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|October 18 to November 16, 2013
2 channel HD video | China/Netherlands | 2012
“After a performance during Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Arthub Asia and Chen Tong invited me to work for a month at their artist space in Guangzhou. I was hoping to gain access to rich party members through Chen Tong. I got invited to a lot of dinners but gained very little access so I ended up getting lost in Guangzhou a lot.
During my wandering, I stumbled upon the market area, where these androgynous boys were hanging stoically on their bikes and carts during endless traffic jams. I stayed to stare for weeks and they stared back. On first sight these big groups of boys seemed to have very individualised, unique styles and ideas about fashionI think one article called them fashionistas. However, I realised after a while that these styles were actually very uniformthey were copying the styles of soap opera and television idols. I realised that their aspirations, dreams and images of what they would like to be are influenced by the same TV- and advertisement-generated images we see all over the world.
Parts of Rituals are staged and parts are shot en passant. I cast the staged aspects of Rituals like I would anywhere I am working on the street. The participants posed and sometimes felt awkward. They giggled a little during shooting and afterward we went to their favourite restaurant, which was McDonald’s. A lot of them have never been in a film before, but a lot of my western subjects have also never been in films before they work with me. The boys pretty much accepted my poses without questioning because these erotic gestures are so prevalent in advertisements. The erotic has been pulled out of the private or hidden sphere into the public sphere, which created a very powerful but completely non-sexual and not kinky erotic.” JR
Julika Rudelius is an internationally exhibiting video and performance artist. She received her BFA in photography from the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam in 1998, followed by residencies at the Rijksakademie van beeldenden kunsten in 19992000 and the ISCP program in New York in 2006. Her work explores themes of emotional dependency, politics, abuse and power. Rudelius’s work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Brooklyn Museum, New York; MOCA North Miami, Miami; the ICP Triennial 2009; International Center of Photography, New York; the 2009 International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennial, Korea; and Heartland at the Smart Museum, Chicago; with solo shows at the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art, New York; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam; and at the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. Rudelius was recently featured on the cover of Art Papers and a catalogue of her latest solo show entitled Soft Intrusion at Ursula Blickle Stiftung in Kraichtal, Germany was published by Sternberg Press, Berlin. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Beijing.
|October 18 to November 3, 2013
Antimatter [Media Art]
Screenings | Installations | Performance
Dedicated to the exhibition and nurturing of diverse forms of media art, Antimatter is one of the premier showcases of experimentation in film, video, audio and emerging timebased forms. Encompassing screenings, installations, performances and media hybrids, Antimatter provides a noncompetitive setting in Victoria, British Columbia, free from commercial and industry agendas.
|In the Deluge transom window, dusk 10pm
Installation Loop | 2:45 | 16mm on HD video | Canada | 2012
“In 1989, I was an employee on a cinematic feature in the town of Iqaluit, NWT, Canada (formerly Frobisher Bay). Referencing the Whitney Brothers films of the 1950s and 1960s and after a 24-year period of expressed sorrow for its town and people, I created this mandala installation loop. The film, revolving and repeating, offers a glimpse into the permanence of naturein contrast to the transience of man-made ideals and ambitions.” SW
Montreal-born artist Steven Woloshen (BFA, MFA Studio Arts) has been creating short abstract films and time-based installation pieces since 1982. He has shown his work, lectured on the subject of handmade analogue film techniques and been commissioned to create unique films at artist-run centres, international film festivals and galleries. In 2010, he published his first book on the subject of decay, archiving and handmade filmmaking techniques, titled Recipes for Reconstruction: The Cookbook for the Frugal Filmmaker.
|At 634 Yates, below Deluge, dusk 10pm
Installation Loop | 4:35 | HD video | USA | 2011
Portraits (Terminators) is a video projection consisting of 49 individual Youtube videos of young men’s faces, but with bionic overlays (laser eyes, alloy jaws) on their features a la James Cameron’s Terminator. Each uploaded this content on social networking sites, creating an ad hoc community displaying their 3D tracking and modelling prowess. The tutorial they followed to produce these “portraits” begs the question, Why the Terminator? Why do they transform themselves into a militaristic cyborg, when this software is capable of an infinity of options? Or is it the software that influences the user to create such a figure?
