Archived Exhibitions

Wafaa Bilal: 168:01

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

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.

Jack Bush: In Studio

January 23 – May 8, 2016

In the most classic sense, the word studio is defined as “room for study.” This exhibition was conceived as an opportunity to gather 20 select paintings in a new space with the aim to spark study – in the form of looking and conversation.

Five works on show have never before been exhibited in Canada. Fifteen of the paintings were made in the artist’s small one-room studio in his family home at 1 Eastview Crescent in North Toronto, while the remaining five were produced in his downtown Toronto Wolseley Street studio, where he would execute most of his very large paintings from 1968 until his death in January 1977.

Colleen Heslin: Needles and Pins

January 23 – May 8, 2016

Colleen Heslin’s paintings resonate with the tension of material and gestural complexity. Successfully fusing thought and action, the work dismantles material hierarchy by providing equal space to art and craft. Considering formal abstraction and craft-based methods of mark making, Heslin’s work thoroughly explores colour, shape, and texture. Constructed out of hand-dyed and ink-stained fabric, the work acknowledges histories of photography and textiles, and finds connections with the Colour Field painters of the 1960s and 1970s.

Charlotte Moth: living images

September 26 – December 20, 2015

Charlotte Moth’s multi-layered work demonstrates her interest in the relationships among photography, sculpture, architecture, memory, and history. Her in-depth research process and the conceptual fluidity of her work poetically interlace architectural projects, archival materials, notions of itinerancy, filmic and art historical references, as well as the objects and places that surround us. In addition to a selection of recent films, photographs, and sculptural works, Esker Foundation is pleased to present a co-commission of new work made in partnership with The Banff Centre, supported by a Paul D. Fleck Fellowship residency.

Celia Perrin Sidarous: Interiors, Other Chambers

September 26 – December 20, 2015

Celia Perrin Sidarous’ photographic works present intuitively organized collages and sculptural assemblages that offer a gorgeous and considered way of looking at collected objects and how the visual language of photography and the studio transforms them. As striking arrangements of colour, form, and shape that reference histories of still life, interior arrangement, and display, Perrin Sidarous’ images also suggest the implicit associations and secret affinities between objects and materials.