Spring/Summer Exhibitions

Please note that Esker Foundation will be closed July 1st for Canada Day.

 

Are you looking for information about Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01 project? You’ve come to the right place!

What is 168:01Click here (opens PDF)

How can I participate? Click here for instructions (opens PDF)

 

Wafaa Bilal: 168:01

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May 28 – August 28, 2016

Opening reception: Friday, May 27, 6-10pm

Curated by Srimoyee Mitra, organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor

168:01 is a major solo exhibition of new and recent work by Iraqi-born, New York-based artist Wafaa Bilal, renowned for his online performances and technologically driven encounters that speak to the impact of international politics on individual lives.

In 168:01, Bilal takes the Bayt al-Hikma, or House of Wisdom, as a starting point for a sculptural installation of a library. The Bayt al-Hikma was a major academic center during the Islamic Golden Age where Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars studied the humanities and science. By the middle of the Ninth Century, the House of Wisdom had accumulated the largest library in the world. Four centuries later, a Mongol siege laid waste to the all the libraries of Baghdad along with the House of Wisdom. According to some accounts, the library was thrown into the Tigris River to create a bridge of books for the Mongol army to cross. The pages bled ink into the river for seven days – or 168 hours, after which the books were drained of knowledge. Today, the Bayt al-Hikma represents one of the most well-known examples of historic cultural loss as a casualty of wartime.

Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens: Real failure needs no excuse

May 28 – August 28, 2016

Opening reception: Friday, May 27, 6-10pm

Consisting of a series of actions filmed in an empty office building in Glasgow, Real failure needs no excuse investigates the transgressive potential of non-productive action and its relation to labour, work and the imagination. The video presents continuous flows of actions in which materials are ordered, piled, and assembled in various configurations. Precariously balanced structures, visible for only a short time, collapse (because everything, eventually, collapses) to make way for new shapes and arrangements.

The relentless flow of action in the video parallels the motion of capitalist expansion that always demands more and more work. Yet, if we can think of the performer’s actions as a kind of labour, then it is one that postpones indefinitely an end result. In its constant stream of action, it remains forever in the realm of the making where nothing ever gets made, in the realm of production where nothing ever gets produced.

Etienne Zack: Those lacking imagination take refuge in reality

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May 28 – August 28, 2016

Opening reception: Friday, May 27, 6-10pm

This exhibition will present a series of recent paintings that continues Etienne Zack’s interest in the relationship between art and text. Following the conceptual line of previous work, these paintings are complex considerations of architecture, institutional power, redacted history, and the use of text as form, idea, and structure. Each painting is a highly composed study of accumulation, omission, and revision. Suggestive documents are stacked, slotted together, and carved into letter-like forms; penetrating neon lights and electric cords ending in bare light bulbs glow in stark contrast to the shadowy slashes and blocks of paint that suggest the counterpoint to enlightenment: censorship and erasure. As Zack states, “The paintings explore an area where written language is either absent or implied, yet through their assembled architectures communication and thinking spatially materialize.” This is the first major exhibition of Zack’s paintings in Alberta.