artist/mentors Josh Hite and Brian Lye, participants will consider how the city is documented and can be pictured through film, video and new media. The young artists will engage with the histories of documentary film and the city archive, interrogating contemporary forms of documentation from smart phones and social media to surveillance recordings. Youth will respond to the ideologies, perceptions and histories of the city, culminating in the production of a new commission for the TELUS Garden building.
This innovative program is an opportunity for youth to experiment with various media, offering training and mentorship on the concepts, documentation tactics and technical logistics for developing video/film/new media work. Through studio and gallery visits, workshops and screenings the group will be connected to Vancouver’s cultural community. Cineworks will host a screening of completed works in February 2015.MORE
Tad Hozumi reflects on his first feedback series event for the CAG responding to the paintings by Julia Dault:
The first workshop of the feedback series, Yoga Boogie, started with an introspective meditation and a series of ‘quieter’ postures.
Workshop leader, Gary Quon picked out some beautiful songs, particularly Donny Hathaway’s I Love the lord He Heard My Cry Part One & Two, setting the tone for the workshop that was at times amusing and energetic but always grounded by an earthy and soulful spirituality.
It is very common for yoga classes to use music to set a mood, but here there was something new added, with Quon’s dedication to his craft as a dancer shining through. The climax of the workshop was a soul train to Gino Soccio’s Dancer. He really got everyone sweating! It was great to see Shaun work up a sweat, especially as he admitted before the class that he actually kind of hated yoga.
In fact, I kind of hated yoga as well, till recently. I thought of it as an inane repackaging of what was a serious introspective Eastern discipline. Kind of the spiritual equivalent of bad miso soup. I have met some great practitioners lately though, that seem to connect to the practice in a way that I can vibe with. Quon is definitely one of those people.
The session closed with meditation to Donny Hathaway’s Someday We’ll All Be Free and Sweet Honey in the Rock’s song, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Somewhere between gospel and Eastern wisdom we found a sense of quiet content.
On Saturday June 13 was my own Body Jazz workshop. I brought my street dancer skills to anchor the session that was designed to be both inviting to everyone and still be quite experimental. We connected to the rhythms in Dault’s works. If I can make a sweeping and general statement, I think abstraction in general has a funny place in art history. Its often kind of seen as the beginnings of an intellectualized approach to art but really when you look at the practice it is far from it.
In his introduction to Art Life, Lawrence Rinder writes about how Agnes Martin’s minimal and abstract works are always referred to as a link in art history between abstract expressionism and minimalism but never as a tool for meditation. I vibe with that. I like to think of artworks as tools as well. To that end we were channeling Dault’s works and the records I curated from her exhibition to explore our own potential as embodied beings.
My final session will be an artist talk and DJ session on Saturday, June 27 at 4pm, please join me then!
- Tad Hozumi
On Saturday, June 6th the CAG hosted Tad Hozumi and Gary Quon for the first of three Feedback events in response to Julia Dault’s exhibition, Blame It On The Rain. The Feedback Series is designed to work with cultural and critical producers to explore thoughts and ideas rooted in their own practices, inviting audiences to engage in conversations, and probe curiosities relevant to contemporary issues, theories, ideas, and culture.
Hozumi is a Vancouver-based artist and hip hop therapist who is involved in local street dance culture and is currently working on a body of photographic, installation, social intervention and performance works examining subversive vocabularies of street style dances. Hozumi responded to some of the pop culture references in Dault’s paintings by playing personally selected records. Gary Quon, a yoga practitioner who specializes in Kundalini practices with elements of rhythm and dance, led a participatory and energetic movement workshop called Yoga Boogie choreographed to select music.
While participating in the 1.5 hour long workshop with Tad and Gary I thought a lot about what it meant to be moving and dancing with friends and strangers alongside Dault’s paintings, inside a gallery setting. Not only were our movements often informed and inspired by the paintings and environment, it felt like a reciprocal relationship was occurring—the paintings also seemed to be in dialogue with the space and the people within it.
