Patrick Cruz, Gwenessa Lam, Evan Lee, Mehran Modarres, Byron Peters, Tadasu Takamine, Alex Cu Unjieng, and Qahraman Yousif
Opening March 16th, 7pm, 2017
In recent months the world has tipped past a precipice toward a dramatic time of transition. The shift is not necessarily sudden. The political trends of silencing scientists, appealing to nationalism, looking suspiciously on migrants or making hay by regulating religious dress have been fermenting for a while. Anti-diversity, anti-internationalist calls to patriotism have taken the Western world by storm, as though the post-WWII order is crumbling. It is no longer a given that those in power will pay even rhetorical homage to the advancement of democracy and human rights or the value of domestic diversity and international cultural and economic exchange. In such a moment, both the value and the feebleness of our cultural institutions become glaringly apparent and we are challenged to consider the role of art.
In Spring Exhibition we bring together the work of old and new friends to constitute a contemplative space stimulating considerations of the value of diversity and free expression, the struggles of migration and the possibility of cultural exchange.
Preluding this exhibition, on February 24th, on occasion of the 130th year since Vancouver’s first Anti-Chinese riots we held The Unwelcome Dinner. Chefs Wesley Young and Jacob Deacon Evans grounded diners’ palates in Vancouver’s foundational fissures and fusions, and host Henry Tsang, accompanied by various speakers, reflected on the history of racism and white supremacy in this city. Now, we invite Patrick Cruz, Gwenessa Lam, Evan Lee, Mehran Modarres, Byron Peters, Tadasu Takamine, Alex Cu Unjieng, and Qahraman Yousif to set the stage for a season of contemplation.
Qahraman Yousif’s work Lodge 179 is a reflection on the experience of imprisonment and migration and its effects on how language is experienced. Mehran Modarres’ Ma Miaeem, va Miravim/We Come and Go investigates hybridity and language through interventions in an English textbook from her childhood. Tadasu Takamine’s Ask for Trade illuminates moments of transformation during initial cross-oceanic engagement. Alex Cu Unjieng’s I Know Very Well, But Still utilizes décor in response to the gendered inequities of representation. Patrick Cruz’s Luzviminda explores cultural displacement and immigrant identity. Works from Gwenessa Lam’s Mongrel Histories series meditate on the history and value of cultural hybridity. With renderings from his Untitled Migrant Ship Re-Creation Project, Evan Lee examines the dual functions of depiction and construction in the portrayal of migrants. Byron Peters’ talk, Anti-Racist Mathematics and Other Stories, surveys selected communication and control technologies and their historical roots. In ad hoc constellation these artists’ works constitute a space for contemplation of the complexities of contemporary cultural/technological/political climate and the possibility of diversity.
Parallel to Spring Exhibition, Y Vy Truong and Christian Vistan have curated a selection of publications from Centre A’s reading room. At the centre of this gesture is documentation from the 1971 Vancouver Indo-Chinese Women’s Conference. The re-presentation of the literature produced for the Vancouver Indo-Chinese Women’s Conference expands public memory and re-conceptualizes the history of feminist movements in Canada. Truong and Vistan’s reading room challenges the Eurocentric memories, perspectives and tendencies in art, activism and other avenues of culture making in Vancouver, offering an inclusive space for the public to engage in conversations, to sip tea and consider paths forward.
Please join us for the opening of Spring Exhibition, at 7pm on March 16th, at Centre A, 229 East Georgia. The exhibition will be on display until May 13th. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-5pm. Over the course of the exhibition we will be holding talks, recordings and other events as relevant.
In the Open
January 4 to March 10, 2017
In the Open brings together an international and multigenerational group of artists who have captured images in public spaces, utilizing the invasive potential of the lens gaze to examine these civic regions. The exhibition spans over 40 years of artists looking at ‘open’ space and how it has been defined, surveilled and controlled. Often working from a source image to articulate social inequalities, the works in the exhibition consider how we frequently consent to inequitable though legislated conditions. In this way, the project aims to open questions about what is our right to privacy when we are out in the open and how are these locations monitored and regulated.
