ArtSlant - Closing soon en-us 40 Georgia Dickie - Cooper Cole - April 18th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>COOPER COLE</strong> is pleased to announce a solo exhibition from gallery artist Georgia Dickie titled Stivverin'.<br /> <br /> This exhibition will debut an new body of the artist's sculptural works and feature an accompanying essay written by Lucas Soi.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Not all banalities are totally dada, but every banality hides a load of dadaistic nonsense.</strong><b><br /> <br /> <strong>- Kurt Schwitters</strong></b> <br /> <br /> Early incarnations of the Internet relied upon the user's anonymity when connecting to the virtual public. Cyberspace was an environment where the user could be who they wanted to be, rather than who they actually were. Activity was conducted in stealth, through chat rooms and instant messages. With a simple setting all browser history could be erased, leaving no trail of the sites visited and people talked to. Yet in the 21st century, Web 2.0 relies upon users creating a permanent record of their activity by uploading evidence from their everyday lives in real time. Thanks to user-generated content, social networking sites help compile this information together to identify and define people through their own efforts and actions.<br /> <br /> The German critic Boris Groys has observed that "social networks like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Second Life, and Twitter… offer global populations the opportunity to post their photos, videos, and texts in a way that cannot be distinguished from any other conceptualist or post-conceptualist artwork."1 This "accidental audience," according to American critic Brad Troemel, has embraced the virtual tools of production and elaborated on this process of pastiche, "without any particular awareness that they are engaging with 'art' at all." 2 In the same way that people gather experience and knowledge during their lifetime, so do objects. In the material world, every object accrues a bounty of information that it holds intrinsically through time. The inherent history contained in the most banal fabricated materials accumulates the longer it is used and valued. The popular saying "if these walls could talk" is a fitting anecdote to define the historical properties of our built environment.</p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:39:41 +0000 John Eisler - Diaz Contemporary - March 28th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Observatory</em> is an exhibition of new paintings by John Eisler. Although this series continues Eisler’s process-based exploration of folded canvases and staining, the final works are much less divulging of their journey. Instead, subtle suggestions of relations to objects slowly reveal themselves through their repeated stenciled impressions upon the canvas. What results is not a painting of something, but impressions of imagined networks. Eisler’s process of image-making exists between a painterly approach and one evocative of photographic and other technological processes.<br />  </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">John Eisler received his MFA from the University of Guelph in 2008 and his BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1997. He has previously had solo exhibitions at Paul Kuhn Arts in Calgary and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph, Ontario. He has also exhibited in <em>softcore HARDEDGE</em> at the Art Gallery of Calgary (2010), which also travelled to the East and Peggy Phelps Galleries, Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA (2011). Most recently, Eisler was part of the major exhibition of Canadian painting, <em>60 Painters</em> at the Humber Arts and Media Studios in Toronto. He is featured in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. Eisler has exhibited with Diaz Contemporary since 2008.</p> Sun, 24 Mar 2013 13:14:40 +0000 Aleesa Cohene - Diaz Contemporary - March 28th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;">Aleesa Cohene’s new video installation, <em>I Told You That Might Happen,</em> draws upon tenuous relationships between film-watching and our experience of present time<em>.</em> Known for her dissection, appropriation and re-contextualization of popular 1980s and 1990s Hollywood film footage, Cohene meticulously crafted this latest work from the 236 films that Gilles Deleuze discusses in his critical texts <em>Cinema I </em>and <em>Cinema II.</em><br />  <br /> <em>I Told You That Might Happen</em> explores the relationship between a dream analyst and her analysand: the former, a composite character of numerous on-screen women, and the latter, an off-screen male voice. The unraveling of the analysand’s dream and thoughts mirrors Cohene’s process of creating from disjointed fragments. <br />  <br /> Cohene’s installation invites viewers to engage themselves physically with the work’s fabricated plot. A single narrative divided into three linear parts is realized through a physical experience of journeying through three different viewing stations. The viewing experience also features accompanying sculptural work that further implicates the viewer into a bodily experience. <em>I Told You That Might Happen</em> challenges our expectations of cinematic viewing and space with insertions of physical reality that may ultimately appear more uncanny than real.<br />  <br /> Aleesa Cohene’s videos have been screened throughout North America and abroad in Germany, Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Finland, Greece, Spain, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia and Brazil. Recent solo exhibitions include: Sequences in Reykjaík, Iceland, Hart House at the University of Toronto and Galerie Suvi Lehtinen in Berlin, Germany. In 2011, Platform Gallery and MAWA in Winnipeg presented a multi-venue retrospective of Cohene’s work. She will receive her Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto in 2013 and previously completed a fellowship under Matthias Müller at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne, Germany in 2010.