Search Results

Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Sunday 12 - 6pm
Free Admission

Search Results

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn
July 31 to September 3, 2017

Produced in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery, Access Gallery and Burrard Arts Foundation, Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn, currently based between Bangkok and Düsseldorf, is the eighth and final artist to participate in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, the travelling artist residency originated by Access.

Through moving image, performance, text and installation, Skoolisariyaporn’s practice embraces perpetual complexity of space and time. She is interested in contingency of the seascape, a landscape which only reveals itself in the fourth dimension of time, in its constant shifting through wave and wind. The seascape not only suggests an alternative approach to our perception of spatiality, but to the way our formless reality operates. There is perhaps no image that better describes our neoliberal present than a mass of alienated consumer products–at once material and monetary–floating precariously in the middle of the sea. Skoolisariyaporn imagines that as sea levels rise with climate change, the ground of modern reason “floods,” and a new “superstitious liquid state” pours in to take its place.

Following her time aboard a container ship to Shanghai in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, Skoolisariyaporn will take up residence at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio, and through a number of programmed events, will explore the state of flux of the sea and transnational mode of production in relation to ‘Cargo Cult’, a cultural phenomenon practiced by indigenous peoples in Melanesia in the wake of their contact with the colonialist West. The work will be presented in an exhibition at Access Gallery opening September 8, 2017.

Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn’s practice involves moving image, performance, text, and installation, and examines notions of human and non-human history embedded in geological spacetime: the history of mankind as remembered by the earth and its landscape. She is particularly interested in the landscape of the sea, because a “seascape” offers the potential to imagine a perpetual landscape that transcends the concept of “space” into “time.” In this way, she suggests, the landscape of the sea suggests a new way to understand and approach history and spatiality. Recent exhibitions and performances include Chongqing Changjiang Contemporary Museum, Chongqing, China; Biquini Wax, Mexico City; Deptford Lounge, London, UK; Kunstakademie Dusseldorf; Gruentaler 9, Berlin; and Five Years Project, London, UK. Skoolisariyaporn lives and works in London and Bangkok.


Residency | Burrard Marina Field House Studio | Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn

Kelly Jazvac
Ambient Advertising
Until September 10, 2017

Window spaces

Ambient Advertising (2016), installed across the CAG’s windows, is a reconfigured work by Toronto-based Kelly Jazvac. Salvaged billboard images are reframed, manipulated and cut through, seemingly in reference to a quintessential Canadian landscape, and visually envelop the gallery at street level. Taken from contemporary advertising, the imagery appeals to our collective sense of identity through reference to the romantic and awesome natural world that surrounds us while questioning the feeding of desire as driven by contemporary consumer culture.

Presented with Capture Photography Festival

Kelly Jazvac is an artist based in London, Ontario. Recent exhibitions include Rocks Stones and Dust, Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Organic Situation, Koenig and Clinton; An other land, and in the other our own, Prosjekstrom Normann’s, Norway; Human Nature, Carleton University Gallery, Ottawa (2015); Recent Landscapes, Louis B. James Gallery, New York City; Anthropophotogenic, The University of Waterloo Art Gallery (2014); PARK, Oakville Galleries; Impel With Puffs, Diaz Contemporary, Toronto; and More Than Two, The Power Plant, Toronto (2013). She is represented by Louis B. James Gallery, New York.


Window spaces: Kelly Jazvac - Ambient Advertising

Vikky Alexander
Model Suite [Sliding Door] (2015-17)
Until September 24, 2017

Off-site: Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line

As a contemporary of artists such as Richard Prince, James Welling and Sherrie Levine who were active in New York in the early 1980s, Vikky Alexander is often associated with the Pictures Generation. She is best known for work that foregrounds a strong interest in the histories of architecture, design and fashion, often focusing on locations such as shopping malls, showrooms, and show apartments — sites of desire, aspirations and ideas of home. The images are often complicated through light, reflections and refractions and speak of a set of conditions and values embedded in appearances as seen through furnishings and the notional view from the window (here, a large-scale photo mural). Shown outdoors at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Model Suite (Sliding Door) (2005/17) interplays with its architectural surroundings; the station’s glass pavilion lends a further physical and visual layer as we see the daily activity on the street through the work itself.

Presented with Capture Photography Festival

Vikky Alexander is one of Vancouver’s most acclaimed artists. Her work has been recognized within Canada and internationally in New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Europe and in the United States. Working as a photographer, sculptor, collagist and installation artist, Alexander is a leading practitioner in the field of photo-conceptualism. Her work is at once both seductive and disruptive; she likes to situate the viewer within idealized spaces that reflect our aspirations and frames our desires within the dynamics of consumption and utopian ideals.

Alexander lives in Montreal and is represented by the Trepanier Baer Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, Wilding Cran, Los Angeles and Cooper Cole, Toronto.


Off-site: Vikky Alexander - Model Suite (Sliding Door)

Gordon Bennett
Be Polite
June 30 to September 24, 2017
Alvin Balkind Gallery and Events Room

The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of largely unseen works on paper by one of Australia’s most visionary and critical artists, Gordon Bennett (1955–2014).

Working closely with the Estate of Gordon Bennett and IMA Brisbane the show will comprise a selection of works on paper including drawing, painting, watercolour, poetry, and essays from the early 1990s through to the early 2000s. Though rarely seen in exhibition contexts, Bennett’s drawing and script form the foundation of his practice. Paper is the site where imagery, words and ideas often found their first expression before being combined into the large-scale conceptual paintings for which Bennett is known. Despite their relatively small scale, works in Be Polite embrace rich layers of Western and Australian Indigenous art history and contemporary politics, a direction Bennett played a leading role in developing throughout the 1980s and continued to explore in his successful career. As such the shared colonial histories with Canada and in particular the plight of local First Nations are set in dialogue across continents. Issues, events and histories are given compelling voice in these provocative and often disturbing images.

Accompanying the exhibition is a publication featuring contributions by Helen Hughes, Julie Nagam and Ian McLean is published with Sternberg Press.

First presented at IMA, Brisbane and subsequently at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2016, the exhibition will evolve and be reconfigured with a new selection of works at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver. This version will then travel to McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton in 2018.

Be Polite is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, Ministry of Communications and the Arts through Visions of Australia, The Estate of Gordon Bennett, Milani Gallery, and Sutton Gallery.

Bennett has been the subject of major solo presentations and retrospectives at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, (touring, Europe), 1999–2000, Griffith University, Brisbane, (touring, Australia), 2004–2005, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, (touring, Australia), 2007–2009. International recognition and attention for Bennett’s work has been growing with his inclusion in the acclaimed dOCUMENTA (13), in Kassel in 2012, and in the 8th Berlin Biennale in 2014.


Gordon Bennett - Be Polite

Levine Flexhaug
A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings
June 30 to September 24, 2017
B.C. Binning Gallery

A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug offers the first overview of the extraordinary career of Levine Flexhaug (1918 – 1974), born in the Treelon area near Climax, Saskatchewan. It brings together approximately 450 of the artist’s paintings as well as several of his mural-sized works. An itinerant painter, he sold thousands of variations of essentially the same landscape painting in national parks, resorts, department stores and bars across western Canada from the late 1930s through the early 1960s. Whatever its variation, a Flexhaug image represents a Western icon, a silent unspoiled Eden that encapsulates the conventions of sublime landscape painting in a kind of painter’s shorthand. For the Contemporary Art Gallery it continues a strand in our programming where we present work by artists who for a variety of reasons, operated outside of the strict mainstream of the art world.

Long valued by a core of contemporary artists and collectors, Flexhaug turned formula painting into a source of wonder, not only because he churned out paintings so quickly using an assembly line method but because these works are so aesthetically compelling. Indeed, the lushness, variety, intensity, luminosity, touch and authentic feeling of his paintings are arguably non pareil in this genre. Interestingly, he hit upon the exact image that a poll taken by the Russian artists Komar and Melamid in the 1990s, determined is what Canadians most want to see in art.

As engaging as they are aesthetically, Flexhaug’s paintings also offer a point of entry for consideration of significant critical questions ranging from issues of taste, originality versus repetition in art, the appeal of landscape and its iconography – particularly in the Canadian context – to whether art can have integrity as art even if it is unapologetically commercial. Another issue raised by an examination of Flexhaug’s oeuvre is desire. Collecting is by its nature an activity with obsessive tendencies, but the numbers accumulated by those who collect Flexhaugs provide a particular opportunity to analyse aspects of the powerful emotional bonds that exist for many people with art and aesthetic objects. In the case of Flexhaug, more is always more.

Painting for Flexhaug was a way to make a living without having a regular job and he took great satisfaction in both supporting his family and satisfying his customers. Tracing his life from his early years in southern Saskatchewan through the byways of his peripatetic career following the Depression also provides a unique perspective from which to consider early modern Western Canadian social history, from aspects of identity to particular forms of consumption and leisure and recreation.

Alongside the exhibition, in our reading room we also present Flexie! All the Same and All Different, a feature-length documentary made in association with A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug by Calgary filmmakers Gary Burns and Donna Brunsdale. The film not only tells the story of a little known artist but in its investigation of how people respond to the paintings and what they mean to them, is also a fascinating reflection on both the nature of art and the meaning of place.

The exhibition is curated by Nancy Tousley and Peter White. A publication examining Flexhaug’s art and career, the critical issues they raise and the larger social and cultural history they represent accompanies the exhibition.

In collaboration with MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary; Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta; and Rodman Hall Art Centre, St. Catherines.

Exhibition is organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie with support from the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.


Levine Flexhaug - A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings

‘The Madam’, was created as part of the ‘Skins’ workshop. In collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), a branch of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), Skawennati led an intensive workshop called ‘Skins’ participating in MOA’s Native Youth Program. Supported by the British Columbia Arts Council Youth Engagement program.

‘Skins’ involved six Indigenous youth currently participating in the Native Youth Program, part of an ongoing relationship between CAG and MOA. Hosted at ECUAD, the workshop began with an exploration of storytelling as oral tradition folding into how stories can be told in new ways through ‘machinima’ (a portmanteau of “machine” and “cinema”).

Calvin Charlie-Dawson – Squamish, Stó:lō, Kwakwaka’wakw
Dusty Carpenter – Heiltsuk
Latisha Wadhams – Kwakwaka’wakw
Karoleena Medina – Heiltsuk
Jennifer Pahl – Tsimshian, Nisga’a , Gitxsan
Isaiah Wadhams – Squamish, Stó:lō, Kwakwaka’wakw

Montreal based, Kanien’keha:ka artist Skawennati’s project with CAG, ‘machinima’ workshops that use new technologies, virtual environments and video games to empower Indigenous youth to tell stories in a new way.


Video | The Madam - Skins workshop

‘Thowxeya’ was created as part of the ‘Skins’ workshop. In collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), a branch of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), Skawennati led an intensive workshop called ‘Skins’ participating in MOA’s Native Youth Program. Supported by the British Columbia Arts Council Youth Engagement program.

‘Skins’ involved six Indigenous youth currently participating in the Native Youth Program, part of an ongoing relationship between CAG and MOA. Hosted at ECUAD, the workshop began with an exploration of storytelling as oral tradition folding into how stories can be told in new ways through ‘machinima’ (a portmanteau of “machine” and “cinema”).

Calvin Charlie-Dawson – Squamish, Stó:lō, Kwakwaka’wakw
Dusty Carpenter – Heiltsuk
Latisha Wadhams – Kwakwaka’wakw
Karoleena Medina – Heiltsuk
Jennifer Pahl – Tsimshian, Nisga’a , Gitxsan
Isaiah Wadhams – Squamish, Stó:lō, Kwakwaka’wakw

Montreal based, Kanien’keha:ka artist Skawennati’s project with CAG, ‘machinima’ workshops that use new technologies, virtual environments and video games to empower Indigenous youth to tell stories in a new way.


Video | Thowxeya - Skins workshop

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is searching for a Curator

The Contemporary Art Gallery is seeking to appoint a new Curator to take up post as soon as possible in 2017.

Job Summary
Working as part of the team, the Curator initiates, develops and implements gallery exhibitions, off-site projects, residencies and publications in consultation with the Executive Director. The Curator oversees all aspects of program delivery, exhibition coordination and preparation, installation planning, monitors certain budgets and contributes to development and public programming initiatives. The Curator represents CAG in the community to enhance the profile and reputation of the gallery. Evening and weekend work is required.

The successful applicant will be appointed within the salary band $42,000-$50,000/annum subject to qualifications and experience. This is a permanent full-time position (minimum 40 hours per week) that includes extended health and dental benefits after successful completion of a probation period.  Successful applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

Read the full description and how to apply.

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is searching for an Operations Administrator (Part time)

The Contemporary Art Gallery is seeking to appoint a new Operations Administrator to take up post in 2017. The position is offered on a 3 days/ 24 hours per week basis.

Job Summary

Reporting to and providing administrative support for the Executive Director, the Operations Administrator is responsible for the efficient management of CAG’s operations in relation to office effectiveness, facilities management, Society administration and IT, to best support the organization’s mission and strategic goals.

This is a permanent part-time position, 3 days/ 24 hours per week. The successful applicant will be appointed pro rata within the salary band $40,000-$45,000/annum subject to qualifications and experience plus be eligible to receive extended health and dental benefits after successful completion of a probation period.

Read the full description and how to apply.


CAG Employment Opportunities: 2016-2017

On the last Saturday of each month, CAG invites all ages to drop-in for short family friendly exhibition tours and free art making activities that respond to our current exhibitions. Activities differ in response to the specifics of work on display but always involve hands-on creative activity with a range of materials and processes. These activities are designed to engage, challenge and inspire young, enquiring minds in ways that are imaginative and fun.

Upcoming CAG Family Days:

Saturday, April 29, 12-3pm
Moving Images
Inspired by Kelly Jazvac’s work create an installation by cutting and arranging strips of colourful vinyl.

Saturday, May 27, 12-3pm
Through the Window
Inspired by the work of Niamh O’Malley’s Glasshouse, take photographs through a variety of textured windows to create different light, colour and texture effects.

We acknowledge the generous support of the Peter Szeto Investment Group for our Family Day program.
Presented in collaboration with ArtStarts on Saturdays. For more details visit:


Family Day Program

<h2><strong>Youth Programs</strong></h2>

CAG programming for young people involves a series of differing projects annually. They provide stimulating and challenging experiences for young artists committed to experimentation and pushing the boundaries of their own art making in a supportive studio environment.

Through these projects, youth have the opportunity to work with leading artists, curators and educators in Vancouver as they explore a range of contemporary art practices and exhibition making alongside production of work such as context-specific installation, large-scale collaborative sculptures and performances. Participants engage in critiques and discussions concerning idea development, working with materials and processes, and viewing works of art.

<h2>Previous youth projects include:</h2>

  • A Summer Intensive with artists Brendan Fernandes, Justine Chambers, Daelik and Delia Brett that had young artists exploring the intersection between dance, choreography and visual art, culminating in an ambitious collaborative performance.
  • City in Motion was a four month lens-based youth project offered in collaboration with Cineworks. Artists Josh Hite and Brian Lye mentored young participants to create a permanent, multi-media commission for the TELUS Garden building using smart phones, social media and surveillance recordings.
  • The Exchange visual art intensive was conceived by designer Lisa Novak and facilitated by artists, Keg de Souza and Walter K. Scott. Working in studios at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, participants took up the creative problem of working in collaboration to create an installation that considered the unique site and context of Granville Island.

Inside Out: Studio, Gallery, Street
Open call: Visual Art Summer Intensive

Arts Umbrella, Contemporary Art Gallery and SFU collaboration
August 8 to 26, 2016

Inside Out: Studio, Gallery, Street is a three week visual arts intensive specifically designed for youth between the age of 14 and 19 interested in developing their visual art practice.

The program will culminate in a one-day exhibition at CAG.

Application deadline: Monday, June 6, 2016.

Space is limited. Fee for the intensive is $480.00. Application forms are available at

For more information about the program, please contact:

Holly Schmidt, at [email protected]


Youth Programs

Are you a teacher seeking to develop work with your class based on our exhibitions? Or are you planning a field trip and would like further guidance?

The CAG offers engaging arts learning for students from K-12.  Our school programs involve an interactive guided tour of gallery exhibitions and the option of thematically connected art making. Rooted in enquiry and discussion our education programs invite students and teachers to creatively explore visual art materials and processes as well as critically reflect upon the power of contemporary art to engage diverse themes, perspectives and complex ideas.

Our school programs are designed to meet the areas of learning identified in the BC Education Ministry’s Arts Education curriculum.

Program Options:

Guided Program

1 hr. – $50.00 (maximum 30 students)

The guided program for students from K-12 involves an insightful, inquiry-based exploration of the exhibitions allowing for creative learning and developing key transferable skills such as problem solving, communication and literacy.

Guided Program + Art Making activity  

2 hrs. – $90 (maximum 30 students)

For the guided program combined with art making activities in response to our exhibitions for students from K-12, in-depth tours of current exhibitions combine with workshops investigating the techniques, medium and practices of the work on display. These workshops enable meaningful dialogue to emerge developing critical thinking, making and understanding.

Considering spending a full day with your class in downtown Vancouver? We are in close proximity to a range of other cultural organizations that also offer school programming.

For more information or to book a program for your class, please email: [email protected] or telephone 604 681 2700.

To apply for funding to support your visit to the CAG, please visit

Exhibitions for 2016/2017
The CAG exhibits national and international artists that work with a diverse range of media, processes, and practices offering an important opportunity to engage with current ideas and issues.

Isabel Nolan: The weakened eye of day
July 29 – October 2, 2016

Isabel Nolan’s exhibition is an unfolding story of light as a central metaphor for truth and optimism. This exploration of our place beneath the sun includes text works, sculpture, ceramics, drawings, paintings and photographs.

October 14, 2016 – January 1, 2017

New York-based French artist, Guillaume Leblon creates fictional spaces through sculptures made with familiar everyday objects. A figurative presence is suggested through imprints, clothing and other remnants.

Haroon Mirza
January 13 – March 19, 2017

U.K artist Haroon Mirza makes immersive kinetic installations that deal with the distinctions between noise, sound and music. For CAG plant forms and solar panels are used to explore the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current.

Capture Photography Festival
March 31 – June 18, 2017

We will curate a group exhibition as the feature show for The Capture Photography Festival including local to international artists, more details to come.



School Programs

Night School is a program for new collectors and contemporary art enthusiasts, an introductory contemporary art survey that is intentionally accessible, intelligent and engaging. Through a curriculum built from the history of exhibitions at the CAG, participants will learn about common themes in recent visual arts and ways in which they are interpreted and discussed. Lectures by instructor Lee Plested will introduce work by important artists from Vancouver and around the world. A suggested reading list will complement the discussion program. Along with the lectures, the participants will also engage in three studio visits with internationally recognized local artists including: Vikky Alexander, Gareth Moore, Elizabeth McIntosh, and tours of exhibitions by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun – Unceded Territories at the Museum of Anthropology and upcoming exhibition, MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Wednesday March 16, 7:30-9:00 pm
Lecture 1 – The French Salon

Sunday March 20, 3:30-5:00 pm
Studio Visit 1 with Vikky Alexander

Wednesday March 23, 7:30-9:00 pm
Lecture 2 – Matter Is Meaning

March 23 – April 2
Easter Reading Week Break (no session)

Sunday April 3, 3:00-4:00 pm
Exhibition Visit – MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture
Vancouver Art Gallery

Sunday April 10, 3:30-5:00 pm
Studio Visit 2 with Elizabeth McIntosh

Wednesday April 13, 7:30-9:00 pm
Lecture 3 – Absorbing Abstractions

Sunday April 24, 3:30-5:00 pm
Studio Visit 3 with Gareth Moore

Wednesday April 27, 7:30-9:00 pm
Lecture 4 – Surrealism and Other Truths

Friday May 6, 6:00-7:00 pm
Exhibition preview for Jochen Lempert

Sunday May 15, 12:30
Curator’s Tour – Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
Museum of Anthropology

Cost: $375, includes a complimentary CAG membership.

Payments can also be made by monthly installments.

Space is limited – 20 seats – filling up fast!

To register contact Kristin Cheung, Development Officer at [email protected] or call 604 681 2700.



Night School IV

Sylvia Kind, PhD is an instructor in the School of Childhood Studies at Capilano University and an atelierista at the Capilano University Children’s Centre. Her work is motivated by an interest in artistic ways of knowing, children’s studio practices, experimentations with art as research in early childhood settings and the intersections of art and pedagogy. Kind will respond to elements of play in Ryan Gander’s exhibition.


Feedback Series Talk - Sylvia Kind

Bo Ha, Chris Mills, Diego Romero, Elizabeth Ellis, Megan Low, Natalie Murao, Robert Psutka, Sophia Wolfe

Re-visions brought together eight emerging artists from diverse backgrounds in visual, performing and literary arts. Unique perspectives combined into a larger collaborative multi-screen piece, the shared objective being to highlight the dynamism inherent in the processes of rapid (re)building as Vancouver evolves, remembering a recent past while gesturing towards an imagined future.

Read on for a report by emerging artist and Re-visions participant Elizabeth Ellis:

“In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.

We spent a couple of months researching through studio and gallery visits, workshops, and artist talks. After generating some ideas, we set out as a group and began experimenting with different documentation tactics throughout the city. We walked through urban spaces and improvised along the way. We tried same-space shooting, giving each other instructions, and exploring methods rooted in psychogeography. We continually revised our ideas but were overwhelmed with the amount that we had, as a group of eight. It felt like there were unlimited directions to pursue.

We also had lectures given by artists in the city and during a final talk at the CAG, artist Laiwan reminded us to deeply listen: to be in-tune with the phenomena that’s personally interesting, and to expand our visual and emotional vocabulary—linking metaphors and creating language. This advice motivated the group to share what we were each invested in. Artists with dance and performance backgrounds approached the project focusing on movement, through the choreography of the camera body and the collection of images. Others considered integrating city archives and found footage, while some explored concepts around urban space and telecommunications. The challenge then became how to weave seemingly disparate ideas together into a collective piece. How did we experience the city space as individuals and yet also as a collective?

As we looked through each contribution in the editing stage, patterns emerged and a new language started to collectively form. We realized that what we initially thought were disconnected ideas actually echoed our diverse experiences of the city. Our process and works entangled with one another, and for me, this was one of the most rewarding aspects about the collaboration.

Thanks to our mentors, Cineworks, and the Contemporary Art Gallery for your generosity of time, dialogue, and support throughout this valuable learning opportunity.”

—Elizabeth Ellis


Re-Visions: Improvisation & Collaboration - Telus Garden Building Project

Tidal Dérive

In September, the CAG welcomed New York-based artist Marie Lorenz back to Vancouver as an artist-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio and to complete her project Tidal Dérive.

The project, a multi-day dérive in a handmade driftwood boat along the Fraser River (Hope to Richmond) and between the Southern Gulf Islands was from September 1 to 8, 2015. Studying tidal charts of the area, the artist used tides and currents to direct and drift the navigation of ocean and rivers. This simple act of journeying along the contemporary ecosystem and industrialized commercial port of Fraser offered a different and unfamiliar experience of space for city residents who travel over these bodies of water daily. The experience of floating, of movement controlled by natural forces, adds a specific dimension to one’s own observation: the viewer made aware of their own balance and form as they absorb the details of their surroundings, creating something new from something familiar.

The journey was live-streamed for the land-bound audience to follow, providing a mediated representation of the visceral experience of the expedition. See the video below for highlights from the journey.

Over the past two years Marie Lorenz has participated in a sequence of residencies at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House resulting in the development of a new Pacific-based series of projects centred on the launch of a handmade boat constructed from driftwood found along Vancouver’s coast line. The boat has since travelled to Northern California where Lorenz completed “tidal derives” in San Francisco with Southern Exposure and most recently along the Russian River with Look Up Gallery in Guerneville, California.

Since 2002, Lorenz has been exploring the waterways of New York City in boats that she designs and builds, her work combining psycho-geographic explorations with highly crafted, material forms that explore the intertidal zone. She envisions a city harbour as a giant centrifuge, spinning things in the tide and redistributing them around its shore; reorganizing things that we value and representing things that were thrown away. The tide examines the nature of each object with its own incomprehensible order; Lorenz’s driftwood boat a way to gather and record evidence in collaboration with the tide.


Marie Lorenz - Tidal Dérive

Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Maddie Leach speaking at the ‘spaced symposium’ Perth, WA, Australia.

Reflecting on the spaced 2: future recall projects, the spaced symposium presented a day of discussions addressing the relationship between museums, contemporary art and communities.


Video | Maddie Leach - Spaced Symposium - courtesy of spaced 2

Maddie Leach | Mandurah – courtesy of spaced 2: future recall

spaced 2: future recall, the second edition of the spaced program, presented newly commissioned artworks by fourteen contemporary Australian and international artists who lived and worked for extended periods in Western Australian rural and remote communities throughout 2013-14, developing works based on an engagement with local residents, histories and landscapes.

Thank you to spaced 2, Perth, WA, Australia for sharing the video.
See more about ‘spaced 2’ here:


Video | Maddie Leach | Mandurah - courtesy of 'spaced 2: future recall'

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

Artist Shannon Bool discusses her work and the process of making the sculpture ‘Michelangelo’s Place’ installed at the entrance to the CAG from May 1 to June 28, 2015. Film by Brian Lye.


Video | Shannon Bool

In this artist talk, Meric Algün Ringborg discusses her practice, exploring the critical underpinning and key themes of her work.

She exhibited at the CAG in 2013 with the solo exhibition Metatext  is currently featured in La Biennale di Venezia 2015, the 56th International exhibition.


Artist Talk | Meriç Algün Ringborg

Marilyn Brakhage is a graduate of the Motion Picture Studies and Art History departments of Ryerson and York Universities, Toronto. She has worked as a film distributor, programmer, freelance writer and home educator, and is currently consulting on and managing the estate of her late husband, filmmaker and theoretician, Stan Brakhage (1933–2003). Marilyn responds to the work of her late husband.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Marilyn Brakhage

Jem Noble’s practice encompasses digital image-making, sound, sculpture, performance and text and is concerned with questions of framing, indeterminacy and co-production. Among recent projects he has given a performance-lecture for the European Arts Research Network at dOCUMENTA (13); created image, text and audio work in conjunction with Bruce Nauman’s Days at the ICA, London; made structural edits of 1988 feature films Ghosts of the Civil Dead and They Live, screened at Arnolfini, Bristol, UK and The Engine Room, Wellington, New Zealand; and painstakingly recorded music from the internet in real-time over three months to DJ at Manifesta 7 in Trentino in collaboration with Swedish anti copyright activists Piratbyrån. He has also undertaken several commissioned collaborations with Turner Prize 2012 winner, Elizabeth Price, producing sound and music for her large-scale video installations. Noble is founding member of the Blackout Arts expanded-cinema collective (2002–2010) and was co-director of Venn Festival of new and exploratory music and sound between 2004 and 2008. Noble responded to the work of Mike Nelson.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Jem Noble

Anthropologist Bălășescu specializes in material culture, the body, consumption and cultural aspects of economy. He is the author of Paris Chic, Tehran Thrills, Aesthetic Bodies, Political Subjects (ZetaBooks, 2007) and taught at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest; American University in Paris; University of California, Irvine; Royal University for Women, Bahrain and Galatasaray University, Istanbul. He worked as deputy director for the Romanian Cultural Institute ‘Dimitrie Cantemir’ in Istanbul and is currently based in Vancouver, interested in urban ecology and social business models.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Alec Balasescu

Michael Turner is a Vancouver-based writer of fiction, criticism and song. His published multi-genre literary titles include Hard Core Logo, The Pornographer’s Poem and 8 × 10. He has also written essays on the work of artists Julia Feyrer, Brian Jungen, Ken Lum, Christina Mackie and Michael Morris, whose 2012 exhibition Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry was co-curated by Turner and Scott Watson at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, UBC. A frequent collaborator, he has written scripts with Stan Douglas, poems with Geoffrey Farmer and songs with Andrea Young. His writing can be found online at Canadian Art and on his blog at Turner responds to Kevin Schmidt’s exhibition.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.