On my first encounter with Julia Dault’s work, I was initially struck by what I sensed as a vulnerability in the paintings and sculpture – a certain humanness, an embodied quality—a visceral and gestural component to the paintings revealed through the materiality and everydayness of the work. The use of found fabric, unconventional tools (squeegees, rubber combs and sea sponges) allow Dault to play with the tensions between expressive abstraction and a cool and industrial characteristic which is most tangible upon first impression.
It is undeniable that the gallery space is enlivened by moving bodies dancing, laughing, sweating, clapping and singing—doing all the things that would normally make people squirm with discomfort or even embarrassment, especially within a space that is typically reserved for particular “etiquette”. The space was transformed, and for me being literally “embodied”, I was able to access a new depth in Dault’s work and see deeper levels and the existing knowledge inherent in the paintings.
It is interesting also to note the formalism and usual expectations of gallery etiquette that are transgressed by introducing contrary behaviors into the space – - there is certainly, at first, a self-consciousness or shyness that accompanies, say, doing yoga and chanting kundalini mantras in a space that is typically governed by a particular “way” of inhabiting the gallery space but after that fades the relationship between the bodies in space and the art seems to evolve.
The next feedback series event, Body Jazz, is taking place on Saturday, June 13th at 4pm and will again be hosted by Tad Hozumi. Hope to see you there!
The CAG has invited artist, deejay and movement based therapist Tad Hozumi to create a series of feedback events and workshops in response to Julia Dault’s paintings in her exhibition Blame It On the Rain.
His upcoming series of music and movement workshops and events will playfully reference elements found in her work.
Here Hozumi writes, the first in a series of blog reports, about his work and about preparing for the events and workshops:
Last weekend I installed a listening station for a selection of funk and disco vinyl records in the CAG bookshop (see above image). This listening station is part of my feedback response to the current exhibition: Julia Dault’s Blame It On the Rain. My initial task was to curate a selection of records that responded to Dault’s works and that served as the inspiration for a series of workshops. The curatorial method I undertook was really simple: Rhythms x Patterns x Geometry x Materials. Dault’s eye is similar to that of a crate-digger, she is constantly scanning the visible ‘debris’ in our environment for moments of resonance.
Crate-digging, if I can give the most romantic definition, is the practice of scouring through dusty bins of long forgotten music to unearth rare or special records. There are a lot of great crate-diggers out there, including Japan’s DJ Muro or Vancouver’s own Sipreano, who recently released Native North America Vol. 1 – Aboriginal Folk, Rock, And Country 1966–1985, a project that I am sure will go down as something of historical importance in our time.
Not all crate-diggers have an active public life, deejay or compile music. If I had to guess most are actually very private, sharing their collections with a few people who are willing to bear them in order to get a sneak peak at an unknown gem. There is one thing I am pretty sure of, digging while mysterious, certainly is not glamorous.
As a crate-digger, I’m just a baby. It’s exciting, because almost everything I come across is new to me. Perusing bins at a thrift shop will almost always turn up some new discoveries. I used to think I had a pretty good handle on music. I was wrong. I think the current statistic is that over 80% of recorded music on vinyl is unavailable digitally. So crate-digging can expand the musical world you live in quite a bit.
The record in the above picture (click on the arrow for the slideshow) is Outline – Gino Soccio. A really top notch Montreal disco record. It was actually one of first five records I randomly bought in a thrift store. Man, I was happy when I first heard the slick beat on Dancer. Somehow I felt like this omniscient being who could magically discover dope records. Being able to visually locate the sensibility of an album without any audio information is a big part of crate-digging.
After I bought Soccio’s album, when I was about 1,000 records deep in to my collection, I realized that the album was pretty common. A great album for sure, but not necessarily a spectacular or rare find that I thought I had made. I now have three copies of Outline and a 7” of Dancer. Still, I have a lot of emotions attached to Soccio’s first release.
Any ways, you can listen here to Dancer. A real classic. Thumping.
Other albums selected for this project are:
Extensions of a Man- Donny Hathaway
Encounters Of Every Kind – Meco
Sweet honey: in the rock (Self-Titled)
A Fifth of Beethoven – Walter Murphy
Live Oblivion – Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express
I hope you will come by the CAG and enjoy listening to the above records in person
This is my music + vinyl blog.