Our public spaces have become arenas for unprecedented frenzies of digital media. Surveillance cameras and smartphones are capturing images and uploading them from every street corner. As these photos become instantly transferable, finding themselves in internet, print and cable media, questions about the control of these pictures has become amplified. Over the last few decades, artists have anticipated this fervor and recorded the increasingly slippery boundaries of what constitues public or private use and the increased inability to control the contextualization of these images.
Through the artists’ conceptual picture making, questions are posed about what is being photographed when we are out in the open. What is ‘taken’ in these snap shots and why? Analysis of the motivations behind this compulsive production continues to reveal systems of desire, persuasion and control. Boundaries both official and personal are defined through this manipulation, the artists working to picture how these mediating systems articulate the social realities of their individual subjects.
Shimmer and Paste
Evan Lee and Ben Reeves
Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
opening November 5, 2016
About Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
Launched in 2016 as part of the new Dupont St. gallery scene in Toronto, Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects is devoted to a developing exhibition program of contemporary Canadian art. Founding editor of C Magazine and editor of Canadian Art from 1996 through 2015, Richard Rhodes brings his expertise to exhibitions by emerging and established artists from across Canada and abroad. Rhodes offers audiences and collectors an informed critical eye that has launched and nurtured numerous careers in the Canadian art world over the past three decades. www.dupontprojects.com.
For more information:
Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
1444 Dupont St.
Toronto ON M6P 4H3
Evan Lee, from Fugazi, 2015, archival pigment print
Monte Clark Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Evan Lee.
Lee’s new series Fugazi consists of visually stunning 5-by-5 foot prints created from digital scans of cubic zirconia, relatively inexpensive but high quality imitations of diamonds (“Fugazi“ is a slang term used in Mafia films for counterfeit diamonds.) The images are captured at a high level of detail and enlarged fifteen thousand percent to a scale that renders the gems’ internal appearance mesmerizingly random, distorted and fractured, while the effects of digital image-loss and artifacting emerge to aid in their visual transformation. The patterns of abstract shapes and reflected colours appear kaleidoscopic and at times groundless, an aesthetic that Lee manipulates further by constructing geometric backgrounds in response to the resulting visual space.
Lee’s project reflects on his earlier works, such as the Dollar Store Still Life series (2006), which also examined the economic and cultural values of fake and artificial consumer goods. Fugazi also continues Lee’s take on representations of psychedelia, illusion and optics, as explored in such earlier works as Every Part from a Contaflex Camera… (2006), and the Stain (2003) and Phoropter (2012) series. Lee’s practice has always been positioned both alongside and against the grain of photography, and Fugazi continues the artist’s image production in the avant-garde reaches of the post-photographic or camera-less digital realm. Contrary to the reproducible nature of photography, each of the Fugazi prints, made on fine art paper, exists only as a signed unique edition of one.
Alongside Fugazi, Lee will also present works from a complementary series entitled Ichiban. In these new works, Lee mixes paint and instant ramen noodles with other found objects to create experimental sculptures that consider the artificial nature of “instant” food, as well as reflecting on ephemeral form and temporality in the artworks themselves. Taken together, both Fugazi and Ichiban allude to the complex relationship between that which is “real” and that which is “artificial” in our contemporary culture and art.
Evan Lee lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. His first major solo exhibition “Captures” was held at the Presentation House Gallery in North Vancouver in 2006, and included catalogue essays by Jeff Wall and Peter Culley. Since then, Lee has exhibited in numerous museums and institutions including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery, the Confederation Centre for the Arts, the Liu Hai Su Art Museum, and at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as a Sobey Award Finalist in 2014. Lee’s work has been published in Canadian Art Magazine, Art on Paper, Border Crossings, Flash Art, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and numerous other venues.
Holding the Pose: Portraits from the Collection
January 27 – November 27
Featuring works from the gallery’s collection by artists from across Canada, Holding the Pose demonstrates the complexity of interaction between artist and sitter in a wide variety of portraits in various mediums.