Feedback Series Talk | Michael Turner

Kimberly Phillips responds to the work of Jurgen Partenheimer. Director/Curator at Access Gallery, Phillips holds a doctorate in art history from the University of British Columbia, where she focused on the complexity of German collective memory as negotiated through ephemeral artistic interventions in the public realm of post-1989 Berlin. She is a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the University of British Columbia, where she teaches courses on the history of visual culture, cultural theory and curatorial practice. During her recent residency at 221A, she collaborated with Vanessa Kwan present a solo exhibition of work by Kara Uzelman accompanied by the publication Unknown Objects, featuring a text by the poet and essayist Lisa Robertson.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Kimberly Phillips

London-based curator Shama Khanna’s current research project Flatness engages screen based images and immaterial culture in relation to the internet. Launched at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Flatness currently operates across multiple platforms including featuring contributions by artists, writers and technologists who engage with the web as a creative site and a space for viewing. Khanna undertook a residency at Western Front (March 17 – April 14, 2014) and responds to the work of Kevin Schmidt.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Shama Khanna

Adele Diamond, Ph.D., is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Her work integrates developmental, cognitive, neuroscience and molecular genetic approaches to examine fundamental questions about the development of the cognitive control abilities that rely on a region of the brain known as ‘prefrontal cortex’. Her recent work, including a paper in the journal Science is affecting early education practices around the world. Diamond responds to Aurélien Froment’s exhibition.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Adele Diamond

Artist talk by Canadian artist Shannon Bool. Bool discussed her recent installation at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Flight of the Medici Mamluk and her new CAG commission Michelangelo’s Place alongside recent projects.


Artist Talk | Shannon Bool

The Contemporary Art Gallery presented a weekend of epic sound working with Vancouver based NURSE. Performing two six-hour presentations, this group of tonal alchemists created free improvisational music or Free-Continuum Music. The performances were ongoing throughout the day, the sound reacting to and in response to the environment as it unfolds over time, a constantly evolving texture throughout the building.


NURSE | Performance

Gabrielle Moser is a writer, educator and curator based in Toronto. She regularly contributes to, and her writing has appeared in Art in America, ARTnews, Fillip, Photography & Culture and the Journal of Visual Culture. She has curated exhibitions for Access Gallery, Gallery TPW, Xpace and Vtape. Moser holds a PhD in art history and visual culture from York University and teaches at OCAD University. She responded to the work of Krista Belle Stewart.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Feedback Series Talk | Gabriel Moser

On Friday, April 10, 2015 and in conjunction with the Canadian Art Foundation Vancouver Gallery Hop, the CAG hosted a talk by Canadian Art associate editor David Balzer based on his latest book ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’.

David Balzer is a Toronto-based critic, editor and teacher. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Modern Painters, Camera Austria,, The Believer and others, and is the author of two books, the short-fiction collection Contrivances (Joyland/ECW Press) and the non-fiction study ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’ (Coach House Press/Pluto Press).


David Balzer | Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else

Artist Shimabuku discusses his exhibition, ‘When Sky was Sea’ at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. November 20, 2014-January 11, 2015. Video by Brian Lye.


Video | Shimabuku

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.


The City in Motion - CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art Commission

Krista Belle Stewart
Nisga’a Museum New Visions Artist Residency

This Fall, in partnership with the Nisga’a Museum, the CAG launched a collaborative artist in residence project. Vancouver based Okanagan/Upper-Nicola artist Krista Belle Stewart travelled to Nisga’a in late October to mid-November to develop new work that will be exhibited at the Nisga’a Museum. A key component to this residency is community engagement and participation. Stewart’s project is centered on narrative and storytelling. She is curious to explore, learn about and listen to the stories/oral histories of Nisga’a people, their life and connection to the land. While in residence Stewart engaged with youth and elders throughout Nisga’a’s Nass Valley through visits, talks, workshops and the sharing of stories. Investigating how these stories are being preserved in the community; how they are shared and how community members talk about the past are critical components to the residency and future work created by the artist. Out of these community engagements Stewart is developing a video-based work.

Krista Belle Stewart is a member of Okanagan/Upper Nicola Band. She lives and works in Vancouver. Stewart holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and is currently working on a MFA from Bard College in New York. Recent exhibition and performance history includes Music from the New Wilderness at The Western Front, Shelved at the Burnaby Art Gallery (with Rebecca Belmore) and the Fiction/Non-fiction at the Esker Foundation (Calgary). Krista’s work explores First Nations identity, particularly by individuals and groups who have no direct links to North American Native culture, other than through romanticized/ fetishized interest such as health products that tap into the wisdom of the elders to help relieve your carpal tunnel syndrome; sculptures and trinkets that depict proud, ideal figures, and phenomena such as the German Indianer Klub, where members don elaborate buckskin outfits while interpreting Native American song and dance. Stewart’s photographic practice creates a dialogue between past and present, the romantic and the real, creating an awareness of the implications of misrepresentation, stereotypes, and racism. Her work engages the complexities of intention and interpretation made possible by archival material. The work approaches mediation and story-telling to unfold the interplay between personal and institutional history.

Most recently, Stewart was commissioned by the City of Vancouver as part of the Year of Reconciliation. The City’s Public Art Program commissioned 10 new artist projects overall with the first five debuting in March 2014 and new projects being introduced monthly through August 2014. The Granville and Georgia entrance of the Canada Line City Centre Station will host Krista-Belle Stewart’s Her Story, a large photo mural and a video work derived from the 1967 CBC documentary Seraphine: Her Own Story about her mother, the first Aboriginal public health nurse in BC. The images reflect personal and institutional histories and the complexities of residential school history. It touches on the young woman’s journey from residential school to UBC and the city.

This artist residency is supported by and made possible through the generous funding provided by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, British Columbia Arts Council, and the Nisga’a Nation through the Nisga’a Lisims Government.


Nisga’a Museum New Visions Artist Residency - Krista Belle Stewart

‘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:

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

Jürgen Partenheimer
Thursday, May 8, 6pm
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Room 301, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island

This special event involves multiple voices approaching notions of abstraction from a variety of poetic, philosophical and theoretical standpoints by Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Jürgen Partenheimer. Born in Munich in 1947, Partenheimer studied the theory and practice of art in Germany, the USA, Mexico and France. As a representative of a subjective abstraction, he is considered one of the most important contemporary artists of Germany. With theory, poetry and prose as his referential grammar for artistic expression, Partenheimer’s work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and text. Marked by a post-minimalist background and a poetic intensity, his art has been referred to as metaphysical realism. He became internationally renowned following his participation in the Paris, Venice and São Paulo Biennials, and in 2000 became the first contemporary German artist to have a retrospective in China at the National Museum of Art in Beijing. His work has been part of major exhibitions including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, the Miró Foundation in Barcelona and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

Featuring guest appearances by Nigel Prince, Nicholas Lea, Mayko Nguyen and Aoife MacNamara.

Partenheimer’s work has received many national and international prizes and awards, among others the Art Critics’ Prize of Madrid, Spain; the NEA Grant, National Endowment of the Arts, New York; Canada Council Grant, Montréal and the Federal Cross of Merit of Germany for outstanding international achievement. Partenheimer has taught as Professor, Distinguished Visiting Professor and Visiting artist among others at San Francisco Art Institute; Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf, University of California at Davis; Rijks Academy in Amsterdam; Royal College of Art, Edinburgh; Rhode Island School of Design and WITS School of Arts in Johannesburg.

Partenheimer’s residency at Emily Carr takes place from February – May, 2014 in preparation for an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery in the fall of 2014. The exhibition in Vancouver forms part of an open cooperation with the Pinakothek der Moderne München (The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Munich); Falckenberg Collection, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, exploring site and space-related installation concepts. Parallel to the different exhibitions, all of which will be held in 2014, the participating institutions closely worked on a publication with the artist that aims at commenting on and integrating the various aspects of his work as an additional ‘fifth room’. International authors from a variety of different disciplines, including Anne Carson, Lebogang Mashile, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, Antje v. Graevenitz, John Burnside, Oswald Egger and Rudi Fuchs, have taken up the invitation to write contributions and become involved in this project. Published by Distanz Publishers, Berlin, 2014.

Established in 2012, the Audain Distinguished Artist in Residence Program has a mandate to bring nationally and internationally renowned contemporary artists to Vancouver, create curriculum specific to each individual visiting artist, and support the creation of new works. Adopting a flexible model that encourages experimentation, collaboration, dialogue and engagement, the program will benefit artists, the academic community, the Vancouver art community at large, and will greatly contribute to Vancouver’s stature within the international art world. The Program, housed within the Audain School of Visual Arts encompassing the Faculty of Visual Arts + Material Practice, provides support for two artists per year to live and work in Vancouver for a one to three month period, and includes living and travel expenses, support for production costs, exhibitions and honoraria.

Please note that Aoife MacNamara’s reading has been removed due to technical difficulties. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenient.


Video | Jürgen Partenheimer - Renga: Dimensions of Abstraction

CJSF interns Ana Costa + Anh Dang interview New York visual and video artist Maryam Jafri about her work AVALON (2011), which is Contemporary Art Gallery’s June 2014 exhibition The Act Of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes.

Jafri weaves themes of production, representation and role playing throughout her work.

Aired originally on CJSF’s Spoken Word Surprise July 1st (Tuesday 4pm)

Includes notes from CAG curator and excerpts from the June 26th artist talk.

Talk info + audio:…yam-jafri/


CJSF Radio interview with Maryam Jafri

Artist Stefan Bruggemann discusses his exhibtiion, ‘Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies’ at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. June 13 to September 7, 2014. Video by Brian Lye.


Video | Stefan Bruggemann

Maryam Jafri
Thursday, June 26, 7pm

Please join us for a talk by artist Maryam Jafri. Her video work Avalon (2011) is included in The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes.

In her moving image works, Jafri blurs the distinction between scripted films and unscripted documentaries. In Avalon (2011), Jafri seamlessly weaves together stories from real life workers in an unnamed leather company in an unspecified Asian country, with a script that she wrote herself. The workers in this factory are not told that they are making fetish products to be sold to the masses in the United States, and this selective disclosure can be seen in the disconnect between the production process and the final product itself. Parallels can be made between the secretive nature within the leather factory, the viewer’s unsurety of who is an actor and who is not, as well as to the overall editing process which yields a carefully restrained video work about the complex topics of overseas factories and the world of fetish paraphernalia.

Jafri’s solo exhibitions include: Mouthfeel, Gasworks, London (2014); Backdrop, Bielefelder kustverein, Bielefeld, Germany (2013); Stages, WYSPA Institute of Art, Gdansk (2012); Geographies, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde (2012); Headlines and Small Print (with Anderas Fogarasi), Galerie Nova/WHW Zagreb (2012); Global Slum, Beirut, Cairo (2012) and Shanghai Biennial and Taipei Biennial (2012). She has also exhibited in group exhibitions including: Fassbinder Jetzt – Fassbinder and Contemporary Art, Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt (2013); Past is Present (Murals), Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); Ten Thousand Wiles, Hundred Thousand Tricks, MuKHA, Antwerp (2013); When Attitudes Became Forms Become Attitudes, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); Manifesta 9, Genk (2012). Maryam Jafri lives and works in New York and Copenhagen. She holds a BA in Literature from Brown University, an MA from NYU/Tisch School of The Arts and is a graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.


Artist Talk | Maryam Jafri

Brendan Fernandes
Tuesday, June 10, 7pm

Brendan Fernandes is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent based between Toronto and New York City.
In this artist talk introducing Fernandes’ residency, he discussed his recent projects. This summer the CAG hosts a two month residency with Brendan Fernandes. At the core of the artist’s practice lies an investigation into the concept of authenticity, an ideological construct as a shaper of cultural experience.


Artist Talk | Brendan Fernandes

William Wood is an art historian and critic concentrating on the history of conceptual art and contemporary Canadian and international work in photography, moving pictures and installation. Starting as a critic and editor with C Magazine, Vanguard, Parachute and Public, Wood went on to a doctorate at the University of Sussex and has taught at universities in the United Kingdom, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Recent publications include essays for Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography and Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980. Forthcoming are writings on The Piano, an exhibition held at the Art Gallery of Alberta this past summer, and Michael Morris: Letters for the Helen and Morris Belkin Art Gallery. For his Feedback talk Wood addressed his remarks to the theme of the para-photographic as it related to the James Welling exhibition and other artists working with photography.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


William Wood

Karol Sienkiewicz is a Polish art critic and art historian, currently based in Vancouver. He has contributed essays and reviews to numerous publications, including dwutygodnik, Spike, Camera
Austria, Art Agenda and more recently Decoy and Canadian Art. Together with Kasia Redzisz, he has just published Świadomość (Neue Bieriemiennost), the group involving artists such as Miroslaw Balka active in Warsaw during the 1980s. He is currently working on a new publication focusing on the ‘critical artists’ in Warsaw in 1990s, placing their work in the context of recent Polish transformation. Sienkiewicz’s talk considered Warsaw’s 10th-Anniversary Stadium as seen through the lens of contemporary art, the site serving as a transient symbol of historic changes, economic transformation and social relations and a specific reference for Sosnowska’s sculptures exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery.


Karol Sienkiewicz

As part of our Feedback series acclaimed Toronto-based artist Luis Jacob responded to Aurélien Froment’s exhibition ‘Fröbel Fröbeled’, he also discussed his own practice and his interest in pedagogical ideas contained in the exhibition.

Luis Jacob is an artist based in Toronto, whose diverse practice addresses social interaction and the subjectivity of aesthetic experience.  Realized as painting, video, installation, photography and actions in the public sphere, Jacob’s work invites a collision of meaning systems that destabilize our conventions of viewing and that open up possibilities for engagement and the creation of knowledge.

As an artist, he has achieved an international reputation – particularly since his participation in documenta12, curated by Ruth Noack and Roger Bürgel in 2007.  Several significant solo exhibitions include Kunstverein Hamburg (curated by Meike Behm and Yilmaz Dziewior in 2008) ; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (curated by Suzanne Titz in 2009); Fonderie Darling, Montréal (curated by Marie Fraser in 2010); Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (curated by David Liss in 2011); and Kunsthalle Lingen (curated by Meike Behm in 2012). Jacob’s work was also featured in group exhibitions at the Taipei Biennial (2012); Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2012); Witte de With Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2012); Generali Foundation, Vienna (2011); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (2010); Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia (2009); Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst (MuHKA), Antwerp (2008); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2008); and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2008). His work is found in the permanent collection of the Generali Foundation (Vienna, Austria); National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Canada); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA); Städtisches Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach, Germany); Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Canada); Museion‚ Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Bolzano, Italy); Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Canada); Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada); and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada).


Luis Jacob

Hiba Abdallah is a Senior Research Fellow at Broken City Lab and is currently an Artist in Residence at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House in Vancouver.

Broken City Lab is working on a series of installations and community projects during the residency at the field house studio site entitled Flagged for Review.

Hiba Abdallah sat down to speak with the Jaclyn Bruneau from the CAG about how Vancouver offers a different set of conditions for city-specific social practice, and how she confronts the gap between contemporary practice and socially-engaged, community practices, and what Flagged for Review might look like in action.

This is part one of a two-part interview.


Interview | Hiba Abdallah, Broken City Lab - Part 1 of 2

Artist Mike Nelson discusses his practice and his exhibition and two new commissions at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Video by Derek Brunen with installation photography by Scott Massey.


Video | Mike Nelson

Dhrupad vocalist Harkeerat Mangat and Tabla drummer Sunny Matharu performed at the Burrard Marina Field House, Vancouver, Wednesday August 14. The occasion was a launch for the 2013 Summer issue of FUSE magazine.

Images by Maria Fedorova.
Sound by Phil Dion.


Harkeerat Mangat & Sunny Matharu - Perform Live at the Field House

On Saturday June 29 we welcomed art makers of all ages to drop by the Field House for a marine mobile workshop.
Taking the marine world as a theme we constructed easy-to-make kinetic sculptures. Above are a few images from the day’s fun activities.

The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery and supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. Running parallel to the residency program is an ongoing series of public events for all ages.

Join us at the Field House for the next Family Day events on Saturday July 27 and Saturday August 24.


Family Day - Marine Mobile Making Workshop

Bancroft has been a practicing artist in Vancouver for over thirty years. National and international exhibitions include those at the Vancouver Art Gallery and at the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris. She is represented in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (the National Gallery) in Ottawa and the Canada Council Art Bank. In addition to photography, her work has included text, sound, drawing, sculpture and more recently, video. Her current interests are the intersections of the photographic image with history, music and mapping strategies in relation to representations of landscape. Bancroft is an Associate Professor at Emily Carr University, where she has been teaching since 1981. She is a member of the board of Artspeak Gallery and is represented in Vancouver by Republic Gallery.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture


Marian Penner Bancroft

Randy Lee Cutler is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art + Material Practice at Emily Carr University. As a writer, artist and educator she is invested in the emergence of new cultural forms and expression. In addition to working on an ebook on the metaphor of digestion, Randy is exploring the geological and virtual potential of crystal formations. Drawn from Gilles Deleuze’s writing on cinema, crystal circuits suggest a spectacular form for both the making and experiencing of an art object. The crystal — though empty and transparent — is a flashpoint for symbolic intensities. Launching from Erin Shirreff’s exhibition, Cutler will share her research into crystals.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Randy Lee Cutler: Crystal Circuits

Lisa Schmidt is a curator at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. She worked previously at K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf and with Ute Eskildsen at Museum Folkwang, Essen.

Her talk focused on her most recent exhibition, Das Kind, die Stadt und die Kunst (The Child, the City, and the Art), on view at the Schmela Haus of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen until 15 September, 2013 which examines the social and aesthetic implications of playgrounds by the Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck, with contemporary responses by artists Yto Barrada, Nils Norman and Gareth Moore.


Curator Talk | Lisa Schmidt

Kelowna born Shirreff presented a talk on her exhibition Pictures and discussed her interest in differing encounters between representations of image and object. Erin Shirreff’s solo exhibition, Pictures,  at the Contemporary Art Gallery was the first presentation dedicated exclusively to the artist’s film and video work.


Artist Talk | Erin Shirreff

Iglika Ivanova is an Economist and Public Interest Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In her talk both her personal and professional world play a part as she encounters Ciprian Muresan’s work. Born and raised in Bulgaria she understands the shifting global politics in the global world as well as a need for radical change in the local communities. Ivanova holds an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Economics from Simon Fraser University.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Iglika Ivanova: From East to West

Chris Lee, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at UBC is interested in the trans-specific circulation of artistic practices and cultures. Prompted by Xu Zhen’s work and in particular his role as a contemporary Chinese artist, Chris Lee drew from his own theoretical concerns to consider the role of Chinese migrations and identities in comparative, transnational and artistic frameworks.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Chris Lee

Artist Peter Gazendam drew from his own practice as he toured the Matthew Monahan exhibition, and talked about the many practices of sculpture and its contemporary relationship within history and art.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Peter Gazendam

Renowned art historian and writer, former chair at UC Santa Cruz and the University of California, Catherine Soussloff is the former Head of the department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC, ignited a conversation drawing from the disciplines of historiography, theory and philosophy.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Catherine Soussloff: Death, Benjamin and Melancholy

Anthropologist, curator and UBC Professor Nicky Levell’s interests are located in the interdisciplinary folds of anthropology, theoretical museology, material culture and critical curatorial studies. She responded to Matthew Monahan’s work.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Nicky Levell: Art Through Anthropology

Artist Liz Magor explored her current interests focusing on her experience with re-enactors, who perform a cycle of repetition in their quest to be affiliated with a larger group. Magor is an Associate Professor in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University, her sculptural work involves ordinary or familiar objects often refashioned. She has shown internationally at Documenta and at the Venice Biennale.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Liz Magor: Desire of the Individual

Prompted by the exhibition of work by Nathan Coley, artist Jin-me Yoon examined questions concerning identity, place and subjectivity in an accelerated globalized era in relation to her practice. These include the consequences for reconsidering power and ideas of progress, and the means for slowing down signification and extending temporality. What are the aesthetic, social and political implications of absence and the void as a paradoxical space ‘full’ with presence and necessary doubt?

Jin-me Yoon is a Professor of Visual Studies at Simon Fraser University and represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Jin-me Yoon: The Void and Temporality

Prompted by Josephine Meckseper’s work, artist and writer Gareth James speaks to the theoretical and experimental methodologies that underpin his own practice to investigate the artistic considerations which emerge when one artist considers the work of another.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Gareth James: The One and the Many

Am Johal is a community developer who works at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement having previously worked on the Vancouver Agreement in urban economic and social development, as a political advisor, in human rights and as a freelance journalist with Inter Press Service. He was the cofounder of UBC’s Humanities 101 program and was Chair of the Impact on Communities Coalition. He is on the Steering Committee of SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, is a member of the Vancouver City Planning Commission and a board member with the Vancity Community Foundation. He is a part-time doctoral student in Media Philosophy at European Graduate School in Switzerland. In his talk he considers how his work is affected by the critical engagement of the art work on display at the CAG.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Am Johal: The Politics of Community

Colin Browne’s most recent book of poems, ‘The Properties’ was the prompt for this special Feedback talk. Readings and discussion points from Colin Browne led an inquiry into the idea of ‘documentary’ in relationship to the works on display. Colin Browne is a filmmaker, writer, film historian, a professor of film in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and a poet who has been nominated for the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry.

The Feedback series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Colin Browne: Readings and Talk

Dominic McIver Lopes is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UBC, President of the American Society for Aesthetics, a member of the British Society of Aesthetics, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He is also co-editor (with Berys Gaut) of Wiley- Blackwell’s New Directions in Aesthetics. His work focuses on pictorial representation and perception; the aesthetic and epistemic value of pictures, and the ontology of art. He is working on two books entitled Beyond Art and Four Arts of Photography. Tonight he explores taste and suggests new ways of thinking about contemporary art practices.

This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.


Dominic McIver Lopes: Acquired Taste - What's the point?

Bill Pechet is a Lecturer in Practice in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC, with a special concern for the emerging manners of contemporary urban social practice. He also works independently an array of projects from strategic urban planning studies through to residential and retail design, cemeteries, set design, and art-in-public-places installations. Along with Stephanie Robb, Bill represented Canada in the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture with a witty critique of leisure culture called SweaterLodge.


Bill Pechet: The Manners of Social Practises

Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist and recently appointed Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her talk explored the latent intersections between design, technology and contemporary art. Trained in design and media arts at the MIT Media Lab, her current and recent research and teaching affiliations include the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands, the MIT Program for Art, Culture and Technology, and the National Academy of Art & Design in Bergen, Norway.


Amber Frid-Jimenez: The Line Between Them

Artist collective bgl discuss their work and their exhibition Marshmallow + Cauldron + Fire = at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, April 2009.

Congratulations to bgl who will represent Canada at the 2015 Venice Biennale.


Video | bgl - To represent Canada in the 2015 Venice Biennale

For some, there may be something vaguely familiar about the giant image that is currently installed in the Contemporary Art Gallery’s windows. What appears as a huge, empty landscape is actually vinyl from a billboard ad for Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign salvaged by Toronto-based artist Kelly Jazvac. Originally measuring over 70 feet, the billboard was intended to promote the photographic abilities of the iPhone 6.

Stretched across the CAG’s facade, Ambient Advertising (2016) provides viewers with the rare opportunity to engage up close with the sheer scale of advertisement through the repurposed vinyl. In Jazvac’s hands, the vinyl has been meticulously sliced and made to fit in the CAG’s windows. The once glossy, enticing surface of the image is interrupted by cuts that allow for a more critical engagement with the vinyl’s texture and movement. What seems at first like a pristine image of a vast landscape becomes troubled by the disposable material it creates and the ironic implications it has for the environment it depicts.

Much of Kelly Jazvac’s work incorporates discarded vinyl into new compositions, reviving thrown-away material and touching on environment concerns like pollution. Her installation and sculptural pieces often have a playfulness to them—check out the cowboy hanging upside down inside the gallery—that encourages us to acknowledge the absurdity in the everyday.
Since the original was released in 2007, the iPhone has had 12 iterations. Which each new iPhone comes a new advertising campaign promising that this phone is better than the last. What Jazvac’s work highlights is how planned obsolescence guarantees more iPhones, more ad campaigns, more vinyl , and more waste.

Ambient Advertising will be up in our windows until September 10th, 2017.

-Michelle Martin


Song of the Open Road – Kelly Jazvac by Michelle Martin

“It is a grave matter to leave your land and your people and to go alone to an alien country. Although it becomes a simple matter later, at the beginning, when you think deeply, your heart lacks ease and repose.”

From An Ethiopian’s Voyage to Italy at the End of the 19th Century by Däbtära Fesseha Giyorgis Abiyäzgi

In 1890, Däbtära Fesseha Giyorgis Abiyäzgi traveled from Massawa, Eritrea to Italy. His written account of the journey is the first known secular text to be published in Tigrinya and the first travelogue in Eritrean literature.

Nearly 125 year later, Eritrean-born artist Dawit L. Petros began a journey not unlike Giyorgis’ across Africa and through Europe. A stop in Catania, Italy allowed Petros to connect with Eritrean migrants with whom he created a collection of images of them holding mirrors and archival documents.

These images became Untitled (2016) a series of photographs that have themselves circulated across borders and oceans on their own journey from London, to Kansas City, to Chicago and now to the Contemporary Art Gallery for the exhibition Song of the Open Road where six prints are now on view.

In Untitled (Overlapping and intertwined territories that fall from view II), Catania, Italy, a young man holds up a sheet from a 19th century Italian newspaper printed in Eritrea which reads “Spazio disponibile”. The text translates literally to “available space” which originally indicated potential advertising space. In Petros’ photograph, it takes on new meaning: the space offers an opportunity to present new and overlooked narratives. In a contemporary context, “available space” is as promising as it is fraught –we now have the highest displacement levels on record.

Like much of his work, the Untitled series draws on the artists’ extensive research and travel.  Petros’ work reexamines the relationship between Africa and Europe, questioning how some stories of migration are privileged at the expense of others. Dawit L. Petros is currently based in Chicago, IL and New York City. In 2012, he was awarded an Independent Study Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Song of the Open Road runs until June 18th, 2017.

-Michelle Martin


Song of the Open Road – Dawit L. Petros by Michelle Martin

On February 1st, 1977, Clarice Lispector sat down for her first and only television interview. That same year, Lispector would be diagnosed with inoperable ovarian cancer and would pass away on December 9th, on the eve of what would have been her 57th birthday.

Enigmatic and unflinching, Clarice Lispector is undoubtedly one of Brazil’s greatest writers. Marked by a mystical and highly introspective quality, most of Lispector’s novels and stories were sensations upon their publication. For both admirers and critics, Lispector the authour was elusive. She spent long periods of time abroad which only fueled the rumors and myths surrounding her.

Lispector and her only onscreen interview are central to Sunsets, a video work by Stockholm-based artist Lisa Tan.  Part of a series exploring the personas of writers Virginia Woolfe, Susan Sontag and of course Lispector, Sunsets is conversational and draws from Tan’s own experiences, friendships and history. At once literary, personal and historical, Tan’s work looks at the intersections between language and image.

Although we catch glimpses of her on Tan’s computer screen, Lispector’s presence most often takes the form of her words as translated remotely by Tan’s friend via Skype. Acting as a soundtrack, the translation is informal, full of hesitations and pauses that trace the movement of one language into the next. Sunsets unfolds almost episodically, fading to black in a way that makes its structure much like its namesake. Recorded in Sweden in the early hours of morning during the summer and the mid-afternoon during the winter, Lisa Tan’s work reflects the rituals of its making. Her close ups are often inscrutable but what they produce is unmistakable: the strange and contradictory feelings of loss, anxiety, hope and renewal that the waning light of the day brings.

Lisa Tan’s work is part of Song of the Open Road open until June 18th, 2017.


-Michelle Martin


Song of the Open Road – Lisa Tan by Michelle Martin

New Zealand-born artist Maddie Leach is currently undertaking research on the Simon Fraser Monument in New Westminster as part of a project for the CAG’s Field House Residency Program. 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 in 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.

Curatorial intern Michelle Martin caught up with Maddie to see how the project is evolving.


MM: How has your project developed since you were last at CAG’s Field House?

ML: Last time I left the Field House, I was thinking through some ideas about the granite plinth for the Simon Fraser monument. As a part of that residency stay, I had visited a Lefarge granite quarry out past Coquitlam. I was thinking about the relationship of granite to Vancouver’s history, its mining and blasting in the mountains, its widespread use as road aggregate. I was also reading more about Simon Fraser’s journey downriver and I was thinking about roads as a form of contemporary rivers.

I was fascinated with the possibility of shipping the granite plinth upriver from New West to the Lefarge site and putting it through their ‘jaw crusher’ conveyor machine that progressively breaks down large rocks to bits that only measure millimetres.

