Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten – Bear Claws Salad Hands

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Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten – Bear Claws Salad Hands



10 Sep, 2016 to 19 Mar, 2017

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White, Steel, Slice, Mask
Window spaces
September 10, 2016 – January 1, 2017

Bear Claws Salad Hands
Off-site: Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line
September 10, 2016 – March 19, 2017

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents an ambitious new multi-venue commission by collaborators Dutch artist Mirjam Linschooten and Canadian artist Sameer Farooq, interrogating the ways in which cultural diversity is narrated and represented. Working together for over a decade, the duo’s interdisciplinary practice creates community-based models of participation in order to reimagine a material record of the present. Utilizing installation, photography, design and writing, they investigate the tactics and methods of anthropology to examine various forms of collecting, interpretation and display. The result is work that reveals how institutions speak about our lives, evoking an archeology of the present often existing beyond the framework of the gallery. Their expansive projects develop intricate, speculative archives repurposing found objects and language to expose ruptures within cultural representation, questioning the invisibility of the archivist and interrogating the inherent value bias in collecting.

Over the past year, Farooq and Linschooten have undertaken a series of cumulative research trips via the Burrard Marina Field House Studio Residency Program toward the development of installations at CAG, the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). Core to the various commissions are participatory workshops led by the artists with the Native Youth Program (NYP) at MOA, a program for Indigenous youth from Greater Vancouver where students engage in various aspects of working within a museum context, leading public tours, completing research projects and participating in presentations. Farooq and Linschooten invited NYP participants to consider their personal narratives in relation to the anthropological museum’s displays, identifying key elements for examination in the Multiversity Galleries. Throughout the histories of colonialism and capitalism innumerable cultural objects have entered museum collections around the world detached from the communities and physical bodies they belong to. Ripped from context and trapped behind glass, rearranged and discombobulated, the cultural authenticity, specificity and vitality of these objects are dismembered into taxonomies of otherness. Within the window spaces at CAG, Farooq and Linschooten consider such acts of ethnographic curation. Reflecting tensions between local communities and their representation in museums, Farooq and Linschooten focus on ongoing cultural forms that persist in contemporary culture. Replicating, yet also subverting, the supposed objective aesthetic of museum vitrines, Farooq and Linschooten have installed a collection of mass-produced cultural objects purchased from shops across the lower mainland, notionally representative of Vancouver’s largest immigrant communities. Display mechanisms such as shelves, hooks and bars are used to disrupt and unsettle the objects, disturbing the meticulous arrangement and suggestive of the uneasy relations between the conserved and custodian, artifact and everyday object, revealing the unintended violence of display.

At Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Farooq and Linschooten repurpose found language from a local souvenir shop highlighting the active commodification of culture. During their time in Vancouver, the artists discovered Hudson House Trading Company, a typical tourist store in Gastown selling a plethora of Canadian ‘knick-knacks’ that capitalize on perceptions of Vancouver’s identity via a collection of cultural reproductions for sale. Through the simple act of reproducing the language of the store’s inventory list and applying the names of a selection of items directly onto the station windows, the Canada Line façade operates like an advert exaggerating the wholesale co-opting of culture as currency.

The re-appropriation of found images, objects and language developed into public installations both exaggerate and subvert the ethnographic strategies of representation and implicate such practices into a larger system of commodification utilized to propagate cultural hierarchy, difference and discrimination.

Projects are generously supported by the BC Arts Council Innovations Program, the Mondriaan Fund and the Hamber Foundation. Farooq and Linschooten’s collaboration with the Native Youth Program is developed in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology. The project at Yaletown- Roundhouse Station is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — IntransitBC.

