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Offsite Projects

The Contemporary Art Gallery welcomes the Feminist Land Art Retreat (FLAR) for a summer residency. FLAR was born in 2010 with a rock-concert style poster depicting mirrored images of Robert Smithson’s
Spiral Jetty, FLAR transformed this seminal work of land art into something resembling fallopian tubes, while inviting the viewer to a fantasy event. This began FLAR’s conceptual and humorous
subversion of familiar visual forms, including fashion, spa advertising, commemorative architecture, and aerial imagery. FLAR has continued appropriating commercial and art-historical
images with irony, challenging commonly held notions of how feminism is embodied and expressed.

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Residency | Feminist Land Art Retreat


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!

-Michelle

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Interview and update with artist Maddie Leach


Andrew Dadson
July 11 to 20, 2017
Off-site: 524 West 26th Street Gallery, Chelsea, New York

By appointment only.

The Contemporary Art Gallery will present a private exhibition in New York by Vancouver-based artist, Andrew Dadson. Comprising a new commission supported by Vancouver contemporary menswear label wings+horns, the exhibition space will be transformed into a large-scale installation.

Dadson has consistently engaged with the notion of boundaries in relation to space and time in his work, primarily through investigations with materiality, process and abstraction. Through different mediums – painting, film, and photography – Dadson explores the possibility to cross the perceptual boundaries of space, both physical and natural, and is thus reflected in his work in an attempt to subvert our perception and usual ways of looking at things.

The installation will use plant forms and objects sprayed a single colour lit by intense daylight grow lamps. Each light is of a slightly different hue creating multiple shadows on the wall behind and introducing a further dimension to the overall composition. Combined with the large leafy plants, light, shadow and coloured forms produce a painting that evolves and shifts over time. As the organic matter is nurtured over the duration of the exhibition, the unifying painted colour begins to crack and splinter to reveal the fresh natural colours of the leaves beneath.

In partnership with wings+horns.

Since his first solo exhibition at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver, in 2003, Andrew Dadson has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and internationally, in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States. Dadson was the 2011 recipient of The Brink Award held at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle.

Dadson is represented by Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.

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Off-site: Andrew Dadson


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.

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


Derya Akay
Manti, Börek, Baklava
Burrard Marina Field House Residency
Until April 2017

The Contemporary Art Gallery welcomes Vancouver-based artist Derya Akay as the Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence this spring.

Akay is collaborating with women elders from a range of cultural backgrounds to explore and share local and diasporic culinary traditions. This convivial preparing and partaking of food is a gateway to oral history, which Akay understands as both storytelling and the sensations and memories summoned through communal eating.

“For my residency, I have developed the project working with five elder women who will work with me to give workshops to ten to fifteen people, as a social exercise that revolves around food, time and the labour of kitchen” – Derya Akay

Over the course of March, April and May, Derya Akay will co-host a series of workshops and meals where the public is invited to gather for cooking and conversation with the women elders.

Image: Derya Akay and women elders cook at the Burrard Marina Field House. Photograph Michelle Martin.

Upcoming events:

Saturday, March 18, 12-3pm, free
Cooking with Maria Dyulgerova and her granddaughter Biliana Velkova

AT: Burrard Marina Field House, 1655 Whyte Avenue, Vancouver.
Tickets and information (currently a wait list)

Sunday, April 2, 5-8pm, $40 includes full meal and workshop.
Shabbat Dinner and Fresh Challah presented in partnership with The Jewish Museum and Archives of BC. 

Dinner will be prepared by artist Derya Akay, Sara Ciacci, Leonor Etkin, Claire Hammer and Debbie Kafka.
AT: The Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, 6184 Ash Street (2nd floor), Vancouver.
Tickets and information

More events to be announced in April and May, please check www.contemporaryartgallery.ca for details.

Derya Akay (b, 1988, Turkey) is an artist living in Vancouver.  He received the 2016 Portfolio Prize Emerging Artist Award in Vancouver. Recent solo exhibitions include with bread, Campbell River Art Gallery, 2017; Pumice, Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, California, 2017; Painting with Light, Kunstverein Toronto, 2015; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Supper, Centre A, Vancouver, 2014. Group exhibitions include Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, 2017; Unit 17, Vancouver, 2017; Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016; The Gardener Museum, Toronto, 2015; Geometry of Knowing Part I, Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, 2015.

About the Burrard Marina Field House
Throughout 2017 CAG is hosting a series of artists-in-residence, each working toward participatory projects to be realized throughout 2017–2019. The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by CAG. 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, participate and connect with art and artists.

The Burrard Marina Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver, along with many private and individual donors. Please visit our website for a full list of supporters. For further details about the program, all forthcoming residencies and associated events visit our website at www.contemporaryartgallery.ca
and the Field House blog at www.burrardmarinafieldhouse.blog

For 2016–2019 we acknowledge the generous support of the Burrard Marina Field House Studio Residency Program by the Vancouver Foundation.

