This book is published on the occasion of the exhibition Wanda Koop: See Everything/See Nothing from February 14 to March 21, 1998 by the Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver and contains an essay by Robin Laurence.
I’m so honoured to have spent the week attending the Indigenous Acts: Art and Activism Gathering hosted by Dylan Robinson and Candice Hopkins! The Gathering was made up of Round Table Discussions, Sharing Circles, Site Visits, Provocation Discussions and A LOT of delicious meals!
Conversations were held around notions of land, public ceremony, contemporary Indigenous space and how artists are working towards reclaiming traditional space and places. Tania Willard, Raymond Boisjoly, Lorna Brown, Raven Chacon, Mimi Gellman, Duane Linklater, Joar Nango, Peter Morin and Karyn Recollet were some of the participants present for this inspiring and motivating gathering.
All present engaged in critical dialogue to discuss different ways to map space and time, ways to work with protocol and permissions, ways to critically look at borders and the various roles that language plays in these examinations. Re-occurring themes around embodiment, place, space, architecture, sound and identity flowed in and out of the discussions and helped make relations and connects between artists working in different mediums.
On August 5th we shared a dinner at the Burrard Civic Marina Field House. Over the course of the evening the participants wrote quotes, ideas and other kinds of messages to be projected onto the Burrard Bridge. It turned out really well, and generated a lot of laughs! After that we participated in making a light tipi with Cheryl L’Hirondelle. She gave us Sage smodging bundles and a flashlight and guided our bodies to create the structure. The wind played a part in this process as well- sometimes making the structure stronger, and other times blowing our smoke away.
I’m excited to have been able to sit, listen, talk, laugh and share food with those present at this gathering and am eager to see what they will work on next! Chi Meegwetch to all of you for sharing your talent and work with us over the past few days!
- Lindsay LachanceMORE
Burrard Marina Field House Artist in Residence, Brendan Fernandes and Vancouver-based choreographer Justine Chambers led a workshop for the Summer intensive program this week that explored collaboration, conceptualization and authorship. Brendan and Justine are very generous instructors and really encouraged the participants to express themselves through an embodied practice and collaboration.
Justine and Brendan led exercises that brought the participants and their interests together through embodied practice. The participants were asked to write a performance choreography score in five minutes that would have a five minute performance time. After writing their pieces, they put them in the middle and everyone chose someone else’s choreography to perform. We saw people working with their bodies, with the spectators bodies, with the room, with chairs, with shoes… with whatever was in sight! Through this work the participants learned how to conceptualize, create and rehearse a full piece. The group will create their own performance at the end of this program so this work was a great start in helping them learn to share, create and perform ideas.
- Lindsay LachanceMORE
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 FleuriotMORE
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!MORE
New guided visits | Nouvelles visites guidées
Did you know that there is a free guided visit at the CAG almost every week during an exhibition? | Savez-vous qu’il y a une visite guidée chez la galerie d’art contemporain presque chaque semaine au cours d’une exhibition? (lisez ce poste en français).
The CAG team has worked very hard to ensure that guided tours are scheduled regularly throughout the course of our exhibitions, and that dedication has given recently given birth to a new series of tours starting this month: multi-language guided visits. For the first time ever, our guided visits are now offered in Mandarin and Spanish!
I have been proud to present our guided visits in French for the past 3 exhibitions, taking over from artist Patricia Huijnen following her return to Switzerland last year. It’s been a real pleasure for me, as I love the French language and often lament that I do not have the chance to speak it as much as I would like. I also love talking about art, and the opportunity to do so at the Contemporary Art Gallery is both challenging and satisfying. Contemporary art can be difficult to understand at first glance, and bringing context, new ideas, and new ways of thinking to visitors has been, for me, an incredibly rewarding privilege.
When I was in school, it was always a struggle to fully appreciated fine-arts field trips when the exhibitions weren’t being presented in the language in which we were being instructed. My teachers would be diligently providing us with French vocabulary and tools with which to engage with the art, but when it was time to visit a gallery, museum or event, it was often jarring to listen to tours in English. There was something really special about the tours that were offered in French.
When Shaun Dacey, our new Curator of Learning and Public Programs, joined the CAG team in April, I wrote to him to tell him about how much I loved working in French at the CAG. Imagine my delight, when he not only echoed my enthusiasm, but informed me that he was already working to add additional language tours to the schedule.
I attended the Mandarin tour, hosted by artist Tommy Ting, on Saturday the 18th, and was delighted to see the engagement in our visitor’s faces while they discussed and engaged with the work in their own language. While I was unable to make the following week’s tour, hosted by photographer Avelina Crespo, I have been told it was well attended and equally well received. Both Tommy and Avelina have agreed to join us again later this summer to again present Mandarin and Spanish language tours at our upcoming exhibition.
I am truly proud to be part of the team providing multi-language tours at the CAG. I invite you to join me on June 1st at 3PM for my guided visit, in French, of the Nancy Holt/Erin Shirreff exhibition currently on display at the CAG.
Kay Slater (@kdot) is a Vancouver illustrator, and proud volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.
L’équipe à la galerie a beaucoup travaillé pour s’assurer que les visites guidées sont programmées régulièrement tout au long de nos expositions, et ce dévouement a donné récemment naissance à une nouvelle série de visites ce mois-ci: des visites guidées multilingues! Pour la première fois, nos visites guidées sont maintenant offerts en mandarin et en espagnol!