<br /> </p> Sun, 24 Mar 2013 13:18:04 +0000 Reinhard Reitzenstein - Olga Korper Gallery - April 6th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 Thu, 28 Mar 2013 03:01:17 +0000 Dennis Day - Paul Petro Contemporary Art - March 29th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;"><i>It Never Really Happened</i> is a visual and whimsical reworking of many of the signs and narrative tropes inherent in documentary, crime and forensic genres.<br /> <br /> Questioning our obsession with certainty, it floats freely between conviction and confusion, trace evidence and trance, measurement and amusement.<br /> <br /> Structured as a chaptered documentary, it posits a less “evidenciary” existence, where a widow can be happy, a fingerprint is simply something to be cleaned and a life sentence does not necessarily take place in a jail.</p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:56:48 +0000 Mélanie Rocan - Paul Petro Contemporary Art - March 29th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;">Mélanie Rocan completed her MFA in the painting program at Concordia University, in Montreal (2008). In 2003, she graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree, thesis in painting.<br /> <br /> <b>Artist Statement</b><br /> <br /> "My recent paintings speak of the fragility of human beings and the reality of the subconscious state. I want to capture a distressed beauty, which suggests an inner emotional condition of highs and lows and psychological unease. There is a dichotomy between the difficulty of comprehending the reality of the internal world and a reaction to the outside world’s fragility and the present state of the earth. I rely on an intuitive process to create my paintings, which gives me freedom to explore and make discoveries. I find the struggle of creating work by intuition and memory produces a constant search to re-invent and build the work within the internal domain of my subconscious. This process also allows room for balance between my hand and the medium itself to communicate. Relying on an intuitive process to make paintings brings forth thoughts that are weighing upon me, because of a constant bombardment and awareness of the reality of the state of the earth and the world. In some of my work I attempt to show unity between humanity and nature, working together, existing as one without overpowering the other. Two worlds intertwined working collectively, agreeing and abiding by a natural contract.<br /> <br /> I am interested in illustrating opposing forces in my work, and by unifying and combining these dualities, they can exist together as one entity, one cannot exist without the other. I want to evoke an inconsistency of emotions, making the work linger in-between a darkness and a playfulness, with the ability to affect and give sensations. For example in <i>Caught In Hula-Hoops</i>, there is a conflict in deciphering what is happening to the figures. They could be seen as either vulnerable beings who are caught by the mass of evocations that whirl around them or are playing in this maze of disparate objects. The contrast between the loss of control in the debris and turmoil, with a rather quiet and serene figures and setting, creates tension between calm and chaos and targets dimensions of the unconsciousness. The mass or fragments floating around them, reveal the inside and outside state of the figures, like a mirror, window or multiplication of mirrors. It explores external and personal sources and the dichotomy between symbols of the self and the environment, divided by psychological turmoil.<br /> <br /> I often focus on gothic elements of familiar places, in finding horror or feelings of foreboding in our existence, in our memory and in living. I also merge autobiographical themes, dreams and reality. In combining nostalgic elements or familiars within the paintings, I want to convey a sense of security, which brings balance to the work. I am interested in creating a unity by combining dualities existing within the difficulties of life and nostalgic elements, which are evidence of our humanity. Nostalgia represents an uncanny timelessness, an anchor that provides us with a sense of stability, bringing us to another moment in our lives and allowing us to lose ourselves in the innocence.<br /> <br /> I have recently found inspiration in my earlier works, combining large abstract painting with a miniaturization and an attention to detail. By bringing these techniques together on one surface, I am not only concerned with the process of painting but the balance between paint and content, and want to leave room for interpretation and suggestion. By combining these two ways of working, abstract planes and particular details, I want to create two opposing forces in the work, an indeterminacy and an over-determination of space. I often use prairie landscapes as backdrops or fields for composition in creating a painting. The environment is often overcrowded with information, not only in the elements in the painting but in the psychoanalytic sense, by emphasizing the dichotomy between reality and inner life and the psychological borders that are evoked.<br /> <br /> The Ferris wheel is often present in my work, as is the repetition of the circle in the representations and composition of the work, which represents a structure of life. This circular composition also refers to the way our eyes and our mind sees the world. Fragments and isolation are the raw material furnished by memory, allowing the painting to be assembled and organized into larger and more substantial dramatic structures. By excluding certain elements of the outer world, such as space, time, and causality, and by adjusting the events to the forms of the inner world, I bring attention to memory, imagination and emotion. I want to focus on the complex interaction between the real and the fantastic by blurring the distinction between these elements."