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|October 26 to November 24, 2007
For the past five years, Victoria-based photographer Bob Preston has been making box cameras out of recycled materials such as cigar boxes, computer packaging and century old camera lenses purchased off eBay. Engaging in a process both devotional and transmutative, Preston purpose-builds these cameras-themselves works of art-for specific photographic projects, working with technical limitations in order to concentrate his artistic focus, and as a response to society’s preoccupation with technological gadgetry. This exhibition is the culmination of Preston’s efforts, displaying his otherworldly images alongside the unique contraptions which made them.
|September 22 to October 6, 2007
Aqui No Pasa Nada
Aquí No Pasa Nada is an exhibition of visual and sound documents that captures a specific time in the social-political conflict that erupted in Oaxaca on June 14th of last year and continues unabated today. At the end 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s army was dispatched to the state of Oaxaca sanctioned to use the highest level of military force to silence the state’s popular uprising, following a brutal and unprovoked attack on the state’s striking teachers. Forced to stand by and watch the imprisonment and death of their fellow Oaxaquenos from a position of relative impotence, artists took up creative arms to bear witness to their experiences, and the new reality of Oaxaca under siege. The work in this exhibition aims to both provoke the viewer aesthetically, as well as convey a sense of what occurred, and is occurring, in this remarkable and historically important city.
Internationally acclaimed photographer Antonio Turok uses an eye developed and refined over years of documenting his often volatile surroundingsmost notably in Chiapas in the 1990sto capture indelible images of a year of unrest, and the effects of increasing state-sanctioned violence.
Resistencia Visual, curated by Isabel Rojas, features the work of 13 up and coming video artists working in Oaxaca (Bruno Varela, Mal de Ojo TV collective, Ana Santos, Carlos Franco, Héctor Ballesteros, Demián Flores, Nadja Massun, Luna Marán, Juan Robles, Gabriela León, Lucero González, and Jill Friedburg of Seattle-based Corrugated Films) who took up the video camera in order to document their experiences and take a political stand against an oppressive government and egregious injustice. The images compiled for this exhibition represent only a fraction of the thousands of hours captured on videotape during this time.
For his part, internationally celebrated painter Demián Flores reclaims the public exercise of stencilling to create a unique graphic hybrid, distinctly Oaxacan in character. Inspired by the young street artists who graffittied Oaxaca with images of political resistance and informed by the state’s history, Flores employs the image of 19th century Mexican president and indigenous hero Benito Juárez to underscore the historical resonance of Oaxaca’s current situation.
Aqui No Pasa Nada will also feature sonic resistance in the form of transmissions emanating from Radio Planton, a pirate radio station in Oaxaca, essential to providing crucial information to the people of Oaxaca during times of crises. The soundtrack to this exhibition brings you songs of the barricade and testimonies to the terror.
|September 22 to October 6, 2007
You Are Being Remembered
Live cinema, surveillance as memory, the suspension of violence. You Are Being Remembered seeks both personal and universal truths: who stabbed Mr. Neil in the Mt. Work High School parking lot? Where was I at the time? Is there such a thing as an innocent white boy? Which is worse, virtual or physical violence?
You Are Being Remembered is a media diptych on flat screen TVs. Film, video, photographic and audio documentation of a variety of sites in the Greater Victoria area are juxtaposed with satellite images examining the same locations, along with international “targets of heavy surveillance” (the red poppy fields of Afghanistan, a car crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, the lineup for the Eiffel Tower, the Bangor, Washington, nuclear submarine base…).
The accompanying text is a fiction/essay hybrid. The character of “Conn” remembers seminal events of his childhood and teenage years on Vancouver Island, including acts of vandalism, and his expulsion from school in 1978 on the same day that the Vice Principal was stabbed. As an adult artist, Conn examines his childhood neighbourhood from above via new web-based tools such as Google Earth, and visits these same sites from his early history. The soundtrack, by Rotterdam-based composer Oscar Van Dillen, references the tradition of landscape in music.