This exhibition presents a selection of portraits from the collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Combining historical portraiture with contemporary representations of individuals and groups, it provides an overview of the genre in Canada, its many approaches and its transformation over time, with a particular focus on the way the subjects of portraiture have played a part in the resulting work-their attitude, their mode of address, their self-presentation, and the way their pose is as much the subject of the work as their physical likeness. Portraits are ultimately the result of an encounter between artist and sitter. The exhibition’s starting point is the work of Prince Edward Island artist Robert Harris (1849-1919), who was in the late 19th century one of Canada’s most prominent portrait painters. Harris’s portraits functioned in dialogue with the rapidly spreading phenomenon of commercial photography. His work showcased the artist’s brushwork and skill at capturing a natural-seeming likeness, adhering closely to longstanding traditions of the formal, celebratory depiction in opposition to the emerging, and increasingly easy availability of the photographic image. His pictures define subjects as enduring monuments. Composed, regal sitters emerge from dark backgrounds as volumetric, physically imposing images of importance, accentuated by gilded frames. The aesthetic of portraiture is one of elevation and solidity, likeness as preservation and celebration.
The marriage of naturalness and monumentality in Harris’s work was a response not only to the photograph’s documentary power, but also to the more openly artificial images of aristocratic self-presentation exemplified in this exhibition by the work of Thomas Mower Martin. In the century following the heyday of Robert Harris’s official portraiture, modern contingency-the uncertainty of the individual’s position in the world-invaded and transformed the portrait genre. In an era when anyone could and should be a worthy subject of an image, the recording of individual lives adapted by concentrating on the ways that individuals both defined and exceeded the conditions of their existence.
The identity of the sitter is central to the portrait’s function, as it strives to establish the uniqueness of the person and his or her place in society and history. In the past century, the celebratory presentation of individual identity has been targeted by a wide-ranging critique that has redefined the genre. From George Pepper and Kathleen Daly’s quasi-ethnographic paintings of people who are meant to define a multi-ethnic nation, to Barbara Astman and KC Adams’ pictures of subjects positioning themselves in relation to popular gender and racial stereotypes, it is clear that portraiture now functions as part of a play of representations of identity. In this context, the naturalness of the late 19th century pose can no longer be taken for granted. Even the celebration of historical figures can be represented as a highly mediated form of theatre, as in the prints of Rémi Belliveau, with their ironic golden frames.
The pose itself and its status as a record can be represented tragically, as a kind of habit or trap of seeing. Edward Poitras physically equates the hanging of Louis Riel with the production of his image as a national hero. Dan O’Neill and Stephen May present the seductive pose as a received image, the individual subject filtered through a layer of associations that complicate the sitter’s agency. In the work of Prince Edward Island painter Brian Burke, presented here as a counterpoint to the legacy of Robert Harris, the pose becomes vulnerable, the subject’s self-presentation and visual isolation deeply ambivalent, even oppressed by a flattened space that nonetheless leaves the position of the sitter open ended. Burke’s portraits represent the potential and limitations of contemporary freedom and uncertainty.
-Pan Wendt, curator
Views from the Southbank II: Moments, Reflections, Intervals
Experience a fleeting moment in time through portraiture and landscape artworks in this second installment of Views from the Southbank.
Surrey Art Gallery
Apr 11, 2015 – Jun 14, 2015
We are surrounded by characters in the urban and suburban places we live. People—in their astonishing variety and complexity—show the different facets of what it is to be human. Places embody character too. We talk about an old house having “character” or the “face” of a building. Landscapes, just like humans, can convey emotions like boredom, uncertainty, or peacefulness.
Playing with an expanded idea of portraiture, the artists in Views from the Southbank II create representations or impressions of people and places, some working in traditional portraiture style and others using more experimental and collaborative methods. Their work is situated in context to the rapidly growing “South of Fraser” region of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, comprising the municipalities of Surrey, Langley, Delta, and White Rock. In capturing the character(s) of a place that is constantly changing, the artists offer a brief interval in time—the present moment animated by the presence of individuals and places.
This project is the second installment of Views from the Southbank, a trio of exhibitions featuring 70 local artists celebrating Surrey Art Gallery’s 40th anniversary.