</p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 13:58:40 +0000 Emilio Pica - TeodoraART Gallery (T-ART) - April 2nd, 2013 - April 27th, 2013 Fri, 26 Apr 2013 02:37:47 +0000 Laurie Kang - Erin Stump Projects (ESP) - April 11th, 2013 - April 28th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Audrey: What Jane Austen novels have you read?<br /> <br /> Tom: None. I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelist’s ideas as well as the critic’s thinking. With fiction I can never forget that none of it really happened, that it's all just made up by the author. <br /> <br /> - Whit Stillman</em><br /> <br /> <br />In 1966 the American literary journal Yale French Studies dedicated an issue to Structuralism, a fashionable theory pursued by European literary critics. The theory held that a close reading of any text should be considered with a greater awareness of its historical context; that every piece of writing existed in a historical timeline and popular discourse, and it was only through the identification of these contexts that the true meaning of a text could be interpreted. [1] </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Four American critics working at Yale University felt limited by their French colleagues’ approach. They believed that the “existing conceptions of the world” were too limiting and that “the defining characteristic of literature was its interiority.” [2] The Yale Critics adopted a different theory of interpretation, that of Deconstruction. Textual deconstruction was “an attitude towards the apparent structures embedded in works, and an attempt to interrogate those structures, initially by inverting the hierarchies which the structures represent.” [3]<br /> <br /> Art has always been defined by its internal and external context, and in Laurie Kang’s new solo exhibition at Erin Stump Projects her gesture is to re-consider the power structure of the gallery space through the deconstruction of the art objects on display. An artwork’s traditional role as the center of meaning is subservient in this exhibition to the social structure of the white cube. This inversion of the classic hierarchy is made through an installation created specifically for the gallery’s location at 1086 1/2 Queen Street West.<br /> <br /> Along the perimeter of the exhibition space hang the contents of one box of Ilford Multigrade IV RC Deluxe silver halide photo paper. All fifty pages are empty except for the subtle trace of an action: the entire stack has been dipped into liquid fixer. Similar to how an object is taken from an artist’s studio and submerged into a public gallery, anointing it as a viable work of art, Kang’s gesture reflects this process. Art is elected through consensus, and the public’s agreement that certain spaces should promote systems which justify the significance of objects or gestures is a social process that relies upon predefinition. The consistency of each of Kang’s pages bearing the mark of the chemical fixer reflects this agreement. <br /> <br /> The gallery is a place of record, and the individual pieces of paper are bound to the wall like pages in the spine of a book. Displaying the blank pages in a predefined context recalls Vancouver-based artists Tim Lee and Mark Soo’s book Modern Optical Experiments in Typography: Univers Ultra Light Oblique (1968), where one thousand and twenty-four pages are left blank except for four words on four separate pages. Is it a book simply because it is a bound collection of pages with a colour cover? The internal logic of Kang’s pages displayed in the gallery imitate the deconstructionist theory of a fragmented text, which “prevent their ever becoming works by exposing their central knot of indeterminacy”.[4] Are they examples of artwork, or artworks themselves? To extend the tautology of her exhibition, Kang presents a 1:1 scale replica of the front step of the gallery inside as a sculpture. Outside, its original form is a long triangular wedge of concrete that stretches underneath the front door and the large front window next to it. Inside, the silhouette of the step sits in the centre of the room unobtrusively, a form to be navigated around as the viewer walks along the wall. Are we meant to disregard it in the same way we do the original?<br /> <br /> In 1979 the Yale Critics published Deconstruction and Criticism, a compilation of essays written using their theory. Paul de Man wrote about British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’sepic poem The Triumph of Life, written in 1822 about the supremacy of the natural world over man’s accomplishments. Analyzing a passage about the sun, de Man observed that “light generates its own shape by means of a mirror, a surface that articulates it without setting up a clear separation that differentiates inside from outside as self is differentiated from other.”[5] Viewed through the window of Erin Stump Projects, Laurie Kang’s exhibition achieves its full shape from this vantage point, comprehending itself through the mirror of the gallery space, in the full view of a willing audience.<br /> <br /> - Lucas Soi<br /> <br /> [1] Martin, Wallace. “Introduction.” The Yale Critics: Deconstruction in America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1983.<br /> [2] Ibid xxi<br /> [3] Greetham, D.C. “[Textual] Criticism and Deconstruction.” Studies in Bibliography, Vol. 44. Virginia: University of Virginia, 1991.<br /> [4] Ibid 14<br /> [5] de Man, Paul. “Shelley Disfigured.” Deconstruction and Criticism. New York: Continuum, 1979.