This post written by Kelli Sturkenboom is the first in a series titled ‘From the Archives’ which will highlight and explore moments in CAG history related to current programming and events. Look for new posts every Thursday.
I was looking through publications from past CAG exhibitions and stumbled upon a catalogue for Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City, an exhibition displayed here in 1996. Guest curated by Rubén Gallo and Terence Gower, this exhibition featured eight artists from Mexico and touched on notions of the difficulty of explicitly defining “Mexican culture” and “Mexican identity.” The artists were; Rodrigo Aldana, Marco Arce, Aurora Boreal, Eduardo Cervantes, Silvia Gruner, Yishai Jusidman, Daniela Rossell and Saúl Villa. Gallo discussed how, rather than being an exhibition of “Mexican art,” this collection challenges us to think about the limitations of categorizing these works as such.
Currently, the CAG is presenting an installation by Mexican artist Stefan Brüggemann; Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies and the CAG Shop has copies of his limited edition bookwork of the same name. Although Brüggemann’s first language is Spanish, the installation features a collection of news story headlines and quotes from movies spray-painted in English on the gallery’s boarded-up façade. The headlines are collected from both local and global sources; some even referencing Vancouver.
What I like most about this work is the fact that it creates conversation. I’ve seen many people posting on social media questioning whether it is “for real” or vandalism, identifying their favourite phrases, and guessing what sources some of the lines come from. Like Tendencies, it also addresses the idea of the artist’s identity and whether Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies, with references to Canadian news stories and Hollywood films, can be described as “Mexican art.”
Join the conversation–come visit us at 555 Nelson Street before September 7 to see Brüggemann’s installation and check out Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City and Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies in the CAG bookshop!
Visit the CAG then tweet or post your pics of the mural to @CAGVancouver #headlinesandlastlines
- Kelli Sturkenboom
Headlines & Last Lines in the Movies transforms the façade of the Contemporary Art Gallery, wooden cladding covering its frontage and south east corner. Resembling a construction site, the structure becomes the ground for the work; the title a precise description of itself.
In this new mural, Brüggemann writes headlines from current newspapers, from local to global, in combination with excerpts of last lines from popular films. “Forget it Jake, its Chinatown” could be spray-painted next to “Enbridge Pipeline Rejected”, the juxtaposition of appropriated texts creating both a familiarity and an oddly appropriate pairing suggestive of narratives that may exist to connect current news items with scripted dialogue. With one text residing in the real, the other in the fictive, in combination they create a barrage of information that Brüggemann unifies into a totality of black text. The overlay forms a graphic field that is only partly legible, language creating an immersive installation that draws colloquial phrases into dense cacophonic arenas. The work seems declaratory, but what it is trying to communicate is drowned out by volume, intensity and opacity.MORE
Headlines And Last Lines In The Movies was published on the occasion of an installation within the exhibition of the same name by Stefan Brüggemann presented at the Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York from February 27th to April 10th, 2010. The publication contains an introduction by Enrique Giner de los Ríos and the essay Beginning Of Writing by Glenn O'Brian. Each copy of this edition - limited to 500 - is numbered and signed by the artist.MORE
In this brochure, curator Rubén Gallo introduces the Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City exhibition which took place at the CAG from May 18 to June 29, 1996.
This exhibition was guest curated by Rubén Gallo of Mexico City and Terence Gower of Vancouver. It included eight young artists based in Mexico City. The exhibition was conceived as a response to the stereotypes that circulate about Mexican art being in the tradition of figurative painting or based in folk art. It included painting, sculpture, installation and photography. This exhibition complemented an exploration by the CAG of work by Latin American artists which included Fernando Arias and an exhibition of Cuban art planned in collaboration with the Belkin Gallery for 1997. Tendencies: New Art from Mexico City was presented at the San Francisco Art Institute before coming to Vancouver.MORE