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Burrard Marina Field House Studio - Derya Akay: Mantı, Börek, Baklava


Cooking with Maria Dyulgerova & her granddaughter Biliana Velkova

Burrard Marina Field House, 1655 Whyte Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada

We invite participants to join in the preparation and enjoyment of the food while sharing stories and conversation.

Tickets are free can be reserved here.
Limited tickets are available, a wait list will be available.

The Contemporary Art Gallery welcomes Vancouver-based artist Derya Akay as the CAG Burrard Marina Field House resident this spring. Expanding on recent projects, Akay is collaborating with women elders from a range of cultural backgrounds to explore and share local and diasporic culinary traditions through a series of workshops and meals. This convivial partaking of food is a gateway to oral history, which Akay understands as both storytelling and the sensations and memories summoned through communal eating.

About the Burrard Marina Field House
Throughout 2017 CAG is hosting a series of artists-in-residence, each working toward participatory projects to be realized throughout 2017–2019. The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by CAG. 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, participate and connect with art and artists.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver, along with many private and individual donors. Please visit our website for a full list of supporters. For further details about the program, all forthcoming residencies and associated events visit our website at www.contemporaryartgallery.ca and the Field House blog at www.burrardmarinafieldhouse.blog

For 2016–2019 we acknowledge the generous support of the Field House Studio Residency Program by the Vancouver Foundation.

MORE

Derya Akay, cooking with Maria Dyulgerova & her granddaughter Biliana Velkova


Song of the Open Road
Vikky Alexander, Robert Arndt, Gerard Byrne, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyn, Kelly Jazvac, Kelly Lycan, Niamh O’Malley, Dawit L. Petros, Greg Staats, Lisa Tan
April 1 to June 18, 2017

B.C. Binning, Alvin Balkind Galleries, Events room, Window Spaces and off-site at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada line
Presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival

“You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.

I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.”
—Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road” (1856)

Taking its title from a poem by Walt Whitman, the Contemporary Art Gallery presents a group exhibition as the central feature of this year’s Capture Photography Festival. Work is presented both inside and outside and across all of the gallery’s spaces, embracing a diverse set of conditions and approaches centred in a conceptual understanding of an expanded field of photographic practice that examines notions of what you see is most definitely not what you get.

Bringing together artists from Canada, Eritrea, Ireland, Sweden, and the US, the exhibition includes works that combine thematically to interrogate ideas rooted in photographic histories, engaging ideas such as veracity, recollection, remembrance, belonging, staging, and how the image documents and records these or is evidence of differing realities.

Key to the exhibition is Images or shadows of divine things (2005–), an ongoing series by Irish artist Gerard Byrne. Visually rich and intellectually complex, the artist’s work in photography, film, theatre, and multiscreen installation examines the slippage between time and the act of image creation. Presented here, a selection of these black-and-white photographs seems to depict a much earlier period, evoking vernacular photographic idioms of American midcentury photography and thus pointing toward the relationship between time, appearance, and the photographic document. Through a collection of over twenty images, a sense emerges that the series has a certain scale of vision. However, it is more about picturing the historical “conditions” of image making than it is about riffing on an aesthetic. That sense of conditions emerges only once the particularity of the given images is surpassed—that is when it becomes obvious that the specifics of the images are not the point, this realization becoming palpable when a sufficient number of them are grouped together.

Robert Arndt’s activities search and reveal the means of accessing culture and history through the mediated forms of books, magazines and the Internet. Made for the exhibition, Remainders, Repeats and Rejects (2017) is characteristic in its investigation of production whereby documentation itself becomes the artwork. Alongside a large-scale photograph of the gallery wall on which it sits atop, Arndt’s work collects and conflates personal imagery with found and staged scenarios, highlighting the notion that documentation may be all that is required for an idea to exist and resonate. We imagine wide ranging connections, invent narratives and recognize links between images, all thoughts set in motion to create a diversity of potential meaning.

Recent work by Canadian artist Kelly Lycan includes installations based on Gallery 291, the iconic New York photography gallery opened by Alfred Stieglitz in 1905. These recreations are developed through sourcing images available online, in an attempt to uncover an understanding or experience of the space while drawing on simulations of the photographic illusion of this. Song of the Open Road features a new version of Nearby Nearby, 291 Burlap Walls (2015), composed of a series of images of the walls of Gallery 291 culled from Internet searches. Printed on paper, the work creates a pixelated arena of varicoloured white grounds, where it is as if each image is forensically being drawn from some depths to emerge on the paper’s surface.

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.

Ambient Advertising (2016), installed across the CAG’s windows, is a reconfigured work by Toronto-based Kelly Jazvac. Salvaged billboard images that she has reframed, manipulated and cut through, seemingly in reference to a quintessential Canadian landscape, 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.

