The SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art presents Vera Frenkel : cartographie d’une pratique | Vera Frenkel: Mapping a Practice, curated by Sylvie Lacerte. Canadian artist Vera Frenkel is the focus of this hybrid exhibition that examines the work of this pioneer in new media art and the 2006 recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Lacerte’s synthesis brings archives and works together to reveal a little-known side of the artist’s remarkable creative process that began in Montreal more than 40 years ago.
Collaborating closely with Frenkel, the curator has selected three pivotal works from the artist’s corpus: String Games – Improvisations for Inter-City Video (1974); …from the Transit Bar (1992); and Once Near Water: Notes from the Scaffolding Archives (2008-2009) around which she has juxtaposed documents that both precede and follow their creation and dissemination. Lacerte delved into the artist’s personal archives and the Vera Frenkel fonds at Queen’s University, to assemble a wide array of elements to share with the public, including photos, designs, sketches, posters and correspondence. The exhibition will treat visitors to a far-reaching look at the artist’s political and artistic approach to her undertakings.
Frenkel has created installations and performances that have had a pronounced impact on art in Canada and abroad through her innovative and personal appropriation of technology. She has constructed a sensitive and interdisciplinary practice in which art and politics channel the issues she has long cared about, such as loss, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, uprooting, and human migration.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.
Vera Frenkel has exhibited her work at Documenta IX (Germany); Offenes Kulturhaus (Austria); Setagaya Art Museum (Japan); National Gallery of Canada; Museum of Modern Art (New York); and the Venice Biennale (Italy). Her written work has notably been published in artscanada, Canadian Art, FUSE, Intermédialités and Public. She is the recipient of a number of major awards, including the Canada Council Molson Prize, the Gershon-Iskowitz Prize, the Toronto Arts Foundation Visual Arts Award, and the Bell Canada Award for Video Art. She holds honorary doctorates from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the Emily Carr Institute. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Sylvie Lacerte is an independent art and museum theorist and curator. Her work La médiation de l’art contemporain (Arts Le Sabord, 2007), drawn from her doctoral dissertation (UQÀM), was a finalist for the 2007 Prix de l’essai Spirale Eva-le-Grand. She was coordinator for the DOCAM Research Alliance (Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage) at the Daniel Langlois Foundation. In 2008, she curated La médiation du conflit / Mediating Conflict, an exhibition for the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal. She is artistic director of cultural magazine Spirale and a lecturer at UQÀM.
The SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, and the Phyllis Lambert Foundation. The Gallery wishes to thank Heather Home, archivist of Queen’s University in Kingston, the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, and MP Reproductions Inc. Sylvie Lacerte wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its support of this exhibition and publication.