New gal­leries add to al­ready ex­cit­ing ros­ter

VIS­UAL ARTS

The Georgia Straight - - FALL ARTS PREVIEW -

CRIT­ICS’ PICKS

The vis­ual-arts scene this fall sea­son 2 re­sem­bles a gor­geous, mul­ti­hued, and mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary mo­saic. Words and mu­sic, video and paint­ing, pho­to­graphs and as­sem­blages, in­stal­la­tion and per­for­mance carry us across time, place, peo­ples, and his­tory. Lots of de­con­struc­tion and re­con­struc­tion are hap­pen­ing, too.

Also ex­cit­ing to an­tic­i­pate are the open­ings of two lead­ing-edge ex­hi­bi­tion spa­ces, re­cently moved out of their old digs and set­tling into their new, ar­chi­tect-de­signed homes. The Pa­cific, the in­au­gu­ral ex­hi­bi­tion of in­ter­na­tional artists at the Libby Lesh­gold Gallery, ex­am­ines the idea that the Pa­cific Ocean is a “shared space” with com­mon in­ter­ests around its perime­ter. The gallery is lo­cated at the Emily Carr Univer­sity of Art+de­sign cam­pus on Great North­ern Way, and the show opens to the pub­lic on Oc­to­ber 2. Across Bur­rard In­let, the ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled N. Van­cou­ver in­au­gu­rates the Poly­gon Gallery, for­merly based at Pre­sen­ta­tion House. This am­bi­tious group show of photo-based works poses ques­tions about the gallery’s wa­ter­front lo­ca­tion, past and present. Its pub­lic open­ing is Novem­ber 18.

In the mean­time, look for…

ETER­NAL RE­TURN (At the Rich­mond Art Gallery to Novem­ber 19) This RAG and the Rich­mond Mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tion mar­ries past, present, and fu­ture in cre­ative ways. Guest cu­ra­tor Sun­shine Frère in­vited five lo­cal artists—barb Choit, Kevin Day, Lu­cien Durey, Alanna Ho, and Anchi Lin—to choose ar­ti­facts from the mu­seum’s mi­gra­tion col­lec­tion and de­velop works in di­a­logue with them. The re­sults range from an au­dio­vi­sual in­stal­la­tion in­cor­po­rat­ing a school desk and chair to pop-cul­ture­sam­pling mo­biles con­structed out of glass shards. The Draw: Are ma­te­rial ob­jects sub­ject to eter­nal re­turn, to the be­lief that the uni­verse and ev­ery­thing in it have been and will be re­cur­ring for­ever? Who knows, but in our age of vast waste and over­con­sump­tion, the idea of cos­mo­log­i­cal re­cy­cling is an ap­peal­ing one.

EMILY NEUFELD: BE­FORE DE­MO­LI­TION

(At the Bur­rard Arts Foun­da­tion gallery from Septem­ber 14 to Oc­to­ber 21) Based on pho­to­graphs taken in about-to-be-de­mol­ished houses, Neufeld’s ar­chi­tec­tural in­stal­la­tion rep­re­sents three years of work. She spent time in a num­ber of doomed dwellings, per­form­ing cer­tain kinds of phys­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions that she calls “funeral rites”—tear­ing up car­pets, for in­stance, or cut­ting open walls—and record­ing the re­sults with a camera. Th­ese im­ages are re­pro­duced life-size on BAF’S walls, am­pli­fy­ing their im­pact. The Draw: A num­ber of lead­ing Van­cou­ver artists have taken pho­to­graphs in the in­te­rior of aban­doned build­ings. What gives Neufeld’s work par­tic­u­lar poignancy is the cur­rent hous­ing cri­sis in the Lower Main­land and the in­evitable dis­ap­pear­ance of the sin­gle de­tached home.

TA­NIA WIL­LARD: DIS­SIM­U­LA­TION

(At the Burn­aby Art Gallery from Septem­ber 15 to Novem­ber 5) This ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures a range of works by the ac­claimed young artist, cu­ra­tor, and cul­tural re­searcher Ta­nia Wil­lard, along with pho­tograms on leather cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Gabrielle L’hi­ron­delle Hill, Peter Morin, and Je­neen Frei Njootli. Wil­lard’s wood­cuts, screen prints, paint­ings, tex­tile art, sculp­ture, and per­for­mances re­flect on home, fam­ily, com­mu­nity, and lan­guage. They also ex­am­ine her re­la­tion­ship to the land in Secwépemc ter­ri­tory. The Draw: There is great gen­eros­ity in Wil­lard’s prac­tice, as re­flected in her own art and that pro­duced dur­ing the artists’ res­i­den­cies she spon­sors and col­lab­o­ra­tive projects of which she is a part.

AN­OTHER TIME, THIS TIME, ONE TIME: STEFFANI JEMISON AND JUSTIN HICKS

(At the Western Front from Septem­ber 22 to Oc­to­ber 28) The mul­ti­me­dia in­stal­la­tion from Brook­lyn-based artist Steffani Jemison and com­poser Justin Hicks takes apart and re­ar­ranges com­po­nents of sound, lan­guage, and learn­ing sys­tems as they re­late to con­tem­po­rary black Amer­i­can mu­sic. Au­dio, video, and drawn el­e­ments also rep­re­sent a “power lis­ten­ing” project Jemison and Hicks un­der­took with com­mu­nity mem­bers in Brook­lyn. The ex­hi­bi­tion is inaugurated with live per­for­mances by the artists, the first at 8 p.m. on Septem­ber 22, and the sec­ond at 2 p.m. on Septem­ber 23. The Draw: This is the first gallery it­er­a­tion of Mikrokos­mos, Jemison and Hicks’s on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive project, as it traces the re­la­tion­ship be­tween R&B mu­sic and other black Amer­i­can cul­tural forms, most no­tably po­etry.

EN­TAN­GLED: TWO VIEWS OF CON­TEM­PO­RARY CANA­DIAN PAINT­ING

(At the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery from Septem­ber 30 to Jan­uary 1) With work by 31 artists from across the coun­try, this big sur­vey ex­hi­bi­tion ex­am­ines the way paint­ing has de­vel­oped in Canada since the 1970s. For those not alive or aware at the time, the 70s were when paint­ing was de­clared dead—or at least mori­bund. The show’s cu­ra­tors con­tend that two dis­tinct ap­proaches to paint­ing were birthed out of the de­bate about paint­ing’s rel­e­vance, one driven by con­cepts and ideas and the other by ma­te­ri­als and pro­cesses. The lineup—well, two line­ups, ac­tu­ally—ranges from Ara­bella Campbell to Claude Tousig­nant, and from Pater­son Ewen to Eliz­a­beth Mcintosh. The Draw: At the heart of a city renowned in­ter­na­tion­ally for its photo-based art, it will be in­ter­est­ing to con­sider the re­newed power of paint­ing to en­gage and pro­voke us.

> ROBIN LAU­RENCE

Un­ti­tled (Grain Ter­mi­nal)

Greg Gi­rard’s will be part of the N. Van­cou­ver group show that will open the North Shore’s much-an­tic­i­pated Poly­gon Gallery.

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