Matilda Aslisadeh, Richard Bond, Randy Bradley, Claude Breeze, Edward Burtynsky, Lisa Chen, Jennifer Clark, Barbara Cole, Gregory W. Dawe, Brandon Gabriel, Gabor Gasztonyi, Alex Grewal, Elizabeth Hollick, Evan Lee, Ken Lum, Scott Massey, Paulo Majano, Michael Markowsky, Sean Mills, Jef Morlan, Ann Nelson, James Nizam, Zoë Pawlak, Barbara Pratezina, Helma Sawatzky, Ikbal Singh, Jeannette Sirios, Ken Wallace, Stella Weinert, Kira Wu
Image credit: Lisa Chen, Time Reflects, clear vinyl (2012)
– See more at: http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation
Geometry of Knowing
Part 1: SFU Gallery, Burnaby, JAN 15 – FEB 28, 2015
Part 2: Audain Gallery, Vancouver, JAN 15 – FEB 28, 2015
Part 3: SFU Gallery, Burnaby, MAR 21 – MAY 15, 2015
Part 4: Audain Gallery, Vancouver, MAR 19 – MAR 28, 2015
Geometry of Knowing is a group exhibition that investigates approaches to the acquisition of knowledge in the full mind-body-spirit sense of intelligence. Organized in four parts and presented across two galleries located in a post-secondary pedagogical institution, the objective of the project is to investigate the way in which artists engage tactics of fieldwork, embodiment and materiality in a manner that reveals or instigates a process of knowing. In this moment of increasing standardization and specialization regarding how people learn, art is a space for innovative thinking and experimentation outside given frameworks.
Many works in the exhibition engage hybrid forms of fieldwork, borrowing methodologies and tools from anthropology, hunting, marine navigation, chemistry, herbology and horticulture. For example, Kika Thorne’s new sculptural work, The Question of a Hunch, extends her ongoing interests in geometry, the visible spectrum and magnetism as a field upon which to project questions regarding chemical composition and its political ramifications.
Knowing through embodiment calls into play the geometry of sense perception, communication and collaboration between artists and physical enactments. For example, Carole Itter’s 1979 photographic series, Euclid, documents musician Al Neil tracing Euclidean geometric theorems in the sand at Cates Park in North Vancouver. These images were projected as part of a collaborative live performance with Al Neil on piano, used on Neil’s Fog and Boot album cover, as well as existing as photographic works in their own right.
Manipulating materials, forms and images is a fundamental aspect of artistic production and transfigures how we experience, interpret and know the world. Camille Henrot’s 2011 video, The Strife of Love in a Dream, for example, composes a visual atlas of strategies to conquer anxiety and fear through mythology, medicine, religion, art, ritual and tourism.
At SFU Galleries, we understand the university as a site of knowledge production, dissemination and acquisition. Its architecture is spatial and social, formalizing communal inquiry, contemplation, critique and invention. Situated in this architecture, the exhibition imagines the open geometry of the gallery as a context to re-examine how the visual and material languages of contemporary art generate experiential, emotional, physical, environmental and intuitive intelligence. The exhibition Geometry of Knowing explores emerging and reclaimed forms of knowledge as tools to frame how artists consider ways of witnessing, being with, querying and generating.
The exhibition includes work by over thirty Canadian and international artists across the first three parts, including works from the SFU Art Collection. The fourth component is constituted as an SFU School for Contemporary Arts visual arts course in which students respond to the exhibition’s theme through archival research.