After I left, the project became more focused on activating a process of ‘adjustment’ and to continue the ‘lowering of Simon Fraser’ that this monument has undergone over the last one hundred years.

MM: Your project deals not only with monuments and objects of commemoration but also with the histories that surround them and emplace them. On a personal level, you have historical connections to New Westminster, how, if at all, has this informed your work?

ML: I first visited New Westminster in 1986 when I was 15. My grandmother Sadie Harding and my Great Aunt Minerva Harding both lived in New West. We were visiting for Expo and I can remember how far away New West felt from everything. My experience of that visit has strong impressions of a particular introduction to aspects and aesthetics of my Dad’s Jewish family, but this hasn’t actively informed the project. But I think I’m often attracted to working with places that might be considered ‘off-centre’ and that has certainly been a continued draw to New West. It seems to be a place undergoing a particular point of transition right now, perhaps with a certain openness to actively considering its own history and sense of place. Something seemed possible here, and I thought about how something that seemed invisible could be made visible in a way that perhaps would be more difficult in downtown Vancouver.

MM: What I really appreciate about your work is that it doesn’t efface the labour of your process by providing a definitive finished object. What kind of labour is involved at this stage of your Field House project?

ML: At this stage it takes the form of research and conversation, a kind of way-finding and uncovering focused on building enough knowledge, conviction and sincerity around a proposal to City of New Westminster and making presentations to the council’s Heritage Commission and Public Art Advisory Committee. I’ve been trying to uncover as much as can be found about the Simon Fraser monument and its trajectory through the city, various disappearances and relocations and the circumstances of its relocation to New Westminster Quay. We’re now hoping to work with valuer Peter Malkin to establish an idea of what it is worth as a complete object and this helps start the practical problem-solving aspects of the project – how to move a large heavy piece of stone, how to cut it, where to temporarily relocate the bronze bust of Simon himself, how to place the object back together. The really speculative part of the work is yet to unfold –  how to take something to the source of the Fraser river in the Rockies, who to discuss this with, what it means as an action and how one gets there.

MM: This project involves requesting permission to alter the Simon Fraser Monument currently on New Westminster Quay. Should you be unable to obtain permission, in which possible directions can you see this work going?

ML: Well, I guess as we speak the project has now been proposed to the two New Westminster council committees I mentioned and has achieved their recommendations to support the proposal. It now has to go through council proper but we are hopeful that the recommendations would stand. I think the way I work relies on a certain combination of optimism and absolute doggedness – getting the ‘irrational logic’ of the idea shaped and then sharing it with others is a key part of the work. Each project gathers a backstory as it unfolds and I am often very interested in the communication channels around an idea. In this way one could say the project starts before anything physical has actually happened, so perhaps the fallback position is that it could always remain an attempt to get something to happen, rather than the action actually taking place. I think I always proceed as if the thing I want to do (the adjustment to a public object, monument or place) will happen – I have to believe in the concept I’m proposing and then establish and follow its logic to whatever outcome arises. It’s a constant process of problem-solving and being agile in certain ways. It feels kind of mentally exhausting at times but also produces some memorable experiences and conversations along the way.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted with updates on Maddie Leach’s project!



Interview and update with artist Maddie Leach

Hello! My name is Jason Wright and I am pleased to be working here at the CAG this wet and miserable May. Right now, I am surrounded by books and art. What better way to spend a rainy day than this! I am a UBC Education student here for three (short) weeks as part of the Community Field Experience practicum, designed to introduce student-teachers to possible careers in education outside of the traditional school system. This past summer I approached Holly Schmidt, Curator of Learning and Community Engagement here at the CAG, to see if she would be interested in working with me as part of this practicum and lo and behold she did, so here I am, writing this.
Full disclosure, I met Holly this past summer. Holly and I worked on last year’s Visual Arts Summer Intensive, a collaborative educational project between the CAG and Arts Umbrella, the local not-for-profit arts organization devoted to youth programming where I have worked for the last five years. The Visual Arts Summer Intensive is a great way for teens to develop and explore new ways of art-making and is a valuable introduction to the ins and outs of working as a practicing artist (particularly in the city). I encourage any teen who is thinking of going to art school, of being an artist, or just wanting to know what makes artists and the art-world tick, to enroll in the program. You won’t be disappointed!
Through Arts Umbrella, I have worked on other teaching projects including The Big Draw Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and CulturARTS Exchange, a project sponsored by Liceo Boston and the Vancouver Biennale that brought me and another instructor (Jessica Jang) to Bogota, Columbia to teach art and create an exhibition with underprivileged youth.
I am a practicing artist too, receiving a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Regina. I most recently participated in shows at the The Dunlop Gallery in Regina and The Bakery, here in Vancouver, and last winter I attended a drawing residency at Heima in Seydisfjordur, Iceland, which is as cold as it sounds (but quite lovely).
At the CAG, I participated in a lively Family Day (thank you Holly Clarke!), and I am helping to develop a lesson plan on curatorial practice for school groups (including IB schools), including a prototype for a series of fun-filled curatorial-type games. Good times!
Soon I will be back to the classrooms of UBC, but I would like to thank the CAG for being a warm and supportive learning environment. The students that pass through these doors are lucky to have such great programming and it has been a privilege working here. Thank you all!


Welcome Jason Wright

Our Young Patrons program is tailored to individuals who are active in the arts and culture sector, creative, and motivated. In becoming part of the CAG Young Patrons community, you are joining a network of art-minded young professionals, artists and other creatives. Attend behind-the-scenes art gatherings that are both social and educational (drink and learn about contemporary art), from studio visits to collections tours and more, as well as exciting events with our dynamic community partners.

We would love to have you on board as a Young Patron; the rate of the program is only $10/month or a one-time rate of $120/year. The benefits of the program not only include an invitation to the activities mentioned but your choice of a free publication and artist editioned work, in addition to complimentary beverages at all CAG events.

If you sign up by April 25th two lucky winners will receive a prize package that includes a $25 gift card to Earnest Ice Cream, a $50 gift card to Frank + Oak, and a $50 gift card to Woo to See You (total value $125). In addition, the next five winners will win a scent by Osmics. If you would like to join our program to be eligible to win this prize, sign up here or email [email protected] to learn about monthly instalments.


April incentive – Young Patrons

Call for submissions: Cartems donuterie in partnership with CAG Young Patrons

Application Deadline is April 30th.

Cartems is partnering with the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver to select an exhibition for June 2017 that will be presented in our storefront on West Pender Street.

Submission details below.

We are accepting submissions for either a solo or group exhibition that speaks to the evolving narrative of what it means to be a ‘Vancouverite’ – how work can address our notions of identity, history and space. This show will run for approximately one month and features an opening night with wine and donuts, actively promoted through social media coverage.

The featured artists or collective will be chosen by Krista Bailie, General Manager of Cartems Donuts and a panel comprised of CAG Young Patrons.

The selection committee will be judging work based on its ability to:
– activate and be in dialogue with the social space of Cartems Donuts
– strengthen community connections
– celebrate Vancouver’s rich and diverse arts and culture community.

If you are interested in submitting your work, please apply by attaching your CV, artist statement and 5-6 images in a single PDF to [email protected]

Application Deadline is April 30th, at 5pm.

Cartems Donuts is a locally owned and operated bakery in various locations in Vancouver. As a team consisting of artists, dancers, writers and musicians, we believe in promoting emerging artists in our community and offer a high traffic location where emerging artist’s work can be seen and enjoyed by Vancouverites and visitors.

The CAG Young Patrons program is an initiative to engage individuals aged 19-45 who are interested in becoming involved in the vibrant cultural scene in Vancouver. Connecting young professionals, artists and creatives, Young Patrons is an entry point into engagement in the Vancouver arts community through social and educational events, from studio visits to collection tours and more, as well as exciting events with our dynamic community partners.


Call for submissions: Cartems donuterie in partnership with CAG Young Patrons

We are pleased to announce Andi Icaza-Largaespada as the winner of the second CAG Prize for an emerging artist selected from the BFA program at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Generously sponsored by the Peter Szeto Investment Group | BMO Nesbitt Burns, the CAG prize includes an award of $2,500, a solo presentation at CAG, career advice and a gift certificate from the CAG bookshop.

Andi Icaza-Largaespada’s practice — of image-reading and image-making — suggests a continuation of symbolic and subversive acts of resistance. Her multidisciplinary work incorporates elements of social research, ethics and sustainability and takes the forms of photography, sculpture and writing. Through her work, Icaza-Largaespada seeks to honour the emancipating labour of the women of Mina El Limon, Rancho Grande and Nueva Guinea in Nicaragua and the growing localized efforts of alternative community building.

The BFA graduation exhibition Lazy Susan at Audain Galleries continues until April 22. Congratulations to all the graduating students:

Jessica Chu, Danni Gárate Cubillos, Kayla Elderton, Megan Fillo, Aghigh Gougani, Andi Icaza-Largaespada, A Yeong Kim, Carolina Krawczyk, Jilann Lechner, Cindy Liu, Clara Liu, Betty Ma, Emily Marston, Sana Sayahpour, Feon Yeung, Nico Yu and Jaromir Zelazny.


Andi Icaza-Largaespada wins CAG Prize 2017

Hello! My name is Michelle Martin and I’m delighted to be doing a practicum with the Contemporary Art Gallery.  I’m currently in the first year of the Master’s in Comparative Media Arts at SFU and I’m thrilled and excited to be working with Assistant Curators Jas Lally, Holly Schmidt, and the rest of the wonderful CAG team.

I come to the CAG with a varied and somewhat curious background. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, I graduated from the University of Alberta with Bachelor of Arts degree in Romance Languages and also attended the Italian School at Middlebury College in Vermont.  In addition to languages, I’ve studied textile science, craft and design, and film production. My ever-expanding research interests include cinema and slowness, archival media, celluloid film processes and hybrid documentary-fiction forms. I’m sure the research I’ll be undertaking here will only add to this list!

In my first week here, I had a little peek at the behind-the-scenes activity for Haroon Mirza‘s exhibition Entheogens which made me really excited to assist with the curatorial research for Erdem Taşdelen‘s projects and the lens-based group exhibition Song of the Open Road as part of Capture Photography Festival 2017. I’m also really pleased to work with Holly Schmidt on developing public programming for current and upcoming exhibitions to help inspire the next generation of artists and art-enthusiasts.

I was also very excited to complete a live radio tour in French of the exhibition Entheogens with CBC radio Canada host Jacque Dufresne for the show Boulevard du Pacifique, you can listen to our conversation here.

I am constantly impressed at the exhibitions and diverse programming that the CAG offers which thoughtfully and compellingly combines local and international impulses, ideas and artists. I am very happy to contribute to bringing new and exciting works and programs to Vancouver.


Meet Michelle Martin, Program Intern

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 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.




Hello from Michele, exploring learning programs at CAG.

Hello, my name is Lanna Lastiwka and I just started an internship as the curatorial assistant at the gallery. I am thrilled to be supporting the CAG team this fall/winter with new and exciting projects including working with artists Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten projects and the upcoming curatorial retreat at the Burrard Marina Field House.

Currently, I am completing a diploma in Art History at UBC, and applying for a Masters program in Art History for next September. Originally from Alberta, I graduated with a BA (Honors) in English Literature and History. After graduation, I moved to London, England where I interned at The Charles Dickens Museum–assisting the manager and leading tours. I began to take art classes where I learned to draw and sculpt, which ignited a curiosity for learning about the history of art.

In order to deepen my knowledge of art, I moved to Stockholm, Sweden. In Stockholm, I interned for the conceptual art gallery Index—The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, which then led to interacting with contemporary art and artists. These interactions broke open a new visual world that I wanted to explore. It was at this time that I decided to apply for formal education in Art History and build a better understanding of the foundation and projected view of art.



Hello from Lanna!

Curatorial assistant Lanna Lastiwka reports on her experiences of assisting artists Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten with preparation for the installation of their exhibition White, Steel, Slice, Mask in the CAG window spaces.

Installing White, Steel, Slice, Mask posed a physical challenge due to the narrow space in the CAG windows. Installing was difficult! on reaching up to paint the last white space black in the display window, I tried to turn horizontally, but couldn’t. I was stuck. The only way I could move in eight inches of space was vertically. Shimming along the edge of the small platform, inside the window, I could only look directly at the wall or through the glass onto the street, without turning. I created a variety of poses from bending with one leg up behind me (to keep me balanced) to crouching and reaching, with one foot in front of the other, while juggling a paint brush, measuring tape, nails and art objects. The intimacy of the space caught the attention of many casual observers who not only responded to my struggles, but the cultural and religious pieces being installed in the windows.

The challenge the artists and Kay Slater (the head installer)  faced was creatively melding the reality of such a unique space with the artists’ vision through intense construction and artistic planning. Since I could only see a few inches away from my face, it was difficult to gauge if every black paint stroke was dark enough, or if drill holes from previous exhibitions were noticeable to the viewer on the street, or if every bracket and shelf was placed correctly.

We decided to install in parts. First, the brackets and shelves individually, then, placed the art pieces one at a time, allowing us to see the overall artistic effect at the very end. Yet, it only took a couple of religious or cultural objects being placed in the windows for passers-by to take notice.

The East Indian window had only a few shelves and religious objects in it when I had my first interaction. Balancing on one leg and stretching towards the far wall in a ballet-esque pose, I began dusting the shelves in preparation for more objects. Looking up through the glass I noticed an elderly Hindi man. He watched me gently weave through the objects to the far shelf with a cloth. He waited until I was finished and asked me about moving in the enclosed space: if it was difficult? did I like it? why install these objects in such a closed space? was I claustrophobic? and was I afraid to break or smash one of the pieces because of the tight space?

During our conversation about the space, he smiled and began to tell me the significance and history of the religious objects and images in the window. Afterwards, I realized that the nature of the space led to interactions about the objects being installed. It lured people into the intimate space, so that they could connect with what was being displayed.



Experiencing ‘White, Steel, Slice, Mask’ up close! – Lanna reports…

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,


Meet Edwina, Curatorial Intern

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


Meet Lola Storey, Public Program Intern

Over the last couple of months I had the pleasure of working with artist duo Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten on their  window installation exhibition: White, Steel, Slice, Mask.

My work started with the logistical planning of installing in seven windows with a depth of a mere eight inches.  The challenge of maneuvering in this small narrow space coupled with installing a range of objects from; an antique horse figure, masks, ceramics to a whole window of paper plates. This challenge was met by great ambition by the amazing installation team.

I have visually documented the progress of the install from start to finish with some great pictures of our team working hard, take a look above in the slide viewer.

White Steel, Slice, Mask is on display until January 8,2017.  Don’t forget to visit Yaletown-Roundhouse Station for Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten’s second installation and CAG commission Bear Claws Salad Hands also on display until January 8, 2017.


– Jas


The Making of: ‘White, Steel, Slice, Mask’

I’m used to the routine of exhibitions. I choose my path around the gallery and take my time approaching, examining, engaging each artwork. I’m always careful to maintain a specific breadth, and to never lean over pieces or on walls.

However, observing the process of unpacking the 16 works for Isabel Nolan’s exhibition, “The weakened eye of day,” was a wholly new experience of encountering art. While the critical process of reading and looking is something that I’ve become comfortable enacting, the practical matter of condition reporting was unfamiliar territory. I watched as each work was handled and turned in the light so as to spot any tears, rippling, lifting or indentations. Gloved white hands smoothed out surfaces, gently brushing away lint and other specks of dust.

It’s a task that takes extreme attention to detail and a methodical manner of analysis. Unpacking the six large crates in the gallery took two days. The bubble wrap, foam peanuts, plastic sheets and polyurethane was gathered, folded, labelled and kept in order, so that re-packing would be more efficient.

While several of Nolan’s works in the exhibition are built of sturdy steel, ceramic or wool, a few pieces are of a more delicate nature. In particular, Here (anchored in oblivion) was a work that took the most careful consideration to unpack. Placed on top of a styrofoam block and cushioned with gallons of peanuts, the work had to carefully be lifted upward out the crate. Though the sculpture has a core of metal mesh and armature wire, the exterior is made with fragile jesmonite and plaster bandage.

The asymmetric form is reminiscent of nascent organisms born following Nolan’s origin story of the universe (a poetic fiction which can be read in Rock Founded Place). The work rests on the concrete floor of the gallery, just balanced enough to maintain its upright stance. The fleshy, pale pink colour seems raw and vulnerable in the open space.

Seeing Here (anchored in oblivion) unpacked and being prepared for display was a sharp reminder of the ultimately fragile nature of objects. The gallery setting so often feeds into the mythos of the art world, an image of things that are glossy, revered, protected. Observing from behind the scenes created a fissure in the folly. Objects, indeed art, can be damaged or broken.

–Ines Min

Isabel Nolan, ‘The weakened eye of day’ is on view until October 2, 2016.



“Observing from behind the scenes created a fissure in the folly” – Isabel Nolan, an unpacking by Ines Min

The Young Patrons program, which I got the chance to work on with CAG Development Officer Kristin Cheung during my time at CAG, aims to create events that are at once social, educational, inclusive and intimate. Events like last week’s Happy Hour with an artist talk by Montreal-based Mohawk artist Skawennati, are a chance for Vancouver young professionals to both get to know one another and learn about art directly from the artists themselves.

Above are some photos from Young Patrons’ first event of the season.

This fall on will include an artist talk with Rebecca Chaperon, as well as an introduction to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Art Rental & Sales program, and a tour of Isabel Nolan’s exhibition by assistant curator Jas Lally.

See you at the next event on Tuesday September 6 at 6pm.

– Rachel Buchholtzer


Young Patrons update by Rachel Buchholtzer

CAG artist-in-residence Dylan Miner co-hosted with Amanda Strong an Intertextual: Art in Dialogue reading last week at grunt gallery. Dylan selected two texts to read aloud as a group: the introduction and first chapter of Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed and selections from Howard Adams’ Prison of Grass: Canada from the Native Point of View. Both centered on historical conflicts in the late-19th century between the Métis community and the Canadian government, with a focus on Louis Riel.

The excerpts were in response to Amanda’s show at grunt, which comprised three sets and a collection of dolls from her upcoming stop-motion animation, Four Faces of the Moon. The 12-minute short film will make its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

More than 35 people were in attendance to listen, speak and learn about the Métis experience, history and culture. Bannock and tea was served to bring an atmosphere of visiting, a reference to Dylan’s ongoing series, The Elders Say We Don’t Visit Anymore. 

Intertextual: Art in Dialogue is a roving reading group held within various Vancouver galleries. The program aims to examine/critique and create/support a community based in text, recognizing the process of selection and concomitant erasure that occurs in any process of representation.

Dylan’s solo exhibition at Gallery Gachet runs through August 28. Click here for more about his practice.

This post was first published at the Burrard Marina Field House blog. Visit the site for updates on CAG artists-in-residence.



Intertextual: Art in Dialogue

I’m leaning against a tree, attempting to commune with it, shaded against the hot afternoon sun in the middle of Stanley Park. The trees represent our grandmothers, but I can’t even recall the species we’re among. Fir? Pine? Oak? I was always terrible with names.

Some people are hugging their leafy grandmothers tightly. I spot several closing their eyes, deep in thought and spirit. We’re in the middle of a plant walk organized by Gallery Gachet and led by Cease Wyss, an artist and self-designated “Indigenous Plant Diva.” It’s hard to not be taken with her charismatic way of speech, which imparts knowledge about the use of things like cedar bark in beguiling narrative. We learn that thimble berries and others in the rose family are good for the circulatory system, for muscle aches and high/low blood pressure.

The early summer walk was an introduction to traditional medicinal plants and what’s known as the doctrine of signatures, or the language of flora that can be read by color, texture and shape. Dylan Miner, an artist-in-residence at the CAG’s Burrard Marina Field House Studio, is conducting research on local plants as part of his ongoing series Michif, Michin (the people, the medicine).

The Métis artist and director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Michigan State University is interested in projects of reclamation. He uses social practice to address contemporary indigenous issues. First introduced to traditional medicine through stories of his grandfather’s grandmother, Dylan decided to revive that knowledge and, using his privilege as an artist, engage it within the gallery space.

The series involves gathering plants native to the region where he will exhibit, and creating detailed representations of each. “I think of this as collaboration with people who know that knowledge and with the plants themselves,” he said at a gathering over tea and bannock at Gachet, a continuation of another series titled The Elders Say We Don’t Visit Anymore. “I think plants are sentient beings and have knowledge…I’m not simply harvesting them; the plants are participating.”

Read more about Dylan’s thoughts on plants in Vancouver on Justseeds, an artist collective focused on social, environmental and political engagement. The opening of Michif, Michin (the people, the medicine) will be August 5, from 6-9pm at Gallery Gachet. Dylan will also lead an Intertextual: Art in Dialogue talk with the CAG at grunt gallery on August 3.

For more of his writing, visit the Justseeds’ blog.

This post was first published at the Burrard Marina Field House blog. Visit the site for updates on CAG artists-in-residence.



Dylan Miner and the Doctrine of Signatures

With a practice rooted in performative interventions, our newest Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Diane Borsato explores the effects of  minimal gestures on larger social structures. Her work—which in the past has dipped into the varying fields of mycology, astronomy and beekeeping—surprises with an immediately established intimacy. A feat for her projects which typically take years to develop and execute.

She is currently focused on Ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement, for an upcoming exhibition at the CAG in 2017. Diane has long held a fascination for Japanese aesthetics, and her interest in the ephemerality of flowers has early beginnings in her university job as a florist. As part of her research in Vancouver, Diane has been visiting with local practitioners and organizations, including the Vancouver Ikebana Association (VIA).

Hollis Ho, a teacher in the Sogetsu school of Ikebana, introduced Diane to some of her students and gave a preview of their work for an upcoming exhibition at the Nitobe Memorial Garden. The special two-day show will be the Sogetsu school’s first large-scale outdoor exhibition in Vancouver, and opens this Friday (July 29).

Diane also met with Kuniko Yamamoto, president of the VIA, and Judie Glick, a former head of the association. The VIA will participate in the 40th Annual Powell Street Festival this weekend with a display and twice-daily demonstration at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple.

Her next meeting was at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. She toured the centre’s garden with director-curator Sherri Kajiwara and Nick Sueyoshi, of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association. Diane had a chance to become familiar with plants native to the Northwest Coast, as well as some Japanese transplants. The climate this year has been particularly encouraging to a loquat tree (biwa), which produced fruit for the first time since it was planted—perhaps an auspicious sign for Diane’s work to come.

Continuing her research, Diane visited the Nitobe Memorial Garden with Naomi Sawada, a fellow student of Ikebana and manager of public programs and promotion for the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. A stroll through the quiet garden on a hot summer’s day was perfect for a conversation about the development of Diane’s project. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), for whom the garden was named, was a vital figure in bridging the culture of North America and Japan.

This post was first published at the Burrard Marina Field House blog. Visit the site for updates on CAG artists-in-residence.



Diane Borsato and Ikebana Intrigue

Hi everyone,

My name is Mackenzie Reid Rostad. I’m excited to be joining the team at CAG as this summers Learning Assistant, made possible through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Young Canada Works program. I will learn and, occasionally, I may also assist. Primarily I will aid in hosting CAG artists in residence such as Maddie Leach and Diane Borsato, including young CAG artists through the summer intensives.

Outside CAG, I study at Simon Fraser University, currently pursuing a BFA with a major in film. Within film, my core interests are in writing, scoring and photographing projects. Most recently I completed a short road trip film ‘Without End’. Throughout the summer I will be preparing for my grad project in which I aim to explore the creative process. My involvement with CAG has given me the unique opportunity to gain insight into artists, working in various mediums, and their processes.

I look forward to my time as Learning Assistant supplementing my work both in collaboration and independent of CAG.

Mackenzie RR


Meet Mackenzie Reid Rostad, CAG Learning Assistant

Assisting on my first official exhibition installation, Field Guide was undoubtedly a daunting one; I assisted in the unpacking, scrupulous analysis, and condition-reporting for 200 individual silver gelatin prints –a project that definitely gave me a taste of the curatorial life! That being said, the up-close experience with the very personal, and object-like prints led to a decidedly intimate experience with the body of work, as well as the show overall.

With every glassine envelope opened, it seemed as if my intent gaze was being met by another set of eyes –an urban pigeon, a squirrel, a praying mantis. The ethereal shots seemed to present themselves as unabashedly everyday and imperfect. In this way, Lempert firmly situates himself at a crossroads; between the scientific approach of a trained biologist, and the playful photographic inquiry of an artist. The result, coupled with his simple and intuitive approach to hanging the works in the gallery (with just medical tape!) is particularly compelling. Lempert taped and un-taped, even taking a lunch break to dwell upon scale – both between the space and the images themselves, and the photographs’ individual relationships to one another. Some creative blocks can only be overcome with the assistance of some good Vancouver sushi!

Perhaps the most mesmerizing aspect of Lempert’s works is their anachronistic mode of production: silver gelatin printing. Though a common photographic practice in the early 20th century, this technique is now largely reserved to a few skilled contemporary photographers – not the everyday amateur. The finished prints are simultaneously ghostly and lively in their presence; faded, yet intimate all the same. Just as the mode of printing might make viewers recall antique family photographs, so are Lempert’s photographs strangely familiar and nostalgic.

I particularly enjoyed being part of this creative experience because of how casual, yet undoubtedly painstakingly thought-out Lempert’s approach is. Working closely with Preparator, Phil Dion, and Assistant Curator, Jas Lally, I was able to learn the day-to-day tasks involved in the installation of a large photographic exhibition.

Open now until July 17th, Field Guide is not to be missed.

– Brennagh


Unpacking a Visual Menagerie

Hi there. My name is Ines Min and I just began a summer internship as curatorial assistant. I’m excited to be working alongside Curator Shaun Dacey, Assistant Curator Jas Lally, and the rest of the CAG team.

I am entering my second year in the Critical and Curatorial Studies master’s program at UBC, as well my second year in Canada. Originally from the States, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of journalism. Less than a month after receiving my degree, I moved to Seoul for what was supposed to be a few months. Instead, a part-time position as an intern reporter turned into a career that led to positions at several newspapers and magazines.

Eventually I moved to freelancing, which then led to specializing in contemporary Korean art. Artist interviews and exhibition reviews quickly led to translating catalog texts, and then finally PR work. I helped manage international media relations for the 10th Gwangju Biennale, and from there became a member of staff for the Gwangju-based International Biennial Association. It was at that point I decided to return to school—to study more closely what my work had come to encompass.

Although I was aware of CAG’s leading reputation even before landing in Vancouver, I became engaged on a more personal level after seeing a talk by Korean artist Kim Beom. The gallery holds a unique position not only locally but internationally, and I was drawn to its ability to collapse distances between seemingly disparate worlds. This subtle skill highlights what makes the gallery singular.

Over these next few months, I’ll continue weaving together my writing with art, while also incorporating new knowledge of gallery operations and curatorial production. Check back here on the blog for interviews with artists in residence Dylan Miner and Isabel Nolan, and sneak peeks at what’s to come at the CAG.

And, most of all, hope to see you sometime in the gallery.


P.S. If you’re interested in reading some of my past work, visit


Meet Ines Min, curatorial assistant

Hello! My name is Lauren Emmett,  I am Marketing and Communications intern at the CAG. I first joined the CAG in September 2015 as a volunteer, and I am very excited for the opportunity to learn more about the behind-the-scenes operations of the gallery.

I’m currently in my last semester at SFU’S SCA, and I will be graduating with a major in Visual Culture and Performance studies.

My love of art began as a child, as I was constantly surrounded by it. My Dad is an artist, and though I pretended to have no interest in the art world, I secretly flipped through his books when he wasn’t looking. At the time, I couldn’t understand the writings paired with the photographs. However, the works of those whose names I would come to know and love enraptured me. Through my father, I was exposed to exhibits, lectures, and stories about local, international and historic artists working in a plethora of mediums.

Though I feigned boredom for many years, I could no longer ignore my love of visual art when taking a break from the University of Victoria, where I was a Creative Writing major for three years. I realized that the path I was on was not the one I wanted to follow, and found my calling with my acceptance into SFU’s SCA. Since then, my appreciation of the art world has only expanded, and I’m thrilled to be able to grow through this internship.


Meet Lauren, Marketing and Communications Intern

Hello all.

My name is Lee Gilad. I recently started a summer curatorial internship here at the CAG, which I am very excited about. Currently, I am a Master’s student at the Comparative Media Arts program at Simon Fraser University. Before that, I was an undergraduate student studying Art History.