Tiffany Funk (Ph.D ABD) is an artist and art historian living in Chicago, Illinois. Her research investigates the use of technological prosthesis in historic and contemporary art practices and popular media. Her multimedia work involves both traditional and digital practices, alternately taking the form of critical and conceptual writing, drawing, software, video, and installation. She received her MFA in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Chicago in New Media Arts, and is currently researching and writing her dissertation focusing on John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD (19671969) and its legacy in computational art practices.
|August 30 to September 28, 2013
Amy Brener | Michael Doerksen
Deluge Contemporary Art presents Cloud Quarry, a two-person exhibition that introduces a conversation between the recent works of Amy Brener and Michael Doerksen. Builders of sculptural worlds happily operating on both micro and macroscopic levels, Brener and Doerksen create objects that support (and contain) dichotomies of the material and the intangible -- control and chance.
Brener's crystalline sculptures explore an interest in temporal elasticity and strive to point forward and backwards at once. They arise from intense labour and a singular method of preparing frameworks which she fills with many layers of pigmented resin embedded with reflective materials and bits of technology rapidly passing into obsolescence. The finished works shapeshift with our perception of them, reorienting and playing with light and scale, becoming fluid at the same moment we fully experience their rigidity.
Doerksen’s multi-coloured planetoid volumes aim to capture the chance operations of skylight and cloud formation in both process and appearance. Once these works are de-molded, Doerksen begins to sand them down as though he is traveling backwards along the path of their making, revealing complex chromatic surface patterns in the thinly layered gypsum. These planet orbs unsettle as much as they compel, dismantling our sense of scale and context in the world: we are dwarfed or gigantic, alien or familiar, relative to what?
Inherent in this process-based work of Brener and Doerksen are the risks and opportunities that come with scaling and circumnavigating anything beyond our knowing. There is an attempt to capture something that is uncontainable, as impossible as the excavation of clouds.
Amy Brener was born in Victoria, BC and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Hunter College in 2010 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. She was a resident at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 2012. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and London. Recent shows include The In Between at Greene Exhibitions (Los Angeles), Saturation Point at Dutton (New York) and More and Different Flags at Marlborough Chelsea (New York). Brener’s work will be exhibited this fall at Aanant & Zoo (Berlin) and Asya Geisberg Gallery (New York). She has been featured in publications such as Under the Influence, Whitehot Magazine, Artinfo and Modern Painters. amybrener.com
Michael Doerksen is a visual artist and musician born on Vancouver Island, raised in Langford and currently living in Victoria. He first attended art school at Camosun College (1999) and later obtained a BFA (2005) and an MFA in Sculpture (2012) from Concordia University in Montreal. Doerksen’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, both independently and as a member of the now inactive video/performance based art collective The Discriminating Gentlemen’s Club. Notable exhibitions include (Re)thinking Sculpture at Galerie Lilian Rodriguez (Montreal, 2013), Making It Work at Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Montreal, 2009), PULP at Open Space in (Victoria, 2007), ctrl_alt_del sound-art festival at the 10th International Istanbul Biennial (2007) and the Commonwealth-based Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, Australia (2006). As a musician he was a member of the critically acclaimed art rock band Sunset Rubdown who released four LPs, two EPs, and toured internationally before disbanding in 2009. Doerksen maintains representation at Galerie Lilian Rodriguez in Montreal where his work has entered into private collections. michaeldoerksen.com
|June 28 to July 27, 2013
Lindsay's installation at Deluge manifests his ongoing investigations into sensory perception and imagination: our sum experience as human beings acting as contrails for how we try to understand our singular place within a manifold universe. The work in change has been conceived and constructed as a sort of laboratory/maquette for the expansion of our insight, playing with the interrelationship between sculpture and space. When we are inside of it, we absorb, consider, abandon and reconsider our conscious, unconscious and uncontrollable relationship to the nature of the piece, as well as our responses. change is a place where we are able to experience a subjective and mutable awareness of existing in complex and ineffable surroundingsthe uncertain journey we make between resistance and enlightenment.
Twenty years experience as a microbiologist helped refine Chris Lindsay’s ability to engage and interpret visual information, instilling in him a profound interest and appreciation for the complex gift of human perception, nourishing an aptitude for invention and promoting a sincere concern for the fate of our species on this planet. Having completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa in 2011 and recently an MFA at the University of Victoria, he continues to develop his practice in Victoria. Lindsay’s work has been shown in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta and Victoria.
|May 17 to June 15, 2013
Oh! You Pretty Things
Since its domestication in Egypt between 4000 and 3000 BC, the cat has been celebrated in art, as well as folktales and fables. Etruscan sculptors from 6th century BC, 18th century painter Jean Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and contemporary artists Allison Schulnik and Gillian Carnegie have all drawn upon the cat for subject matter. Ancient Egyptians were so enamored with their feline friends that if a cat died in a home of a natural death, all of the inhabitants would shave their eyebrows in a sign of mourning. If one were to kill a cat either intentionally or unintentionally, they would be put to death. We no longer live in a time of such extremes, but the cat still holds its power over us. In 2010, Canadians owned eight-and-a-half million cats.
