Digital archiving in full effect. #artspeak

Digital archiving in full effect. #artspeak

Tags: artspeak

Gastown Follies #abigaildeville #artspeak

Gastown Follies #abigaildeville #artspeak

New York Art Book Fair 2013 flashback #nyabf #artspeak

New York Art Book Fair 2013 flashback #nyabf #artspeak

Tags: artspeak nyabf

Bacon Brest
Alex Da Corte
May 4 - June 8, 2013

In Bacon Brest, Alex Da Corte (Philadelphia) reconsiders the system of Hollywood through a revised version of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”—a parlor game which proposes that anyone on earth is a mere six connections from the actor. Da Corte repositions players such as Martin Brest, Wes Craven, and Halle Berry’s Catwoman as central bloodlines of Hollywood, weaving through their varying careers to investigate the inconsistencies of Hollywood itself. Puncturing holes in its immaculate veneer, the artist posits that the structure of Hollywood is both faulty and essentially human, and the absorption of success and failure should instead be considered requisites for ingenuity and innovation beyond the cinema.

Da Corte creates sculptures out of repurposed materials collected from retail stores and various locales in his travels. He identifies his process as a form of cultural anthropology, utilizing modest, found materials that point to our intimate relationship with discardable items, asking us what these consumer objects reveal about our recent past and what direction we are headed. Toying with ideas of taste, Da Corte proposes that failure is in fact an essential component of risk and rule breaking; and the celebration and acknowledgment of flaws in a milieu that scorns and dismisses imperfection can resuscitate a vernacular from moments previous. His sculptures maintain traces of their past lives, reviving lost narratives while exposing the capacity of mass-produced objects to be surrogates for power, sex and happiness.

No Soul For Sale - Turbine Hall, Tate Modern 
Lucy Pullen 
May 14 - May 16, 2010

In celebration of the Tate Modern’s 10th anniversary, the gallery is hosting No Soul For Sale – A Festival of Independents. The festival brings together over 70 of the world’s most exciting independent art spaces, non-profit organizations, and artists’ collectives, from Vancouver to Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro, to take over the iconic Turbine Hall with an eclectic mix of arts events, performances, music, and film. Neither a fair nor an exhibition, No Soul For Sale is a convention of individuals and groups who present work beyond the limits of the market and other logistical constraints – it is a celebration of the independent forces that animate contemporary art. The festival is an exercise in coexistence: organizations exhibit alongside one another without partitions or walls.

Artspeak is presenting a project by artist Lucy Pullen at No Soul for Sale. Entitled Blind Spot, Pullen’s towering, freestanding tent-like structure is skinned in reflective fabric. An extension of her recent Artspeak project, I Would Prefer Not To (which pulled reflective blinds on the gallery during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics), Pullen uses the same material to present the notion of a blind spot within the spectacle, positing Artspeak in a position of complicated stake-claiming, complicity, and refusal. The tent’s reflective fabric interrupts the process of mechanical reproduction. When photographed with a flash, a white hole appears in the image. When the viewer occupies a mid-point between the work of art and a light source, the work “pops” or jumps in hue from an indistinct grey to a blinding white light. For over ten years Pullen has used this material to make works of art (sculptures and photographs) that challenge media. Both exclusionary and interactive, Pullen’s tent questions ideas of participation and indifference, calling into question participation in the social, ethical, and economic conundrums surrounding events like No Soul for Sale as much as she does for large corporate parties such as the Olympics. Viewers are invited to photograph Blind Spot with flash and lens in close proximity. Pullen will present the artistic use of 3M reflective fabric on Sunday May 16th at 12:30 in the Tate Modern auditorium.

…a legend, it, it sounds like a legend… 
Hannah Rickards 
September 11th - October 30th, 2010


Postscript 39 - Robert Ardnt on Hannah Rickards

January 22 - March 26, 2011

Robert Ardnt’s video work, Placeholder, uses a commercial documentation shoot for a series of homogenous blocks as the setting for an absurdist theatre of critical dialogue. Through this familiar backdrop of well-considered object presentation, the scene becomes a site of dubious discourse, akin to an aesthetic sample group. Actors adopt the roles of off-camera producers and directors, engaging in disagreeable narration judgments, language, and the structures of authority through the practicalities of collaborative documentation. Moving beyond the presentation of video as theatre model, Ardnt’s video installation implicates the screen, gallery, and viewer in this discourse through its unconventional presentation. 

Post-script 41: Lisa Coulthard on Robert Ardnt 

The Poodledog Ornamental Bar  
Julia Feyrer
November 13, 2010 - January 8, 2011

Referencing experimental film, performance documentation, and filmmaking-as-process, Julia Feyrer’s 16mm film, The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar, was shot on a “film set” the artist constructed in a Vancouver backyard. Modeled on an 1890’s Gastown bar of the same name, Feyrer activated her temporary illegal bar (serving home brewed Frankfurt style apple wine) with performances, readings, and events. These events and their audiences provide the cast and soundtrack for the non-narrative film that is itself an accumulation of improvisations, collaborations, and cinematic visual compositions, placing the historical past as a backdrop to its reinterpreted present.

