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Exhibitions

The gallery is currently closed for the installation of the exhibition:

Mungo Thomson
Time, People, Money, Crickets
July 10 to August 30

Please join us for the opening on Friday, July 10: 7-10pm

*Please note that Cultural Access Pass pick up is currently unavailable, but will resume on Saturday, July 11: 12-6pm.
Please go to www.icc-icc.ca for a list of alternative pick up locations in Vancouver.

www.icc-icc.ca/en/cap/locations

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The gallery is closed for the installation of the new exhibition


Mungo Thomson
Time, People, Money, Crickets
July 10 to August 30, 2015
B.C. Binning, Alvin Balkind Galleries and gallery façade

Live Performance: Cricket Solos for Clarinet, Piccolo, Percussion, and Violin
Friday, July 10, 8.30pm onwards
Emery Barnes Park, Vancouver
Richards and Davie Streets 

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a major solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Mungo Thomson.

Time, People, Money, Crickets brings together a survey of work produced during the past five years, complemented by an extensive monographic publication. Combined, exhibition and publication provide an expansive opportunity to tease out the nuance and complexity of Thomson’s practice across his many media and forms.

Central to Thomson’s artistic proposition is an embrace of context—be it situational, institutional, mass cultural or art historical—and it is through the intelligent breadth of his individual works that we are prompted to examine the perceptual mechanics of everyday life in relation to a wider historical and cosmic scale. The exhibition includes key works in film, sound, sculpture, performance and publication that approach perception and cultural mediation with economy and wit, often relying on existing forms of recognition and distribution.

The exhibition features several large-scale mirror works from Thomson’s ongoing series TIME: person-sized, silkscreened mirrors bearing the iconic logo and red border of the international weekly news magazine. The mirrors are based on individual covers of the magazine that reference a variety of cultural and cosmological notions of time and history, forming a broad cumulative network of objects. Installed together, they form infinity spaces and kinesthetic configurations in which the viewer, the viewing context and other TIME mirrors are reflected and reversed endlessly, and the viewer finds themselves pictured within that network. Such associations are further elaborated by a new iteration of Thomson’s ongoing series Negative Space, photographic murals of inverted astronomical imagery sourced from the Hubble Space Telescope, here specially designed for the glass canopy that defines the entrance and exterior of the gallery.

Thomson’s Crickets (2012-13) is an ambitious musical score for orchestra based on the chirping of crickets. Transcribed from a French compilation of field recordings from around the world—France, Cameroon, Senegal, Martinique, Borneo, Thailand and Venezuela—and produced in collaboration with Los Angeles composer Michael Webster, the score contains 25 movements, such as 12. Reunion Island, the Cirque de Cilaos at 1300 m. altitude, February 1998, nightfall in a banana plantation. Seen in an HD video, and shown alongside the sheet music, a 17-player classical ensemble simulates a chorus of crickets in flute, clarinet, violin and percussion. Crickets explores the distinctions between silence, sound, noise and music, using the aural backdrop that crickets represent—so ubiquitous that they have come to stand in for silence, and, in the context of performance, failure. Thomson and Webster have also developed Crickets for solo performers—individual musicians scattered around a park, each simulating the sound of a single cricket with a different instrument. Working with Vancouver New Music, CAG will present a live performance of Cricket Solos for Clarinet, Piccolo, Percussion, and Violin in Emery Barnes Park.

Other works in the exhibition play with the context of the gallery or museum itself. Mail (2013) is the simplest intervention into the CAG’s everyday infrastructure. For the duration of the exhibition, once delivered, the mail remains on the floor, unopened, gradually becoming an obstacle to physical passage as well as to institutional function. Untitled (Margo Leavin Gallery, 1970– ) (2009) is a Super-16mm stop-motion film animation that flips through all the contacts in the business card rolodexes of Los Angeles’ Margo Leavin Gallery, which was founded in 1970 and closed in 2012, and where Thomson showed for over a decade. Consisting of thousands of contacts, each with their own particular relationship to the operation of the gallery – artists, framers, electricians, collectors, customs agents, florists, critics, exterminators – each card gets a single film frame, the film running at 24 frames per second. It is a kinetic portrait, pairing analogue technologies, of a group of people randomly and uniquely brought into orbit together around a single cultural enterprise.

