Tag Archives: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Tom Burrows Exhibition Contributes to Dialogue Surrounding Vancouver Housing

by Shaina Dickson

Opening reception of "Tom Burrows", January 8, 2015. Photo by Michael R. Barrick, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Tom Burrows

Opening reception of “Tom Burrows”, January 8, 2015.
Photo by Michael R. Barrick, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Tom Burrows, a Vancouver/Hornby Island-based artist, presents a wide breadth of his work at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery at the University of British Columbia, spanning from the 1960s to the present. Burrows has made crucial contributions to the development of Vancouver’s art scene, as both an artist and educator. The exhibition, curated by Scott Watson, leads the viewer through the timeline of Burrows’ work, showing the progressive momentum of his practice. It begins with his documentation of squatting and travelling, and wraps up with his polymer resin panels.

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The Last Click: From Analog to Digital

by Emile Rubino

gupea_2077_28348_12The Last Click, Esther Shalev-Gerz

After seeing Esther Shalev-Gerz’s first solo exhibition in Canada at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (UBC), I thought it would be interesting to take another look at one of the artist’s latest works, The Last Click. Although this work is not part of the Belkin’s show, it seems relevant to a larger discussion currently taking place within the field of contemporary media-based practices, focusing on the transition from analog to digital media—particularly in photographic practices. Continue reading

The New Design Gallery, Chief Henry Speck, and Modernist Art on the Northwest Coast

by Liza Montgomery

New Design Gallery, West Vancouver MuseumNew Design Gallery: On the frontier 1955 – 1966 at West Vancouver Museum

Early- to mid-century modernist art is enjoying a resurgence in our city’s cultural institutions this summer in the form of three independently curated, yet interestingly related, art exhibitions.  The Satellite Gallery’s Projections: The Paintings of Henry Speck, Udzi’stalis (organized by the UBC Museum of Anthropology) and the West Vancouver Museum’s New Design Gallery: On the frontier 1955 – 1966 provide divergent narratives to the canonical offerings of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s latest summer blockbuster, Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters. The two more modestly scaled exhibitions examine the particularities of modernism’s emergence on the Northwest Coast.

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Looking for Signs: Yellow Signal

by Brandon Chow

As Canada’s first major exposition of contemporary Chinese new media and video art, Yellow Signal: New Media in China has recently landed in Vancouver, finding refuge in a variety of galleries around the city.  The works presented reflect a mutual perception of current political circumstances surrounding Chinese artists.  Zheng Shengtian—a BC-Based artist, curator, and specialist on contemporary Chinese art—has described Yellow Signal as “a metaphor for the communal state of ambiguity in Asian countries.” He further adds that each piece invokes feelings of limitation, possibility, choice, change, confusion and self-confidence.

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“Following the Sound of the West Wind Down”: Some Notes on the Moral Character of a Concrete Poet

by Sean Michael Nelson

As well as the work of Michael Morris, the recent exhibit Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery also featured the work of a number of other poets who worked in the field of concrete poetry. Among them was bpNichol.

bpNichol’s Blues. Image source <bpNichol.ca> retrieved May 9, 2012

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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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This is a Mirror, You are in the Cellar

by Sean Michael Nelson

“This is a Mirror, You are a Written Sentence” by Luis Camitzer

The 1976 film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane features a prime example of how to induce terror. The titular girl, played by Jodie Foster, lives in a house, seemingly by herself, and is one day intruded upon by the building’s landlord. Having already been refused access to it the day earlier, the landlord insists on retrieving her jelly glasses from the cellar, and proceeds to enter against the girl’s protests, screaming at what she sees down there and meeting her end in an accident trying to exit. The film never reveals just what it was that was seen in the cellar: by allowing the audience to imagine what was in there, they become complicit in and authors of the scene’s horror.

A Scene from The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Though he dislikes the imposing nature of video and film, Luis Camnitzer’s works function in a similar way to this scene. Take Camnitzer’s polystyrene sign which reads “THIS IS A MIRROR / YOU ARE A WRITTEN SENTENCE.” For the piece to produce any affect, the viewer will have to work with the piece.
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