Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Paris June Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth, Two Thousand & Six by Dana Claxton

by June Lee


Capture Photography festival is an event that features local and international artists and their accomplishments as the media of photography and documentation. Dana Claxton, a Vancouver based artist, has contributed many of her works including her book Paris June Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth, Two Thousand & Six, which recounts her three day stay in Paris, France. Her book contains 77 black and white photographs taken from Parisian urban life, that investigate issues of gender studies, Western culture fetishes, and the commodification of aboriginal aesthetics in contemporary culture. Continue reading

The Enduring Allure of Utopian Communities

By Sarah Davidson desertutopia7 Arcosanti is best described as a never-realized utopia. Dreamed up by architect Paolo Soleri in 1970, the (self-described) despot imagined a thriving city of 5000 in the middle of the Arizona desert. Soleri’s uncompromising vision doomed his ambitions, but Arcology, Soleri’s benevolent if deeply quixotic philosophy, persists in attracting thousands of visitors and a few dozen transient residents each year.

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It Happened at Pomona, Art at the Edge of Los Angeles

by Zoya Mirzaghitova

Pomona College Project, Michael Asher

Michael Asher, Pomona College Project


Pomona College in Claremont, California is not very well known; thought for a moment in history, more precisely 1969 to 1973, it became an avant-garde centre for radical and conceptual art. The moment was brief, many artists who participated went on to leave a mark in the history of art and at the end, the entire fine art department faculty at Pomona resigned or had their contracts terminated. Continue reading

Is This A Book?

by Jane Sojin Kim

Show/Tell Popup Store at Satellite Gallery

Don’t bluntly call it a “compilation of books” when standing in front of the zines present at the Show/Tell Pop-up Shop at Satellite Gallery, for this is more than a series of “texts-on-paper.”  Imagine it to be a graffiti art form, a mural or even a performance piece, guiding the passersby (readers) into a surreal space of creativity. Each zine evokes a sense of ambiguity and wonder that transcends the pre-conceived definition of a book. Drawings (preciously done by artists) in the zines act as exuberant texts running through page after page without a pause, but such flow is worth repeated contemplating. For your trip to Satellite, please bring a sense of wonder and imagination to encounter the zines!

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Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography

by Stella Hsu

Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography was an exhibition curated by Keith Wallace in 2009 at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. The exhibition featured the works of fifteen Chinese artists, such as Ai Weiwei, Ma Liuming and He Chengyao, who work primarily in Beijing and have contributed to the emergence of Chinese contemporary art in the international art community. Unfortunately, I have never walked through the exhibition and have missed the opportunity of experiencing it.  I only became aware  of the catalogue recently because it stood out from a well curated collection of books in the Satellite Gallery Bookstore. Its black cover page drew me in and made me wonder what was inside.

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It Pays to Play by Peter White

A picture-perfect nuclear family holding hands on Miracle Beach, an unrecognizably cube-shaped Vancouver Public Library, the chalky pastels of roadside motels – these are images of a somewhat foggy past, at once familiar and yet completely alien. It is this feeling of recollection tinted with distance that we see in It Pays to Play: British Columbia in Postcards, 1950s-1980s, Peter White’s exhibition catalogue of B.C. Tourist postcards since the 1950s. These cards are blinding in their saturation and optimism, showing British Columbia not as it was, but as it aspired to be, with its beautiful scenery, urban landscapes, and leisurely visitors on display.

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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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Recording Their Story: James Teit and the Tahltan

Ever since information has become readily available online, the source of our knowledge has expanded beyond the walls of libraries and museums. This new way of disseminating and receiving information has caused quite a stir in institutions, causing them to reexamine their practice in organizing and displaying knowledge as educators for communities. In our current exhibition, Victoria-based visual and performance artist Peter Morin establishes his own museum that explores the conventions of museum practices while sharing the knowledge of the Tahltan First Nation through a series of performances and an evolving installation. Continue reading