People (2011) is an ongoing series of photographs of visitors to art exhibitions with the art on view removed in Photoshop, leaving only people staring into the voids of empty white rooms. These images are taken from the web as well as privately commissioned by Thomson from professional events photographers. In 2011 Thomson produced a magazine collecting these uncanny images modeled on the American tabloid “People”. Originally distributed unannounced by mail, it is exhibited here as a free takeaway for visitors.

Void and Observer (2013-15) is a series of sculptures modeled on the phenomena of ‘error coins’—rare and collectible coins that result from a production mistake at the US mint, in which a blank coin planchet is mis-struck by the die that carries the coin image. In Thomson’s reworking of the phenomenon, made with 3D printing and jewelry casting, these coins take on a cosmological dimension, as an off-center John F. Kennedy appears to be contemplating the void of the unstruck side of a half-dollar, and as other error coins in other US denominations resemble planetary bodies in phase or eclipse. Kept in the pockets of the staff of the CAG and displayed upon request, the coins will orbit and revolve around each other throughout the day.

Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets is organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and SITE Santa Fe. A new 200-page monograph of Thomson’s work, Time, People, Money, Crickets, published by CAG with SITE Santa Fe is available at the gallery, special exhibition price of $25.

Mungo Thomson lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions, performances and projects have taken place at ArtPace, San Antonio (2014); SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe (2013); The Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2013); The Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2012); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008); The Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France (2007); and Galeria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC), Bergamo, Italy (2006), among others. Selected group exhibitions include The 2nd CAFAM Biennale, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2014); A Guest Without A Host Is A Ghost, Beirut and Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; Imitatio Christie’s, Galleria Zero, Milan (2014); Turn off the Sun: Selections from La Colección Jumex, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ (2013); Public Diary, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan (2013); The Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival, Los Angeles, USA (2012); Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Istanbul, Turkey (2011); Exhibition Exhibition, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy (2010); Compilation IV, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany (2009); The 2008 Whitney Biennial (2008); and PERFORMA05 (2005). Thomson’s work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and FRAC Ile-de-France, Paris, France, among others. Thomson is represented by galerie frank elbaz, Paris, France.

 

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Mungo Thomson - Time, People, Money, Crickets


Maddie Leach
June to July

Taking up residency in June, Maddie Leach will begin research towards a Vancouver-based project. Leach’s practice is one that seeks ways of making artworks as a means to interpret and respond to specific context, through a lengthy process of enquiry and social interaction establishing relationships between form, materials, locations, histories, events, individuals and communities.

Leach was nominated for the Walters Prize 2014 for If you find the good oil let us know (2012–›2014), created during a two year residency at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, a town known for its oil and gas exploration on New Zealand’s North Island. The project centered on 70 ‚litres of supposed ‘whale oil’. With layered and complex associations to whaling from indigenous sustenance to colonial/capitalist industry, whale oil speaks to New Zealand’s past and evokes its new economic boom in crude oil exploration. Leach sought to return this mythic substance to the sea, beginning a tangential journey that ended with a cube of cement made from the firing of 70 litres of mineral oil relocated to the seabed several kilometres off the coast. Through such ephemeral aesthetic actions and an unfolding public dialogue, this search for the authenticity of the ‘whale oil’ connected fragmented industrial and cultural narratives central to the context of New Zealand. Sharing her unfolding research, Leach then invited fourteen individuals to offer written letters as responses to the work, the only stipulation being to begin the letter with ‘Dear.’ The texts became a series of ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the Taranaki Daily News developing a curious narrative composed by multiple authors, from scientists to sailors, cement workers to oil-industry executives.