I am new to Canada, and I am still waiting for my first bear-interaction!
Since I was born and lived in Israel, the differences between Tel Aviv and Vancouver make me laugh on most days, and on other days I do not even notice them.

Previously I worked as a Production and Curation Assistant at Office in Tel Aviv Gallery  where I had the privilege of collaborating with curators, artists, buyers, critics and more.

I look forward to more collaborations here, in my new-even-if-temporary home of Vancouver, which I am slowly getting to know.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from Shaun Dacey , Jas Lally and the rest of the great CAG team.
I am certain that this experience will be interesting and fun, as I will watch, listen and participate in the production and curation of upcoming exhibitions.

Pay us a visit soon, we would love to meet you.

– Lee


Meet, Lee Gilad, summer curatorial intern

My name is Rachel Buchholtzer and I’m thrilled to be joining the CAG team as Marketing and Event Assistant this summer, made possible through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Young Canada Works program.

My background is in art history – I’m currently finishing my BA in art history at UBC, with a focus on photography and architecture. I’m coming to the CAG after a year at the Belkin Gallery, as well as marketing work at Ballet BC and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. I also created and work collaboratively on an interview collective called Searching For ( Merging art and marketing is of great interest to me -I’m fascinated by how artists work, and understanding more of the intricacies of the creative process (from studio to finished work), but also by how this content is communicated to an audience.

I’m very excited to be part of planning this year’s gala and auction, and to be working with such an impressive group of artists and staff. I will be posting throughout the process – expect updates, interviews, and images.

– Rachel


Hello from Rachel, Marketing and Events Assistant

CAG Contemporary Art Gallery Society of British Columbia

Thursday, June 14, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
At the Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Nelson Street, Vancouver

AGM Agenda – click to view & download

We thank these outgoing Directors for their significant contributions:

Marina Newson – outgoing Director, 3 years of service
Don Millar – outgoing Director, 4 years of service
Mark Killas – outgoing Vice President, 4 years of service
Nancy Hay – outgoing Director, 5 years of service
Rick Erickson – outgoing Director, 6 years of service
Mark Wentzell – outgoing Secretary, 6 years of service

Thank you to our members for supporting the CAG throughout the year.


AGM 2016 – Thursday, June 14, 6pm

On my first day as a Curatorial Intern volunteering at the CAG consisted of, amongst other things, observing and assisting in the meticulous repacking of fifteen rulers, two balls of string, a wooden broom, one big ball of blue tape and one pint-sized tennis court. I shadowed and assisted Assistant Curator Jas Lally as she carefully packed these objects as part of the de-installation of the exhibition by John Wood and Paul Harrison, I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know It.

Over the course of three days I observed and assisted as I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know It was photographed, dusted, taken apart into its smallest components, and packed neatly away exactly as it had been received three months prior.  I learned that the process includes: noting museum wax residue, dust accumulation and any small changes made to the works in the condition reports. Finally, all the pieces were placed back in their respective packaging (with careful attention in every strip of packing tape!). Using highly honed Tetris skills, delicately lifting and sliding the works, they were placed in formation in the crate. The gallery was swept clean, and the walls painted. John Wood and Paul Harrison had officially left the building.

I learned a lot on my first de-installation and seeing the removal of the works from the gallery from start to finish was an eye-opening experience. Although the end of the exhibition was bittersweet, the satisfaction of seeing the packing up the show, scrupulously recording and photographing it, and seeing the objects off to their next home proved very satisfying. As the crates were wheeled out the door, the anticipation of receiving the work of upcoming artist, Jochen Lempert, settled in. Witnessing the life cycle process of an exhibition was nothing short of a cathartic experience! Don’t worry if you missed out on the exhibition as their window work Some Words Some More Words is still on display until August 28.

– Brennagh Bailey


De-installing ‘I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know It’ – Brennagh Bailey

My name is Brennagh Bailey and I am very excited to be returning to the CAG this spring and summer as a curatorial intern.

I first joined the CAG team in June 2014 as Family Day coordinator; designing and directing activities for younger gallery-goers and their parents that promoted artistic engagement with the current exhibitions. Not only did this opportunity allow me to interact and share my ideas with an eclectic mix of young families and volunteers, but it also gave me a glimpse into the inner workings of a gallery space and its day-to-day operations – and created an itch to learn more.

Currently, I work closely with Assistant Curator, Jas Lally and Curator, Shaun Dacey. I am gaining an even more intimate, behind-the-scenes experience. So far, I have assisted with the de-installation of the John Wood and Paul Harrison exhibition, as well as assisted with the careful unpacking, condition reporting and installation of our current show, Field Guide, by German artist Jochen Lempert.

Having finished my undergraduate degree at UBC in Art History, primarily focusing on contemporary art, I am now looking into beginning my Masters degree in Curatorial Studies. The CAG continues to give me the invaluable opportunity to meet with contemporary artists and art-enthusiasts both local and international.

Stay tuned for more updates on my next project at the CAG.



Meet Brennagh, Curatorial intern

Camille Norment and Experimental Music UnitSongs for Glass Island, was presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Pyatt Hall, VSO School of Music. It was an engaging, performative sound work with Norwegian/US artist/musician Norment collaborating with Victoria’s Experimental Music Unit: Tina Pearson, George Tzanetakis, and Paul Walde.

It is intriguing that their collaborative sonic exploration departed from Robert Smithson’s unrealized earthwork project for Southwest BC, Glass Island (or Island of Broken Glass), proposed shortly before he created the famous (or is it infamous?) Spiral Jetty. Smithson’s project to cover an islet in the Strait of Georgia with crushed glass was drowned by the noisy objections of environmentalists, yet it’s echoes live on through a completely different type of (sonic) exploration. So, how does one project live through the failure of another?

A highlight of Norment and EMU’s event was our introduction to the glass armonica, a rare and legendary instrument dating back to the eighteenth century that uses glass, water and fingertips to create otherworldly sounds. These tuned glass “singing bowls” reputedly have healing properties, leading to reactions from the listener that vary from mesmerized to fearful, and even to a one-time ban on its use … strange but true! Mozart has even penned works for this enchanting instrument, and it’s other worldly sounds have accompanied music by contemporary musicians such as Linda Ronstadt, David Gilmour and Björk.

In an interview published in e-flux about her recent exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Norment touched on her fascination with the powers of sound: “I am interested in how music has long been used to facilitate both the forging and transgressing of cultural norms. Sound permeates all borders. Throughout history, fear has been associated with the paradoxical effects music has on the body and mind, and its power as a reward-giving de-centraliser of control.

Norment’s work has been described as visceral and poetic. From my personal perspective, much of my graduate research at SFU explores the human’s phenomenological relationship with the world, how our sensual experience with the surrounding environment plays a key role in defining who, and what, we are. Moreover, from an aural perspective, it is important to recognize that our location in the sonic environment is critical to our understanding and perception of it. I enjoyed exploring both of these concepts, and more, at Norment’s and EMU’s concert, immersing myself into the spellbinding soundscape.

– Jorma Kujala

Songs for Glass Island was presented by the CAG in partnership with LaSaM Music, Victoria and is supported by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway through its program for International Support, The Canada Council for the Arts, The University of Victoria through its Distinguished Women Scholars Fund, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts and the Department of Visual Arts.


Tuning Into Other Worlds

Extra, extra, read all about it! The newspaper boys’ cries promoting the next big event are true: Missives, a free broadsheet organized by UK artist Patrick Staff and Vancouver based Writer and Curator Robin Simpson is now being distributed to a number of locations in Vancouver and Toronto utilizing Xtra! newspaper boxes re-designed by Staff, each painted black and draped with chain appliques (derived from Tom of Finland drawings that were also incorporated into Staff’s project).

This newsy, for one, is excited about this. Hi there, I’m Jorma Kujala, a Master’s Candidate with SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts’ MA Program in Comparative Media Arts. I am currently completing a practicum with the CAG, and the distribution and maintenance of Simpson and Staff’s reused newspaper boxes is one of the projects I am taking the lead on. Keep your eyes peeled to this blog site, I am looking forward sharing my insights with you about life at the CAG, and together we can explore front-of-house and behind the scenes nooks and crannies of Vancouver’s foremost contemporary arts gallery!

The Missives broadsheet is an extension and companion to a series of screenings in Vancouver (February 12) and Toronto generously supported by the British Council in Canada, and programmed by Patrick Staff and Robin Simpson. I was happy to help out at last month’s screening, as it allowed me a chance to see the films and mix with a great crowd of cinephiles. The appropriated screening location, like the newspaper boxes, retained hints of past uses. For me, the editing equipment scattered about the edges of the Cineworks Annex screening room and the faint smell of darkroom chemicals closed the circle between the past life that created celluloid stories such as those being screened and their current “final life” broadcast to our contemporary audience.

Works screened included Mirha-Soleil Ross’ Gender Troublemakers (1993), Xanthra Mackay’s Rupert Remembers (2000), James Diamond’s The Man from Venus (1999), Mike Hoolboom’s Frank’s Cock (1993) and Gwendolyn and Co.’s Prowling by Night (1990). The Man From Venus, a 4:00 black and white film from 1999, was particularly captivating, in part for its brimming, free-flowing dialogue of one person’s struggles for acceptance and understanding. Its edgy, experimental format, filmed in Vancouver’s downtown periphery, left me twitching both from its rapid-fire monologue, and its theme of life on the edge of humanity. Engaging with this young person’s dialogue and footage of him navigating life on the same streets I incorporate into my urban routine left me wondering if I, or perhaps you, had ever run into him – “… push me, hold me, let go of me, help me, help me…” – and more importantly, how I, or you, would have reacted had we met.

The other film I connected with offered an entirely different, yet equally captivating, personal journey. Rupert Remembers, a 23:45, colour film from 2000 offers Rupert Raj’s personal tour of people, places and spaces pivotal to 70’s and 80’s trans culture in Toronto, and indeed the rest of Canada. His wistful thoughts and reflections, recorded mostly with hand-held cameras, opened a genuine, honest and welcoming view into communities that many have difficulty accessing. I am very appreciative of both films for allowing me to enter their discussions, and offering me my own moment to pause and think… that is, when I wasn’t busy hustling and schlepping drinks from behind the bar!

Yes, from my vantage point serving drinks from behind the bar, the capacity crowd for the Missives screening certainly maximized all the carpeted, lounging floor space, leaving the rest of audience to occupy the periphery seating and standing area. The absorbed conversation by the audience throughout the evening certainly demonstrated the importance of engaging with stories, issues and politics raised by this screening, leaving us volunteers and staff to ever so gently nudge everyone towards the door as the screening wound to a close! I hope the Toronto screening is equally well attended, and generates the same, or more, positive dialogue as that brimming forth from our Vancouver event! And remember: you still have time to check out Patrick Staff’s The Foundation installation, continuing at the CAG until April 24th.

– Jorma Kujala


Extra! Hear the News: Missives Broadsheet and Broadcast!

Locations of the broadsheet boxes to pick up a free copy of MISSIVES. Created by Patrick Staff and Robin Simpson, produced and presented by Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. The broadsheet publication and screening project is supported by The British Council.


MISSIVES broadsheet box locations – Vancouver & Toronto

Re-Visions: Improvisation & Collaboration
In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.

Megan Low, one of the participating artists writes on the production process, transformation and endlessness….

I’ve been thinking a lot about endings, especially since this project is now complete. It feels bittersweet that after the many months spent meeting, discussing, and hovering over computer screens, the thing exists beyond the seed of an idea.

I’ve also been returning to what artist Laiwan Laiwanette said to us in a talk about extending the life of a project through different mediums, and about documenting the process as part of the work itself.

Now that I can reflect on it, I sense that the work exists in written ideas and individual interpretation as much as it does on screen. There are moments in it that linger and make you question the reality you think you know, and moments left on the cutting room floor that are as much a part of the piece as what remains. It almost seems fit that, for a project exploring spatial transformations in relation to time, the work has undergone prolonged visions and re-visions.

Although there is a self-congratulatory satisfaction in having laboured over something that has finally made its way out into the world and being able to actually see it, what has been more satisfying has been the process itself. Connecting as a group—learning, doing, failing, and succeeding together—has been an invaluable experience, as has being afforded expert mentorship and guidance. I’m almost certain that I speak for everyone involved in saying that this opportunity has been transformative beyond measure in terms of skills and personal growth gained.

I picture the steady stream of people walking by or stopping to watch our piece as it loops continuously throughout the workday, and I can’t help but be poetic as I think of the city just outside continuously changing. I still wonder about endings…

– Megan Low


Transformative experience and mentorship – on the Telus Garden Project by Megan Low

Curatorial Intern April Thompson sat down with John Wood during his recent visit to Vancouver.

Artists John Wood & Paul Harrison have been collaborating since the 1990s. With an interest in observing the human condition, they create art that questions how things work. Wood & Harrison are investigators, best known for their intricately structured film performances which carry the illusion of graceful accident. John Wood was recently in Vancouver to workshop their upcoming collaboration with Ballet BC – a choreographed live performance with up to 10 dancers (a first for the duo, who have not previously exhibited in Canada). I sat down with John to find out more about their practice, intent and progress.

AT: When did you and Paul Harrison begin to collaborate?

JW: Paul had a residency working in a local school in Bristol, where he was working on movement and the human body. I went and visited him to see what he was up to and we recognized that we were really interested in similar things. Our first collaboration didn’t come out until some years later in 1993. We had both been in MFA programs within painting but we were both not interested in painting and so I had my eye on Paul, I was aware that we had that similarity.

AT: As an artistic team you have been termed sculptors, architects, scientists, a slap-stick duo, magicians, mimes, conceptual performers and choreographers. Each of these titles speaks to your practice yet ultimately fails to contain you entirely. Is it your intention to evade definitive categorizations of your art practice?

JW: We are definitely a mixture of all of those things. It’s not that we try to evade categorization, more so that we are interested in blurring the boundaries. All of those things interest us in various ways and so our practice becomes a fusion of them. We have always been interested in popular materials and mass culture as much as any high art objects. We have watched a lot of bad movies and gained many ideas from there.

AT: Your creative process almost always begins with a sketch or diagram. As artists you are constantly switching between the realms of 2D and 3D. The filmed piece “100 Falls” features Paul Harrison entering a white room, dressed in black. He ascends a wooden ladder that leads off camera only to fall to the floor suddenly from above. The editing allows a seamless transition so that the viewer at first is unaware that the falling figure is a dummy. The gesture is repeated, with the figure again ascending the ladder, disappearing and falling. It is easy for one to imagine how this piece may have looked originally sketched out in a minimal diagram-like format. Do you encounter difficulties in this translation of your work from drawing into movement?

JW: Lots. When we work in 2D we have this kind of limitless freedom because we can imagine ideals in terms of movements and bodies and effects. It’s very different when we then move to 3D and are restricted by actual bodies and space. The genesis of drawings is very important to us as a part of the work. We like to create this kind of looping process: taking something from 2D form and making it into a 3D performance, but filming that to turn it into a flat 2D video, then placing it in a gallery where the viewer experiences it in a 3D setting. So, we are constantly switching between the two forms. We now have works that stand alone as drawing pieces, which is a new thing for us to move into – the drawing as having its own endpoint as a solo work. We are both really interested in the idea of the drawing as a kind of lexicon or encyclopedia. It’s a nice way of looking through our work, since we have a huge amount of drawings and sketches from our ideas – I would say about 300 stored up from the working out process.

AT: Your films have been described as being like a magic trick in which the trick is disclosed in the very act of carrying it out. Do you intend for the initial drawing to be somewhat perceptible in the end piece or do you seek to conceal the schematic process?

JW: The drawings are part of the process and so they are very much a part of the work in themselves. I would say that our sketches are perceptible in the end action, in that watching the performance you could imagine their initial form as drawings. It was always our idea, especially with the videos, for them to have that feel of a school textbook with diagrams, generic figures and drawn out instances.


Interview with John Wood by April Thompson

The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is currently on from October 17th to 18th, presented by Project Space at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The two-day event is free and open to the public, and offers a chance to browse and purchase printed matter (as well as digital, experimental and performative forms of publication) from local, national and international artists. It also features performances, programs and other unique artist projects. Leading up to this weekend, Project Space also organized Artists’ Books Week, an ‘open-source’ style series of events. As part of this, the CAG hosted an artist talk by Vancouver-based artist Ho Tam, who discussed his recent publications, including his hotam and Poser series.

Ho Tam is interested in experimenting with the printed format. He uses this medium to explore issues relevant to him in an effectively humorous way, using the model of the mass-distributed magazine to mimic popular print culture.  His first artist book, The Yellow Pages, confronts stereotypes often associated with Chinese culture. The Poser series are collections of photographs which showcase a specific group of people in a certain place, for example, images of men at the Canadian National Exhibition with their carnival game winnings—stuffed animals. His hotam series features self-titled issues that play with pun and humour, somehow always relating to the artist and his own lived experience. Issue 2, Other People’s Business, includes his abundant collection of business cards. Issue 5, Hot Asian Men, showcases the artist`s various photographs, clippings, and movie posters of just that.

Ho Tam’s publications: The Yellow Pages and hotam #1 are available for purchase on our website and in the CAG bookshop. Visit the book fair this weekend and enjoy more artist made publications!

More open-source events like this can be found on the VA/BF website, along with more information about the book fair itself.
Visit for more on Ho Tam’s publications.

– Kelli


Ho Tam on hotam: Artists’ Books Week – Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2015

I’m Maddy Tranter, one of two new Visitor Coordinators at the CAG!

My interest in the CAG developed over my two years as a front desk and events volunteer, but my initial interest in art began much earlier! I took my first art history and costume history courses when I attended the National Ballet School in Toronto between 2004 and 2006. Ever since, art has become an integral part of my everyday life from my education and work to my time spent travelling.

So far, my first two months at the gallery have been very exciting hiring and managing volunteers, planning events and maintaining front of house operations with my coworker Jocelyn Statia. Together, we are busy helping Curator Shaun Dacey with the reading room and Programs Assistant Jas Lally with installation management.

This is a nice change of pace after recently graduating from UBC’s Art History program where I primarily focused on indigenous arts of the Northwest Coast and Asian Studies. At the CAG I am able to broaden my areas of interest as we intimately work with artists both locally and abroad!

– Maddy Tranter


Hello from Maddy! Visitor Coordinator

On Thursday September 10th, Ryan Gander’s Make every show like it’s your last was a brilliant opening night. Drinking cocktails from his Artist’s Cocktails book and stumbling upon his surprising and sometimes hidden pieces, visitors were treated to a playful and entertaining show. The biggest hit of the night by far was Magnus Opus, Gander’s animatronic eyes that move around the room, blink, and offer a confused stare at onlookers. This lifelike work has now been posted by many on Instagram with the hashtag #RyanGander.

Instagram has been talked about lately as having a huge impact on the art world, on collecting and on artists’ careers. A recent article on Artsy pointed out how much art is collected, discovered and promoted on the app. A New York collector is quoted as saying “If your artwork isn’t represented on Instagram these days, do you exist?” In our digital society, many of us check Instagram multiple times a day and use it to stay up-to-date on our favourite public figures, new styles, current events, sports and for those of us that love art, art! It is a great way to access the happenings of the contemporary art world. Notable, and sometimes contentious photographer Richard Prince recently exhibited New Portraits at the Gagosian in New York, a show featuring blown-up screenshots on canvas of other’s Instagram images. There is an ongoing debate about whether Prince’s works are “stolen” or whether his use of the public application as a source for his work is completely fair. Clearly, Instagram has pervaded the functions of the art world and influences it considerably.

At the CAG, we use our own Instagram account (@cagvancouver) to share images from our exhibitions, artist-in-residence projects, openings, new art publications, behind the scenes at the gallery, from our archive, a sneak peek at future exhibitions and our learning events. It is wonderful to see others posting images from our exhibitions and events. It allows the followers of those posting the images to discover a new favourite artist or encourage them to come see the show. We also get an insight into visitors’ own thoughts on the exhibition.

Visit the CAG before November 11 to see Ryan Gander’s solo exhibition, Make every show like it’s your last. If you take a photo, be sure to tag #RyanGander and @cagvancouver so we can see it and share it, too!


Make every Instagram like it’s your last

A ‘behind the scenes’ report by CAG curatorial intern April Thompson.

Regardless of your familiarity with Ryan Gander’s work, if you have visited his current exhibition Make every show like it’s your last, you will have seen how the CAG can pull-off a show that contains an eclectic assortment of mixed mediums. A quick Google search of Gander’s practice will show you just how diverse his art ‘objects’ can be – ‘fictional products’ that can range from an Adidas tracksuit worn by Gallery Attendants to a gallery exhibition that cannot be entered. Indeed, it is Gander’s intention to evade any kind of predictability in his work and this means avoiding the ‘sedentary’ fixation on a specific medium. But what does this eclecticism entail for behind-the-scenes operations and those who are involved with the psychical realization of a show on Gander’s work? Gander’s studio in London alone attests to the immense logistical and engineering aspects that go behind every piece. Having been present for the install of the current Ryan Gander exhibition, I thought I would write about some of the unusual things I learned long the way.

Often when I look at an object in a touring exhibition, I wonder about its past life. What has the object seen and what stories could it tell. These thoughts were accentuated upon un-packing Magnus Opus, Ryan Gander’s artwork of animatronic eyes which are installed within the gallery wall. There was an uncanny sensation to opening the crate and finding two cartoon-like eyes, rolled up as if the object had been sleeping during its trans-Atlantic voyage. Installing the work into the CAG involved the construction of an artificial box-like wall which Magnus Opus could be placed in and wired up. While the wiring of the object took some time and intricate manoeuvring, it was a success to see the piece taking viewers by surprise as it came to life in the gallery space during the opening night.

If the I is… sculptures elicit a sense of mystery by appropriating the shape of objects covered up, then their arrival to the CAG in three 8 x 5 feet wooden crates only added to this suspenseful play on obstructed representation. Receiving these artworks that were shipped from the United Kingdom felt a lot like Christmas – though you can’ t touch or play with them. Instead, one must scrutinize their appearance for any sign of deterioration. Once the crates were half-opened and placed within the gallery, a condition report was conducted prior the object being lowered to its place on the gallery floor. Adorned with our white gloves, Assistant Curator, Jas Lally and I carried out our inspection – lightly brushing the surface of these resin marble structures. There is something that occurs during this process of touch. It is as if the curiousness of wanting to touch – of wanting to obtain the knowledge of how something feels – is profoundly disappointing.  I don’t mean disappointing in that it lessens the enjoyment of the art object. What I mean is that, once you acquire that knowledge as to how something feels there is no going back. One cannot imagine other possibilities for what it might feel like. The same occurs from reading the label which lists exactly what objects contributed to the sculptures formation. When I researched these structures they seemed like impermeable, heavy classical marble things that would be cold and solid to touch. Yet, even in my white gloves, I felt that the material was lighter than I expected, hollow and less impenetrable. Thinking about this contrast between my expectations and my actual handling of the work, I began to appreciate even more the ways in which Gander plays with suspending our knowledge. The I is … series is powerful in that it juxtaposes what began as light playful creativity in order for these structures to be conceived and built by his daughter, with the ‘serious’ classical, high art materials and appearance of the marble sculpture object.

These vignettes behind the CAG install are only a snippet of the expansive organizational systems in place in order for Gander’s work to operate the way it does. Having witnessed first-hand the communications, interchanges and logistics that go behind putting on a show of Gander’s work, I have new found appreciation for what his work achieves. Gander’s work enables us to exist within a temporary moment of suspended knowledge, and in that moment we catch a glimpse of what it was like to be a child. The fact that so much organization and planning goes behind making this occur gives his work a special quality. It is at once intricate and complex, while also sweeping us up in what is often a simple curiosity.

– April Thompson


What goes into making ‘every show like it’s your last’?

My name is April Thompson and I am thrilled to be a curatorial intern at the CAG.

My first experience with the CAG occurred two years ago when I arrived in Vancouver with the intention to stay just a month. When I came to Vancouver, I felt the strange sensation of visiting a place for the first time, yet feeling like I had come home. Needless to say I stayed much longer as I began volunteering at the CAG as a front of house attendant.

I am now currently in my second year of a Masters program in Critical Curatorial Studies at University of British Columbia. It has been fascinating to experience first-hand the differences within art historical and curatorial pedagogies taught here in North America compared to my undergraduate studies in Australia.

Working at the CAG has made me feel engaged with artistic dialogues that are occurring locally within Vancouver, as well as internationally. The CAG’s ability to maintain this network with both the local and the global is one of its great strengths and for me, what sets it apart within the cultural climate of this city.

Working closely with Assistant Curator, Jas Lally, I have helped with the logistical preparation for both Mungo Thomson’s recent summer show and the current Ryan Gander exhibition. Through dealing with the objects from these artists I was exposed to the challenges that come with moving art into Vancouver from America and the UK.

I look forward to working alongside the diverse and multi-faceted team here at the CAG, as I continuously learn about new aspects of the art world that often evade the University curriculum. At the moment I am researching works for an intriguing upcoming exhibition – stay tuned for more! See you at the CAG!

– April


Hello from April!

I’m happy to have joined the CAG team in the role of Visitor Coordinator: Publications.

Over the past few years I have been volunteering at the CAG, primarily with the Abraham Rogatnick Library. Exploring the collection which features contemporary arts production, and it’s various publications that are local and international in scope.

During the course of my education in Visual Arts (BFA) and Communication & Cultural Studies, I have had the opportunity to be trained by and work with some members of the Vancouver School and other noted Canadian artist and theorists. Beyond graduate studies, I continue an arts and research practice that encompass analyses of contemporary arts practices, Canadian Cultural Policy, photography and experimental film.

I appreciate the dynamics of the CAG’s organizational structure that has a clearly defined public engagement practice and philosophy to cultivate the understanding of art as meaningful to our everyday life.

I look forward to seeing you here at the CAG to talk with you about exhibitions, our resources and art.


Hello from Jocelyn Statia, CAG Visitor Coordinator.

Tidal Dérive – Marie Lorenz
Itinerary – September 1 to 7, 2015
HOPE, BC: September 1st; Put in @ 9:00am
Boat Launch at corner of Wardle St. and 7th Ave
Travel: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Stop: Fraser River Ecological Reserve
Camp: Kirby Historic Site (near Harrison Mills)
KIRBY SITE: September 2nd; Put in @ 9:00am
Travel: 7:00am – 12:00pm
Stop/Camp: Derby Reach Regional Park
DERBY REACH: September 3rd; Put in @ 9:00am
Travel: 7:00am – 12:00pm
Stop: Arrive at New Westminster mid-morning
Continue: to coast final point will be determined by tidal flow
September 4: Travel to Salt Spring Island via Ferry.
SALT SPRING ISLAND: September 5th; Put in at Fulford Harbour @ 7:00am
Travel: 7:00am – 12:00pm
Camp: Shell Beach Campsite, Portland Island
PORTLAND ISLAND: September 6th; Put in @ 7:00am
Travel: 7:00am – 12:00pm
Camp: Isle de Lis (Rum Island)
ISLE-De-LIS/RUM ISLAND: September 7th; Put in @ 7:00am
Travel: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Return to: Salt Spring Island

Marie Lorenz: Tidal Dérive – Itinerary & Interactive Map

Currently in August, interdisciplinary artists Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (France) are spending 2 weeks at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their combined practices aim to create community-based models of participation and knowledge production in order to re-imagine a material record of the present. They investigate tactics of representation and enlist the tools of installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and the methods of anthropology to explore various forms of collecting, interpreting, and display. The result is often a collaborative work which counterbalances how dominant institutions speak about our lives: a counter-archive, alternate narrative, new additions to a museum collection, or a buried history become visible.

Farooq is currently working as a visual artist, educator, designer, and is a member of the documentary film collective Smoke Signal Projects as director. His artist book/print editions have been distributed through Art Metropole, Toronto. Linschooten works as an independent graphic designer and artist. She works with all types of print, such as books, magazines and posters, using typography and collage to transform existing material into a visual language that challenges established systems.

Farooq and Linschooten interrogate the ideas and values of organizations, claims about what a cultural group is and “ought to be”, protocols of approaching an object and images of who the intended viewer is – and use installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and the methods of anthropology to examine various forms of collecting, interpreting and display. The result is often a collaborative work which counterbalances how institutions speak about our lives, producing a counter-archive. Related to these questions Farooq and Linschooten will begin development towards a Vancouver-specific public project engaging the ways Vancouver frames its multiculturalism via ethnographic museum display.