- Tad Hozumi
Saturday, June 6th, 4pm
Yoga Boogie, a unique hybrid practice developed by Quon combines his passion for dance and yoga. Using songs curated from Hozumi’s collection, Quon will lead a dynamic session that will begin on the mat and get you up and grooving! Be prepared to BOOGIE!
Gary Quon is a yoga practitioner who specializes in Kundalini style and a well-recognized disco dancer (waacking). Quon’s practice often incorporates elements of rhythm and dance along with the kriyas resulting in an uplifting and energetic practice.
*This session will be available for the first 15 people – Please register to save your spot at learning@contemporaryartga
*Please bring your own yoga mat.
Sat, June 13th, 4pm
This movement-based session is about becoming mindful of how music and visual stimuli resonate within our bodies, by letting impulses that we discover from the music and Dault’s artworks move us around the gallery space.
*This session will be available for the first 15 people
Artist Talk and DJ Session
June 27th, 4pm
Music Back Ground (talk) and Back Ground Music (party). Hozumi will speak about fan videos of Mariah Carey, deejaying indie dance parties in the 2000s, making video game music, finding himself in hip hop and (re)discovering crate-digging. After the talk he will play a deejayed set of some unique records from his collection of jazz, soft pop/rock, disco, funk and more, weaving around the albums that were selected for the feedback series.
Hello all! My name is Jas Lally and for the next 10 months I will be working as the Programs Assistant. I am excited to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, the staff and volunteers at the CAG. I have been working and volunteering in the arts for the past few years and some of you may have seen me at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Access. I worked a the Vancouver Art Gallery for 5 years in Visitor Services and Administration where I was able to meet local and international artists. At Access, where I first met and worked with Shaun, I was able to work one-on-one with the Director/Curator and artists. I really enjoyed this more intimate level of work.
My experiences at both galleries solidified my choice in pursing my Masters in the History of Art which I recently completed at the University of Birmingham, UK. I studied at the Barber Institute of Fine Art where I co-curated an exhibition on portraiture with the Barber and the National Portrait Gallery. I also completed my dissertation on exhibition practices where I examined why textiles change meaning when exhibited. I was able to use Lady Barber’s lace collection as my case study. My time at the Barber gave me perspective and hands on experiences into the multidisciplinary world of curatorial.
My first introduction to the CAG came only three days after starting when I helped set up and greet guests at the CAG’s annual Art Auction. The auction went really well and it was such an exciting way to start a new job! My new role will allow me to help coordinate some interesting learning programs. For example, we recently launched the Telus Garden project, The City in Motion, where 11 young emerging artists are creating an original film to be permanently installed at the new Telus building. Look out for my blog on this project where you can follow along on the progress. I have also started to work with the artist in residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. The CAG recently hosted Fluid Frames: Filmmakers Series with Ben Russell. We hosted a film social at the Field House.
Look back to the CAG’s Blog for exciting updates about what I’m getting up to!
PS: if you haven’t already seen When Sky was Sea by Shimabuku drop by and say hello and sign up to attend one of the talks on the exhibition!
PSS: Did you hear about our exciting new project in partnership with Ballet BC? and in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative and commissioning artists John Wood and Paul Harrison? to find out more click here: http://bit.ly/cagXbbc
See you at the CAG soon! – Jas LallyMORE
We are very excited to launch and follow the progress of our Kickstarter campaign for a new partnership commission with Ballet BC and artists Wood & Harrison. Since launching last week we have 12 initial backers and lots of press on the project.
Click below to read what they are saying about us!
More on the project….
The CAG and Ballet BC in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative are excited to announce a new project.
For our project, selected by independent jury for Art|Basel’s curated page on Kickstarter, we are commissioning visual artists John Wood and Paul Harrison to team with the renowned dancers of Ballet BC, to produce a collaborative cross-disciplinary performance combining the very best in both contemporary dance and visual art.
The funds will be used to bring the visual artists to Vancouver for an intensive development period during spring and fall 2015 with the premiere in 2016.