</p> <div style="text-align: justify;"> <div id="ftn"></div> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> <strong>Laurie Kang </strong>is an artist working in photography, sculpture, collage and installation. Exhibition history includes a feature exhibition in Contact Festival 2012, and group showings at Gallery 295 in Vancouver, Gallery 44, Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, and most recently The Kitchen at Soi Fischer. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography from the Canada Council for the Arts. Forthcoming publications include an artist book with Mossless Magazine and a feature in Camera Austria. She lives and works in Toronto and is an MFA candidate at Bard College. This is her first solo exhibition at ESP.</p> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 06:47:14 +0000 Françoise Sullivan - Corkin Gallery - February 2nd, 2013 - April 30th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;">Blind Scribbles is an exciting and luminous new series of paintings by Françoise Sullivan which continues to explore the gestural abstraction for which she is renowned.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sullivan’s new series of lush paintings revisit automatism in a way which reveals its current relevance. Making a mark or “scribble” with her eyes closed, she builds a painting, filling the canvas with shimmering colours. This is akin “to Borduas saying I make a mark and from there I make a painting” she states. Taken together, the new works visually build upon each other in much the same way that musical notes create a symphony.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Each work is, however, individual in its approach. Although the paintings at first glance imply three-dimensionality, they are two luminous fields, one in front of the other. The gestures soar weightlessly over pulsating colour to embrace the viewer.<br /> </p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 04:10:35 +0000 Mary Wright - TeodoraART Gallery (T-ART) - May 2nd, 2013 - May 2nd, 2013 <p></p> <p><b>BELOW CHRISTCHURCH</b></p> <p>"Forest fires are neither good nor bad," observed a public road sign, as I drove through the Rockies near Banff.  Many years later, people on the Greek Island of Samos, unable to blame nature for the fire consuming their forests, blamed people, arsonists.  </p> <p>Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon, and only partly understood by human scientists, cannot yet be modified by us. </p> <p>We tend to think of nature, especially landscape, as serene.  Yes, the weather can change, but the shape of the earth does not.  However, the primeval forces of nature are as responsible for the rise of mountain ranges and the delineation of oceans and continents as for earthquakes and tsunamis. </p> <p>"Below Christchurch" is a painting series based on the mountainous areas in New Zealand's South Island.  The serene and stormy Southern Alps have arisen from the core of the earth, just as the recent earthquakes there destroyed parts of the City of Christchurch. <i>– Mary Wright 2013</i></p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:28:13 +0000 Bertrand Carrière - Stephen Bulger Gallery - April 6th, 2013 - May 4th, 2013 <p style="text-align: justify;">The gallery is pleased to announce our sixth exhibition of work by Bertrand Carrière. “Après Strand” revisits a part of photographic history through the work of American photographer Paul Strand and his connection to Carrière’s own territory, Québec.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During the summer of 2010, Carrière travelled to the Gaspé Peninsula, following the route that Strand took in 1929 and 1936. From his two trips to Gaspésie, Strand produced a number of pictures, but few are known to the general public. These two expeditions were brief, but they marked a turning point in his career as he began to tackle the problems raised by a photographic depiction of landscape and, as a result, he became the precursor of a new vision. When referring to the Gaspésie photographs, Strand said, "Their importance is that they were the first more systematic, conscious efforts to organize a landscape and its elements, all its elements.” Strand’s &gt;first trip was dedicated to the landscapes and his second was about making portraits of the people who lived there. These two trips formed what Strand defined as the essential character of a place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Carrière’s photographs adopt Strand's vision of photography and his approach to landscape. While deliberately avoiding imitation, he allowed himself to absorb Strand's lessons, observing time, memory and landscape. Carrière is fascinated with stories that are bound to the land, traces of which persist to this day. His attention was drawn to the social landscape and vernacular architecture, documenting modest houses, barns, fishermen's cabins and wayside crosses. He photographed some of the inhabitants he met, trying to be faithful to a humanistic approach, out of respect for the people who have shaped the land and have kept these remote communities alive, while struggling with an unforgiving climate and difficult socioeconomic conditions.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Gaspésie that Strand documented no longer exists, but Carrière’s work was deeply inspired by the places Strand photographed. He also had the chance to meet with, and photograph, the grandson of one of Strand's subjects. During the summer of 2010, Carrière travelled 5,000 miles, along route 132, looking for that essential character that Strand tried to capture.