What interests me most is the cat’s status in the home. This series of 15 paintings -- culled from photographs collected after a request for pictures on Facebook -- focuses on house cats in domestic interiors. These small scale, representational works are meditations of space, time, colour and form and are a deliberate attempt at destabilizing the icons of modernism. Repeatedly deploying arrangements of fabric, furniture and architecture, this series is ultimately concerned with modes of inhabiting space and suggests a compressed urban environment. These are not paintings of urban hustle; rather they are oases of meditative calm and reflection. The banal subject of the ubiquitous family cat is transformed into images that celebrate the humility and comfort of our private lives.
|March 15 to April 13, 2013
Drama of Perception
Stephanie Aitken | Katie Lyle | Shelley Penfold
Curated by Sandra Meigs
Looking at a painting, what do you expect? Do you know everything a painting can do? What do you want from it? What do you hope for?
There is a fragment of a Goya mural at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Dog half-submerged, 1821-1823, from his Black Paintings. A dog’s head peeks up from a vast mound of brown earth and looks forward to something outside the canvas. It is a small piece, 131cm X 79cm. The small stubby dog head grabbed me from a distance even though I could not really make out what it was. Once I went closer, I was mesmerized by his very strong and enigmatic presence. Something very present yet very fleeting, it portrays a moment of inevitability and fragility of existence. The painting seemed to form before my eyes as if it depicted the fuzzy line between imagination and reality.
When I look at the works of these three painters, Stephanie Aitken, Katie Lyle and Shelley Penfold, I have total conviction that the forms in the paintings exist in the world, these forms that have been conjured out of imagination. At the same time, I doubt. Because these fictional forms convince me, I begin to doubt the world and my entire understanding. These paintings cause me to doubt my perception. I look. I have a visual experience for half a second, and then my mind tumbles on to another visual experience. This is why the paintings join me with the world. As I persist in doubt and knowingness, I am closest to my living perceptual experiences of the world.
My mind constructs and reconstructs what I think I see. What appears before me is not really what it appears to be. I feel like the paintings need me. Thus, I am important. The paintings breathe into me, not oxygen, but other physical elements of the world…strange and unusual colours, slippery fields, boundaries and shapes I have not known in the world enter into me through my perceptions.
There is a kind of looking other than that of me looking at paintings: the looking of the painter at the paint and canvas as she paints. This is looking, not outwardly to the world, or to a finished work as I described above. Rather it is looking at the unfolding and the outcome of one’s infinitively minute or extraordinarily grand gestures, tools, paint materials and mixings, ideas, accidental movements, and all the knowledge and skill imbedded in the painter’s brain.
Stephanie Aitken has worked through a series of paintings that are highly layered organic constructs. They seem to have structures deep inside the forms. They seem to have voices of Tenor. The forms fall apart as they come together. The newer work has a thinner handling of paint, as if the paint could dissolve with one’s looking. Aitken has constructed totemic-like jewels that sit at rest symmetrically within the borders of the canvas. They too seem to have a voice, this time a soft soprano, like a young girl.
Who are these oval characters that I see? In some ways they echo the women of Katie Lyle’s work that we also see here in the gallery. And too they echo the drumming of Shelley Penfold’s uncertain and doubtful joyful fields.
Katie Lyle paints young women who seem to be posing for movie star shots. They are small in scale. Their heads fill the canvas and seem to rush to the borders so that they can give no space in which your eye can dwell. The poses demand that you try to capture their gaze, yet you cannot. They are forever, not only aloof, but also unreachable. Plus, you cannot be sure just how that face exists. How can she be like that? And why is there a great darkness around her nose? Has the mouth been blotted out, or is it only trying to speak? Is that a hat or is it her hair? What a weird hairstyleif that is what it is. She is lit with the light from an old television, or perhaps it is the light of a cheap fluorescent bathroom fixture. You keep on looking and there is always something different there. Then you begin to think the painting might have been purchased at a thrift store, that it is the bad work of an aspiring amateur. And then the breathlessness you feel from its beauty practically knocks you out. Lyle will work these small portraits over again and again, sometimes for a year, until she thinks she has it right. Right enough to create this doubt.