Part 1: Derya Akay, Eli Bornowsky, Neil Campbell, Julia Feyrer, Lawren Harris, Roy Kiyooka, Michael Morris, Gordon Smith, Frank Stella, Takao Tanabe. Part 2: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Michael Drebert, Jimmie Durham, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Sandra Hanson, Camille Henrot, Dawn Johnston, Brian Jungen, David MacWilliam, N.E. Thing Co., Kara Uzelman, Brent Wadden. Part 3: Josef Albers, BC Binning, Lee Bontecou, Brian Fisher, Carole Itter, Devon Knowles, Evan Lee, Bruce Nauman, Hannah Rickards, Kika Thorne, Brent Wadden. Part 4: Students from the SCA
Curated by Amy Kazymerchyk and Melanie O’Brian. Supported by a Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Opening Reception and event with Jeneen Frei Njootli and Kara Uzelman
Wednesday, JAN 14, 2015, 7pm
Jeneen Frei Njootli will perform with handmade instruments crafted from female vadzaih (caribou) that embrace and disrupt the hybridity of the Athabascan fiddle in Vuntut Gwitchin culture. Kara Uzelman will provide hospitality with brews that she grew and wildcrafted in Saskatchewan following research into traditions of medicinal fermentation and psychotropic experimentation at the University of Regina.
Event with Derya Akay and Julia Feyrer
Sunday, FEB 15, 2015, 12pm
A walk, talk, soil to plow, sow, drink and wait… will explore cycles of harvest and hospitality with Derya Akay and Julia Feyrer in relationship to their works in the exhibition.
Opening Reception: SFU Visual Art 3rd Year Student Exhibition
Wednesday, MAR 18, 2015, 7pm
Exhibition presented by 3rd Year SFU Visual Arts students. Details to come.
Event with Kika Thorne
Saturday MAR 21, 2015, 12pm
Extending from her work in the exhibition, Kika Thorne will facilitate a conversation with a scientist and a climate activist on the process of creating a carbon dioxide filter. Whether the process is one of reality or fantasy, the conversation considers engineering and activism in a long line of artistic gestures
Border Cultures: Part Three (security, surveillance)
January 31 – May 10, 2015
Bambitchell (Canada), Yto Barrada (Morocco / France), Patrick Beaulieu (Canada), Rebecca Belmore (Canada), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan / USA), Harun Farocki (Germany), Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani (Afghanistan / India / USA), Tory James and Alex McKay (Canada), Shelagh Keeley (Canada), Osman Khan (USA), Evan Lee (Canada), Victoria Lomasko (Russia), Dylan Miner (Métis), Trevor Paglen (USA), Camal Pirbhai and Camille Turner (Canada), Tazeen Qayyum (Canada / Pakistan), Jose Séoane (Canada / Cuba), Charles Stankievech (Canada), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Syrus Marcus Ware (Canada / USA), Tintin Wulia (Australia / Bali)
Three years ago, the AGW launched Border Cultures, a series of exhibitions which deepen our understanding of what is means to be a border city in the 21st century. Located in the southernmost part of Canada across the river from the USA, Windsor is an important site for the arrival and departure for Indigenous, settler and migrant communities. Crisscrossing the geographic and national boundaries for generations in search of freedom, land, work and security, the collective memory, (oral) histories and cultures on these lands are at once deeply interwoven and splintered along colonial, racial and economic lines.
This three-part exhibition was conceptualized as a research platform, bringing together regional, national and international artists to examine the complex and shifting notions of national boundaries. With Border Cultures: Part One (homes, land) (2013), ten artists explored ideas of home, exile, citizenship and nationhood in our globalized world. As capital flows more easily than people to meet the demands of our consumer-based societies, questions of mobility across borders guided Border Cultures: Part Two (work, labour) in 2014. Fifteen artists examined the in-between space of the borderlands, where free-flowing capital and the uneasy movements of the stratified work force encounter one another.
In the final iteration of this series, Border Cultures: Part Three (security, surveillance) examines the impact of heightened militarization along national boundaries that has intensified deportations, detentions and mechanisms of surveillance of migrants and foreigners. The culture of fear accelerated the latent colonial hierarchies across North America with missing Aboriginal women in Canada and incarceration of black men in America, urging us to reconsider questions of security and citizenship. Moving back and forth between these internal and external boundaries, Part Three proposes the border as a site of struggle between personal subjectivities and systems of power. Artists are the key agents here as their work moves from the symbolic and materiality of the border to a psychological and intimate space of despair, hope and desire.
The Border Cultures exhibition series has been presented with the generous support of the TD Bank Group.
Curated by Srimoyee Mitra