Category Archives: Vancouver Exhibitions

Exhibition Review: Unscrolled, Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art

by Micaela Kwiatkowski

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The element of surprise in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art caught me off guard. Through mediums ranging from large-scale installation to painting and digital media, Unscrolled juxtaposes the traditional Chinese Art on display in The Forbidden City against a breadth of contemporary art practices. Continue reading

Adrift: Matthew Buckingham’s Obscure Moorings at Satellite

by Sarah Davidson

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Matthew Buckingham’s show, on now at Satellite, situates viewers in a strange position relative to his wandering film. Viewers are implicated in the act of understanding the film, and this is highlighted most immediately by the artist’s spatial intervention in the gallery: a gigantic wave-shaped viewing platform, covered in carpet. Buckingham often takes history and narrative as his subjects, and this work is no exception. In Obscure Moorings, based on an obscure character sketch by Herman Melville, a defunct sailor meanders unhappily through modern-day Liverpool and eventually dies.

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A Total Jizz Fest and the Colonization of the Internet

by Zoya Mirzaghitova

Jennifer Chan, A Total Jizzfest (video still), 2012, Courtesy of the artist

When I first saw *A Total Jizz Fest* by Jennifer Chan I didn’t like it. I always get annoyed at myself for jumping to conclusions like that but I found it hard to get past the 90s digital aesthetic. I thought the overwhelming effects were unnecessary just to show us that most of the big web developers are white men. We already know that, anyway. And, I am embarrassed to say, I never delved deeper in to the work but dismissed it as just another piece of video art I don’t want to watch more than I have to. Continue reading

DIY: Rent prices high ***ART SPACE WANTED***

by Katharina Schulz

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In this socially awkward city, where eye contact on the street is shocking for most, there is an underlying desire to bump shoulders, shake bodies, nod heads together, and shed our social stigmas. Do It Yourself projects offer alternatives to established modes of entertainment, art, culture, and social space. They attempt to foster a sense of community, the “starving artists” become autonomous gallerists, and dancing to house music becomes romantic again. Continue reading

The Nine Circles of Melancholy

by Jason Smythe

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Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Opera for a Small Room, 2005 (interior view)
Mixed media installation, with audio, record players, records, speakers and synchronized lighting, 20 minutes (loop) Courtesy of the Artists, and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York Photo: Markus Tretter, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2005-06

Cardiff and Miller’s Lost in the Memory Palace is an awesome exhibit, and focuses on a number of complex themes. It consists of nine rooms, all containing a unique installation and exploring the theme of memory creation and loss. But for whatever reason writing an article about it has been, to put it mildly, a nightmare. I kid you not, I have written, and then quickly deleted, three completed articles on this exhibit! Were the deletions really necessary, you ask? They were, because none of them fully captured the complexity of the exhibit. My first article focused too much on the room called “The Killing Machine,” and the second article focused too much on another room called “Opera for a Small Room.” The third article well, it just plain sucked—please don’t make me relive the horror of that cursed third article! In the words of Kurtz: “The horror… the horror…” Continue reading

Questioning Lazy Generation: Matthew Williamson’s Down and Out

by Ellie Chung

Matthew Williamson Down and Out, 2012

Matthew Williamson, Down and Out, 2012

Take a look at Matthew Williamson’s ‘tutorials on thinking deeply in a shallow way,’ Down and Out series (2012). The artist commodifies one’s internal private thoughts by externalizing and then sharing to a nonspecific broad public with minimal articulation. There are total 25 short videos, each featuring iPhone generated 3D animations rotating slowly for about a minute and a half. The viewers will hear Williamson musingly commenting about personal insights regarding the internet culture and technology such as emails or smartphones and google image search. The consequences of bringing personal moments of self-reflections into the realm of public consumption remain questionable. Continue reading

The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes

by Alex Southey

Ed Atkins, A Primer for Cadavers, 2011 Video still

Ed Atkins, A Primer for Cadavers, 2011 (video still)

The title of this article is also the title of Contemporary Art Gallery’s current exhibition that I just attended. The gallery’s lobby is fairly plain and although BC Binning Gallery one hallway over is as well, it is artistic in itself. Rugs are laid out across a black floor, and the only light in the room comes from the screen consistently showing one video submission after another. There are chairs on the left and right side of the room, and a long couch at the back. Continue reading