Post-script 40: Michael Turner on Julia Feyrer

Persistence of Vision
Holly Ward
June 11 - July 23, 2011 

Holly Ward’s interdisciplinary practice is centered on ideas surrounding social progress and political power, and serves to examine the role of art within this. In Persistence of Vision, Ward investigates symbolic strategies of resistance and the use of utopian discourse as a starting point for revolution. The exhibition creates a linkage between contemporary spaces of protest and historical representations of the “utopian” city square. Featuring new sculptural and print work, the exhibition is an extension of Ward’s ongoing interest in social engagement and the utopian imaginary.

Post-script 43: Jeff Dirksen on Holly Ward

Work Friends
Tricia Middleton
August 1 - August 31, 2011

Comprised of various sculptural works, Work Friends addresses issues of value, modes of display, and the instability of material relations. The installation includes six awkward, oddly shaped plinths that in their non-uniformity are reminiscent of forms that range from anthropomorphized figures to haunting cityscapes. Built from the misshapen and broken brick remnants of Middleton’s 2009 exhibition Dark Souls (Musee d’art contemporain, Montreal), the plinths create unlikely and uneven arrangements that radically transform from day to night.

The Party is Over | Divya Mehra
November 26, 2011 - January 28, 2012

Divya Mehra’s practice draws from experiences of displacement, cultural conventions, and hybridization, infusing a biting wit in the execution of her projects. Connecting political and religious icons with popular hip-hop culture, Mehra examines cross-cultural appropriations and the parallels between family tension and nationalistic conflict. Her work investigates the construction and misrepresentation of cultural identity while making reference to layered divisions and the disparity and exploitation of power. Engaging with decay, excess, and failed celebration, Mehra will present an exhibition comprised of new sculptural and photographic work and a performance by a local gospel choir.

Post-script 44: Joni Low on Divya Mehra

I had a great trip despite a brutal feeling of cognitive dissonance. | Samuel Roy-Bois
February 4 - March 17, 2012

Objects remain spellbound in the merciful separation of space, no material part can commonly share its space with another, and a real unity of diverse elements does not exist in space. - Georg Simmel

The form of a city changes, alas, more rapidly than a man’s heart. - Baudelaire

 Reconfiguring and partitioning the gallery, I had a great trip despite a brutal feeling of cognitive dissonance demonstrates Samuel Roy-Bois’ continued interest in the deconstruction of space. An enclosed living area – inhabited by a stranger free of charge for the duration of the exhibition – will be made private with no public access, its occupant given full authority over its usage. Paired with the built environment is a voice recording that furthers the gallery’s transformation into an intimate place of residence.

Post-script 45: Michael Christie on Samuel Roy-Bois

The Weight of Lives I’m Not Living | Guy Ben-Ner, Fabiola Carranza, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa
March 31 - May 12, 2012
ARTSPEAK, Vancouver 

This exhibition brings together the work of three artists who investigate how art can be at the service of life, raising ethical questions of where the distinguishing line is between art-making and personal and professional relations. Referencing language, tropicalism, and informal economies, the works examine the intimacy of familial relationships while constructing narratives on personal and geographic displacement. Included in the exhibition are video by Israeli artist Guy Ben-Ner (Tel Aviv); a large-scale sculpture by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa (Vancouver/Guatemala); and a pop-up jewellery consignment shop by Fabiola Carranza (Vancouver/Costa Rica).

Post-script 46: Jenni Pace on The Weight of Lives I’m Not Living

Aaron Flint Jamison
June 9 - July 21, 2012
ARTSPEAK, Vancouver

A white mesh curtain separates Aaron Flint Jamison’s exhibition from Artspeak’s office. A more hermetic effect could have been achieved with a bolt of heavier or darker fabric, but instead, this mutable layer conveys lightness and permits a partial view. The thoughtful specificity of this border sets the tone for an exhibition concerned with interiors…

Post-script 47:  Laura Matwichuk on Aaron Flint Jamison

Danh Vo | One Beauty Sleep Away 
September 8 - October 27, 2012
ARTSPEAK, Vancouver 

20 janvier 1861.


Très cher, très honoré et bien-aimé Père,

Puisque ma sentence se fait encore attendre, je veux vous addresser un nouvel adieu, qui sera probablement le dernier. Les jours de ma prison s’écoulent paisiblement. Tous ceux qui m’entourent m’honorent, un bon nombre m’aiment. Depuis le grand mandarin jusqu’au dernier soldat, tous regrettent que la loi du royaume me condamne à la mort. Je n’ai point eu à endurer de tortures, comme beaucoup de mes frères. Un léger coup de sabre séparera ma tête, comme une fleur printanière que le Maître du jardin cueille pour son plaisir. Nous sommes tous des fleurs plantées sur cette terre que Dieu cueille en son temps, un peu plus tôt, un peu plus tard. Autre est la rose empourprée, autre le lys virginal, autre l’humble violette. Tâchons tous de plaire, selon le parfum ou l’éclat qui nous sont donnés, au souverain Seigneur et Maître.

Je vous souhaite, cher Père, une longue, paisible et vertueuse vieillesse. Portez doucement la croix de cette vie, à la suite de Jésus, jusqu’au calvaire d’un heureux trépas. Père et fils se reverront au paradis. Moi, petit éphémère, je m’en vais le premier. Adieu.

Votre très dévoué et respectueux fils.

J. Théophane Vénard

 Post-script 48: Marina Roy on Danh Vo | One Beauty Sleep Away