The collaboration between CAG and Ballet BC recognizes the distinctive contribution each of us brings to the project, making the whole much bigger than the sum of its constituent parts. Our supporters are a major part of this, extending that partnership into a broader sense of sharing and building a real community involvement in this dynamic venture.
The cost of developing and producing such a commission can often be prohibitive despite the strength of idea and partners involved. While accessing of funds for the actual production and performances in 2016 provides many openings, the research phase is where we need help now. We need assistance in supporting the artists’ commissioning fees and expenses in order to get the project started.
We need to bring the artists to Vancouver for the research/development phase, an initial one week orientation and introduction in April-May 2015 where ideas can be discussed and meetings made, to be followed by a second two week intensive period developing the project through a series of rehearsals and workshops.
The completed work will receive its premiere in Vancouver in 2016 and then have potential to be presented on tour.
Since Wood and Harrison’s first collaboration in 1993, their work has evolved from single shot ‘studies’ filmed against neutral backgrounds to longer pieces in which a sequence of actions unfold within constructed locations that have more implicit meaning and contribute to greater narrative complexity. Pieces maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this ‘logical world’ action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed.
Why should you support it?
This cross-disciplinary approach to contemporary culture signals an ambitious attempt to join together in the production of what will be a major new work, combining great opportunities for artists and audiences alike. This project will be a first for all involved, marking a significant and transformative partnership between each institution as well as an exciting and key opportunity for all artists. For Wood and Harrison, despite their work often being written about in relation to contemporary dance, it will be the first time they have ever worked toward a live performance.
- Jill HendersonMORE
Over the course of ten weeks, the Contemporary Art Gallery brought together eleven emerging artists: Anne Riley, Charlotte Newman, Hannah Axen, Kelly McInnes, Kristina Jaggard, Lexi Vajda, Maia Nichols, Matilda Cobanli, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Ryan Genoe, Sophia Wolfe to explore the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art in our inaugural Summer Intensive. Working with mentors: Justine Chambers, Delia Brett, Daelik and Burrard Marina Field House Studio resident Brendan Fernandes the group participated in studio visits, gallery tours, performance workshops and seminars throughout the summer. This culminated in the production of a one evening installation/durational performance work titled 600 Campbell, at the Russian Hall on September 10.
Considering the absence and presence of objects and bodies, the group developed a series of performances and installations examining ways in which each piece intersects with another, connecting the work, the audience and the space. The artists collaborate to presented the viewer with an invitation for interaction, allowing them to influence the work and the space both as observers and active contributors. The evening was a huge success with well over a hundred people stopping by throughout the night participating in the various performances ranging from audio works and overhead projector performance to a durational chair performance in the main auditorium. Check out the pics!
We are working on a video of the evening we will be posting soon!
We acknowledge the generous support of the British Columbia Arts Council Council Youth Engagement Program.
As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG worked with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon presented a short course and workshop in reading objects, environments and messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon conducted a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.
CAG volunteer Sara Khan writes about her experiences taking part in the three day workshop:
As an artist who enjoys telling stories through two dimensional media, the School for Design fiction workshop caught my attention; I was curious about what fiction through design could entail. On our first day we were asked to bring in three objects, organic or designed. People brought along things ranging from eggshells and apples to metal birds, buttons, bottles, and moth traps.
Before we started working on the activity set for the day James Langdon had us watch a short film. It replayed the same event but with slight variations with each iteration. A human figure used different objects in unconventional ways, from dumping food on a laptop to sitting on a book instead of reading it. At a glance the human figure came across a sort of a machine that had malfunctioned. Mulling over the film afterward made me wonder about why objects around us are operated the way they are and have a specific function or name, how come we almost use them like robots not really questioning their history, form or task.
Once we started talking about the objects we’d brought along and the workshop progressed; I realised more and more that in the everyday structure and organization of things and lives, we had forgotten to ponder the existence of what surrounds us. It reminded me of Sartre’s Antoine in “Nausea” and how he wonders about the bark of a tree and why it is considered to be black.