Shown with Engines of Despair and MEAN, these are the first three works of Holden’s new project, Utopia Suite (www.utopiasuite.com).
|September 21 to 29, 2007
Underground Film Festival
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Antimatter Festival. Over 250 films in 26 programsthe largest line-up to datewill be screened at venues Deluge Contemporary Art, Open Space Arts Centre, Cinecenta and The Fifty Fifty. Special Foreign Matter programs will focus on work from Sweden, Brazil and Finland while Deluge will present the world premiere of You Are Being Remembered, an exhibition of the new suite of films and words by Victoria native and acclaimed filmmaker/writer Clive Holden. Concurrently, The Fifty Fifty will host Aqui No Pasa Nada, a special multimedia exhibition emanating from the battleground of Oaxaca, Mexico, including the video compilation Resistencia Visual, featuring work by Mal de Ojo TV, Bruno Varela, Héctor Ballesteros, Gabriela León, Carlos Franco, Nadja Massun, Ana Santos, Luna Maran, Juan Robles and Lucero González, curated by Isabel Rojas. Aqui No Pasa Nada also includes the pirate transmissions of Radio Planton and photos, prints and drawings by prominent Mexican artists Demián Flores and Antonio Turok, marking the first occasion their work will be exhibited in Canada. Rounding out these offscreen installations will be Rick Raxlen’s Ordinary Volk, on view at Open Space
Antimatter will also feature musical performances and videos by legendary Vancouver art-rock duo Mecca Normal on a double bill with local heroes Run Chico Run, and the world premiere performance of The Wooden Lightbox, Alex MacKenzie’s latest exploration and reconfiguration of cinematic apparatus and emulsion.
Special invited programs include The Best of PXL THISa program of videos celebrating the 20th anniversary of the obsolete PXL 2000 toy video camera successfully adopted by contemporary video artists as a low-fi cult medium, and the extraordinary Lunchfilm seriesworks commissioned by CineVegas programmer Mike Plante for the cost of lunches he buys for experimental filmmakers.
The festival will close with Xperimental Eros, a screening and performance featuring a sexadelic compilation of notable experimental films curated by Noel Lawrence and Craig Baldwin of San Francisco’s Other Cinema, as well as Burl-X performances and vintage peepshow loops.
|July 13 to August 18, 2007
Promotion is an exhibition which, through the lens of common consumerist culture, both questions and contributes to society’s elevated constructions of “value” and “worth.” The exhibition’s title is a play on words referring both to the commercial act of promoting an object and also to an advancement in rank or position.
The exhibition comprises two related bodies of work. The first, Value Added, consists of a series of inexpensive or mundane objects which have been painstakingly beaded, thereby posing as objects of greater worth. The second series, Quantities Are Limited, is made up of nine 24 x 29" acrylic sheet mounted portraits which relate to the objects and ideas from Value Added through the photographic documentation of human interaction with beaded industrial dust masks.
A visual artist, arts writer and instructor, Danielle Hogan was born in Fredericton and has lived in Victoria since 2002. She holds a diploma in Graphic Design from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, and a MFA from the University of Victoria. Danielle has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, her work is part of the Canada Council for the Arts ArtBank collection and has been exhibited across Canada and in the US. She has curated for UVic’s Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, writes art reviews for Monday Magazine and currently hosts the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s ArtSpeak discussion series.
May 25 to June 30, 2007
Avatars of Beauty
Curated by Zannie Biggs
Modernism made a movement out of being vulgar. While this cannot be criticized per se, the pervasiveness of this aggressive model translates more currently as a negative legacy: Modernism is based on a disconnect with beauty, and the tradition has become to attack art itself. Are we so crude? The battle is over and we must stop fighting!
Insisting on higher ideals and ample aesthetics, Avatars of Beauty releases itself from Modernism’s fundamentally “anti” attitude. Through the positive act of looking, this exhibition embraces the loving side of contemporary art and affirms the viewing experience as enriching and critical. Avatars of Beauty articulates the pleasure-soaked power of the visual.
Avatars of Beauty is an exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture, projection/installation, video and photography by Jim Holyoak (Victoria/Montreal), Karen Azoulay (Toronto/New York), Mark Neufeld (Vancouver/Berlin), Matt Barton and Anna Bojic (Pittsburgh/Berlin), Mike Brodie [the Polaroid Kidd] (Pensacola), Scott Evans (Victoria) and Sylvie Laliberté (Montreal).