Alongside photographic work in a variety of processes, the exhibition also includes moving-image works. Sunsets (2012), by American artist Lisa Tan, combines literature and various historical and personal references to materially explore the intricate relationship between language, image, and experience. The video, filmed on the threshold between night and day, unfolds like a conversation. Seemingly inconsequential things pop up and take hold: a phone call interrupts, the sun starts to set, a stranger asks a question, translations are needed. The work narrates Tan’s engagement with enigmatic writers, with histories, technologies, and geographies that she knows, in order to mediate those that she doesn’t.

Concerned with issues of visibility and the slippage between a moment and an image, Irish artist Niamh O’Malley investigates the construction and arrangement of time and document as revealed through the moving image. Across two large-scale screens, the silent black-and-white video Glasshouse (2014) unfolds as a lengthy tracking shot. As the camera moves seamlessly from left to right along the glass panes, the natural idyll disappears here and there as the glass becomes more or less opaque. Through this O’Malley draws our attention to the process of looking, the camera seemingly attempting to locate and uncover meaning. Yet as images fragment, blocked by stained and broken glass, such efforts are thwarted, challenging our perception of what it is we are actually viewing and of how the images are constructed.

Born in Montreal and currently working in Stockholm, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn investigates issues of historicity, collectivity, utopian politics, and multiculturalism, often revealing the unnoticed political relevance of seemingly trivial historical anecdotes by shedding light on stories overlooked, hidden, or deemed otherwise insignificant. Seizing Hold of a Memory as It Flashes Up (2010) is a blind embossing using the speech of twelve-year-old Severn Suzuki, daughter of Japanese Canadian science communicator and environmental activist David Suzuki, delivered at the 1992 Earth Summit. Suzuki and members of ECO, the Environmental Children’s Organization, raised the money to travel from Vancouver to Brazil so they could attend the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Here, Suzuki delivered her speech before 172 representatives of different countries, 108 heads of state, and some 2,400 NGO representatives; 17,000 of the people who attended the parallel NGO Global Forum had consultative status, resulting in a meeting that ultimately led to the Kyoto Protocol.

Toronto-based artist Greg Staats, Kanien’kehá:ka (b. Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory) whose works combine language, mnemonics and the natural world as an ongoing process of conceptualising a Haudenosaunee restorative aesthetic that defines the multiplicity of relationships with trauma and renewal. Staats addresses the systemic deficit of language—through personal and community archives and an intellectual and aesthetic interpretation of the body and ceremony. The installation untitled (objects of reciprocal thinking) (2014) combines both works from the beginning of the artist’s reflection of public and private within a Haudenosaunee linguistic and mnemonic continuum linked to place and recent works based on a reciprocal methodology. When at the edge of one’s condolence and within the liminal metaphysical space prior to renewal, there lies a hesitancy to move forward. While external and internal barriers must be overcome, the process must be completed with the help of others, both as witnesses and holders of the good mind. This ceremonial movement is comparable to moving from the darkness of the forest into the clearing where the light illuminates breath and one’s footing becomes clearer. The Mid-Winter (renewal) ceremony Gaihwayao:ni:, translated as “encouragement,” employs reciprocal gestures and words, repeatable to lifting up the mind after it has dropped down during condolence and/or post-trauma.

Chicago-based Canadian Eritean artist Dawit L. Petros similarly reflects through personal and cultural histories on ideas surrounding place making that are centred on a critical rereading of the relationship between African histories and European modernism. The book About the Author’s Journey from Ethiopia to Italy and about the Impressions Made on Him by His Stay in That Country in Tigrinya, by nineteenth-century writer Fesseha Giyorgis, was the first text published in the Tigrinya language (used in present-day Eritrea and Ethiopia). Using this as a guide, Petros undertook the journey from Ethiopia to Italy, his contemporary journey mirroring the historical passage across the Mediterranean Sea as well as the one undertaken by those currently fleeing to safety. When he arrived in Italy, the artist met a group of Eritrean migrants, with whom he made Untitled (2016), a collection of images with these individuals holding mirrors or archive materials in visual dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Viewed together, the photographs offer a metaphor-rich articulation of the fluidity of contemporary transnational experiences and attendant issues of cultural negotiation, speaking to how images and objects enable a sense of belonging or retrieval, both public and private.

We acknowledge the generous financial support of the following:

Vikky Alexander: Presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program—IntransitBC
Niamh O’Malley: Culture Ireland
Greg Staats: The Banff Centre, via a thematic residency program; the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario; and the Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des arts du Canada
Lisa Tan: Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists

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Song of the Open Road


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten - Bear Claws Salad Hands


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten - White, Steel, Slice, Mask


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