Archived Exhibitions

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.

Jasmina Cibic: Tear Down and Rebuild

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September 17 – December 18, 2016

Working between London and Ljubljana, Jasmina Cibic is among a new generation of Slovenian artists whose practice, although acutely conscious of a specific national political, cultural, and artistic lineage, creates a very distinctive language of its own. Cibic’s films, sculptures, and performances focus on the mechanisms that assist in the creation of (trans)national myths, as well as how the authority that delegated them in the first place deals with these myths once their representative moments have lapsed. Esker Foundation is pleased to present several works of Cibic’s, including Tear Down and Rebuild (2015) and Show the Land In Which a Wide Space For National Progress Is Ensured (2015).

Larissa Fassler: CIVIC. CENTRE.

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September 17 – December 18, 2016

For Larissa Fassler, observing, describing, and naming are strategies to make different realities visible, an approach she believes leads to a deeper understanding of a place, or that counters assumptions, blindness, or even refusals to see reality. For the past ten years, Fassler has been making map-drawing hybrids and objects of urban spaces that comfortably exist between models, sculptures, and relational actions. Her work is developed using a self-mapping exercise, walking, counting, and note taking, often charting the same territory multiple times, which generates a series of interpretations of the same space that differ in precision, dimensions, and proportions. These notations are then transcribed or modeled to activate each layer of architectural detail, advertising slogan, conversation, action, or census-like observations of highly complex public sites.

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.