Exhibitions

Mary Anne Barkhouse: Le Rêve aux Loups

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September 16 – December 22, 2017

Opening reception: Friday, September 15, 6-10pm

Guest curated by Jennifer Rudder

The artistic practice of Mary Anne Barkhouse is deeply engaged with environmental and indigenous issues and incorporates in a central role a visual iconography of animals. Barkhouse situates her work between the two worlds of the human and the natural and employs the beaver, raven, wolf, and coyote as symbols of the ability to adapt, persist, regenerate, and repair throughout endless environmental incursions. Her skilled handling of traditional sculptural materials such as wood, bronze, porcelain, metal, and glass bring both a refined sensibility and serious tone to her often-playful installations. The works reflect on our skewed experience of nature as a resource for human needs rather than as an ecosystem with its own intrinsic value.

In ‘Le Rêve aux Loups’ (The Dream of Wolves), Barkhouse invokes the animal inhabitants of the land and the flamboyant interiors of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, in artworks that reveal the transitory nature of empire, and highlight both the triumphs and betrayal that delineate history north of the 49th parallel.

Postcommodity: A Very Long Line

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September 16 – December 22, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, September 15, 6–10pm

‘A Very Long Line’ by artist collective Postcommodity is an immersive four-channel video installation comprised of four screens of moving images, featuring desert landscapes, that are framed by the constant presence of a fence.

Viewed from the perspective of what appears to be a moving car, the video has a disorienting effect. This sense of unease is heightened by a discordant soundtrack, a composition created by the artists from objects and improvised hacked instruments. Shot along a portion of the border ‘fence’ between Douglas, Arizona, USA and Agua Prieta in Sonora, Mexico we see variations of the fence with its surrounding neighbourhoods and landscapes – although it is not clear which side we are viewing from and to. Beyond documenting a section of the US-Mexico border, ‘A Very Long Line’ captures the deep complexity of border-related issues, with its varied pacing and uncomfortable noise, it acts as a metaphor, critiquing, and asking questions on colonization and contemporary culture.

Jason de Haan: Oh for eyes! At night we dream of eyes!

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May 28 – August 27, 2017

Calgary-based artist Jason de Haan has developed an interest in proposing and undertaking projects in which particular environments, natural conditions, and massive time scales complete, animate, and determine his multidisciplinary practice. The work most clearly deals with fleetingness, vulnerability, and the fragility of the natural world in a way that considers the limits of human perception and influence. The tangible traces of the monumental passage of time, like the interval it takes light from the most distant stars in our galaxy to reach earth – a staggering 3.8 billion years – or the polishing of a stone from thousands of years of touch, are evidence that we are merely a twinkle in a larger and longer conversation.

Anton Vidokle: The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun

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May 28 – August 27, 2017

The second film of Anton Vidokle’s trilogy on Russian cosmism looks at the poetic dimension of solar cosmology of Soviet biophysicist, Alexander Chizhevsky. Shot in Kazakhstan, where Chizhevsky was imprisoned and later exiled, the film introduces Сhizhevsky’s research into the impact of solar emissions on human sociology, psychology, politics and economics in the form of wars, revolutions, epidemics and other upheavals. The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun aligns the life of post-soviet rural residents and the futurological projects of Russian cosmism to emphasize that the goal of the early Soviet breakthroughs aimed at the conquest of outer space was not so much technical acceleration, but the common cause of humankind in their struggle against limitations of earthly life.

Earthlings

Jessie Kenologak & John Kurok, Ceramic Bust with Drawings, date unknown.

Roger Aksadjuak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Pierre Aupilardjuk, Shary Boyle, Jessie Kenalogak, John Kurok, and Leo Napayok

January 21 – May 7, 2017

Organized by Shary Boyle at the invitation of Esker Foundation

Earthlings is an exhibition of visionary ceramic sculpture and works on paper, produced both individually and collaboratively, by seven contemporary artists. Otherworldly, surreal, magically figurative, and underpinned by complex narratives, the works in this exhibition are the products of a range of deeply personal practices that are informed by idiosyncratic realities and myths, real and imagined spaces, sensuality, and spirituality.

Ashoona (Cape Dorset), Boyle (Toronto), and the ceramic artists of Matchbox studio in Rankin Inlet share a handcrafted, intuitive approach to transformative imagery that is as sympathetic as it is culturally distinct. The exhibition will feature recent and landmark works by each artist as well as collaborative explorations, including sculptures produced in September 2016 by Pierre Aupilardjuk, Shary Boyle, and John Kurok while in residence at the extraordinary Medalta in Medicine Hat.

Cedric Bomford & Jim Bomford: The Traveller

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September 17 – December 18, 2016

Like the vernacular and provisional architectural expressions found in resource camps, or in the initial building stages of both urban and rural communities referenced in previous work by Cedric Bomford, this project takes early settler infrastructure as its foundation, in particular the eccentric buildings and machines that were built to perform a specific task, and which would subsequently be discarded once the task was complete.