Farooq and Linschooten have exhibited in various countries including Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Recent projects include Faux Guide, Trankat, Morocco; The Museum of Found Objects, Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario; The Museum of Found Objects, Istanbul, Turkish Ministry of Culture; Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, Artellewa, Egypt. Most recently the duo completed a residency and exhibition at Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga, Ontario which explores the complex space of social codes, ideological agendas and decisions, both conscious and unconscious, of museum display. Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (France) collaborate on projects.

– Shalon Webber-Heffernan, CAG Learning Assistant


Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten at the Burrard Marina Field House

After much anticipation, Mungo Thomson makes his return to the CAG with his solo exhibition, Time, People, Money, Crickets, opening this Friday. The team has been hard at work preparing for the show. Now that it is down to the last few days of the install, I talked to programs assistant Jas Lally to find out about the challenges they have faced and the exciting things that will be occurring over the next month.

Because of the multitude of mediums explored by Mungo, from sculpture to performance to film and sound, the preparation has been unique. “When we install the works we have to be careful about the TIME mirror pieces in particular, because they  weigh about 100 pounds each, so they’re quite heavy,” Jas said. “We’ll have to be careful with the projection of the rolodex film as well.” Untitled (Margo Leavin Gallery 1970-)(2009) is a stop-motion 16mm film. “I am very excited to work with a 16mm projector again after Jeremy Shaw’s exhibition earlier this year” Jas added.

All of the pieces have been shipped from SITE Santa Fe, who the CAG is collaborating with to present this exhibition. The only issue was a slight hold up at the border. “You have to be prepared for delays in customs clearance,” Jas mentioned. “Once you speak to the agent and explain that it is artwork, it works out.” Thankfully, they are here in perfect shape and being hung up/suspended/tested/configured for Friday evening.

Jas mentioned that she is looking forward to Void and Observer (2013-2015). “Hopefully the viewer will read the label and go, ‘Hey, where’s this piece?’ I think the mis -marked coin will be the most unique and the most interactive piece.” The front desk staff might just have the answer.

Mungo’s Crickets (2012-2013), which one will be able to see, hear and read in the large gallery room, will also be performed live on the night of the opening. “We collaborated with Vancouver New Music to have four musicians perform the piece in neighbouring Emery Barnes Park,” Jas smiled, “The musicians will essentially be playing the role of  crickets. That will be fun.” This work definitely defines the show, being presented in live performance, video, sound and debossed score during the course of the exhibition.

Jas also organized a feedback talk around Crickets on July 28 with speakers Murray Isman, Professor of Applied Biology from UBC; Lucas Abela, a performance artist and Giorgio Magnanensi, Artistic Director of Vancouver New Music. “It’s really about getting something different and taking a chance. I hope the speakers will be able to engage with their personal experiences and reflect upon the piece,” Jas explained her unexpected choice of participants. “I believe that it’s important to bring in different perspectives so that the viewer has a more engaged experience.” We can’t wait to hear what the speakers have to say.

Finally, Jas expounded why we should all be looking forward to Mungo’s show. “Well, it’s Mungo! He’s been really great to work with and you can see how invested he is in his work.  It is going to be interesting to see how all the works come together in relation to each other, the everyday life, the wider historical contexts and the cosmic scale. I am most excited to see how the interactive aspects of the exhibition work out whereby the public are no longer just the audience, but participants.”

Join us this Friday, June 10 at 7pm for the opening, and head over to Emery Barnes Park at 8:30pm for the live performance of Cricket Solos for Clarinet, Piccolo, Percussion and Violin. Don’t miss the Feedback Talk on July 28, either! 

– Kelli Sturkenboom




Behind the Scenes on Time, People, Money, Crickets

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



Tad Hozumi meditates on ‘Yoga Boogie’

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!

– Shalon




Dancing with Julia Dault

Hello! My name is Helen Wong and I am the Summer Development Assistant here at the CAG. I’m very excited to start working at the CAG where I will be helping out with the Annual Gala and Art Auction alongside Development Officer, Kristin Cheung.

I’m currently in my last year of undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia with a major in Art History. With this looming ahead of me, it’s nice to be surrounded by individuals who are able to impart some knowledge and experience as to their post-undergraduate lives. I’ve done a lot of travelling through UBC, I have taken a 15th Century Art History course in Venice and I have studied abroad in Bristol, UK. Through my time abroad, I was exposed to so many different cultures and types of art that it has really expanded my areas of interest.

My interest in Art History was sparked during a 200 level Renaissance art class at UBC, and from then on I haven’t looked back. I think art becomes a way in which we can speak about so many contemporary issues and subjects because of its interdisciplinary nature, plus I feel like a detective when I’m analyzing a piece of work which is another reason why I love it!

My interest in the CAG began when I wanted to learn more about local art and artists. I think that the CAG is a natural hub for dialogue and I wanted to be a part of that. I look forward to the rest of my summer here and learning more about ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘what it takes’ to plan a grand Gala and Auction event like this! Stay tuned for more Gala and Auction news as the summer progresses…

– Helen Wong


Hello from Helen! Summer Development Assistant

Hello! My name is Shalon Webber-Heffernan, and this Summer I am super excited to be working and learning at the CAG!

I’m very happy to be working alongside CAG Curator Shaun Dacey in the role of Summer Learning Assistant, and I look forward to getting to know all the staff and volunteers at the gallery. I’m equally excited to be working with some of this Summer’s amazing Burrard Marina Field House Studio residency artists, including Maddie Leach, Keg de Souza, Walter Scott, Sameer Farooq, Harrell Fletcher and Marie Lorenz. Aside from the CAG, I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University where I focus on embodied and affective knowledge, performance studies, and the so-called “pedagogical turn” in contemporary art practices.

My background is in performance, dance and theatre paired with years of experience working within community outreach settings has me thinking deeply about genuinely engaged arts praxis—what that means, and what are the implications—as well as experiential and alternate (un)learning processes and methodologies.

At the summer’s end I am lucky also to be working with international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra, where I will deepen my studies of radical performance pedagogy during an immersive training program in Tijuana, Mexico.

I look forward to seeing you around the CAG this summer!

– Shalon


Hello from Shalon! Summer Learning Assistant

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


Join Tad Hozumi at these upcoming feedback events: 

Yoga Boogie
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 [email protected]
*Please bring your own yoga mat.

Body Jazz
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.



‘Crate-digging for Julia Dault’ by Tad Hozumi

Located near to the gallery entrance, Michelangelo’s Place is the final version in a series of marble benches Bool has recently produced. The sculpture references the benches found circling the elevated Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy built in 1869 to showcase copies of Michelangelo’s most famous works and to provide a stunning panoramic view of the city. Working in Vancouver for three weeks prior to the opening, Bool reproduced the exact graffiti that covers some of the benches.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes report by CAG Program Assistant, Jas Lally on the delicate installation of the new sculptural commission Michelangelo’s Place by Berlin-based, Comox, BC born artist Shannon Bool:


On the day of the installation of Michelangelo’s Place, Shannon and I had many phone calls back and forth with each other trying to come up with a Plan B, because it had been raining ALL DAY! We were lucky that a few hours before the install the sun came out and we were able to prep the dry ground – who knew Bianca Carrara marble was such a finicky material.

When the pieces arrived, the bench looked much bigger than I thought it was going to be. The four legs were easy to carry and place in front of the CAG, but when it came to the bench top things got a little more tricky. The top had to be balanced on a dolly that looked like a unicycle! I could see Shannon and assistant Teal holding onto the sides of the bench top for dear life as it was steered down the sidewalk with passerby’s giving us very curious looks.With the bench legs positioned in the perfect spot the top was affixed, then with the right amount of glue the job was done. I was surprised how easily and quickly all the pieces came together.

The bench has been installed for a week now and visitors have been engaging with the bench by taking a moment to sit on it and read some of the one hundred year old Italian graffiti. Even all the little furry friends in the neighbourhood have been giving the bench curious sniffs!If you haven’t already, stop by and take a moment to sit on the bench and visit also Julia Dault’s exhibition Blame It On the Rain!

– Jas Lally


Behind the Scenes with Shannon Bool

This is the third and final installment of a series of interview questions between UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill and Jeremy Shaw, around Jeremy Shaw’s 2015 exhibition here at CAG, Medium-based Time (February 26-April 19).
Patrick O’Neill: In an interview with 032c Magazine you said that you had a “[…] real fondness for the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience.” If we look at how Variation FQ relates to Quickeners, this idea about the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience is especially present in both works. Various cinematic elements are utilized in each film and in the way each room is crafted as an immersive installation. Is the idea of cinema as manipulative experience something you wish the viewer to pick up on?

Jeremy Shaw: I think the way that I am amplifying these manipulative possibilities is quite pronounced in the work – my use of devices and clichés is very apparent.  This isn’t to say that that makes them obvious to the viewer, as they’re proven manipulative by design, so may be working in a way that people don’t recognize immediately.   If I was truly creating work that’s in keeping with this potential, they may never be picked up on, but I don’t mind either way. I have always loved walking away from an art work or film with the feeling that I’ve been had a little bit – like I’ve been tricked or lead some way or other unknowingly and possibly even against my own usual judgement.

In what way do you think this understanding, or awareness, might affect the reading of the themes within each film?

This use of techniques are an amplification of the things I love about cinema, music video, documentary, etc – so I see them as a way to push the themes even harder, but to do it in a way that’s moving, alluring, entertaining, repelling, whatever – it’s amplified.  I tend to celebrate things in my works – even things I may not fully agree with, but that I find a beauty in the core of.  I often ride a line between this celebration and critique via this use cinematic device, but essentially, I leave things nebulous.  I don’t attempt to force a certain reading – only possibilities.


UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 3 of 3

This is the second installment in a series of three parts of a Q&A that Patrick O’Neill conducted with Jeremy Shaw. Part 1 can be found here.

Patrick O’Neill: The soundtrack seems to occupy a pivotal role in both films in this exhibition. To what extent has your artistic practice been informed by your experiences with Circlesquare and vice versa?

Jeremy Shaw: As far as my skill sets go, [sound design] has been a massive influence.  I spent countless hours/days/months working on Circlesquare music – experimenting with production, writing and recording, learning programs, samplers, instruments, etc.  All of this is all very useful in technical ways with how I am working now.  I used to really try and keep these two practices separate, but since disbanding Circlesquare I’ve felt a real freedom to use music in a much more present way in my art works. I brainstorm in both a visual and musical way – rarely do I think of one without the other.

PO: You seem to be quite conscious of the power of technology to inscribe or convey belief structures to the viewers or users of those technologies. Is this idea simply of personal interest, or is it something you try to explicitly acknowledge in your works?

JS: It’s a device I use as a way to lure a viewer into something via an assumed awareness.  Their personal understanding of/relationship to the technology puts them somewhat at my disposal to subvert that familiarity; to propose something new via this comfort.  It is definitely acknowledged in the works – for example, in Variation FQ, the first 3 minutes are mono sound and the antiquated 16mm image authentically mimics a 1960’s aesthetic.  If one was not to know of contemporary voguing, they could believe this was an archival work.  But at 3 minutes in when Leiomy takes her hair out, the audio switches dramatically to surround sound and an MP3 quality digital sound is introduced while she shakes her head in a way that would be difficult to believe was shot anytime before the late 1980’s.  So here the projector and media and music all come into question as no longer endorsing the initial set-up.  I like the idea of collapsing time this way.


UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 2 of 3

Patrick O’Neill is a UBC Art History student who has come on board as an intern at CAG to assist with the research connected to our Reading Room. While Jeremy Shaw was in town, they took some time to discuss the three works that are currently on display. This post focuses on the work Quickeners (2014).

Patrick O’Neill: What inspired you to create Degenerative Imaging (In the Dark) (2015) as a glow-in-the-dark, light-sensitive piece?

Jeremy Shaw: Degenerative Imaging is continuation of work I’ve done in the past (Representative Measurements) where I reformatted fMRI brain scans of subjects after cumulative use of MDMA as black light silkscreen posters.  This time I’ve used SPECT scans of the cumulative effects of various mind altering drugs on blood flow in the brain and transferred them to the same material that is used to make glow-in-the-dark constellation stickers that adorn bedroom ceilings.   It is a bringing together of these two very disparate drug experiences – one which is attempting to map and explain, the other attempting to enhance or further the experience itself.  This pushes the 80’s “this is your brain on drugs” propaganda with the idea of looking at a scientific representation of what something has done/could do to your brain via the experience you are currently having.  The representation is aiding in positively enhancing yet presumably seen as a negative when considered in its cumulative context.

PO: What inspired you to start working within a more explicitly narrative structure for Quickeners (2014) and what did this juxtaposition allow for in your exploration of themes which are familiar in your practice?

JS: The decision to work with a narrative was due to my desire to be able to talk about all these seemingly disparate interests in a more cohesive or straightforward way. It is the first time I was explicitly able to address a lot of these things – ideas around scientific rationalization of transcendental experience, parallel realities, belief systems of many degrees, etc.  The creation of a narrative in which a new, entirely rational species was experiencing a degenerative syndrome that incited reversionary, irrational behaviour allowed me to create characters in varying states of decline from which I could address many different perspectives on said topics.  Here I was able to explicitly vocalize via these characters speech/subtitles rather than submerging the ideas into a nonlinear or abstract piece.   I had the footage for Quickeners for years and knew that I wanted to work with it, but hadn’t quite figured out how. It ended up being a logical progression in my practice – specifically after Introduction to The Memory Personality – where I felt the desire to push further with linear structure.  I still did end up with an immersive, experiential section within this that reads like previous works – but it is submerged within the narrative form.  I liked the idea of almost pushing the viewer into submission or a kind of exhaustion before introducing this cathartic release in the narrative aspect of the work and for the audience as well.


UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill interviews Jeremy Shaw | Part 1 of 3

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


Keg de Souza – If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood…

Hello! My name is Nicola Krohman and over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, and Jill Henderson, Communications Coordinator, as a volunteer and now in my new role as Communications Intern. I first met Jill four years ago when I started as a volunteer in the CAG’s Abraham Rogatnick Library, where I was introduced to many CAG publications in addition to the various other resources the library holds. Since then I moved to London to complete my MA in Fine and Decorative Art. My dissertation examined the evolution of, architect and designer, Eileen Gray’s furniture designs, considered through her innovative use of materials. This experience led me to New York, where I worked for a furniture dealer and restorer, and continued to explore my interests in art and design. Last fall when I decided to spend the year back home in Vancouver, I wanted to return to the CAG to learn from and participate in the workings of such an exciting Canadian art institution. It’s been nice to see familiar faces again and to meet many new ones, as well as, interesting to see how the CAG has continued to grow and evolve. During the next few months I hope to share with you through the blog some of the CAG’s upcoming exhibitions and events.

I also wanted to mention that Berlin-based Canadian artist Jeremy Shaw’s exhibition Medium-Based Time opened at the CAG last week. We are very happy to see that the exhibition was included in both The Vancouver Sun and The Georgia Straight’s art features (see here and here), as well as, with a great review of the exhibition by Marsha Lederman in The Globe and Mail.

Come by the gallery to see Jeremy Shaw – Medium-Based Time, which runs through to April 19th!


Hello from Nicola!

As part of my internship at the CAG, I was able to assist with the installation of Grace Schwindt’s exhibition.  The fun part of this installation was being able to assist with the colour coordination of the 9 jewel toned and naturally dyed ribbons. There was no formula or method to the colour selection, just what looked well together. Grace liked the arrangement so much that she is repeating the colour sequence at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp where the show is traveling to. In Canada, you can catch the film next at Contemporary Calgary!

– Jas Lally


Behind the Ribbons

What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?

I’ve always had an interest working in an art gallery, and I discovered the CAG last summer while exploring. I began chatting with Jocelyn at the front desk, picking her brain regarding her journey on how she got to work there, and she recommended I submit my resume to volunteer. I believe that volunteering at a place you are passionate about alters the perspective you have on yourself as well as how you are spending your time. It is not only a great experience, but you single-handedly place yourself in a position where opportunities that pertain to your interests or career path are presented to you. I wanted to work and learn from curators, artists and other fellow volunteers, as this was my first time working in a gallery. Now, being at the CAG since May, I’ve made new friends and have learned a great deal about the art world and all its facets!

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

Currently I help at the front desk, and being able to answer any questions that visitors may have I find really rewarding, as it aids in their exploration of artwork that the CAG exhibits. Opening nights are always great as well, since I get to check out the new exhibitions the day of, and mingle with like-minded individuals as well as the artist(s).

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

Some of the first Contemporary artworks I experienced were probably back when I was living in Amsterdam as a teen.

What other creative activities do you do?

I have been sketching since childhood, and have just begun teaching myself how to paint this year! I’m very much enjoying the process. I have also been drumming since I was a teen, and I also edit films on the side, as it is part of my job in the film/TV industry.

Check out Michelle on Instagram, her painting here and a sample of video editing here.


Volunteer Profiles: Michelle Doherty

What brought you to volunteer at the CAG? 

I am a student studying art history and was looking to gain experience in the field of art. I chose to volunteer with the CAG because it provides an intimate platform where people have the chance to meet and interact with artists and others in the art scene.

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

Meeting people and hearing their opinion on the artworks being exhibited.

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

I have always paid attention to public art around the city, but my first really great experience of interactive contemporary art was at the one night festival Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2013.

What other creative activities do you do?

Painting, photography and creative writing.


Volunteer Profiles: Jennifer Tuan

What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?

I finished my BFA degree from Lahore, Pakistan, six years ago and have been painting and showing ever since. When I moved to Vancouver at the beginning of this year, I wanted to figure out how the art world functions here. I did a lot of gallery hopping through the summer, I was still thinking about where to volunteer when I came across the design fiction workshop being held at the Contemporary Art Gallery in September. The workshop was very interesting and the people at the gallery were welcoming and friendly. It felt like the right place for exposure to contemporary art, not only in Canada but also around the world. I am glad I started volunteering at CAG because the past few months have confirmed that it most certainly is a hotbed for the exchange of new ideas and information, holding immense potential for growth, and innovation.

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

I love the flexibility of being a front desker- thats not a word- being at the front desk? You can check out books available at the lovely shop, even read, if it is a quieter day. If there’s a lot of people coming in, you might have a chat with someone about the ongoing exhibition; sometimes you find they have a completely different take on it. If help is needed for an upcoming show or project you might be asked to do that. I like that I come every week, I am in touch with everything that is going on at the gallery and I get to do different things.

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

I can’t remember when I experienced my first contemporary art work, it was probably at the Alhamra Arts Complex, Lahore. I do remember when I first fell in love with a contemporary art work, it was “The Painter” by Marlene Dumas.

What other creative activities do you do?

I enjoy photography. I love illustration; I do it for my blog and freelance for childrens books and magazines. Refurbishing and painting old furniture is a lot of fun. Travelling. Walking around, discovering new cities.

Check out Sara’s website here and her blog here.


Volunteer Profiles: Sara Khan

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:

See you at the CAG soon! – Jas Lally


Hello from Jas Lally – New Programs Assistant at the CAG


My name is Sally, I’m a temporary addition here, volunteering at the CAG, and with my time here hurrying by I wanted to fill you in on how I got here and all the cool stuff I’ve been doing at the CAG.

I’m from the UK and have come to Vancouver for six weeks as part of a four month adventure that has been the most memorable of my life.

My time here is part of a plan that involved leaving all the sensible things in my life, like a job and a flat so that I could stretch my legs over to the West Coast …or I should say, the ‘Best Coast.’

Things took shape after I sent some emails, one to Anchorage Museum in Alaska and the other to the CAG. I have been involved in arts and museum education since University, volunteering or working for different organizations and so I thought it would be brilliant to gain some experience overseas. The reply emails were nerve racking to open but I received, to my delight, welcoming replies. So it was decided and before I knew it I was Alaska bound, looking at the glaciers below wondering what the next four months would bring.

I spent seven weeks in Anchorage, with six of those as a volunteer at the museum getting to develop informal learning activities and facilitate family events. The photo below was taken on my phone in Sitka, onboard a little boat as I looked out for and encountered humpback whales. For me it captures how I feel about my time in Alaska.

After Anchorage I spent a couple of weeks exploring South East Alaska, Seattle and San Francisco before arriving here! My time in Vancouver keeps getting better. At the CAG I have been helping Shaun Dacey and Jas Lally with exciting projects that are teaching me loads. I have been developing learning resources for teachers to accompany the current exhibition, Shimabuku, When Sky Was Sea, helping with the CAGs first Teachers Social as well as the monthly Free Family Day   (I am now an Octopus expert… ask me anything!). I have also had the opportunity to get to know the talented team selected for The City in Motion – CAG/TELUS Garden Public Art project, I’ll have to come back to see the final installation!

I have been supported and welcomed by the CAG team, they have made sure that I eat at yummy places, find the best coffee and of course see loads of exciting art. And so I can’t say thank you enough, I’m sure my last week here will be a brilliant conclusion.

– Sally Page

P.S. Whatever you do! don’t miss the CAG and Ballet BC new partnership, a new dance+art commission with amazing UK artists John Wood and Paul Harrison. To read more click here:


Hello from Sally! – From Anchorage to the Salish Coast


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.

The artists

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 Henderson


Help us build a unique art-dance commission

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.

School for design fiction workbook

More Books by James Langdon.

James Langdon
A School for Design Fiction – workshop
16-18 September 2014, 6pm-9pm


Sara Khan – The School for Design Fiction – A workshop with James Langdon

We are so happy to be teamed up with Satellite Gallery and Audain Gallery for the Downtown Gallery Tour series.

Every few months, members from the public are invited to spend a Saturday afternoon on three respective tours of the current exhibitions at Audain Gallery (1pm), Satellite Gallery (2pm) and the Contemporary Art Gallery (3pm).

The most recent incarnation of this series took place on Saturday, November 22nd and the next one will likely be in early 2015. Keep your eyes peeled!

Ellie from Satellite Gallery hosted a mail art workshop with a committed group of local art admirers and artists after the final tour. As a result, this morning we received a whole pile of postcards relating to Shimabuku’s exhibition! Everyone at the CAG greatly enjoyed reading and receiving the cards, as it’s always so rewarding to see what people take away from the exhibitions.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out and to those who created and sent the cards!

This could indeed be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

– Jaclyn Bruneau


‘This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship’…mysterious mail art arrives at the CAG!

Similar to the myths told in many large, cosmopolitan cities, Vancouver seeks strength through the telling of its cultural diversity. During my research residency at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio, I had the opportunity to visit a variety of institutions charged with cultural vitality. Time after time I was confronted by the awkwardness, sincerity, humour, and impossibility of such a project.

This spirit is not only evident in the stories exchanged between visitors to and residents of the city, but is calcified in its institutional counterparts: the ethnographic museum, the cultural centre, the theme park, the gift shop, and the tourist office. Together, these places dispense a type of ethnographic currency that both maintains an order and projects a hope for the city to be the best it can be. What is at stake when a city defines itself in terms of the cultural populations that make it up?

Visiting the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden, a perfect replica of a Ming Dynasty Garden, was to be confronted with ideas that were vastly different from Vancouver’s Chinatown just beyond its walls, and again indecipherable from the modern, sprawling, predominantly-Chinese suburb of Richmond just beyond Vancouver. Within the pleasant confines of the garden (and its gift shop), books on Zen Buddhism, authentic jade jewelry, and Tibetan textiles, spoke a very different language than the world just outside. What is the function of distilling culture to objects, who is acting as the cultural translator between groups, and who is the assumed audience for such systems of display? A visit to the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) revealed a much more tightly curated experience, but similar questions persisted. Facing an impressive collection of encased objects from many corners of the earth, I wondered why the display of ethnographic material aims to compartmentalize, order, and control something that we know is fluid, dynamic and contradictory.

The focus of my continued work in Vancouver will play with the notion of ethnographic currency, who is the subject of ethnography and who is not, the materialization of cultural groups, and the display systems enlisted to communicate this material to an audience. In 2015 I will continue to research these areas with my longtime collaborator Mirjam Linschooten. Continuing to work with the supportive team at the CAG and within the inspiring cultural community of Vancouver is something I look forward to with great anticipation.

– Sameer Farooq

More on Sameer’s visit.

More on Sameer and Mirjam’s practice.


An initial research visit to Vancouver – Sameer Farooq

On Thursday, October 10th a Brand New View (Vancouver) is coming to Vancouver courtesy of the Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg.

Klingberg uses familiar corporate logos to create quasi-oriental installations that take the cold and corporate and transforms it into warm and inviting art.

A former graphic designer, her work considers how these public icons come into our “private spheres.” She calls her art “craft work” that creates a feeling similar to embroidery.

Klingberg’s exhibition will consist of two murals – one at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line and one on the façade of the Gallery at Nelson and Richards.

It’s the first exhibit of her work in Canada and I’m particularly happy it will be shown outside for people to enjoy as the soggy winter season settles in. Check out this short video to learn more about Klingberg’s work and what motivates her.

– Don Millar, CAG Board of Directors


A ‘Brand New View (Vancouver)’ arrives…by Don Millar

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.

-Shaun Dacey



600 Campbell: Summer Youth Intensive Finale

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


Exploring Vancouver with Sameer Farooq

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


Sameer Farooq’s The Silk Road of Pop

As well as the opening of the CAG’s new exhibition: Jürgen Partenheimer, The Archive – The Raven Diaries comes a new voice for the gallery’s blog!

Hello there I’m Chloe and though I’m new to you, I am not new to the gallery. In fact I’ve been here since 2012, when I first nervously stumbled through the Gallery doors in hopes of becoming a volunteer. Now almost 3 years later I’ve served not only as a volunteer, but as the gallery’s publicity intern and presently as communications intern where they’ve bestowed upon me enough trust to let me talk to you (via the blog of course). If you’re still a little apprehensive about the change, I’ll appease you by also letting you know that I’m studying in the arts field as a Critical and Cultural Practices major at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and that I’m about to graduate, which means I must be doing something right!

I’m very excited for you and I to start this journey together! Over the next few months we’ll be delving into the works of German artist Jürgen Partenheimer and Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg. We’ll also be going back into the CAG’s archives to take a look back on past exhibitions and how they play out in contemporary art today.

Let’s begin!

As it goes for most exhibition openings, you can feel the buzz of energy as you make your way into the gallery and through the crowds,walking past half empty catering trays and groups of art enthusiasts eagerly chatting away about what they’ve come to see. Partenheimer’s work presents itself ideal to this environment as, with the exception of a small sculptural piece and a plinth or two, his work takes the form of coffee book sized pieces of paper pinned to the wall.

Though the pieces are made out of a common material, it is what Partenheimer has added to the pages which draws you in. The works are full of abstract forms which, on their own seem to have very little context, yet once placed together within the same gallery space seem to play off one and other in a way that just makes sense. The artist has also been able to take his two dimensional paper canvases and bring them into the third dimension through his use of colour. The dark blacks pull the viewer into the piece, just as the neon oranges they are paired with pop right back out.

Along the wall, accompanying the pieces composed of abstracted painted lines, notes, from what seems to be a journal, are hung. What is interesting in their proximity is that, for viewers who are less familiar with the artists native language of German, these notes quickly begin to meld themselves to the pieces made up of abstract lines, becoming a sort of abstract composition themselves.

Partenheimer’s show is a great introduction to abstract art for those who are newer to the art scene, whilst also being of great interest for the veterans of the art world. A show which presents pleasantly curated pieces of which one can chose to enjoy for what they are as objects or get carried away into the role the play within contemporary art today.


Hello from Chloe: New Blogger, New Exhibition Opens!

All good things must come to an end- and this marks the end of my summer position as Learning and Public Programmes Assistant. I’m honoured and so grateful to have spent the past four months at the Contemporary Art Gallery learning from, and working with, a multitude of talented artists, curators and programmers!

I loved working with Brendan Fernandes this summer, and watching him create his solo performance piece. I learned a lot from his approach to movement, stillness and embodiment and was very happy to participate in the dramaturgical and creation processes. Attending Lee Plested’s seminars, the artist talks and the studio visits affiliated with the CAG’s Night School Program reminded me to think critically about art, what is being presented or discussed, and to consider why the particular artistic choices were made.

Shaun Dacey, the Learning and Public Programs Curator, is such a genuinely interested and forward-looking artist and programmer, that he welcomed any, and all, of my suggestions to be heard and considered over the summer. We were so happy to have been able to participate in Dylan Robinson and Candice Hopkins’ Indigenous Acts Gathering, as we learned and shared with all those involved.

It was a  great summer and I’m sad to see it come to an end! However, I will be back Sunday, September 28th at 3 pm to lead a Guided Visit of Jurgen Partenheimer’s upcoming exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery.  Alors, venir par la galerie le 20 septembre si vous voulez participer à la visite!