The interdisciplinary practice of Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (Netherlands) can be situated as an expanded documentary practice, presenting counter archive’s, new additions to museum collections or making buried histories visible. Their work has been exhibited in various countries, including: Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Recent projects include The Figure in the Carpet, Blackwood Gallery, Toronto (2015); Faux Guide, Trankat, Morocco (2014); The Museum of Found Objects, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2011); The Museum of Found Objects, Sanat Limani, Istanbul (2010) and Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, Artellewa, Cairo (2014)





Exhibition Bulletin





Mirjam Linschooten  
Sameer Farooq  


Related Events

The Big Draw – Keg de Souza
Saturday, October 1, 12-3pm
*Off-site: 544 Main Street – entrance on Keefer Street

Australian artist Keg de Souza will be working from a temporary studio in Chinatown as part of the final phase of her eighteen month residency in Vancouver. Developing on from a series of public participatory events examining food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement, for ‘The Big Draw’ the artist will conduct an exploratory food mapping project of the Strathcona neighbourhood by inviting people to become urban cartographers and contribute to a large-scale collaborative map considering local shops, restaurants, urban farms and our interconnected relationships/experiences to them.

Presented as part of ‘The Big Draw’, the world’s largest drawing festival and Culture Days, a Canada-wide celebration that raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

For more information and workshop times visit: www.drawvancouver.com


CAG & The Big Draw - Keg de Souza


Related Events

Artist talk and project launch with Keg de Souza
Wednesday September 28, 7pm
544 Main Street, Vancouver

We welcome back to Vancouver Australian artist Keg de Souza, on her final visit to the city, de Souza presents an artist talk and a public project exploring food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement. De Souza will discuss her recent projects including the Redfern School of Displacement, presented as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney. This project reflected on the ongoing activism, debate, speculation and political rhetoric concerning displacement and gentrification in Sydney.

Throughout October, de Souza will operate from a temporary space in the former Park Lock Dim Sum/Seafood Restaurant on the second floor of 544 Main Street in Chinatown. From this location she will initiate a food mapping installation developed via a series of public events, workshops and discussions centered on this disused space, the last original building standing on the corner of Main and Keefer.

Participants are invited to contribute items that represent the changing urban fabric of the Chinatown/DTES area through its food culture. Each participant’s items will be vacuum bagged and used to create a tile in the construction of a temporary structure within the Chinatown space. The numerous vacuum bags will create a patchwork surface that represents various community members, and their insights into local food culture and gentrification. Items could range from: menus from new upmarket establishments; packaging from iconic restaurants of the area, soup kitchen fliers, info on urban farming or even something grown from an urban farm.

De Souza’s practice investigates the politics of space, emphasizing participation and reciprocity to create site and situation-specific projects. De Souza aims to cultivate local knowledge regarding the displacement of low income, indigenous and immigrant communities in collaboration with residents and the community, creating a platform for conversation and debate.

The project in Vancouver is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and Left of Main.


Off-site: Artist Talk - Keg de Souza


Related Events

Panel Discussion: Sustenance Festival
With Randy Lee Cutler, Holly Schmidt, Gaye Chan, Derya Akay and Keg de Souza
Saturday, October 17, 3pm

In conjunction with the Sustenance Festival: a city-wide festival with local food-focused workshops, exhibitions and talks, CAG has organized a panel examining artistic practices that consider food security, sovereignty and knowledge sharing. www.sustenancefestival.ca


Panel Discussion: Sustenance Festival


Related Learning

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.


Video | Keg de Souza


Related Learning

‘Burrard Marina Field House Blog’

To read all the posts on the about the artists-in-residence and all events at the ‘CAG Burrard Marina Field House blog’ follow this link: http://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/blog-category/field-house-studio-blog/

To read about all the events that have happened at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House follow this link:



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.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of many private and individual donors toward this program. Please visit our website for a full list of supporters.


The Burrard Marina Field House Blog and Events


Related Blog Posts

Hello, my name is Michele Davey. I am in my third year at the University of British Columbia completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art. I am happy to be interning and assisting with learning programs at the CAG  through my studio class Artists in Society at UBC. This internship is a special opportunity for me to work within an art institution in order to witness the process and rhythm of the gallery space.

I have been documenting and blogging about Burrard Marina Field House artist in residence, Keg de Souza and her temporary installation located in a former Dim Sum restaurant at 544 Main St.  After visiting Keg in the space, I began to examine and reflect on Vancouver’s Chinatown in new ways. I find Keg’s work very unique and I feel lucky to have witnessed the growth of her installation related to food culture, displacement and urban gentrification in Vancouver.