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Carrière teaches photography at André-Laurendeau College in Montréal and he actively exhibits and publishes his work across North America and Europe. He has published a number of photographic books, which include: Après Strand (2012) with Musée régional de Rimouski; Lieux Mêmes (2010) with L’instant même; Ground Level (2009) with Sagamie; Témoin de l’ombre (1995), Voyage à domicile (1997), Signes de jour (2002) and Dieppe, Landscapes and installations (2006) with Les 400 Coups. Carrière’s work can be found in many prominent collections including: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Cinémathèque québécoise, Montréal; Canadian Centre of Architecture, Montréal; Canadian War Museum, Ottawa; Collection du Prêt d’oeuvres d’art, Musée national des<br />beaux-arts du Québec, Québec City; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; Encontros da Imagem, Braga; Pôle Image de Haute-Normandie, Rouen; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Canadian Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Texas; amongst others.</p> Sun, 21 Apr 2013 12:59:40 +0000 Group Show - The Power Plant - December 15th, 2012 - May 5th, 2013 <p><em>Beat Nation</em> describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban youth culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works—in painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video—that reflect the current realities of Aboriginal peoples today.<br /> <br /> Since the early 1990s, hip hop has been a driving force of activism for urban Aboriginal youth in communities across the Americas. The roots of this music have been influential across disciplines and have been transformed to create dynamic forums for storytelling and indigenous languages, as well as new modes of political expression. In the visual arts, artists remix, mash up and weave together the old with the new, the rural with the urban, traditional and contemporary as a means to rediscover and reinterpret Aboriginal culture within the shifting terrain of the mainstream.<br /> <br /> While this exhibition takes its starting point from hip hop, it branches out to refer to pop culture, graffiti, fashion and other elements of urban life. Artists create unique cultural hybrids that include graffiti murals with Haida figures, sculptures carved out of skateboard decks, abstract paintings with form-line design, live video remixes with Hollywood films, and hip hop performances in Aboriginal dialects, to name a few. <em>Beat Nation</em> brings together artists from across the continent—from the West Coast as far north as Alaska and Nunavut, as far east as Labrador and south to New Mexico—and reveals the shared connections between those working in vastly different places.<br /> <br /> As Aboriginal identity and culture continue to change, and as artists reinvent older traditions into new forms of expression, their commitment to politics, to storytelling, to Aboriginal languages, to the land and rights remains constant, whether these are stated with drums skins or turntables, natural pigments or spray paint, ceremonial dancing or break dancing.</p> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 11:48:52 +0000 Althea Thauberger - The Power Plant - December 15th, 2012 - May 5th, 2013 <p>While Thauberger’s practice defies strict definition by medium, she has produced remarkable films, videos, photographs, and performances over the course of her decade-long career. Driven by her interest in, and unique facility for, collaboration, the thread that connects her projects is her thoughtful engagement with groups of people – most often well-defined social enclaves – as her subjects. She works with these communities to develop performances that offer the participants opportunities for self-exploration and self-definition. The final works – whether videos or photographs – produced by Thauberger to record the collaborations, are always striking documents that entice, engage and surprise her viewers.<br /> <br /> Thauberger’s project for The Power Plant is an experimental documentary/video installation about the staging of Peter Weiss’s 1963 play <em>Marat/Sade</em> at the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague. Thauberger’s new work approaches issues of timely reassessment, institutionalization and shifting political terrain.<br /> <br /> The original 1963 play imagines that the Marquis de Sade wrote and directed a play about the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat while the former was interned in the Charenton asylum in 1808, nineteen years after the beginning of the French Revolution and a time of massive institutional reform. This period saw beginnings of the reformation of the treatment of “mental illness” from punishment to “therapy.” In the 1963 play, the inmates enact the drama, and are always partly themselves, as “mental patients,” and partly in historical character. The play reveals an ongoing debate about whether the imperatives of revolution originate within the individual or within society as a whole.<br /> <br /> While the original play is set in the bath house of the Charenton asylum, Thauberger’s production is set in the decommissioned laundry/water facilities of another post-revolutionary institution: Bohnice, the largest psychiatric clinic in the Czech Republic. Currently undergoing institutional reform, Bohnice is in the beginning stages of de-institutionalization and the final stages of privatization of some of its services. The production was a collaboration with the Prague-based experimental theatre company Akanda and theatrical director Melanie Rada in which play was presented to the patients and staff of Bohnice as well as general audiences who came to the hospital over a 5 night run. Thauberger’s <em>THE PERSECUTION AND ASSASSINATION OF JEAN-PAUL MARAT AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES OF THE ASYLUM OF CHARENTON UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE AS PERFORMED BY THE PRAGUE-BASED EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE COMPANY AKANDA FOR THE PATIENTS AND STAFF OF THE BOHNICE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL</em> is a video work that documents and reconfigures the staging of the play in this location, to audiences of the patients and staff of the institution.</p> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 11:49:50 +0000