Merci Bien, et à bientôt!

Lindsay Lachance



Lindsay Lachance Signing Off!

The CAG’s Summer Intensive program is approaching its end… which means we have their performance to look forward to! The participants and the mentors have been working bi-weekly over the past ten weeks to conceptualize, theorize and choreograph  a  multi-disciplinary performance event entitled, 600 Campbell! The performance of 600 Campbell will take place on September 10th  2014 from 6-11 pm, at The Russian Hall. 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.

It was a pleasure to have  interdisciplinary artist, Natalie Purschwitz, give an artist talk at our last session. Natalie’s work inspired the group to think about how art, performance and design are used in daily life. Through showing examples of her visual art, wearables and costumes, Natalie shared with us a wealth of knowledge surrounding creation processes, collaborations and performance techniques.

Thanks again for coming Natalie and sharing your experiences with us!


Summer Intensive Performance is Approaching!

This summer I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to intern at the Contemporary Art Gallery as the Communications Assistant. This was my first internship in the industry, so I did not really know what to expect, but it ended up being an incredibly insightful and motivating experience for me.

If you are familiar with the CAG blog, you have likely seen my “From the Archives” series, in which I discussed past exhibitions at the gallery and their relationships to themes of current exhibitions or other current issues in contemporary art. This gave me the chance to research and learn more about emerging and established artists, and was a great chance to use my academic knowledge in a real-world situation. It was pretty awesome to be able to write about an artist who’s work I had seen a few months ago while on exchange in Scotland (Nathan Coley!) on a gallery’s website in Vancouver.

I was excited to use my marketing and communications knowledge to assist with research into the marketing of art institutions and how non-profit galleries can reach a wider audience, especially in Vancouver. It was also eye-opening to be given the chance to attend Brendan Fernandes‘ interim performance and help with the gallery’s Family Day events; seeing and being a part of the processes of the gallery’s programs allowed me to experience what a career in the arts really entails.

I am now back in Montréal to complete my final year as an undergraduate Art History student at McGill University. After my internship this summer, I am looking forward to undertaking independent research concerning issues in contemporary art, something I had never studied heavily before this experience.

I want to thank the staff at the CAG for encouraging my creativity during this internship and giving me an authentic experience at the gallery. I hope to continue to contribute to the gallery in the future and am now even more thrilled to pursue a career in the arts industry!

– Kelli Sturkenboom


Communicating Creativity: My CAG Experience

Last week, I chaired a panel at  The Life and Death of the Arts in Cities after Mega-Events conference co-organized by Simon Fraser University’s Department of English, the University of British Columbia’s Department of Theatre and Film, and the Queen Mary Drama Department, University of London.  The panel was called Art and Activism and I was honoured to have been asked to participate and engage with such an innovative panel and group of conference participants.

The panel consisted of research papers given by Selena Couture, Kirsten Forkert, Heather Sykes and Priya Vadi. The themes of their works focused on questioning the role of Indigenous peoples, lands and culture during the Vancouver, London and Sochi Olympic Games. In their own way, each panelist discussed how the Olympics’ attempts to create a cultural semiotic sign to represent the hosting country- which normally resulted in misappropriating Indigenous knowledges or cultures.  This cartoon image designed for the Vancouver Olympics came up a number of times, click her to see the images:

The international conference generated dialogue about the role of the arts in the production of urban mega-events, with a specific comparative focus on both the positive and negative cultural legacies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (ACME website). The Arts and Activism panel brought together academics, artists, cultural researchers and urban planners in order to re-consider the impact and relevance that Indigenous peoples and lands hold in such large-scale events.

Thank you to the organizers for inviting me to participate and for the panelists for sharing some innovative and thought provoking works!

– Lindsay Lachance


The Life and Death of the Arts in Cities after Mega-Events

After an amazing week of talking, sharing, conceptualizing and relationship building- the Indigenous Acts Gathering has come to an end. On Friday, August 8th we hosted the participants at the Contemporary Art Gallery for a chance to share and exchange experiences, and potential “next steps” from their week together. Vancouver-based curators, directors and artists were invited to listen, share and respond to the topics and themes that surfaced over the week.

It was an opportunity for the participants to meet and hear from those involved in Vancouver galleries and urban/artistic planners from around the city and artistic community at large. Dylan Robinson and Candice Hopkins facilitated an engaging and thought provoking closing discussion that allowed for the participates to engage with each other and begin dialogues with the invited guests.

It was an honour to have been able to participate and work through topics that are owed so much attention. I look forward to seeing all of you again, and to continue to learn from your works and teachings!

– Lindsay Lachance



Indigenous Acts: Art and Activism Proposal Sharing

Words and phrases in the English language can function in many different ways. Certain words have multiple meanings depending on their context, while the context of a certain phrase can completely change how we understand it. Many contemporary artists have turned to the use of language and text in their practice for this reason; they allow the evocation of multivalent messages.

Currently, Stefan Brüggemann’s Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies covers the façade of the CAG. This piece, which has become a popular conversation topic around the city, takes found phrases and places them in a very different context than their origins. Looking at these Hollywood movie quotes and recent news headlines next to each other causes one to think about them in a completely new way. Their large size and bold colours impose them onto the viewer and into the built environment of the city, rather than their traditional positions as mere utterances or words on paper.

A short look back through the CAG archives brought me to another fascinating textual installation. There have been many over the years, including those by Meriç Algün Ringborg, Tim Etchells and Raymond Boisjoly among others. A particular piece by Nathan Coley, however, struck me.

As part of his wide-ranging practice, the Glasgow artist takes found phrases, enlarges, illuminates and erects them on scaffolding in specific locations. When I encountered his piece There Will Be No Miracles Here (2006) earlier this year in Edinburgh, Scotland, I was taken aback. Placed outside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which holds many things that I personally consider “miraculous,” I was both offended and intrigued by this statement. At the time I was not familiar with his work, as I assume is the case with many people who stumble upon his pieces that are placed in public space.

Part of his CAG exhibition in 2012, Coley’s installation in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver featured the phrase We Must Cultivate Our Garden (2006), perched atop the roof of the Pennsylvania Hotel. This line, taken from Voltaire’s Candide, took on a new role in this context. The built environment used by Coley was altered by the introduction of this sculpture into the architecture of the neighbourhood. Similarly, the meaning of the phrase itself changed; many are aware of the ongoing and various issues in the Downtown East Side community, and this sculpture addressed the need to fix these in an almost forceful manner.

Nathan Coley’s outstanding monograph spanning the last 10 years, A Place Beyond Belief, can be purchased in the CAG book shop. Make sure you visit Bruggemann’s installation before it comes down on September 7th, and check out his publication in our book shop as well. Our summer book sale is happening now in the CAG book shop and online; use the coupon code CAGSUMMER on check out for a special discount of 40%!

– Kelli Sturkenboom


From the Archives | Text in Context

As someone who was born in the early 90’s and grew up as a teenager in the 2000’s, at times I forget what it was like before the age of the computer. While going through the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Auction archives dating back to 1989, it is fascinating to examine all the hand written documents, check lists and auction data transcribed on paper, instead of entered into Excel, Microsoft Word, or Raiser’s Edge.

It is amazing and a privilege to see how much the CAG and the Gala & Auction event has progressed over 25 years. I feel as if I am witnessing and contributing to its overall history and cultural significance – all the artists that have shaped the Vancouver arts scene, who have generously donated work to support a non-profit organization; an institution that strives to give back to the local, national, and international community, both arts and non-arts related.

It is intriguing to think of the initial Gala and Auction at Sophie’s Cosmic Café featuring works of artists who were both emerging and established at that time, and who have continued to significantly contribute to the art world in their own way. There were quite a few names that resurfaced over the 25 year span, as well as iconic names that represent historical transitions in the art world – such as artists of the 60s and 70s, like Mary Kelly and Nam June Paik who both donated work to the CAG’s Auction in 1993.

Nam June Paik was very influential in the art world during the 60s and is arguably considered the founder of video art. Paik and his wife Shigeko Kubota were involved in performance art during the Fluxus/Happening movement in the 60s – a key transition in the art world out of modernism into a postmodern mindset. Mary Kelly’s work is studied for its contribution to the Feminist dialogue that took form in the 70s – her piece, Post-Partum Document (1973-79), challenges the stereotype of pregnancy and what it means to be a mother.

Artists who donated work multiple times that are familiar in the Vancouver context are Landon Mackenzie, Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Marian Penner Bancroft, Ken Lum, and others.

The rich history located in the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Auction archives gives a precursor of what will be presented at the Gala & Auction this year, yet another chapter will unfold adding to the constantly evolving dialogue of the art world.

– Olivia de Fleuriot, Development Assistant


Into the CAG Auction Archives: How It All Began

Continuing our new series of blog posts featuring CAG staff, board members, interns and volunteers writing book recommendations selecting from the CAG’s thirty year history of publishing, Kelli Sturkenboom, CAG Communications intern, picks her two most favourite CAG publications:

Shannon Oksanen
Exhibition: Nov 21, 2008 to Jan 18, 2009
$25, sale price $15 + tax

This compact CAG publication gives a look into Shannon Oksanen’s work. CAG Curator, Jenifer Papararo writes a charming and engaging essay for Summerland. Although part of the exhibition was a film installation, the way this book is laid out gives the reader a very clear idea of how the exhibition looked, and would have been experienced. The overall theme of nostalgia coupled with the colour palette of Oksanen’s paintings and video work makes this a joy to flip through.

An Invitation to An Infiltration
Contemporary Art Gallery
Exhibition dates: January 21 – February 28, 2010
$30, sale price $18 + tax

This publication is an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at the issues and controversies underlying the exhibition process by including content like e-mails between curators, artists, and donors. The exhibition was part of the Cultural Olympiad Vancouver 2010 and co-presented by VANOC, which had huge implications for its meaning and makes this book a must-read to find out more. I also love how the cover and half-title pages were cut from the wallpaper and posters that were actually displayed in the exhibition; purchasing the publication is like purchasing a piece from the show.


Both titles can be purchased in the CAG book shop or online, with the special summer discount of 40%, use the coupon code CAGSUMMER on check out. Summerland: Purchase here. An Invitation to An Infiltration: Purchase here.



Kelli Sturkenboom recommends…top two CAG books!

CAG Curator Jenifer Papararo joins our series of CAG book recommendations with a short review of the popular 2004 publication SUPERNATURAL.

SUPERNATURAL: Neil Campbell & Beau Dick
Curated by Roy Arden
Exhibition: March 12 to April 25, 2004

When I began working at the CAG in late 2004 this exhibition catalogue was well under production, in its final stages of proofing and colour correction. Unfortunately, I missed the exhibition SUPERNATURAL curated by Roy Arden, but feel the catalogue captures the radical and reflective drive behind pairing the wall and collage work of abstract painter Neil Campbell next to the masks of master carver Beau Dick.

The slim hardcover book which respectively features an image of each artist’s work on the front and back covers, immediately sets a formal opposition between the two artists practices: Campbell’s as a cool white and Dick’s bathed in dramatic black. The numerous installation shots throughout the publication establishes this divide, showing Campbell’s work presented in the typical starkness of a white cube while Dick’s work is suspended in darkness.

The aligning of these two artists is mysterious, but also seems to make perfect sense. Arden states, “Supernatural aims … to entertain the similarities of intention, means, and effect in their work without losing sight of their significant differences.”


SUPERNATURAL can be purchased, with a special discount of 40% during August, either online (click on the titles above – on check out use the coupon code CAGSUMMER) or in person at the CAG bookshop.


Jenifer Papararo recommends…SUPERNATURAL

Kicking off our new series of blog posts featuring CAG staff, board members, interns and volunteers writing book recommendations selecting from the CAG’s thirty year history of publishing, Jaclyn Bruneau, CAG Visitor Assistant,  picks one of her favourite CAG publications from back in the late 1990’s: French Kiss.


French Kiss
Ghada Amer, Jean-Sylvain Bieth, Bernard Lallemand, Dany Leriche & Patrick Reynaud
Exhibition: December 13, 1997 – January 31, 1998

This exhibition presented works by five French artists around nuanced notions of sex and sexuality. Far from the tedium of ready-made erotica, these works extend into realms of psychological complexity, esotericism and France’s rich philosophical history of desire. French Kiss is soft to the touch, the colours saturated, and the images immense.


French Kiss can be purchased in the CAG book shop or online, with the special Summer discount of 40%, use the coupon code CAGSUMMER on check out. Purchase here.



Jaclyn Bruneau recommends…French Kiss

Continuing our Summer series of book recommendations from CAG staff, volunteers, interns and board members, CAG Director Nigel Prince highlights  three publications from the CAG’s thirty year publishing history:


Some Detached Houses
Robin Collyer, Todd A Davis, Dan Graham, Amy Jones, Bill Jones, Robert Linsley, Warren Murfitt, Margaret Naylor, Ed Ruscha, Nancy Shaw, Greg Snider
Contemporary Art Gallery
March 29 – April 1989

This was a crucial exhibition and publication linking West and East Coast conceptual practices, including a number of key artists. The photograph on the cover is an aerial view of the Eastside of Vancouver circa 1960. Included in the exhibition were Dan Graham’s New Balloon Houses, Surrey made in the then suburb of Vancouver. It was one of the first CAG publications I purchased on my initial visit to Vancouver in 2000.


Ron Terada
Contemporary Art Gallery
November 14, 2003 – January 4, 2004

Terada often uses the things normally thought of as ancillary to art itself as raw material for exhibitions, for example, by employing promotional and didactic material as the objects for display. Catalogue took the form of an exhibition publication but highlighted the patronage of those who collaborated with the artist in support of the show by their logos becoming the actual artwork on display on the gallery walls. The book itself becomes the exhibition representing everything that it encompasses.


For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons sur la Société Industrielle
Christopher Williams
Contemporary Art Gallery
January 14 – March 6, 2005

A key exhibition for the Contemporary Art Gallery and the artist, Christopher Williams’ work grows out of the history of conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, which used language and photography to address issues related to painting and sculpture. The publication, beautifully designed and conceptually rigorous with the exhibition, was curated by Claudia Beck, an individual who along with husband Andrew Gruft has made a significant contribution to Vancouver’s artistic scene.



All three of these publications can be purchased, with a special discount of 40% during August, either online (click on the titles above – on check out use the coupon code CAGSUMMER) or in person at the CAG bookshop.


Nigel Prince recommends…three CAG publications

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 Lachance


Indigenous Acts: Art and Public Space Gathering

The Contemporary Art Gallery is hosting Australian artist Keg de Souza as an up-coming Burrard Civic Marina Artist in Residence in 2015.

I have been lucky enough to spend the last few days with Keg as she begins to conceptualize her upcoming residency. Keg’s most recent works explore ideas surrounding space, place and food. These themes appear to be forming around her residency here in Vancouver. Keg has visited community centre’s and women shelters in the Downtown East Side, UBC Farms, MOA and places in-between to reflect on the use of local foods and spatial politics.

We have also learned that Keg is an amazing vegan and dairy-free cook… so we’re counting on taste testing some of her own recipes!

Check out more about Keg and her work on her blog here and stay posted to find out more about her upcoming residency.

– Lindsay Lachance


Mapping Food in Vancouver with Keg de Souza

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 Lachance


Conceptualizing and Authorship with Brendan Fernandes and Justine Chambers

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 intern


From the Archives | Art-Making & Artistic Process

That’s me with a little bit of a smirk bidding last year at the annual Contemporary Art Gallery auction.

I’m pretty sure that smirk was a paddle-lifting induced buzz. It’s a natural high — nerve wracking, exhilarating, nauseating, and exciting, all at once, especially when there’s something that really speaks to you. Auctions are fun, and hopefully you’ll join us November 8th for our next one.

If you follow the CAG on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see there’s all kinds of ways – most of them free! – you can come experience the exhilaration of art. Hanging out with art is a gift, and I’m proud to be able to be a service to the CAG and in some small way help ensure this institution can continue to provide that opportunity to everyone.

It’s meant a lot to my life. Contemporary art has so much to tell us about the world, about our experiences, and how we relate to each other. The wonders of the world and the magic of our complicated relationships to each other and to the current moment.

I can see or experience something that gives me that “a ha” feeling. Where the artist is able to evoke something that maybe has crossed my often too busy brain, but that I was unable to express or quantify. An elegant representation of a feeling or a sense that I wasn’t sure I had. I’ve caught myself at times in galleries silently nodding as this thing that was on the tip of my tongue is represented to me, and there’s a kind of feeling of relief that goes with that. It’s magical to me in those moments.

Almost, dare I say, a place where I experience spirituality – my connection to the bigger we.

Sometimes it might take me to a place of sadness. Social anxiety; human suffering; the loss of love; the struggle with sorrow. Sometimes it’s joyous, or funny. Outrageously ridiculous, or ridiculously outrageous….those moments are the best! I’ve even at times been disgusted by pieces of contemporary art where I’ve walked in and turned around moments later.

But it’s all good as the saying goes…it all matters, it all sticks and swirls around inside and makes some sense of the sometimes chaotic world we live in and that lives in us. It is all worth it for the sense it provides that we are not alone in the universe. That the infinite uniqueness of our experiences can be represented and shared and we have places like the CAG where we can gather to experience, discuss, and celebrate them.

It’s pretty great.

Please keep in touch, and I hope to see you soon at a CAG event.


Marcella Munro became President of the Board of the Contemporary Art Gallery on June 19, 2014.


Marcella Munro, Art is a Gift

Looking back on past CAG exhibitions, a particular performative piece caught my eye; one that seemed to involve a simple, wooden chair. Max Dean’s 2008 exhibition Robotic Chair took a familiar household object and transformed it into a shocking and thought-provoking piece. With the help of robotic technology, the chair would move, fall apart—and then pull itself back together.

It is exciting how technological developments have allowed artists to create pieces that express ideas in completely new ways. The great thing about this exhibition, for me, was the fact that the meaning behind this piece was left for the spectator to contemplate. A common theme drawn from it was the idea of hope and picking oneself up after a tragedy. However, as the curator suggested, it also pointed to our human attraction to failure.

I couldn’t help but draw a similarity between this exhibition and Kelly Richardson’s current exhibition at the CAG, Legion.  Through the use of technology, Richardson is able to create extraordinary moving images that transform real, photographed landscapes into completely different worlds; Orion Tide (2013) and Leviathan (2011). These images are presented in a way that invites visitors to sit down and become immersed in the landscapes, drawing their own meaning from their personal experience with them.

I have led several friends through this exhibition and all have had completely different responses; some seeing the projections as beautiful and enchanting, and others experiencing an uncomfortable and suspenseful sensation.

Stop by the CAG to encounter Kelly Richardson’s Legion for yourself, and tweet us @CAGVancouver with your thoughts! Also—snag a copy of her publication The Last Frontier, for sale in our bookshop for a special exhibition price of $40.

– Kelly Sturkenboom, Communications intern


From the Archives | Technology & Landscape

This week the CAG’s Summer Dance Intensive Program attended a movement workshop run by Delia Brett and Daelik of MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society. Delia and Daelik led a workshop that taught the participants to collaborate with their instincts and movements and not to rely on verbal forms of communication.

The embodied exercises led the group to think about creation and rehearsal techniques that they can bring forward with them as they begin to conceptualize their final projects. Delia and Daelik’s teachings and exercises were really engaging and allowed for the participants to get to know each other’s practice and methods for creation.

The next workshop will be held by the CAG’s artist in residence Brendan Fernandes and Vancouver-based contemporary dance artist Justine Chambers.


Bodies Moving in Space and Time: Summer Intensive Workshop with Delia Brett and Daelik

Recently Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Brendan Fernandes held a life drawing class at the CAG. The gallery was buzzing with over twenty-five artists and the model, Rachel Meyer, a member of Ballet BC. Fernandes worked with Rachel to create a multitude of poses on various sized plinths that highlighted her feet and encouraged participants to focus on this area.

The drawing tasks varied from 30 seconds to 5 minutes then 20 minutes poses. It was really amazing to see the range of differences in drawing style and form that everyone used to interpret Rachel’s poses. We got great feedback from the participants and we’re hoping to hold more life drawing classes at the CAG in the future.

Check out some of these amazing life drawings above and stay tuned to find out more about Brendan Fernandes residency!

– Lindsay La Chance


Life Drawing with Brendan Fernandes: Seeing the Dancer’s Foot

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




Brendan Fernandes and ‘The Foot Stretcher’

“What if where you are right now is all you need to be?”

This was a question Christopher House repeatedly asked us during his “Dancing in the Now” workshop. The CAG’s Youth Summer Intensive participants and mentors were  lucky enough to participate in a very thought-provoking, educational, and exciting two hour workshop with Toronto based choreographer, Christopher House.  As a part of the 2014 Dancing on the Edge programming, Christopher House performed a piece co-choreographed by Deborah Hay entitled The Body in Question. His final performance was Friday, July 11th 2014- check the Dancing on the Edge website for more schedule and programming information.

The Contemporary Art Gallery launched their Summer Youth Intensive, a ten week course for emerging artists interested in cross-disciplinary movement-based performance last week.  Led by four established artists, the 11 participants are considering the intersections between dance, choreography and visual art, culminating in the creation and production of a new work.  A part of this intensive allows for the participants to attend workshops, artists talks and studio visits, and Christopher House’s workshop was one of them!

House’s workshop encouraged the participants to dance in the “now”, to really focus on the embodied present and not to second guess our actions. In encouraging us to move in the “ways that we see the space around us”, House taught us about giving our bodies agency, timing and to consider the differences between space and place.

After the workshop, House stayed to speak with our group where he answered our questions about his work and regarding our individual practices. He shared methodological and creation process tips that will be useful for the Summer Intensive group as they move into developing their own works!

This group is ambitious, talented and inspiring- I can’t wait to follow their process during this summer intensive!

– Lindsay Lachance


Keeping ‘one eye in’ and ‘one eye out’ at Christopher House’s Dance Workshop

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 Fleuriot


Hello from Olivia de Fleuriot!

A few months ago, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were announced, and several of the eight winners had previously exhibited at the CAG. Jayce Salloum, one of the recipients, is a successful Canadian-born media artist who has lived and worked in a variety of locations in Canada, the US, and elsewhere. Continuing to move around and experience new spaces and environments, his “nomadic practice” significantly informs his work, which raises questions of identity and historical, social, and cultural contexts of place.

I came across untitled in our library archives. This book was co-published by the CAG and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on the occasion of the exhibitions NEUTRAL/BRAKE/STEERING at the latter institution from November 12 to December 24, 1998 and 22 OZ. THUNDERBOLT which was presented here from March 27 to May 8, 1999. These photo-installations by Salloum consisted of an archive of street photography featuring images of storefront displays in what the curators called the “overlooked corners” of the urban environment. The installations drew their names from phrases on various items and signs in these displays.

Salloum’s photographs took otherwise banal scenes and transformed them into an intriguing subjective record of his travels; augmenting their meaning by arranging them in certain ways. He challenged the conventional ordering of photographs in a documentary format; presenting an appropriation of these images which forces the viewer to create their own narrative. Looking through some of his images as they were arranged in the book, I was left wondering whether they were taken in the same locale, whether these stores were even open for business, and if there was any human activity occurring around these scenes.

This idea of ordering and configuring is important in contemporary art; the way in which an artist organizes components or pieces in an installation has implications for how the audience derives meaning from and experiences them. Our current façade installation by Stefan Brüggemann, Headlines and Last Lines in the Movies, exemplifies this as well. The phrases painted here can be interpreted in very distinct ways when contemplated next to each other rather than alone, or next to a different phrase. For me, it is essential to think about the way exhibitions and installations are presented by their artists and curators when we encounter them.

Jayce Salloum was also part of a group exhibition at the CAG in 2010, The Triumphant Carrot: The Persistence of Still Life, which explored the practice of the traditional still life genre in the context of contemporary art. More of his work can be found here.

Check out untitled in the CAG Bookshop to find out more, and keep these ideas in mind when you come to see the current shows at the CAG and elsewhere! Tweet us @CAGVancouver with your thoughts on the exhibitions to join the conversation.

– Kelli Sturkenboom


From the Archives | Jayce Salloum, untitled

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!


William Wasden Jr: City of Vancouver Artist in Residence Performance

As you may have noticed, the CAG is currently closed in preparation for Kelly Richardson’sLegion, exciting new installations which open next Thursday. I have really been looking forward to this one! Flipping through Richardson’s recent publication The Last Frontier, I’ve begun to get an idea of what this exhibition has in store. For her projection and photographic works, Richardson digitally alters her own photographs and video to create environments which raise questions about our relationship with the natural world. As an art history student, I have definitely studied my fair share of landscape-themed pieces, mainly traditional oil paintings from earlier centuries. Looking through past exhibitions and CAG publications, I have found it interesting how this theme of “landscape” has been tackled in other exhibitions here at the CAG in very unique and innovative ways.

In 2000, the CAG published Quick aging pivoting city to accompany artist Eleanor Bond’s exhibition. Bond’s paintings approached a different type of environment; the urban landscape. These large-scale paintings were not meant to represent existing and specific places, rather, they incorporated both actual and imaginary forms. Exploring Vancouver for ten days, the artist took photographs and made videos, and used these as the source to create her own constructed environments on canvas. For me, the knowledge of this process creates uncertainty when looking at these pieces about what is “actual” and what is not.

Cai Guo Qiang’s Performing Chinese Ink Painting was a performance made at the CAG in 2001 involving three different artists, each rendering their own versions of the same site in the same medium. Not only did this bring together the Eastern tradition of ink drawing with the more recent rise of Western performance art, it also posed questions about the “reality” of landscape painting. Although the artists were using the same specific landscape as inspiration, they each constructed their own distinct interpretations. Like Richardson’s installations which feature modified landscapes, the artists used this single landscape as a starting point to create works with augmented and altered meaning.

Sentimental Journey at the CAG in 2009 invited a group of artists from British Columbia to engage with ideas of the personal journey based on eighteenth and nineteenth century Romanticism. In this exhibition, it was not necessarily “landscapes” that were put on view. Instead, the artists went on their own expeditions, gathering information from the spaces they experienced to create their own individual pieces. The resulting works did not necessarily picture the landscapes themselves. While much of the work produced would be seen by many as completely different to the traditional idea of landscape in art history, when you think about it, both these and more conventional styles of landscape painting are based on an artist’s own experience looking at, or journeying through, a specific space.

The CAG’s LANDSCAPE publication examines even more of this subject and is available in our bookshop. Come check out Kelly Richardson’s Legion next week to experience for yourself her awesome and immersive pieces—the opening is on Thursday July 10 from 7-10pm and the exhibition is on until August 31!

– Kelli Sturkenboom


From the Archives | Exploring the Landscapes of the CAG

Wine & cheese boards — engaging critical & theoretical discussions about contemporary art in Vancouver — where do I sign up?!

Night School is a new intensive program  for anyone interested in broadening their understanding of contemporary art. Facilitated by independent curator Lee Plested, participants engage in seminars, studio visits and special events in order to unpack the concepts and thematics of contemporary practice via the history of CAG exhibitions.

Lee Plested is an engaging and charming lecturer who encourages group discussion from those in attendance. At last Thursday night’s seminar Plested introduced works by Stan DouglasRebecca Belmore, Nan Goldin and Stephen Waddell. He clearly articulates the social, political and historical themes particular to each artist. He then initiates critical discourse forming relationships between each. The round table format is very inviting and allows for insightful critical dialogue.

In addition to studio visits and talks, Night School participants will attend exhibition openings and other arts and culture events across the city! This is an amazing initiative that introduces its students to the multiple ways in which conversations regarding the philosophical, aesthetic, socio-political and creation processes of contemporary art can be articulated and received. The CAG is currently planning a second session of Night School in early 2015. This is something you won’t want to miss so stay tuned for more information regarding registration and programming!

– Lindsay Lachance


Night School at the CAG: Teaching us to say what we mean & mean what we say

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


From the Archives | Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City

The Contemporary Art Gallery is excitingly awaiting this year’s National Aboriginal Day events! On June 21st Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across Canada gather to acknowledge and celebrate the histories, knowledges and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Trout Lake National Aboriginal Day Organizing Committee explains:

Setting aside a day for Aboriginal Peoples is part of the wider recognition of Aboriginal Peoples’ important place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. As former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson said, “It is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our respect and admiration for First Nations, for Inuit, for Métis — for the past, the present and the future. ” (NADOC 2014).

