Reception sponsored by KPMG
Antonia Hirsch's practice testifies to a long-standing engagement with the quantitative, spatial and syntactic systems that structure an understanding of our universe. The opposite of chaos, cosmos can be defined as a complex and organized system: the ordered universe. Hirsch's work often relates these ordering structures to embodied and visual experience, considering how the ideological nature of these representational systems expresses itself through particular forms of abstraction.
Negative Space is an exhibition of new work that investigates the interrelation of inner and outer worlds. As the title indicates, the works consider the space around and between subjects and systems. The installation includes images and objects whose origin ranges from astronomy to contemporary mobile devices acting as points of departure to address a complex network of speculative ideas. The exhibition's exploration of seeing and believing manifests in evocations of outer space and devices, such as the Claude glass (or black mirror) used by 18th and 19th century landscape painters, that simultaneously pull the user into an interior world while projecting worlds away. This thread between inner and outer space continues in Hirsch's dramatic anamorphic video projection of an asteroid hurtling through a black void. On closer inspection, the asteroid reveals itself to be a far more terrestrial entity - an old potato, pocked and wrinkled. Together with a framed image of the genuine article (Asteroid 433 Eros) and a glass screen with the ambiguous profile of either the asteroid or the potato drawn upon it, the viewer finds their reflection similarly thrust into the fold.
As all cosmologies attempt to understand the implicit order within a whole, Hirsch's work opens up a space for speculation on desire and human experience. Taking up a history of reflection, Negative Space sets forth inquiries into the contexts of technology, philosophy and creative practice, questioning how we and our devices - both historical and present day - favour the image over the "real."
Hirsch is a Berlin based artist, writer and editor. Her work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; The Power Plant, Toronto; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Tramway, Glasgow; and ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, among others, and is held in the public collections fo the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, and Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry, Miami Beach. Her writing and projects have appeared in artecontexto, C Magazine, Fillip, and The Happy Hypocrite. She is the editor of the anthology Intangible Economies (Fillip, 2012).
The exhibition Negative Space is a catalyst for a parallel publication operating between an artist book and a topical anthology that will be released by SFU Gallery in 2015. Edited and introduced by Hirsch, it contains conversations and texts by artists, writers, and theorists.
Negative Space is organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in collaboration with SFU Galleries. Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Lethbridge.
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