As we arranged and rearranged the items with each other, we saw how meaning was added to or subtracted from them. One of the last exercises led some of us to completely deconstruct the objects we were working with; which resulted in a lot of them either being completely stripped off their meaning or not changing at all, which was interesting to see.
By the end of the workshop though, I think, perhaps we were reading too much into everything, as humans often do; put anything before us and we’ll make up a story. At this point we watched a documentary about the Piltdown man. The film reminded me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
It is amazing how if you put forth a thought with enough conviction and confidence most people will believe it as the truth. It makes me wonder what falsehoods lurk in our histories.
So, as we wonder in awe at the totality of this existence, it is important to question the things we experience.
- Sara Khan
Check out a selection of books by James Langdon in the CAG book shop, on a specially dedicated shelf.
A School for Design Fiction – workshop
16-18 September 2014, 6pm-9pm
This past Saturday, the CAG held its monthly Family Day. Participants crafted landscape collages in response to Kelly Richardson’s Legion. A few of the volunteers and I decided to have a little fun and create our own! From the beginning of my piece’s construction, I had a vague idea of what I wanted my collage to look like. Halfway through, however, I realized it had completely changed as I sorted through the materials we had and gained new inspiration.
Experiencing this process myself got me thinking about the art-making process in general. Artists may start with a certain idea about how they want a piece to look, but the finished product is often very different from the initial plan.
On looking through the CAG exhibition archives, an exhibition in 2010 by artist Elizabeth McIntosh, Violet’s Hair, explicitly seems to address the artistic process. Vancouver based, McIntosh is known for her abstract paintings. When one looks closely at many of her canvasses, faint clues to how the paintings have evolved can be seen. As well as a selection of paintings McIntosh also transformed a gallery room into a collage itself. Colours From a Story (2010) overlaid large, colourful pieces of paper in various sizes creating a sculptural representation of her art-making process. This piece addressed how McIntosh approaches painting; various colours overlapping creating new shapes and the painting itself revealing process and change.
This idea can also be applied to how we view art ourselves. Approaching art that we have never before seen, we often do so with uncertainty. One can never know how the experience will be until we are in front of it and letting our imagination run wild. Sometimes it is useful to wait to read about an exhibition until after you go through it for the first time, allowing yourself to creatively contemplate what it means to you at first glance.
We hope that you will visit us at the CAG for the next family day on Saturday, August, 30 (12-3pm) to enjoy the making and the experience of art.
- Kelli Sturkenboom, Communications internMORE
Brendan Fernandes, the CAG’s summer artist in residence has begun the creation process for his new work! I had the pleasure to visit Brendan during one of his rehearsals earlier this week. Fernandes talked about how he will incorporate themes of labour, the duration of time, notions of self-hood and identity into the creation of this piece.
He is challenging the notion of muscle memory and exploring ideas around the foot as a fetishized object. I’m excited to see how Fernandes will integrate notions of stillness and repetition into his piece. We will be following Fernandes’ creation and rehearsal process over the next few weeks, and stay tuned to find out details regarding his open in-progress performance.
- Lindsay Lachance
A Vancouver Draw Down report…
On Saturday June 14 I spent the afternoon at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station with CAG Development Assistant, Olivia and CAG volunteer, Alex as a part of Vancouver Draw Down: the annual city-wide event that invites Vancouverites of all ages to take part in various drawing activities.
The CAG’s contribution to the day-long event was Boulevard Station a drawing workshop that saw participants trace over the top of Marian Penner Bancroft’s installation Boulevard at the Canada Line’s Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.
Boulevard, a work of mirrored and kaleidoscoped Golden Elms and Sequoias trees, was a perfect venue for our tracing activity. All afternoon we traced different areas of Bancroft’s mural with charcoal, conte, pencils, markers or whatever else people wanted to work with! We got some amazing, creative and beautiful images! Even if the same spot was retraced, they still turned out looking unique and captivating. After each trace was finished we added them to a piece of plywood and created our own hybrid kaleidoscope community tree. It was amazing to see all the different styles, colours and lines that make up one abstract tree, see above for pics from the day and of the drawings made.
We had a great time and I can’t wait to be a part of more public program events at the CAG!