This year’s events will take place at various venues across the city including Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive in East Vancouver. Throughout the day there will be a pancake breakfast, a community walk, dance performances, live music, storytelling, and much more! There will also be food and art vendors. At Trout Lake from 2-3pm, the performance of  Songs For Reconciliation will take place. Artist in Residence William Wasden Jr, Community members from Hillcrest, Hastings and Britannia Community Centres, UBC Learning Exchange, Britannia Elementary and Hamber Secondary share and celebrate the learning of Kwakwaka’wakw culture.

William Hiłamas Edward Wasden Jr. is ‘Namgis (Nimpkish Valley and Alert Bay Area) from the Kwakwaka’wakw “Kwakwala Speaking Nations”. William was taught traditional Kwakwaka’wakw artwork by late ‘Namgis Chief / Master Carver Pal’nakwalagalis Wakas Douglas Cranmer and also from Haida Artist Don Yeomans. He was taught singing and the traditions around ceremonial culture by the last Kwakwaka’wakw Song Keeper/Composer/Historian, the late Nakwaxda’xw Chief Hiwakalis Tom Willie “Mackenzie” from Blunden Harbour and his late wife, matriarch ‘Malidi Elsie nee Wamiss from Kingcome Inlet. William credits the survival and strength of present Kwakwaka’wakw culture and ceremonies to the teachings of dedicated Elders such as them (Songs For Reconciliation Online, 2014). William Wasden Jr’s residency in Vancouver is coming to an end, but his work with art and reconciliation continues on through the communities he has worked with.

The celebration of National Aboriginal day allows for all interested to learn, share, and enjoy traditional cultural elements like traditional dialects, song, dance, art, histories and knowledge. It is a day of celebration and community building. I can’t wait for Saturday, and hope that you make it out too!


National Aboriginal Day 2014 Celebration

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!



Rounding up Yaletown at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station for Draw Down

Last week I attended my first artist talk as the CAG’s Learning and Public Program assistant. New York and Toronto- based artist Brendan Fernandes is currently in Vancouver for a two month residency at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House Studio.

While in residence Fernandes will be developing a new solo dance piece, co-mentoring a summer intensive youth dance program, and leading a life drawing class that focuses on the dancer’s foot. On Tuesday, June 10th Fernandes gave an artist talk at the CAG where he led us through the creation, rehearsal, and performance processes of his recent works; The Working Move (2012), Encomium (2011), and Night Shift (2011).

(Find out more about Fernandes’ past and upcoming works on his website at

Brendan’s talk was as charming and insightful as his work, which engages with various disciplines including visual arts, dance, performance and theatre. He explained how his work focuses on corporal and embodied lived experiences—which raises questions about “liveness versus stillness”, “space and audience” and “single action versus relational action”. The focus on the body challenges us to re-examine the aesthetics of his works—how do we react as spectators when the body becomes the object, the subject, the artifact and the archive? Fernandes’ works question how we conceive the space, time and performative codes of bodies moving in gallery and museum spaces. I’m stoked to follow Fernandes’ process this summer and find out how the new projects are shaping up!

– Lindsay Lachance

Click here for: Information regarding his Youth Intensive Dance Workshop

Listen to the artist talk here:


Brendan Fernandes Talks the Talk and Talks About the Dancer’s Walk

My name is Lindsay Lachance, this Summer’s Learning and Public Programs Assistant and I am excited to be working with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs and other staff and volunteers at the CAG. I’ve just completed the first year of my PhD in Theatre and First Nations Studies at the University of British Columbia. I will be contributing to the CAG blog via interviews with artists, reviews, and news on upcoming learning events and residencies. I am really looking forward to participating and helping with the education and community programs that the gallery is organizing this summer, and to engaging with Brendan Fernandes, CAG  Burrard Marina Field House Summer artist-in-residence. Please stay tuned for my updates!


Hello from Lindsay Lachance!

My name is Kelli Sturkenboom and this summer I will be working as the Communications Intern at the Contemporary Art Gallery. I have just completed my third year of study towards a B.A.Hons. in Art History with a minor in Management at McGill University in Montreal. For the past nine months I have been on exchange at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and having returned only two weeks ago, I’m still adjusting to this completely different pace of life (and time zone).

I am really looking forward to gaining hands-on experience at the gallery this summer. I have always been interested in working in a space like this, but until now I have only been given the opportunity to experience similar institutions as a visitor. I am excited to be involved in the production of the gallery’s functions for its enthusiastic guests, as well as contribute to spreading information and creating buzz about the awesome exhibitions, programs and events that the Contemporary Art Gallery puts on for those who may be unfamiliar with it. So far, I have been working on research related to social and online media and how use of certain platforms can benefit the gallery.

Stay tuned to the CAG Blog for updates about my projects throughout the summer.

PS: I can’t wait for the upcoming exhibition at the CAG; Legion by Kelly Richardson which opens on Thursday July 10, 7-10pm. Join me for the opening!


Hello from Kelli!

Brooklyn based artist and Burrard Marina Field House Studio artist-in-residence, Marie Lorenz has arrived back in Vancouver and has got to work right away on building her handmade driftwood boat.

Check out the images above of her progress so far.

The first image is the first step in the process, it is of the frame that the boat will be built on and is a marker or guide for the whole shape of the boat. Lorenz pre-made this frame and shipped it from New York in order to assemble it here. This is the same boat frame that was used to build the boat she rowed at the Frieze Art Fair in NYC in early May (see pictures here and above). The piece of driftwood, that is seen in the photos on top of the frame, will become the bow of the boat – this is first piece of the actual boat – she will be using found driftwood from beaches in the lower mainland to make the rest, stay tuned for more updates on the building process and launch.

For more information on the residency program and Marie Lorenz’s residency click here.

For details on related events click here.

Click here for some  press on the Frieze Art Fair boat rides with Marie Lorenz.


Boat building with Marie Lorenz

We are pleased to welcome back Brooklyn based artist Marie Lorenz at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio for a residency and project titled ‘Driftboat’. Marie will be here until early June building a new vessel as part of her ongoing project Look for updates on this blog of Marie at the Field House Studio, getting to work building her boat from driftwood sourced from the lower mainland. Read more about her residency and the Burrard Marina Field House here.


Marie Lorenz just arrived back in Vancouver!

We are very pleased to welcome Sofia and Eva as Curatorial Interns at the gallery, please read on as they introduce themselves:

Hi, my name is Eva Tweedie, the UBC CCST Curatorial Intern. I am halfway through my first year in the Curatorial and Critical Studies (CCST) program at the University of British Columbia and am looking forward to getting some hands-on gallery experience this summer. So far during my time at the CAG I have been working with artists in our upcoming summer exhibition The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes to prepare for the installation of their works. I have also been doing research on other artists who will be exhibiting here at the CAG later this year, and in 2015.

My name is Sofia Stalner and I am a Curatorial Intern and recent graduate from the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program at the University of British Columbia. I have been working on the collection which helped establish the CAG and is owned by the City of Vancouver, updating the database and registry, as well as receiving artworks from the collection that have been displayed throughout Vancouver, primarily on office walls. I am currently compiling information as research toward a hopeful and necessary move of the collection to a larger storage facility.  Here is a little bit of a background on the unique collection we have:

Established in 1971 as the Greater Vancouver Artist’s Gallery, through federal employment programs for artists, the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) was incorporated as a non-profit charitable society in 1976. From 1971 to 1978, artists were hired for six month periods to produce art for exhibition which was then accessioned into the City of Vancouver Art Collection. The City of Vancouver Art Collection of 3,000 works of art which are circulated in public spaces throughout City buildings and loaned for exhibition to museums and galleries.

– Stay tuned to the CAG blog for updates from Eva and Sofia on their projects and upcoming exhibitions.


A big hello from Sofia and Eva – CAG Curatorial Interns



It is with deep sadness we at the Contemporary Art Gallery learn of the death of Itee Pootoogook. His exhibition here last year proved a highlight of our program, it success seen in the positive reception from critics and visitors alike. We remember him fondly through his work which lives on.

The CAG exhibited Itee Pootoogook in 2013 with the solo exhibition Buildings and Land and an off-site commission Sky At Night  at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line. A selection of images from the exhibitions are seen above.
“His drawings of vernacular architecture in the North are daring in their simplicity, and his portraits of everyday activities, such as watching TV and fixing skidoos, are similarly unsettling in their apparent modesty and their claims about the sources and nature of Inuit art.”

– Lisa Gregoire, Nunatsiaq online


Remembering Itee Pootoogook

Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

For the first two Tuesday night events, BCL are inviting participants to contemplate and define the use of flags in the urban setting, with the  aim of highlighting a range of curious and challenging ideas that inform the ways we experience, imagine and historicize the city of Vancouver.

During the evening on Tuesday March 18, a series of 12 questions were asked  to the attendees. Questions included conceptions of Vancouver as a place and an how individuals engage with politics. It was very interesting to talk about how we perceive the city in positives or negatives and to share with strangers our political thoughts. The evening finished with a game of ‘spin the bottle’ with participants answering the questions one on one with each other and with Broken City Lab members, Hiba and Justin. Above are a selection of images taken by Caitlin Carr from the evening.


Tuesday April 1, 7-8.30pm
Projecting Forward

This Tuesday’s, Flagged For Review gathering with Broken City Lab will imagine what the future holds for the city of Vancouver, with a series of short declarations created and projected onto the Burrard Bridge. These declarations will be our hopes, doubts and dreams for the future of Vancouver.

Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver.

For this residency we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Creative Communities Award.


Flagged For Review with Broken City Lab – Tue April 1

You are invited to visit the brand new CAG Bookshop!

The CAG Book Shop is launching this Saturday (1.30pm-2.30pm) with the first book launch and signing in the newly renovated space:
DAS ARCHIVE / THE ARCHIVE by Jürgen Partenheimer

The transformation is complete, with a new look, new shelving and increased space for many many more titles. Visitors can now browse and purchase publications from over 80 titles from our 30 year publishing history.

The bookshop features the CAG’s exhibition catalogues and artist’s book works from as far back as 1986, the shop is a great resource for anyone wanting to get a better idea of the CAG’s exhibition history including notable and pivotial publications by Stan Douglas, Christopher Williams, Damian Moppett, Hans-Peter Feldman and Frances Stark.

We are also proud to present new CAG publications on Erin Shirreff, Mungo Thomson, Nathan Coley and Jürgen Partenheimer, all available for sale in the shop.

We also carry additional publications on artists exhibited at the gallery with select books on Nancy Holt, James Welling, Mike Nelson, and Kay Rosen to name a few.

In addition to buying books and catalogues, visitors can also find information on upcoming talks and events and use the space to sit down and leaf through information binders on our exhibitions and projects, currently Kevin Schmidt, Marian Penner Bancroft, Tim Etchells and Broken City Lab.

Please visit the shop section of our website for detailed information on all our publications. Click here for the CAG online SHOP.


New CAG Book Shop: Come see the new look!

On Thursday, December 12th, the Point Grey Secondary grade twelve, Art Careers class visited the Contemporary Art Gallery for a full day workshop. 

They spent the day exploring James Welling’s exhibition The Mind On Fire with a focus on studying curatorial practice and conceptual art practices.  As part of the investigation they undertook an experiential response to Welling’s working methods, by conducting a photo-shoot in which students were asked to explore in-camera abstraction techniques. They spent their lunch hours creating images while exploring downtown Vancouver. 

The students were interested in questioning our assumptions of perception and the photographic image, as well as how the inherent ambiguity affected the reading of an image. The students met afterward to discuss and edit the images and categorize them based on the abstraction technique or subject matter of the photographs.  In effect the students curated an exhibition of photography, taking a cue from Welling in grouping images based on intended effect.

The CAG is excited to present a selection images of their work, see above for a slide show. A big thank you to the whole Point Grey HS  Art Careers class and the artists we are presenting here: Kiel Torres, Catherine Wang, Cosette Bote, Aly Slobadov, Nancy Tseng, Forever Young, Kevin McAllum. They’ve posted more images on their Point Grey Art Blog.

The CAG welcome groups of all ages and levels for free guided visits. We also produce guided visits with art-making responses to the exhibitions on display.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

– Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs


Brains ‘A’ flame: Point Grey High School’s response to James Welling’s “Mind on Fire”

Marie Lorenz arrived in Vancouver on December 4th 2013 and stayed for a week. It was only her second trip to Vancouver in her life. On Wednesday  December 5th 2013, Marie, Shaun and I jumped in the CAG van and went scouting around town for places where old, discarded materials—both natural and man-made—tend to accumulate. Why?

Marie will be moving into the CAG’s Burrard Marina Field House in May 2014, after the Winter semester as an artist in residence at the Marina Field House. She’s been an associate professor at Yale University for the past four years in the Painting and Drawing Department, but the project she’ll bring to life with us here in Spring 2014 is more sculptural in nature. For her ongoing project Tide and Current Taxi Marie Lorenz builds boats, by hand, in different cities and takes people for rides, one or two at a time. This is the first time she’ll be using found materials to construct a watercraft.

The British artist Mike Nelson who recently exhibited here leaked to us a couple prime spots to find odds and ends. But the hunt has hardly begun! When she returns in May 2014, there will be lots more exploration to report. Stay tuned.

To learn more about this project and more of Marie’s work, visit her site Tide and Current Taxi.

Marie Lorenz will become part of the artist-in-residence program at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. 

– Jaclyn (more of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here)


Marie Lorenz paid us a brief visit in Vancouver, but she’ll be back!

Hi everyone, my name is Sojin. I’m a recent Visual Arts graduate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD). During my studies at ECUAD I began to develop my interest in curatorial practice. I’m particularly interested in the idea of space both in its physical and metaphysical (re)presentation. Creating unity out of fractured pieces and coming up with a narrative of my own is what I enjoy the most about curating. Besides my curatorial interest, I also paint and sculpt! For the past two years, I’ve worked with Vancouver’s experimental galleries and artist run centres to study how galleries function. For this year I’ll be working at the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) as Program Assistant, assisting the CAG team with the highly anticipated public programs and further learning about galleries in depth.

My first week of work was action-packed. For the first couple of days, I studied the two current exhibitions—Aurélien Froment Fröbel Fröbeled and Tim Etchells Who Knows. I had an opportunity to glimpse at how the exhibitions are organized from scratch by being involved in the process, you will be surprised to know the amount of time and effort it takes to actualize an exhibition. In the last few days of the week I helped staff and volunteers with the packing of Mungo Thomson and Erin Shirreff publications for them to be shipped to the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, which the CAG is participating in.

There always is a bitter emptiness when art works are taken down from gallery walls. The spatial emptiness was particularly evident in the de-install of James Welling’s show since the exhibition itself was quite bodily in its presentation. As you can see from the pictures above, Welling’s works were packed up into crates, leaving only the skeletal structure of the walls that once embodied the energetic volume and rhythm of the corpus. The memory lingered on me for a while.

In no time at all the new crates arrived, walls were painted white, but more importantly, the artist Aurélien Froment arrived. During the conversation I had with Nigel Prince, the Director of the CAG, I was able to imagine the new exhibitions viscerally. For Fröbel Fröbeled, the gallery is divided into two different spaces, one for adults and the other for children; Fröbel’s Gifts will also be displayed on plinths for public interaction. Fröbel, a founder of kindergarten and an inventor of the Play Gifts, will be introduced with photographs. When you come see the show, it is important to understand that these Gifts are not just cylinders, spheres, square blocks and strings, but are creative tools to (re)imagine oneself in relation to the Universe or to something much more expansive. Meanwhile, the building’s façade features a new neon commission by British artist Tim Etchells. The façade is set up with twenty-two phrases of single line block neon letters stating ‘I KNOW, ‘YOU KNOW’, ‘WE KNOW’, ‘THEY KNOW’. The short sinister statements along with vibrant neon colours makes it seem like you are standing in front of someone who is looking deep inside you. Full of character and attitude, Etchell’s neon works bring out an eerie but comical atmosphere to the neighborhood. The display sparks with theatricality in the text with the very act of reading and further investigates the idea of surveillance with humor and wit. The works of both Aurélien Froment and Tim Etchells suggest new ways of understanding identity formation through various interactive approaches.

For this partnership with PuSh International Performing Art Festival, Etchell’s Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend to Lose First and The Quiet Volume was also available for public viewing.

I am thrilled to work on these multi-faceted exhibitions, exciting off-site programs and performances. I am sure that the dialogue they create with the public will disseminate well beyond the walls of the gallery.

I look forward to meeting you all!



First week on the job!

Upcoming Burrard Marina Field House residents Broken City Lab (BCL) are hosting Homework II: Long Forms, Short Utopias Conference this weekend (November 8th – 10th, 2013) in Windsor, Ontario. This three-day conference and collaboratively-written publication aims to unfold the ways in which we construct, articulate, and practice ideas of micro-utopias, pop-up ideals, collaboration, and long-term social engagement.

Lucky for us, they’re also making it available via live stream. Check out their website to tap into the unfolding dialogue.

You can also jump into the conversation by using the hashtag #hmwrk2.

After the conference the live stream videos will be archived online and they will be compiling the publication from interviews conducted with the conference attendees.

The Contemporary Art Gallery will be hosting Broken City Lab’s residence from January to April 2014 at the Burrard Marina Field House. BCL will be using the studio to begin work on new Vancouver-based projects.

A bio on BCL:

Broken City Lab is an artist-led interdisciplinary collective and non-profit organization working to explore and unfold curiosities around locality, infrastructures, education, and creative practice leading towards civic change. Thier projects and research have been featured in Fuse Magazine, Public Journal, C Magazine, Creative Time’s Social Practice Archive, Next American City, Alternatives, GOOD, the National Post, the Toronto Star, NPR (WDET, NPHR), CBC Radio One, CBC television, Le Téléjournal, Wooster Collective, PSFK, the Huffington Post, Tree Hugger, and the Atlantic Cities; presented and exhibited across North America including the Art Gallery of Windsor, TRUCK Gallery, Forest City Gallery, Propeller Centre, Open Engagement, Hamilton Artists Inc., the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, Eyelevel Gallery, White Water Gallery, Eastern Edge, Nuit Blanche, and CAFKA; and have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council’s Multidisciplinary Arts, Integrated Arts, Artists in the Community/Workplace, and Media Arts programmes, the City of Windsor, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Broken City Lab’s work recently appeared in the 13th International Venice Biennial of Architecture as part of the Grounds for Detroit exhibit and the collective was long-listed for the 2012 Sobey Art Award.



Stream Broken City Lab’s Homework Conference LIVE this weekend

On Monday, October 7th we attended a potluck get-together for everyone involved in the City of Vancouver’s Field House Residence Program at Roundhouse Community Centre. There were heaping plates of kale, rice, beans and hummus, mini glasses of wine, and three hours worth of interesting presentations about what each group of artists are doing to make the most of their unique locations.

One of my favourites was the Loco Moto Art Collective, located in the Aberthau Mansion at West Point Grey Community Centre. Spearheaded by Laura Lee Coles but including around 20 others, the group works  broadly in the realm of digital media, eco-aesthetics, and the relationships between humans, technology and nature. They are the newest Field House to have set-up shop, and they’ve already hosted a few events indoors and outdoors. They seem to have lots of wild and wonderful things coming up for the new year. They’ll be launching a new exhibition called No Memes No at Hot Art Wet City at 2206 Main Street on the spookiest day of the year–October 31st.

Another group that piqued my interest was Cloudscape Comics. They’re located at 5955 Ross Street inside the Memorial Park South Field House. The 30 of them approach the production of comics from different backgrounds, which makes their oeuvre very dynamic. There’s something for everyone and they release an anthology of comics every year. They recently posted a call-out for submissions with Sci-Fi/Fantasy comics with queer characters and themes. They offer a free drop-in comic jam every Wednesday starting at 7:30pm at their Field House.

And these are only a few examples of the 50 artists who are enlivening 13 spaces in parks around the city. It was awesome to hear about the ways that other artists are negotiating the best use of their spaces, and it’ll be great to keep an eye on all these projects that are largely community oriented and site specific.

– Jaclyn


Field House Meet-up Day

The Vancouver Art/Book Fair occurred this month on Oct 5/6, 2013, drawing crowds of varying age groups from the curious to the connoisseur. Exhibitors occupied various rooms, on three different floors, within the annex area at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Exhibitors had on display zines, magazines, books about art, artist books and ephemera were on display to peruse, discuss and purchase.

Exhibitors were local, national and international in scope. Grassroots organizations; distributors and publishers; established galleries; and more set up displays to sell limited editions and/or mass produced publications. I noticed a selection of the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) publications gracing the tables of various exhibitors. The subtle salesmanship from seasoned exhibitors (with stacks of their select publications) took place alongside earnest first time exhibitors launching singular publication.

Also taking place were Fair programmed talks and workshops where publishers, galleries and artists spoke about their publishing practices and experiences. Workshops about artist books occurred, with artists and publishers outlining their processes from the initial concept to publishing options.

Artist books seemed prevalent at the fair. For those unfamiliar with the concept of an artist books, I will explain some features to differentiate this form of publication from other art books. I would describe an artist book as an artwork that is primarily conceived of and/or produced by an artist. They can be handmade (from concept to content) or produced by the artist(s) and processed as a limited edition through a printer and/or publisher. In recent months, I’ve encountered artist books at CAG exhibitions by artists such as Ciprian Muresan, Kay Rosen and currently Mike Nelson. Additionally, I’ve had the pleasure of cataloging various artist books, while volunteering at the CAG working in the Abraham Rogatnick Library collection. These art objects can have a tangible permanence in an individual’s life or literary collection beyond an exhibition time frame. By this I mean that limited editions of artist books might circulate as an art object within a collection (public or private) and be handled and seen by a wider audience, than for example, an artist’s painting or installation.

Moreover, artist books have been described as leading to new outlets of development or avenues of production for the artist(s). The work developed in an artist book might be the starting point of a project that is transformed or developed into other means of production and so forth. For example, I sat in on a presentation by a small publishing house, La Silueta Ediciones, based in Bogata, Columbia. The speaker stated that their mandate was to “publish books that [they] believe should exist.” He described how one of the artist books they produced gave rise to its development into an awards winning animated film. Here we saw a book with personal, community and political undertones depicted with the artwork engaging with individual and groups. Other artist books have been seen to have impact in terms of addressing political issues, fostering advocacy work, and more.

Artist books seem to be a sort of bridge to exhibition spaces for both producer and viewer. And according to some exhibitors producers of such work have been finding a surprisingly successful production return. Not only in terms of a viable revenue stream, but also for drawing interest that are non-arts based. One exhibitor described the art world as a “somewhat incestuous group,” but that they have seen interest for artist book from a following that was not the usual arts based suspects. Artist books are garnering interest from a diverse spectrum of the population; individuals from all walks of life and varying interests are engaging with art in their everyday lives in unexpected forms and places. Could this be the humanist perspective at work? The belief that art plays an important part in an individual’s life.

Even so, any art publications and their life beyond or instead of an exhibition, raises questions about the effects on the individual seeing original art work versus reproductions within alternative formats. This is a topic that was raised during Erin Shirreff’s recent exhibition at the CAG with respect to her engagement with the sculptures of Tony Smith in texts versus in person. Does prior knowledge about an artwork alter ones perception, in the reading or researching of work prior to seeing the work itself? I’ve been challenged by this conundrum when researching artists and artwork. Often the only means of viewing work is in some from of reproduction removed form the original form. For me it has been a question about the impact of art work and the journey one takes in engaging with artwork. I consider the possibilities of what might be overridden or misdirected in an initial processing of an artwork due to the filters of others critiques echoing through my own thoughts. However this is a larger discussion this is perhaps best saved for another time or place.

– Jocelyn Statia, CAG library volunteer



Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2013

The rain stopped briefly today to allow for the installation of the very colourful Negative Space by Mungo Thomson, part of CAPTURE Photography Festival which launches tomorrow, Tuesday Oct 1 at the Museum of Vancouver.

Take a look, at some ‘sneak peak’ pics from the installation this afternoon at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line, or… if you are travelling on the Canada Line, get off at the Yaletown-Roundhouse station and take a look for yourself!


Installing Rainbows and Negative Space, Mungo Thomson in Yaletown

Today at the Burrard Marina Field House! (Saturday September 28th at 4 pm)

Nathan Crompton co-editor of The Mainlander will be speaking  about the history of the land where Vanier Park and Burrard Marina Field House are located, previously the Kitsilano Reserve (Crompton co-wrote an article about the reserve here).   This year marks 100 years since the dispossession of the Kitsilano Reserve, a year the city of Vancouver has also declared  the Year of Reconciliation .

Our Field House Intern (Jaclyn Bruneau) interviewed Crompton about the article and his upcoming talk this past week. Here is an excerpt where Crompton draws out the analogus connection between the history of the dispossessed land and current situations in the city. We will be posting the rest of the interview in the coming days.

Jaclyn Bruneau: Your article in The Mainlander draws attention to the linkage between the kinds of aggressive colonialist displacement and dispossession that took place 100 years ago in 1913, and the accelerating gentrification happening in Gastown, the DTES, and extending as far as Grandview-Woodlands. What kinds of excuses or justifications are people making for these new developments that render such a seemingly obvious linkage invisible? You cite a The Province editorial is titled, “The sooner the Downtown Eastside is cleaned up the better” which touches on this.

Nathan Crompton: I think that “cleaned up” is a telling choice of words in this case. What the editors of the Province want today is what they have always wanted as they lean in on the benefits of a capitalist, colonial society while disavowing the consequences of displacement, exclusion, endemic unemployment in the cities, etc. Our article tries to draw on old Province editorials. There is a 1903 editorial calling for the displacement of the Kits reserve, which describes the First Nations settlement in familiar terms, as an “eyesore” that should be removed because it does not maximize the financial value of the land.

It is important to read those old articles, because despite the passage of time they resonate with our troubled present. What the Province wants to “clean up” is of course the same communities that have been resisting and surviving since the beginning of colonial settlement. This is why the proposed cleaning is so deeply political and social. The cleansing of Vancouver’s low-income neighborhoods is a social cleansing, and we need to look beyond the realm of ideology and discourse to identify the process. The “proposals” being put forward by the Province already being acted upon by the real-estate developers and the police, so we have the white press, the State and capital, each forming their own part of the eternal recurrence of colonialism.

Be sure not to miss Nathan’s talk today at 4pm at the Burrard Marina Field House.

Nathan was invited to speak by our current CAG Field House at Burrard Marina artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


Interview with Nathan Crompton (Part 1)

Nathan Crompton gave a lecture and discussion at the Burrard Marina Field House on Saturday, September 28th. We asked him a few questions in preparation for the event, and are now bringing you the second half of the session (the first part can be found here). We’re grateful for the insight and perspective that Nathan brings to this crucial and ever-timely subject matter and look forward to further expanding this dialogue with him and the community.

JB: For people who may not understand the complexity of the power relations embedded in gentrification and may therefore see neighbourhood improvement as simply that, how would you explain to them that the “polishing up” comes at a high cost to a basic, and long-compromised human right—especially for the (large) indigenous population of the area?

NC: That’s a difficult question. I might only be able to point to a contradiction. Currently our neoliberal cities are crumbling before our eyes, with the massive de-funding of basic services both in terms of the human and architectural infrastructure. I’m talking about an entire generation of infrastructure left behind by the welfare state, whether it’s Simon Fraser University, Heather Place or Little Mountain – they’re all in shambles as the war on the poor and working class intensifies. Social democracy, with all of its flaws and compromises – particularly its framework of patriarchal white supremacy – has now been replaced by neoliberalism.

Neoliberal urbanism states that improvements to the city can only be supported if they are funded privately, first by private capital and secondly by the retroactive bonuses, tax cuts and fee exemptions created by the municipal colonial state. Since being elected, Vision Vancouver has taken this model to its highest possible level, setting in motion an entire bureaucracy whose sole purpose is to move social funds upwards, particularly (but not exclusively) for the monopoly developers who fund the political apparatus. So the axiom of our generation is revitalization and improvements, yes, but the precondition is that these improvements only for those who can afford it, under the guise of urban revitalization. It is therefore hard today to discuss urban improvements in an abstract way, detached from class and colonialism. Who is benefitting from revitalization, who is losing out? Does it always have to be the propertied class who determine what is the “highest and best use”? Real-estate knows how to follow through on a process of colonization to gain returns on value, but can we respond with a new affirmation of value, independent from capitalist accumulation and the displacement of our communities? Those are some of the questions we’ve been asking.