Je suis fière d’avoir organisée nos visites guidées en français pour les dernières 3 expositions, succédant à l’artiste Patricia Huijnen après son retour en Suisse l’année dernière. Cela a été un réel plaisir pour moi, comme je suis amoureuse de la langue française et se plaignent souvent que je n’ai pas la chance de parler (ou d’écrire) en français autant que je le voudrais. J’aime aussi parler de l’art, et l’opportunité de le faire à la galerie d’art contemporain est à la fois stimulante et satisfaisante. L’art contemporain peut être difficile à comprendre au premier vu, et apportant le contexte, des nouvelles idées, et de nouvelles façons de penser à nos visiteurs est, pour moi, un privilège extrêmement enrichissante.
Mon français est devenu assez rouiller après avoir pas eu la chance de l’utiliser quotidiennement, mais j’espère que mon passion pour l’art et pour la langue le compense.
Quand j’étais à l’école, c’était toujours difficile d’apprécier des excursions beaux-arts lorsque les expositions n’ont pas été présentées dans la langue dans laquelle nous étions instruits. Nos enseignants seraient diligents en nous fournir le vocabulaire et des outils pour s’engager avec l’art, mais quand il était temps de visiter une galerie, une musée ou un événement, il était souvent choquant à entendre des visites guidées en anglais. Il y avait quelque chose de vraiment spécial dans les visites qui ont été offerts en français; c’était peut-être simplement parce qu’ils étaient si rares, mais peut-être c’était également comment facile c’était à comprendre et à apprécier ces œuvres.
Quand Shaun Dacey, notre nouveau curateur de l’apprentissage et des programmes publiques, a rejoint l’équipe CAG en Avril, je lui ai écrit pour lui dire combien j’adore travailler en français au CAG. Imaginez ma joie, quand il a non seulement fait écho à mon enthousiasme, mais m’a informé qu’il travaillait déjà à ajouter d’autres visites en plusieurs langues à l’horaire.
J’ai participé à la première visite guidée en mandarine, organisée par l’artiste Tommy Ting, et j’ai été ravi de voir l’engagement dans les visages de nos visiteurs pendant qu’ils ont eu la chance de discuter et de s’engager avec le travail dans leur propre langue. Tandis que je n’ai pas pu participer à la visite guidée en espagnol la semaine suivante, organisée par le photographe Avelina Crespo, on m’a dit qu’il a été bien fréquenté et tout aussi bien accueilli. Tommy et Avelina ont accepté de nous rejoindre cet été pour présenter à nouveau des visites en mandarin et en espagnol à propos de notre prochaine exposition.
Je suis vraiment fière de faire partie de l’équipe offrant des visites multilingues à la CAG. Je vous invite à me rejoindre le 1er Juin à 15 heures pour ma visite guidée, en français, de l’exposition Nancy Holt / Erin Shirreff présentement exposée au CAG.
Kay Slater (@ kdot) est une illustratrice de Vancouver, et bénévole à la Galerie d’Art Contemporain. Venez la rendre visite tous les dimanches de midi à 15 heures.MORE
CAG Volunteer Dan Potter writes about his experience participating in Scarcity Radio Vancouver a project developed with artist Sarah Browne. CAG volunteers and teens from the IGNITE! Mentorship Program at the Cultch, Vancouver, worked alongside a group from VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver as well as with individuals from Slow Boat at Ikon Gallery, UK producing a series of sound-works for broadcast on the Scarcity Radio internet channel www.scarcityradio.org/radio.
This unique project included sound artists, economists, geographers and others exploring the notion of scarity and produced a series of experiences that ask questions about the world around us. Dan Potter writes:
When I was first invited to be a part of the Scarcity Radio project I asked myself what are elements in my day to day life that are scarce? Although I came up with a few answers to this question I found it difficult to pin point any necessities I wouldn’t be able to track down and implement. Over the course of a few condensed meetings we as a group explored these concerns with various artistic and social economic practitioners.
For me, our first meeting with artist Sarah Browne provided the most guidance as we talked from many angles on what scarcity is and how this concept could be applied to a radio art project. One of the points made that I found interesting was this idea of scarcity can only exist within a value system that governs quantity. So what is scarce really depends on our perceived notion of what is desired or at least what we consider a necessity of a comfortable life. This concept fits in with the exhibit How to Use Fool’s Gold where Sarah Browne gets us as viewers to examine our economic value system in order to see it isn’t an absolute power but is built and evolves according to what we put emphasis on in regards to our shared values of wealth and prosperity.
Pretty soon we all started making audio recordings of various events with the purpose of editing them into sound pieces that would be eventually broadcast on a pirate radio station operating out of the UK. This idea of using the AM/FM band as part of public display influenced my decision on what to record. In a world full of iPods and Wi-Fi connected audio streams the word RADIO immediately brings to mind certain social phenomenon in our society that are slowly going extinct and being replaced by a new normality.
Consequently, I decided to make recordings of myself and my family sitting at the dinner table having a conversion whilst eating our evening meal. I took the mundane discussions on where the food was bought and the hysterical slightly drunk laughter and manipulated snippets of them to create a sound piece that would move in and out of reality. Some chewing sounds were looped together to create a rhythmic pattern of excessive gobbling noises and cavernous reverb effects were applied to the end points of dialogue in order to initiate a sense of disappearance.
I wanted to hit upon the scarcity of family relations especially that of a nuclear family and the luxury of easy availability of food in western society. When all was said and done it turned out to be a quick project with not a lot of time to over think which happily kept things spontaneous and unexpected. I also enjoyed hearing what other artist participates had recorded as there was a great diversity of sounds and approaches that when played together will definitely spook any unsuspecting radio listeners over in the UK.
This program was made in collaboration with Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Slow Boat, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.