I am an artist of many mediums, including drawing, painting, printmaking, sound, video, and photography. Currently, I am learning how to communicate ideas visually and acquiring medium specific skills to be able to generate meaningful content. You can visit my website at www.michelejubilee.com to see more of my work. Two of my favourite mediums are photography and painting. I am excited to interact with the community and learn more about the CAG and it’s projects.




Related Blog Posts

Hello! This is Edwina Zhao, the new curatorial intern from Singapore!

I am currently pursuing a BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree at University of the Arts London – Chelsea College of Arts. For the fall semester, I travelled to Vancouver as an exchange student through Emily Carr University of Art + Design to take part in the Media Arts Internship Program. The program gave me this great opportunity to join CAG and work alongside Curator Shaun Dacey and Assistant Curators Jas Lally and Holly Schmidt, and the rest of the CAG team.

Back in London, my art practice is multidisciplinary and I work primarily with digital medium. For this reason, I decided to continue my studies with Emily Carr’s Film, Video and Integrated Media program while I am in Hollywood North – Vancouver. Putting my skills and knowledge into practice, I am going to create some exciting video content for CAG working with current Field House artist Keg de Souza. So, stay tuned to CAG’s vimeo channel  for more updates.

Hope to see you in the gallery soon,


Related Blog Posts

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop CAG artist-in-residence Keg de Souza held for the multi-year Art class students of King George Secondary, a partner High School in the CAG’s education programming. The workshop involved the artists introduction of her current project with the Burrard Marina Field House Residency involving a participatory collage of matter found in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown that reflect the gentrification and displacement of the area manifesting through food culture. Keg encouraged the students to collect any items that will contribute to her project on the historical tour they embarked on shortly after. As I documented this interactive workshop whereby students were able to learn about the gentrification of the area in a historical and tangible way, I found much appreciation in to the different areas of teaching the community about contemporary artists work in diverse forms of accessibility.

As for my personal interest in contemporary art, my first cognitive memory of “contemporary art” was at age 8, when my parents took me to see La La La Human Steps ballet dance. I remember feeling an insurmountable amount of confusion as to understand the meaning of this abstract dance. This initial uncertainty did not drive me away from contemporary art however, rather provided me inspiration in to further inquiring what it means to be a contemporary artist and what we can learn from them. I now find myself in the Visual arts program at UBC, engaging in various artistic mediums, namely video/installation/drawing, and art theory and history. What I have found important within studying art and conceptual theory are the different methods that an institute, artist, or program can conduct to broaden the educative accessibility to the art that is being exhibited or discussed. The partnerships that the CAG conducts with local high schools is an amazing example of enabling a younger demographic a chance to participate in understanding various research that contemporary artists are pursuing.

I am excited to contribute to the CAG’s public programming this fall/winter. Throughout my internship here I will be conducting research on the exciting upcoming artist, Haroon Mirza, to help facilitate writing the teachers guides for Mirza’s exhibition come January. As I reflect on my preliminary experience with La La La Human Steps contemporary ballet group, I look forward to be working with the CAG’s public program to become involved in the process of educating younger demographics in to the contemporary art world. I furthermore look forward to attending Keg De Souza’s open house events, and furthermore her final showcase on November 4th at 6pm, facilitating discussion concerning the artists project and context of the community.

-Lola Storey


Related Blog Posts

The CAG is excited to welcome back Burrard Marina Field House Studio resident Keg de Souza this evening with a screening of her film, If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood… The film, which De Souza created during her artist residency with Kunci Cultural Studies Centre in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, explores the gentrification of a neighbourhood located alongside Yogyakarta’s main river, Kali Code. In the 1970s, the Kampung Ratmakan (neighbourhood) was built by squatters on a graveyard – a characteristic that continues to affect the community living there today. Ghosts are often seen by local residents and the community relies on a local ghost expert to move the ghosts out of their houses. In 2013 the mayor announced plans to develop the area and now the residents, like the ghosts, are beginning to be displaced. In addition to the film, De Souza worked alongside the residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house (pictured above). The interior of the ghost house features embroidered ghost stories created from drawings made by some of the local children during a ghost story workshop.

We hope to see you there!