JB: The pro-development side seems to argue that gentrification is justified by the fact that the residents in the DTES of today are not in a position to pay the requisite costs to live in a neighbourhood whose real estate potential is exorbitant. What they fail to realize is that the neighbourhood functions as a community and refuge for people who have largely been displaced and dispossessed previously—in some cases several times, by the same system that is trying to again remove them. How can we conceive of a way to bridge this gap between seeing a neighbourhood as dollar signs and seeing a neighbourhood as inhabited by a vulnerable population with a strong existing community?

NC: The events of Reconciliation are coming to a close here in Vancouver. Yesterday Vancouver City Council also apologized to the Japanese community for its motion in 1942 supporting the expulsion and internment of Japanese Canadians during the war. Now is a good time to ask, reflectively, if we want to continue repeating the mistakes of the past. Grace Eiko Thomson told city council that apologies and reconciliation mean nothing in the context of accelerating displacement and dispossession.

“For me, an apology is not enough unless it is followed up. Not for us, it’s too late for us. Most of us are gone. Most of us who experienced the internment are gone. It is so important we remember that what happened to us can happen to others. That is why I raise the Downtown Eastside because that is where we used to live. That is where we were displaced from. And the original people were the Coast Salish first nations who were originally displaced.

She continued: “For me, I really feel we have to be vigilant about other people who are still living in this area at the moment who are still socially and economically being excluded, particularly with this big talk about gentrification. The developers are moving in, the price of land is going up. So what does this mean for the people that are living there? Does that mean they are going to be displaced again? I hope not. This is the most important thing to me right now, that this doesn’t happen to another group of people. This is a unique community with a unique history and there are still people living here who may be displaced depending on how the city decided to act on this area…”

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


Nathan Crompton Interview (Part 2 of 2)

Fresh in town from originally Windsor, via Montreal, Justin Langlois gave a talk at the Burrard Marina Field House about his ideas and his work on Saturday, August 17th. He brought with him a pamphlet of thought-provoking slices of his personal and artistic philosophy, which he flipped through over the duration of the talk as a prompt for further musings and discussion. He’s happy to share it with us in the images above, along with a video he made titled ‘Windsor is Forever’.


Limits & Possibilities: A Pamphlet on Gestures of Art, Education & Civic Life – by Justin Langlois

I think we should all be restless in where we are — not towards accumulation, but towards an urgency in wanting to better understand the world around us.”
— Justin Langlois

Justin Langlois has recently moved to Vancouver from Windsor, Ontario. He’ll be joining the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art & Design this Fall, and the CAG invited him to speak about his practice at the Burrard Marina Fieldhouse on Saturday, August 17th. He is co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, an “artist-led interdisciplinary creative research collective and non-profit organization working to explore and unfold curiosities around locality, infrastructures, and creative practice leading towards civic change,” and he had lots to share about his background, but more so, his present and future.

He has developed his own brand of social rehabilitation in post-Fordist Windsor—a place which he believes is useful to think about in terms of potential opportunities, rather than as plagued by crisis. For Langlois, his entry into art was not one rooted in a studio practice, but instead in artistic efforts that mobilize several artists and ideas—like organizing rock shows, or producing a 200-copy newspaper. It seems inevitable that his small-town upbringing can be cited as an enabler for his enlightened sense of engagement and facilitation.

He touched on some key areas of the organization’s operational pedagogy and flipped through a small pamphlet (click here to view the pamphlet), sharing each page one-by-one. Each page expressed a carefully crafted opinion or idea that followed suit with its title, Limits and Possibilities: A Pamphlet on Gestures of Art, Education & Civic Life—a title originating from Langlois’ belief that it is easier to begin acting and creating within a defined area, instead of trying to wrangle with infinity. He talked about the necessity to re-think the words and terms that we have come to establish meanings for which are insufficient; things like social change, engagement, public participation, and education. He encouraged the audience to consider each point to act as an entry from which a larger conversation could develop, and people responded at the end with thoughtful and sincere rebuttals. It’s only a matter of time ‘til we see what kinds of projects Langlois brings to life in Vancouver.


Artists in Public | Justin Langlois Talk

This is Part III of an interview with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly and CAG Field House intern Jaclyn Bruneau. Preceding Part III was a Part I and II. Check ’em out.

Afternoons with Raymond – PART III

JB: Can you talk a little bit about how your own heritage relates to your work? I know you’ve talked about challenging these more classical, traditional ways of representing indigenous cultures.

RB: Well it does come to inform my work, but not in any simple way. I have made works that sort of trade on traditional imagery. I’m always sort of concerned with making sure that the work doesn’t come to be mistaken for the thing it represents. I’m interested in my capacity as an indigenous artist to be able to make work about indigenous issues that doesn’t simply reduce that to me making work about indigenous issues because I am myself indigenous.
I would like to think that I am also making work about these things because they’re important to everyone. They concern certain circumstances that we’re all in the midst of that come to impact us in uneven ways. So it becomes something that I definitely want to make accessible in a way that is about it coming to have this capacity to communicate something of that experience but in a strange, unfamiliar, unforeseen way.

So my heritage comes to influence that and it’s kind of about seeing a certain possibility in that, in terms of making contemporary art that doesn’t have to come close to aboriginal cultural practices as it is known, but could potentially work towards creating some sort of intuitive change to things or a subtle way of actually just letting material come to do something in and of itself. It’s a complex process in that—in a lot of works, my heritage isn’t necessarily readable in it and I’m interested in that discrepancy, where it becomes sort of, like, a furtive presence. It ultimately requires a certain activity to understand that relationship.

JB: What other cultures have affected you and influenced your work?

RB: A lot of things I’ve been interested in have been about the analyses of subcultures. I look to music a lot. I look at a lot of things that primarily address ideas of cultural transformation as represented through popular music, like the strange idea that both funk and heavy metal are derived from rhythm and blues in a way that each musical form was subtly transformed in a certain transitional process to communicate to a particular audience at a given time and place, but somehow leads to these very divergent forms.

So I’m really interested in that thing where it scarcely becomes that thing that it’s going to be. At least, looking at funk and heavy metal—not specifically cultures, but subcultural forms—becomes an interesting analogy between, at least for me—in terms of trying to understand that process—simply conceiving of an artistic practice isn’t about knowing what it is but realizing that my work can come to transform my understanding of things I have done previously.

JB: What does digital culture have to do with all of this? I’m thinking about the LightJet prints that were on display in March and April which you created by dragging your iPhone around a flatbed scanner as it played musical performances from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Is there a particular comment you’re making by converging these multiple electronic processes of new and old?

RB: So they’re prints made by laser exposing the piece of paper. It’s processed like any photograph, so I guess that melding becomes a strange thing of finding some other sort of way to show the manner in which photography can index time. In a lot of cases, strangely, many of the scans that I made scanned right to left rather than left to right, so it creates these weird tensions that might not be visible. But I like that strange thing in which these different technologies come to function—that they can be used in these ways that they weren’t necessarily intended to be used for; to create some image of these different types of image-making. The ipod on the scanner leaves this layer in between the two of them—the dust and scratches on the glass, so it’s this strange thing of there being a depicted sort of material and an actual material, somehow.

I’m hearing all these stories about children’s intuitive use of touch screen technology that comes to affect the way that they expect printed magazines to function. It leads me to think of that strange thing where our encounter with visual material just creates this different relationship we have to it that is about interacting with it; seeing a certain capacity with it to touch it to make it work.

I think that process of using the ipods and the scanners means to—well, that easily manipulable aspect of it to hold an ipod in my hand—it’s sort of about stressing that physical manifestation of it. That it persists as an object that can be used in these weird ways. So it’s just a present capacity of an ipod and a scanner to produce an image in a very ad hoc way.

JB: Tell us about some of the books on your shelves.

RB: [Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language], I’m looking at it because I’m teaching a course that is ostensibly about text-based art. The book is this really amazing thing—there are chapters in it that deal with the use of geological metaphors and biological metaphors in our understanding of language… so the idea that a language could be said to die as being a biological metaphor. Looking at shifts, thinking of the way in which language shifts where two languages can come to encounter one another and have subtle effects on one another is often discussed in terms of geology. So it’s a really amazing in the sense that it finds all this incredibly rich imagery in the way people sort of discuss language; and what people expect of it.

JB: How does it read?

RB: It’s quite academic, but really kind of a fascinating thing in the sense that it’s episodic. I know a lot of these started as individual articles—like, H & Co. was first published in Cabinet. So it reads very easily in the sense that it’s not very demanding and fairly short and accessible. So it’s a really incredible book that I’ve been returning to for quite a while and that I’m excited to finally be able to share with students.

JB: Where are you at with the course?

RB: I’m teaching it at Emily Carr and there’s a lot of planning to do for it this month [August].

JB: What else have you got in that pile?

RB: [chuckles] What else?

JB: Show me one more.

RB: Well, there’s this incredible Jimmie Durham catalog—A Matter of Life and Death and Singing. [Begins flipping through the book and does not stop until his response concludes]. This is part of a career-long retrospective. It’s this incredible document that is exciting in the sense that it seems tied to a lot of these other things, like a collection of his poetry and critical writings that are also coming out, but he’s just someone that I really admire and it’s nice to see this kind of extended document concerning his career.

JB: Thank you so much for your time.

RB: No problem.

Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


Afternoons with Raymond – Part III

Another sunny Saturday brought lots of folks ’round for our 3rd and final Family Day of this summer season. Ros offered a step-by-step demo of how to create functional pinwheels of all shapes and sizes. There were lots of different papers, from patterned origami to neon construction, and some sparkly pipe cleaners to add that final zing. Thanks to everyone who came out for our Family Day series this summer and we hope to see you all soon.


Family Day – Pinwheel Making at the Field House

This is Part 2 of an interview with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly and CAG Field House intern Jaclyn Bruneau. Read Part I here.

Afternoons with Raymond – Part II

Jaclyn (JB): Raymond, your recent trip to Norway wasn’t your first connection to Norwegian culture. I heard  a connection of yours to Norway was the black metal music text works made in response to the proposed re-naming of Stanley Park. The City was bouncing around the idea of reintroducing the name of the indigenous tribe that resided on that site since as long as 3000 years ago. What was it about the aesthetic of black metal that specifically jarred you and made it seem right for the project?

Raymond (RB): My interest in it was about being able to approach indigenous issues that didn’t necessarily have to reproduce familiar, established understandings of aboriginal artistic practice. It was about the ability to frame it through another aesthetic that isn’t premised on primordial belonging—that isn’t about what we think we already know about the aesthetics but the capacity to come to see it differently.

JB: Right, and so hence the appearance of the text which is sharp, thorny and harsh-looking. Why were those characteristics the best fit for a project that was trying to reclaim or reestablish a name, considering that the conditions now are completely different in this city for the way we think about First Nations people?

RB: I just like the idea that a lot of it is really decrepit or withered—that it seems to place itself in the midst of the process of decay; that it somehow, at least for me, registers somehow, the less than ideal circumstances that we find ourselves in; where maybe we can’t necessarily conceive of a solution to the complexity of the relationship between aboriginal peoples, the Canadian government, and Canadians generally. And that became this really sort of weird thing that could register those complexities in a certain way. That it was about cultural competency that wasn’t premised on aboriginal identity or belonging but was an elective affinity—that somebody who likes black metal might come to encounter them, and it maybe smuggled in a concern for aboriginal issues that maybe could be communicated or could be legible to a different audience.

JB: You make use of text in some really intricate and thoughtful ways that invite people to re-read and re-assess, testing different potential meanings. I’m talking about your project ‘As it Comes’  in the window of the CAG as well as at Yaletown-Roundhouse  Station, Canada Line. Has text always been part of your work? Why is it important?

RB: Ever since I was a photo student at Emily Carr, I had supportive instructors who allowed me to do something other than making photographs, so it just became this thing that was within a lot of work that I came to encounter. There could be this discrepancy between the work and its description—I found that was a really active place to situate myself, in terms of thinking through (in the very imprecise way) that messages can be communicated.

Like there was this idea that I had about the possibility for thinking of how a failure of translation could actually be a productive thing, that it could be about simply looking at those contingencies of communication and the fact that we use these various strategies, but they produce a very particular framing; that language becomes an interesting way to conceive of that process through which ferry the messages across from person to person, from place to place.

JB: The choice of typeface seems inextricably important from the overall formation of the messages you create. Do the text and the typeface arise somewhat simultaneously in your ideation process, or how is the decision made for that pairing?

RB: It seems very straightforward to me, at least. There’s not necessarily any sort of long process of trying to figure out what typeface might work. So it becomes primarily more about simply what seems like a manageable typeface to use—something that doesn’t necessarily call too much attention to itself, which I guess is a lot different from the black metal works. I sort of see it as being active but somehow not really directive for the message in any particular way. Instead, somehow the message comes to fill it, strangely. So it’s a weird process that I don’t know if I can really articulate.

It’s—at least to me—some not very interesting logistical phenomenon. It’s like, I just have to pick one.

JB: You are hosting a talk at the Field House by writer  Nathan Crompton for Culture Days on Saturday, September 28th at 4 pm . Can you tell me a bit about the thought behind inviting him ?

RB: I don’t really recall the first place I encountered him but he’s really active in Vancouver, and he’s asking difficult questions about a lot of civic processes, and framing them in an accessible way that allows people to talk about them.

But I was interested in talking with him specifically about the article that he co-authored that was recently published on The Mainlander website about the Kitsilano Reserve which is immediately proximate to this studio—because it had come up a few times, so I was just really anxious to think about the necessity to think through that process. The studio being given by the City of Vancouver to arts groups, and individuals, and institutions like the CAG—it seems like a good means not simply to activate the space but also to come to understand something too—that there’s a more complex history behind the fact that these field houses have fallen out of use, and it seems like an interesting thing to talk about. So it’s actually a convenient thing, sort of seeing that article and realizing the potential for some kind of public discussion.

Stay tuned for the third and final installment of this discussion!

Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


Afternoons with Raymond – Part II

On Wednesday night, about 50 people came down to the Burrard Marina Field House at 1655 Whyte Street for the launch of the FUSE Summer 2013 issue: Survivors and Survivalists. It began in the marina’s locker room lounge with a sublime performance of traditional Indian music by artist and Dhrupad vocalist Harkeerat Mangat and Tabla drummer Sunny Matharu. Listen to the performance here.

After flipping through the fresh pages, people sauntered around the lawn and eventually upstairs for a drink of something classic or the aggressive and delicious summer punch made by FUSE Contributing Editor Amy Fung. Helen Reed rocked the upstairs patio with her awesome combination of beats that crossed decades and countries until no more dances could be danced.


Fuse Magazine launch at the Field House

British artist Mike Nelson continues his scouring of Vancouver and lower mainland beaches for flotsom and jetsam in preparation for his ambitious solo exhibition at the CAG which opens on Friday September 13. Photographs by Phil Dion.

The exhibition includes two brand new commissions, a sculptural work produced in partnership with Toronto’s Power Plant and a new photographic work made in association with the Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery.


Beach combing with Mike

Mike Nelson’s fourth day of beachcombing proves fruitful. Here are a couple of behind-the-scenes photos with a sneak peek at some of his findings!


Mike Nelson at the mouth of the Fraser River

I knocked on the door of the Field House to be greeted by Raymond who had set out two glasses and a bottle of mineral water. We chatted about Miranda July’s latest project involving personal e-mails and Sheila Heti’s admirable (and very literary) contributions to it; about women writers who incorporate auto-biographical elements into their work; and Wendy, a tragically hilarious fictional character whose haphazard attempt to become part of the contemporary art world is rendered as a comic column by Walter Scott. With the click of a button, we began:

Hey Raymond. What are you up to at the field house?
I’m a Vancouver based artist working on a lot of assorted things here. No one big project but just working toward a lot of stuff coming up—producing work as well as doing research for future work.

How have you enjoyed using this space, now that you’ve been here for a few months?
It’s really amazing. Especially since the weather has gotten better, there’s been this incredible thing where there’s always a lot of activity around here, with Bard on the Beach being really proximate. It’s made for some interesting times.

You were recently in Norway, for a festival called Riddu Riddu which brings Sami people together with indigenous people from around the world. What were you doing there and what did you learn?
I was there presenting work in the context of the festival which was nice. There was less pressure, because everybody there is going to see Buffy Sainte-Marie. It was sort of just like “yeah, I’ve got something in the library” so it feels a lot different [than having a solo exhibition]. I learned that it–it was just nice to come to understand the different circumstances that people sort of come to claim indigenous identity within. It gave me ways to think about how those processes operate in the Americas—things that otherwise just seem really kind of straightforward or easy—that there are different models for how those things happened.

And what was the work you exhibited there?
They were derived from a body of work I made a few years ago where I made indigenous place name black metal logos.

Check us out again soon (Part II on its way!) for more about Raymond.

Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


Afternoons with Raymond – Part I

British artist Mike Nelson arrived in Vancouver last Friday to begin work on his upcoming exhibition at the CAG for which he will present two new works.

With just over a month to the opening Mike is getting right to the task of collecting beach debris off local and regional shores, to build what will be his first solo exhibition in Canada. On Monday he started combing the beaches along the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Iona Beach in Richmond.

Here are a few images from his first day’s search and findings!

Posted by Michaela Rife. Photos by Derek Brunnen.


Mike Nelson begins work on his upcoming exhibition at the CAG

Take a look, above at a selection of images from the previous two family day Saturday events, held at the Burrard Marina Field House. Don’t miss joining in the next family day event on Saturday, August 29, from 1-4 pm!


Making art at the Field House – Fun in the Sun

In partnership with the City of Vancouver Field House Studio Residency Program, the Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Canadian artist Raymond Boisjoly as our inaugural resident artist.

For six months he will occupy the Burrard Marina Field House, using it as a studio and a place for community engagement, coinciding with the launch of As It Comes, two new interrelated public works. The title appears at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station as a discrete piece, humorously foreboding, and more comic than terrifying, presented in brightly coloured vinyl like a credit from a B-list horror film. Linked to the text in the gallery windows, Boisjoly removes all suggestions of the past, not to deny what has become history, but with the intent to restore belief systems that are still intact.

Raymond Boisjoly
As It Comes
February 8 to June 16, 2013
Window Spaces and off-site at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line and Field House Studio Residency Program.

Opening reception: Thursday February 7, 7–10 pm
Please join us to celebrate the opening of our new exhibitions and to launch this new initiative.

The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver through its Field House Studio Residency Program and by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

As It Comes at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — Intransit BC.


Announcing: The Fieldhouse Studio Residency Program partnership

My name is Brenna and I am a GAG Volunteer in the Abraham Rogatnick Library. It took me a while to discover the library and the great resources it holds. I’ve been volunteering in the library for about 7 months now and I think it is a great way to spend my time. Below, you will find a few of the reasons why I love being a library volunteer.

1. I get the chance to research contemporary art. This is one of the main reasons I love the library. We are constantly receiving and entering new materials, which means I get to look through them as I enter the information on the Database. We are also searching and updating the material already existing in the library and I will often come across items that I want to take a look at. Basically it is a gold mine of information on Contemporary Art.

2. It is peaceful. I love coming in after a hectic week and sitting down, cracking open a book and working away. There are of course other people to talk to, but for the most part it is a meditative task that helps me unwind and relax.

3. It helps me stay informed. The library has current periodicals and catalogues of current shows ready to be looked at right on the main table. It’s great to take a flip through these and see what’s going on.

4. The great people I’ve met. It’s great to connect with other volunteers and staff. The great atmosphere at the gallery is because of these people.

5. It’s rewarding to be a part of something that benefits the community. The materials in this Library are amazing and anyone can come in and take a look at them for free.

So there you have it, that’s why you will find me spending Sunday afternoons in the Library at the CAG. Come by and say hi sometime and check out the great resources the library has to offer. You can search the library database or book an appointment to use the library by using the CAG website.

– Brenna


Reasons why I love being a library volunteer

I spoke with Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly, who was on the other side of the big pond, and he took a few minutes to fill me in about where he was, and what he was up to.

Where are you right now?

I am in Manndalen within Sápmi, the land of the Sami people that extends across Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Kola Peninsula of Russia.

What are you doing there?

I am attending Riddu Riđđu, an indigenous arts festival that has been running for 22 years.

What comes to your mind about being there?

Having been gifted a book of Sami proverbs, I found this: “When in a new country, follow its ways.”

Have you seen any art you want to tell us about?

Yesterday I was told about a house here in Manndalen built to spite local Norwegian authorities following the Second World War. Anton Sjåbakken built a house from scraps found from various sources. The Norwegian government want to tax him and collect the equivalent of one years wages for this provisional shelter. Sjåbakken wrote a letter outlining his frustration which also gave the house the name by which it is now known: The Shit Hell Fucking House.

Tell me about a meal you’ve enjoyed…

I have been enjoying traditional dried reindeer meat.

… and a reason you wouldn’t want to leave?

The midnight sun provides many good working hours, I often see people simply going about their business at absolutely any time of day.

– Thanks Raymond, see you back in Vancouver, Jaclyn.

Raymond Boisjoly is currently the artist-in-residence at the CAG Field House at Burrard Marina. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.


A few things about Norway from Raymond

Collaborators, Catherine Grau and Zoe Kreye met while attending the MFA program in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. It was here that the conceptual basis for their artistic practice was born. Along with a group of about 15 others’ recently spent an afternoon with them at the Burrard Marina Field House. While sitting on the Field House lawn overlooking a view of hundreds of boats, they gave a full overview of their most recent project, Unlearning Weekenders.

Over the duration of the talk, we were introduced to the notion of ‘unlearning’. Grau and Kreye shared texts and theories that influenced them in the development of their project and their own approach to ‘unlearning’. Through their ideas they sought to reassess, deconstruct, look within, or question the things considered to be ‘given’ in our culture.

They spoke of the desire to imagine and make gestures toward decolonizing and deinstitutionalizing today’s monochromatic educational and economic systems. They discussed the ways our current systems fail to address individuals, our hominal wants and needs; how they divide us from our bodies and how they prevent us from knowing ourselves in a way unobstructed by the dogmas that tell us how to be. Zoe illustrated this by mentioning that in every level of our education and work (middle school, high school, post-secondary, professionalism) we involve our bodies increasingly less.

Responding to these ideas, Grau and Kreye’s research led them to forms of physical movement and dance in an ‘attempt to replenish themselves’ from the rigor of both creating and giving.

Throughout the talk the artists shared their experiences, including, developing a 12-hour procession through the city with various local community groups and individuals. Numerous activities occurred through this procession, including: a stick-listening event at Third beach; a backwards walking procession underneath Canada Place; walking across Burrard Bridge all tied to each other and burying themselves in the sand while listening to one participant reading Some Thoughts on the Common Toad by George Orwell.

A good portion of the audience were participants in the weekend procession (hence the Weekenders part of the title). Their presence enriched the discussion with meaningful reflections, questions and contemplations. The artists were receptive and enthusiastic about the insights, and seemed to be mentally banking them for future consideration as they move forward.

I left full of appreciation, excitement and hope about the process of inquiry and making earnest attempts to cultivate a kind of purity of the self. Throughout the talk, I realized their work could not be separate from who they are, their research and the way it feeds into their art, is about shedding the cultural sludge that becomes attached to us. This was epitomized by their relaxed attitude to the occasional sound of planes overhead. They simply paused and waited for it to pass.

For more information on the project, check out their website.

This artist talk was the first of many that will take place at the Field House. We’ll be hosting Family Days on Saturday July 27 and August 24, 1-4 pm. If you want to make sure not to miss anything, keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook, and get on the mailing list (scroll to the bottom right on the page) to receive our updates.

– Jaclyn, whose writing and photos you can check out here, and tweets over here.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver.


Field House Update: Unlearning Weekenders Artist Talk – Catherine Grau & Zoe Kreye

Today, the CAG (and people across Canada) celebrate Nunavut Day, a day that commemorates the NLCA (the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement). The NLCA is the largest comprehensive claim settlement in Canada, and it marked the first time that the Canadian map has changed since 1949 (with the incorporation of Newfoundland and Labrador).

Nunavut Day is a day to celebrate arctic traditions and the northern way of life. As our current exhibition features Inuit artist Itee Pootoogook, we invite anyone interested in celebrating Nunavut Day in Vancouver to join us and experience his work.

While you might seek out Wikipediato learn more about Nunavut today, the listing doesn’t say much about their fine arts scene. There has been an accelerated change in artistic expression in the past 50 years as many modern Inuit artists react to the present and the wider, more accessible world. Today’s northern nunavut artist is not as isolated, and the work produced is more contemporary, but no less representative.

If you are unable to make it today to the gallery, be sure to visit us on our forthcoming English, French, and Spanish tours of the current CAG exhibitions.

As I was researching more about Nunavut Day, I learned that while the official languages of Nunavut are English and French, 8% of the population speaks neither English, French, nor Inuktitut (the primary language of Nunavut). Unfortunately, my language skills are limited to English and French, so to those remaining 8%, I say: Nunavut Quviahugvik (Happy Times Nunavut in Inuinnagtun!)


Aujourd’hui, le CAG (et les personnes à travers le Canada) célèbrent la journée Nunavut qui commémore l’ARTN (Accord sur les revendications territoriales du Nunavut). L’Accord est le plus important règlement de revendications territoriales au Canada, et il a marqué la première fois que le plan canadien a changé depuis 1949 (avec l’incorporation de Terre-Neuve et Labrador).

La journée du Nunavut est une journée pour célébrer les traditions arctiques et la vie nordique. Comme notre exposition actuelle présente l’artiste inuit Itee Pootoogook, nous vous invitons à célébrer la journée du Nunavut à Vancouver avec nous et à découvrir son travail.

Alors que vous pourriez rechercher Wikipedia pour en savoir plus au sujet du Nunavut aujourd’hui, l’article ne dit pas beaucoup à propos de leur beaux-arts. Il y a eu un changement accéléré dans les expressions artistiques dans les 50 dernières années et nombreux artistes inuits modernes réagissent à l’actualité et à le monde plus accessible. Ces artistes d’aujourd’hui n’est pas aussi isolé, et le travail qu’ils produisent est plus contemporain, mais non moins introspective.

Si vous n’arrivez pas à venir aujourd’hui à la galerie, n’hésitez pas à nous rendre visite à nos visites guidées à venir en anglais, français, et espagnol de les expositions au CAG.

Comme je faisais des recherches au sujet de la journée du Nunavut, j’ai appris que même si ses langues officielles sont l’anglais et le français, 8% de la population ne parle ni anglais, ni français, ni l’inuktitut (la langue principale parlé au Nunavut). Malheureusement, mes compétences linguistiques sont limitées à l’anglais et le français (rouillée), donc à ceux qui tombent au 8%, je dis: Nunavut Quviahugvik (temps heureux Nunavut!)


Happy Nunavut Day | Joyeuse journée du Nunavut

Hello one and all,

I’m Jaclyn Bruneau, the CAG Field House intern currently working with Raymond Boisjoly during his summer artist-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio. I’ll be keeping people in the loop about his activities, and with Field House events by reporting in this blog. Look for posts with the ‘Field House Studio’ blog category and keep your dials tuned in.

A few Saturdays ago, Raymond and I spent the afternoon at False Creek Community Centre where he led a workshop as part of the Vancouver Draw Down, that very cool single-day drawing festival that invites Vancouverites to access various types of drawing workshops for free, held in over 23 locations city wide. The workshop was titled Re-Inventing Drawing and began invitingly with tables scattered with pipe cleaners, masking tape, paper cups, tree branches, string, scissors, pieces of paper big and small, and a ton of markers all of which were used together or separately to create fantastically experimental gestural marks on paper.

Our first two visitors were a pair of twins named Alex and Liam, who seemed to have made use of all the materials. They taped felts all around the parameter of the paper cup; strung together branches, attaching a pen on each end and then twirling the contraption above paper; and stuck felts through holes in foamy paper. Their mom seemed blown away at all the things they came up with. Some others made contraptions with the branches that allowed two people to each take hold of a part of the branch, and proceed to see if they could collaboratively render an image they thought up together beforehand. Raymond even drew my attention to a mystery visitor who got carried away with their new tools on the hardwood floor (oops!). Above are some photos from the workshop.

During the afternoon’s workshop the space was flooded with natural light and we left the doors wide open, so people walking the path outside could peek in and join. We met daughters and dads, kids in strollers, couples, best friends, and even a few grandparents. It was amazing how little instruction everyone needed. They seemed full of ideas, and were very eager–especially those itching to fill their Draw Down passports with stamps. I floated around taking photos and getting people started. Raymond seemed to know exactly what to say in the way of inspiration for those stuck for an idea.

– Jaclyn, whose writing and photos you can check out here, and tweets over here.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.