Born in Vancouver, raised in northern California, Zannie Biggs is the recent recipient of a double major BFA (Visual Arts/Art History) from the University of Victoria. This exhibition is the culmination of a two-year curatorial internship at Deluge Contemporary Art, which has been a wickedly fun experience for her.
|April 6 to May 12, 2007
Day by Day
Drawings from the Journals of Mowry Baden
For over 48 years, Governor General Award-winning sculptor Mowry Baden has kept journals, meticulously mapping the trajectory of his life and artistic practice.
Deluge Contemporary Art is pleased to present this exhibition of over 70 drawings selected from amongst hundreds by Baden himself and curator Deborah de Boer. Excised from the numerous volumes of remarkable career-spanning documentation, Day by Day represents the first occasion this body of work can be seen by the public.
Encompassing schematics for sculptural projects (some realized, others not), delicate gestural figurative works and resolutely powerful abstract ones, these drawings have been literally and figuratively unmoored from their textual and diaristic context. Freed of these references, and titled only with dates, the drawings are installed non-chronologically inside the gallery space. Day by Day is a recombinant visual rereading of Baden’s seminal experiences and consciousness as a human being and artist, and a rare and compelling look at the nature of the creative process.
Mowry Baden has influenced a generation of sculptors in Canada and the US with his engaging, participatory installations. For almost 40 years, he has challenged contemporary sculpture through a staggering number of projects and artworks that borrow from psychology, architecture and performance. Born in Los Angeles in 1936, Baden received his BA from Pomona College (Claremont, CA) and MA from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA). After teaching at Stanford and the University of British Columbia, among others, Baden began his tenure at the University of Victoria in 1975; he is currently professor emeritus. He has had solo and group exhibitions across North America, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, Montreal, Vancouver and New York (including MoMA). His work is represented in collections in Canada and the US. He has been commissioned to create public art works in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh, Washington and Victoria, where he now lives.
March 23, 2007
Off the Grid
Victoria's Alternative Artspace Crawl
Art enthusiasts, curious citizens and the general public are encouraged to caravan through the streets of Victoria’s inner core and drop in to the nine centres that will be open throughout the evening (5pm11pm). Victoria will have an opportunity to learn about the mandate of each centre, meet the folks who maintain each organization’s curatorial and administration spheres and have an opportunity to see a diverse representation of Victoria’s modern art exhibitions.
March 16 to 31, 2007
RPM: The Lost Art of LP Covers
A fundraising show and sale
Remember the LP cover? Two square feet of eye-popping, groin-stirring, world-rocking graphics, titles, and liner notes rolled into one precisely measured object of desire? Featuring the work of over 30 established artists from the regional and national art scenes. A select list of artists including Bill Blair, Kika Thorne, Daniel Laskarin, J McLaughlin, Shawn Shepherd and the Woodpile Collective have employed a variety of concepts to interpret this endangered species in a wide range of media.
|January 27, 2007
A group of activists are heading across Canada this Winter to warn Canadians against a beast they say is destroying communities and slashing human rights as it slashes prices.
Members of Wal-Town a project by the Montreal-based non-profit überculture have announced their third Canadian tour, this one in conjunction with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), continuing the campaign to raise awareness about the negative toll the Beast of Bentonville, a.k.a. Wal-Mart, has taken on Canadian communities since coming to the country over 10 years ago.
“Since appearing in Canada, Wal-Mart has lived up to its promise of low prices at any cost,” says Ezra Winton, member of the Wal-Town group. “Costs to labour rights, costs to community life, costs to the environment, costs to culture, and costs to human rights.”
The group will visit Canadian communities from Newfoundland to the North West Territories to discuss their campaign and screen the recently released Wal-Town: The Film. This National Film Board documentary chronicles the group’s antics and activities over two years of touring in which they traveled Canada coast to coast. The current tour will use the film to prompt important questions about the role of Wal-Mart in Canadian communities, as well as the role of activists and the media in tackling important issues.
“We’re hoping to continue the much needed discussion about the effect that companies like Wal-Mart are having on Canada and around the world,” says Tim McSorley, another Wal-Town member. “The film shows how Canadians are standing up and resisting Wal-Mart and that no community is isolated in its fight.”