If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood…
Wednesday, March 18th, 7pm
Burrard Marina Field House

Film credits:
If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood…
Keg de Souza
Duration: 31:45
Single channel HD video, sound, mirrors
Indonesian and Javanese with English subtitles

Interviewees: Pak Kuncung, Ikbal, Pak Antok, Mas Anton, Pak Remi, Budeh Kom, Mbah Endang, Ibu Toko, Ersa, Pak Agus, Sania, Mak Yem.
Translator/ community liaison: Invani Lela Herliana
Sound recordist: Lucas Abela
Original music: Pawang Hantu by Senyawa
Post sound: Timothy Dwyer
Subtitling: Invani Lela Herliana, Rully Shabara


Related Blog Posts

As mentioned previously, I hosted artist Sameer Farooq in Vancouver for research towards an upcoming residency and public project in 2015. Beyond making entrancing documentaries, Farooq also has a shared artistic practice with long time collaborator, Dutch artist Mirjam Linschooten. the CAG has invited the duo to develop a Vancouver-specific project. With Linschooten already in residence in Morocco for a project their working on thier, Sameer was the only one able to come out for this initial research visit.

Farooq and Linschooten began their artistic collaboration while studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. They consider their joint practice as an archeology of the present. The Museum of Found Objects, with iterations in Cairo, Johnston, Rhode Island, Toronto and Istanbul, used everyday objects to fuel alternative ways of engagement across a broad range of physical and cultural contexts. Something stolen, something new, something borrowed and something blue (2014) responded directly to the looting of the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. They built a temporary photo studio in Cairo and worked with a local calligrapher to make announcement posters asking the simple question: ‘What objects from your home would you like to see displayed in the Egyptian Museum?’ For a month, they photographed and interviewed people with the objects that were brought in.

Farooq was very excited to explore all the Vancouver has to offer. With a special interest in ethnographic display and cultural histories in the city.  He visited the Museum of Anthropology and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, taking guided visits offered by each institution.  We were also given a behind the scenes tour of the Museum of Vancouver by Kristin Lantz, Curator of Audience Engagement. The permanent collection is a hidden gem of Vancouver’s material culture. As a last stop before he left town, I took Sameer to the Richmond Night Market, an important stop in the exploration of Vancouver’s cultural fabric. Out of these visits Farooq and Linschooten will begin to build frameworks for a new project in 2015.

-Shaun Dacey


Related Blog Posts

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of hosting artist/filmmaker/designer Sameer Farooq at the Burrard Civic Marina Field House for research in anticipation of a future residency in 2015.

On September 9th we presented his captivating documentary, The Silk Road of Pop (2013) at Burrard Marina common room. Shot in the Xinjiang province of China, the film explores the diverse and vibrant music scenes in Uyghur culture. Ranging from traditional Uyghur music, pop, heavy rock and hip hop, music becomes a platform for Uyghur youth in Xinjiang’s rapidly gentrifying cities via the influx of Han Chinese and industrial mining. ‘

In the words of Farooq:

Music was the perfect arena to explore the experience of Uyghur youth in the distant northwest of China. As a Muslim director I feel a particular compassion to the Uyghur case. After spending over three years living and working in Beijing, I was astounded upon my first visit to Xinjiang. Everything was oddly familiar: music, food, traditions – yet we were still in China. Making this film stems out of my strong desire to represent a diversity of being Muslim. In a broader sense, I recognize that my position as a postcolonial filmmaker has prompted me to develop new ways of dealing with material which speaks from a position of placelessness, critiquing established norms and creating a space within documentary making which is relevant to my experience. I let this position inform my directorial vision of The Silk Road of Pop and see the project as a timely and relevant pursuit.

I was struck by the raw energy of the young musicians and their diverse creative response to life in Xinjiang. After the screening an engaging conversation developed between Farooq and audience members highlighting the difficulties of shooting this type of film in China as well as the history of Xinjiang and Uyghur culture as the origin of Turkish culture. A few audience members of Uyghur decent thanked Farooq for making such an eloquent film giving voice and presence to their culture.

More on Sameer’s research in Vancouver.

– Shaun Dacey


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