Shelley Penfold’s painting has so little structure, so much sheer breath, that one cannot understand it physically. What matter has been acted upon it? She throws paint, puts the canvas in fires, traps it underground, tramps on it, leaves it out in the rain, and only after feeling the canvas has been taken to the edge, where she cannot know its possible beauty (or its possible disinterestedness, for that matter), does she put it up in the studio to ponder. It is like getting to know a toddler who makes jerky movements and utterances, like the strange voice of an unknown language that the painter herself has created. Shelley then works with the hand of a kind of Supreme Being, a person with the light and language of visual structures. If her paintings do not live up to a promised unfolding, they are left to settle at another time, perhaps. If they do unfold, Penfold will steam and smooth the tattered canvas, to make it pristinely smooth and presentable, like one would a crumpled ball gown.
Do we look AT the world? Or do we look INTO the world? Do we know the world inwardly, as if the membrane of our body is permeable to that which is outside of it? Do you doubt what you see? Do you ever fall completely into and beyond what a painting brings to your perception? One should hope for that moment that knows beyond words.
Sandra Meigs, Dec 2012
Stephanie Aitken is a painter based in Vancouver whose recent exhibitions include Aitken, Donald and Neufeld, Balcone, Vancouver 2011, New Land Paintings, Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria 2011, Added Value, Platform Centre, Winnipeg 2010, Headlands, Helen Pitt Gallery ARC, Vancouver 2005 and Mount Analog, Eye Level Gallery, Halifax 2007. A recipient of awards from the Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council, Aitken has had critical notice of her work published in The Vancouver Review, The Walrus, C Magazine and Border Crossings. Residencies include Studio Time, Work of the Living Watch with Geoffrey Farmer at the Banff Centre in 2012. Aitken received an MFA from the University of Victoria. She teaches at Langara College and Emily Carr University. stephanieaitken.ca
Katie Lyle received her MFA from the University of Victoria in 2009. She was a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition in 2012, where her work was awarded Honorable Mention and included in an exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery. Lyle has exhibited across Canada and recently contributed a short text for an exhibition publication by artist Shawn Kuruneru (New York). She lives and works in Vancouver. katielyle.com
Shelley Penfold is a painter living and working in Vancouver, BC. Her practice takes her inside and out of the studio to make works that explore time, space and formal elements to contemplate the nature of expression and the mind at play. At times her canvases are pushed to the limit physically, employing various types of media such as oil and spray paint as well as fire and rain, only to be reined in and brought back to a place of mysterious calm. She completed a BFA at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003 and a MFA at the University of Victoria in 2009. Her work has been shown across Canada and resides in private and public collections. shelleypenfold.com
Sandra Meigs is a painter based in Victoria, BC. Her early work in painting, based in emotive narrative visual form, received critical recognition in the Toronto scene in the 80s for exhibitions at such places as YYZ Artist Outlet, Mercer Union and the Ydessa Hendeles Gallery. Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout, based on Meigs' experience in Berlin prior to the collapse of the wall, included a film, set designs and a series of gouache storyboards. The Western Gothic, first exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, then at the Ydessa Foundation, included a film, drawing, theatrical painting and fiction.
|January 25 to March 2, 2013
The notion of the crystal palace comes from Peter Sloterdijk’s Im Weltinennenraum des Kapitals and signifies an ideal of life after the end of history, where the last living inhabitants of the Western world are preoccupied solely by varied consumerist pleasures. In the crystal palace, there are no more ideological debates because no one is bothered to argue about the meaning of life, social justice, or historical truth. Everyone knows that somewhere outside, life goes on according to different principles, and that our comfort has been created at someone else’s expense: still this is no reason to challenge the status quo. The laziness of contemporary post-political societies is a simple consequence of this cynical attitude. So every contemporary advocate of the end of history is, essentially, a cynic.
Blue Republic is a critically acclaimed, multi-disciplinary collaboration by artists Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski. Blue Republic has been involved in presentations, exhibitions and projects in Canada and internationally, including the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen; CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Galleria D'Arte Moderna in Bologna (Officina America); Galerie Julio Gonzales, Paris; Cultural Services Co-op in Siem Riep, Cambodia; Curitiba, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; as well as the Darling Foundry, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Galerie René Blouin, Oakville Galleries, Koffler Gallery, Art Gallery of Sudbury and Rodman Hall in Canada.
The duo’s work has been reviewed in Flash Art, Art Papers, C-Magazine, Border Crossings, Parachute, Éspace Sculpture, Canadian Art, Globe and Mail, Le Devoir.
Blue Republic website
Deluge Contemporary Art and Blue Republic gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and the Chalmers Arts Fellowship in the realization of this exhibition.
|Blue Republic, Alluvia, courtesy of the Darling Foundry
Photo: Guy L'Heureux