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Burrard Marina Field House - Maddie Leach


Walter Scott
July 1 to 31, 2015

Scott is an artist from Kahnawake whose work is based in writing and illustration and is known for his ongoing comic book series, Wendy, which follows the fictional narrative of a young woman living in an urban centre, whose dreams of contemporary art stardom are perpetually derailed by her fears and desires. In July, Scott will begin research towards a new Vancouver-specific commission exploring collaborative performance and script writing. He will also be leading workshops with the Native Youth Program at the Museum of Anthropology. Scott will also be working along side artist Keg de Souza on the summer youth program EXCHANGE.

Scott currently lives and works between Toronto and Montréal. 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.

 

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Burrard Marina Field House - Walter Scott


Australian artist de Souza investigates the politics of space informed through a formal training in architecture combined with her experiences such as squatting in Redfern, Sydney. De Souza’s work emphasises participation and reciprocity, and often involves the process of learning new skills and fostering relationships to create site and situation-specific projects. For over ten years she has self-published her hand-bound books and ‘zines under the name All Thumbs Press.

In Vancouver, De Souza will develop a series of community based workshops throughout 2015-16 engaging participants in a critical dialogue regarding local food production. De Souza is working closely with various local urban farmers, food security activists and community members to explore the food politics within the city as both evidence of and a metaphor for urban displacement through gentrification. Continuing this research de Souza will host a public picnic in April.

In 2013, de Souza developed projects for the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. More recently, at the Delfina Foundation, London, she hosted a series of picnics held inside an inflatable tent installation designed to fit within the gallery space. Notionally “traditional” English food such as cucumber sandwiches, Cornish pasties and Ploughman’s Lunches were made linking to specific cultural histories as a way to discuss class, privilege, space and colonialism. As picnickers ate and spoke, de Souza mapped the discussion on the floor creating a giant cartography of the conversation. Also in 2014 she completed a residency with KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working closely with community organizers and residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house and a film featuring drawings by local children made during a ghost story workshop. Their local government had announced a major development plan affecting the Ratmakan area and the squatters residing there started to be displaced. The area is built on a graveyard so ghosts are constantly appearing to the residents, ongoing exorcisms by the local ghost expert, paralleling their own evictions in the living world.

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Burrard Marina Field House Studio - Keg de Souza


Throughout spring 2015 the CAG is hosting a series of artists-in-residence, each continuing research toward participatory projects to be realized throughout 2015–2016. The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery. This program moves beyond conventional exhibition making, echoing the founding origins of the gallery where artists were offered support toward the production of new work, while reaching out to communities and offering new ways for individuals to encounter and connect with art and artists. Running parallel to the residency program are an ongoing series of public events for all ages.

Harrell Fletcher
March 2015

Fletcher will develop research rooted in his recent walking projects toward a new piece for Vancouver. In 2013, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, he developed a four day walk with a group of museum staff, scientists and members of the public. Over forty miles, from the museum across the Bay to Emeryville and the top of Mt Diablo, each participant presented topics related to the areas they were travelling through. Each day featured several official stops while countless unofficial observations added to the experience, additional members of the public connected with the core group at more than a dozen points along the path. By extending the museum’s curiositybased learning into the surrounding landscape, the project aimed to transform the everyday world into an open classroom, working toward a greater integration of the cultural institution within its surrounding community.

Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s. His work has been shown at SFMoMA, de Young Museum, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Yerba Buena Center, all in San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; The Drawing Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, and The Sculpture Center, all in New York; PICA, Portland; The Seattle Art Museum; Signal, Malmö, Sweden; Domain de Kerguehennec, France; Tate Modern, London and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. His work was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and was the 2005 recipient of the Alpert Award in Visual Arts. From 2002 to 2009 Fletcher co-produced Learning To Love You More, a participatory website with Miranda July. His 2005 exhibition The American War originated at ArtPace in San Antonio, travelling to Solvent Space, Richmond, VA; White Columns, NYC; The Center For Advanced Visual Studies, MIT, Boston; PICA, Portland and LAXART, Los Angeles among other locations. Fletcher is an Associate Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University, Oregon.

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Burrard Marina Field House Studio - Harrell Fletcher


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