Monthly Archives: February 2010

Frieze Review: An Invitation to an Infiltration

Published on 23/02/10
By Rose Bouthillier

“After a contracted assailant smashed Olympic figure skater
Nancy Kerrigan’s knee with a baton in January 1994, people
started to pay attention to figure skating. Likewise, sensation
and sabotage have been titillating aspects of institutional
critique – revitalizing the ‘sport’ of contemporary art exhibitions.
Both are present in mild doses at the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) in Vancouver for an exhibition titled ‘An Invitation to an Infiltration’, guest curated by Eric Fredericksen.”

Read full review

Dexter Sinister, Furniture/Props (shelf, sandwich board, street reader, twin lecterns) (2010) Photograph courtesy Scott Massey

More InIn press:

Peripheral Vision

Canadian Art

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Filed under Contemporary Art Gallery, Exhibitions

GAME-SET-MATCH by Fia Backström

What is the connection between game theory, hockey strategy and an artists’ exhibition where the very encouragement of critique leaves little room for it to actually happen?

How can one tactically and strategically respond to a situation where deviance is the expected behavior?

How can smaller interactions such as one hockey game, psychological expectations, or a piece of art infiltrate and affect larger scenarios?

This Saturday afternoon the CAG presents Game-Set-Match by Fia Backström, in conjunction with the exhibition, An Invitation to An Infiltration.
Game-Set-Match is a conversation between a game theorist (Yoram Halevy) and a hockey coach (Ryan O’Keefe) hosted by Guest Curator Eric Fredericksen.

Saturday, February 27, 1pm
More information here

Eric suggests you swot up for the performance: Schelling’s “Strategy of Conflict” Part I, Chapter 1: “The Retarded Science of Int’l Strategy”

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Visitor Comments on An Invitation to An Infiltration

It is not the first time I insinuate myself during off hours
Artists competing in space
To make themselves heard and seen
Arena gallery
Self-erased or bold, sometimes clumsy strategies
The first thing made me very happy
Concrete poetry on cork board, not quite
More like poetry in time
Board members lost in conjectures
Imbroglio, discussions over an issue
that has the answer within the question
Kafkaesque concerns
reminded about the poetics of gesture
getting lost in technicalities
The paper performance occupies my imagination
Another happy thing
I’ve never heard about a four legged piano either
I keep falling, following
Intertextuality is always fun
even in mid-afternoon
Mise en abÎmes
Fiction within fiction within
Stealing a piano at the Louvre
Infiltration is always flirting with subterfuge
Counterfeiting, forging, pilfering, embezzling
Pervade, edge in, filter through, foist, sneak in
We can’t escape language, can we?
Foucault’s dispositif
I know, Foucault is not so fashionable
It’s ok, I am also a spectateur émancipé
Battlegrounds, platforms, gymnasium
Rules turned against the genitors
all that
Someone really understood the exercise
Artists are flag planters
Survival pushed to an extreme
becomes Cannibalism
and watered down, the Olympics
Athletes wanting to erase other people’s title
Pole vault out of scale
Imagination of an athlete crashing into the wall
or better, simply passing through, the ceiling
Think outside the frame they say
Again, occupying my mental space
in heights and in lengths
A strategist, a coach and a cold war specialist
We are all perched over some field
Coke or Pepsi
There is something in the fridge
about the decline of Fin de siècle
The switch matches the logo

 Marie-Hélène Tessier

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Thank you internet 2.0

On being asked to contribute to the web log of the Contemporary Art Gallery, I thought I would offer up a few internet titbits that I hope will provide new insight and depth of understanding on the current exhibition, Strange. The first time I’ve heard of a piano with four legs. (Hey, I keep falling down!)

For Dexter Sinister (The Shakers had something going..):


For Jordan Wolfson (Sex, sex):


For Holly Ward (Safe assembly area):


For Hadley+Maxwell (pole vault castration anxiety):


For Lucy Clout (these aren’t the droids you’re looking for):

For Fia Backstrom (playing blue):

And finally, on my own work (It’s a fair cop):

Jonathan Middleton

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Cheaters Cheating (or: Dude. Check out that hella dope Zane.)

Hadley+Maxwell, Zane: Cheater's Monument, 2010. Copyright Hadley+Maxwell 2010. Photo: Scott Massey.

According to the most recent count, at least thirty athletes have violated the International Olympic Committee’s anti-doping regulations.  The media has (or have, depending on your grammatical/political leanings) dubbed the perpetrators “Olympic Cheats.” These athletes have had to withdraw from competition, dashing their dearly held dreams of standing proud atop a podium.  Fortunately,  we at the CAG have just the thing to restore said dreams: as part of our current exhibition, Hadley+Maxwell have reproduced the base of a Zane– “a figure of Zeus erected  by penitent athletes  caught cheating in the ancient Olympics.” This prescient work, entitled “Zane:  Cheater’s Monument, 2010,” sits prominently and vacantly in front of the gallery entrance, waiting to bear weight as is its wont.  So, what we’re trying to say is: please accept this blog post as open invitation to any and all cheaters (rueful and unrepentant alike), come stand on our Zane!

Leora Morinis, Curatorial Intern

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Last Monday, after hours at the CAG, Hadley+Maxwell invited me, Nicole Lefaivre and Geoffrey Farmer to partake in a performance of sorts. We were asked because of our close personal relations with them, but also for professional reasons: me as the curator of the CAG and the one with the key, Nicole for her wit and skill with hair and make up and Geoffrey as an artist and for his focus.  The basic premise of the performance/intervention was to capture an 18th century art critic walking through the current exhibition, An Invitation to an Infiltration, which Hadley+Maxwell are participating in.  Hadley performed in drag dressed in an elaborate period costume with lace ruffles, a puffy shirt, an embroidered gold and green three quarter length jacket, white seamed tights and bows and buckles for her shoes. Her hair was sprayed white, and teased up and pulled back with two perfectly rolled curls on each side of her head.

We drank sparkling wine and ate cheese while Hadley wondered through the gallery interacting or not with the works, sometimes on the extreme of either levels of engagement. Her persona often appeared detached, walking by works without taking notice or, on the other side, “he” was kicking the work, stepping on it or crumpling it. The great difference between the critic’s two levels of interaction made him seem desperate.  He needed to connect with the work, but was unable to appropriately engage with it. In an attempt to correct his failing attempts he turned to perversion. And this is when Maxwell became the performer. Under the influence of Viagra and left alone with Hadley, he started to “engage” with the work. This was all captured on video, which in edited form may or may not be available at the gallery for viewing. But you can definitely get a glimpse of it this Saturday because Hadley+Maxwell are giving a presentation on their performance at the Or Gallery. See their website for the details:

Jenifer Papararo

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