Monthly Archives: August 2011

Red Squares in Space

By Sean Michael Nelson

Damian Moppett’s print Red Studio Squares, part of the recent Not Photographs exhibit at Satellite, is just one of many instances of the red square in visual art. Another is the cover of seminal New Wave band Talking Heads’ first album, Talking Heads: 77. Informed by notions of the death of painting at the time, many artists and art students, members of the band among them, took an interest in conceptual art. Designed by guitarist/vocalist David Byrne with assistance from keyboardist Jerry Harrison, the cover of Talking Heads: 77 features the album’s title in gold on a solid red background, reflecting the band’s preference for the minimal-conceptual.

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Introducing Lab

As part of our mandate to engage with the community at large and to serve as an experimental space, the Satellite Gallery is very happy to introduce Lab, a series of workshops with students around Vancouver.

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Aerosol and Institutions: Graffiti Art, the Street and Commercial Galleries

I recently attended an artist’s talk at the Elliot Louis Gallery held in conjunction with their exhibition Letters: A Drawing Show by 7 Graffiti Artists. This exhibition featured a wide variety of paintings, prints, and drawings created by several local street artists whose work is relatively unknown in the Vancouver commercial art world. Of interest in the discussion was the notion of ‘legitimacy,’ which was ascribed to the featured artists by the moderator. The moderator, who represented the gallery, used the term ‘legitimate’ in the sense that the artists in the show were working legally, as opposed to graffiti artists who ‘exhibit’ on private and public property.

YouTube still from “It’s All About Art: Letters”

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Seen as It Was Conceived: Or Gallery’s “The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work”

by Sean Michael Nelson

The blog for Or Gallery’s current off-site exhibition The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work features a post by artist Igor Santizo, wherein a black spot is placed over top of several images. This transposition onto a space radically alters how it is perceived. As I Enter office 202 at 3540 West 41st, the space of the exhibition, I receive a similar impression.

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Didn’t Mean That

In his forward to the book counterpart of Jeremy Shaw’s DMT video installation, Clint Burnham notes that in the aftermath of Gulf War II, sentiments can quickly give way to nostalgia. In fiction of this era—Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, for example—characters default to nostalgia in a post-traumatic universe. The novel’s protagonist collects images, frequently of events that predate his own birth. In DMT, the work’s volunteers, 20- and 30-something acquaintances of Shaw’s who agreed to be filmed while tripping on the eponymous hallucinogenic drug, partake in a sort of “drug-stalgia,” or, as Burnham puts it (referencing a song by Shaw), they try to “get high like we used to.”

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