Category Archives: Staff and Volunteer news

Contemporary Art Gallery at the New York Art Book Fair, opens tonight!

We are all set up and excited for tonight’s opening of the New York Art Book Fair at PS1 MoMA, come by our booth Q49 on the second floor.

We are presenting CAG publications from 30 years of publishing, among them Christopher Williams, Robert Orchardson, Sarah Browne, Roy Arden, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ken Lum, Shannon Oksanen, Frances Stark and many more. We are also featuring limited edition prints by Robert Orchardson and Thomas Bewick. We will also have some rare signed copies of several of our publications as well!

See you at the fair, yours Jill and Soledad.

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When you become the Scarce!

CAG Volunteer Dan Potter writes about his experience participating in Scarcity Radio Vancouver a project developed with artist Sarah Browne. CAG volunteers and teens from the IGNITE! Mentorship Program at the Cultch, Vancouver, worked alongside a group from VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver as well as with individuals from Slow Boat at Ikon Gallery, UK producing a series of sound-works for broadcast on the Scarcity Radio internet channel www.scarcityradio.org/radio.
 
This unique project included sound artists, economists, geographers and others exploring the notion of scarity and produced a series of experiences that ask questions about the world around us. Dan Potter writes:
 

When I was first invited to be a part of the Scarcity Radio project I asked myself what are elements in my day to day life that are scarce?  Although I came up with a few answers to this question I found it difficult to pin point any necessities I wouldn’t be able to track down and implement. Over the course of a few condensed meetings we as a group explored these concerns with various artistic and social economic practitioners.

For me, our first meeting with artist Sarah Browne provided the most guidance as we talked from many angles on what scarcity is and how this concept could be applied to a radio art project. One of the points made that I found interesting was this idea of scarcity can only exist within a value system that governs quantity. So what is scarce really depends on our perceived notion of what is desired or at least what we consider a necessity of a comfortable life. This concept fits in with the exhibit How to Use Fool’s Gold where Sarah Browne gets us as viewers to examine our economic value system in order to see it isn’t an absolute power but is built and evolves according to what we put emphasis on in regards to our shared values of wealth and prosperity.

Pretty soon we all started making audio recordings of various events with the purpose of editing them into sound pieces that would be eventually broadcast on a pirate radio station operating out of the UK. This idea of using the AM/FM band as part of public display influenced my decision on what to record.  In a world full of iPods and Wi-Fi connected audio streams the word RADIO immediately brings to mind certain social phenomenon in our society that are slowly going extinct and being replaced by a new normality.

Consequently, I decided to make recordings of myself and my family sitting at the dinner table having a conversion whilst eating our evening meal. I took the mundane discussions on where the food was bought and the hysterical slightly drunk laughter and manipulated snippets of them to create a sound piece that would move in and out of reality. Some chewing sounds were looped together to create a rhythmic pattern of excessive gobbling noises and cavernous reverb effects were applied to the end points of dialogue in order to initiate a sense of disappearance.

I wanted to hit upon the scarcity of family relations especially that of a nuclear family and the luxury of easy availability of food in western society. When all was said and done it turned out to be a quick project with not a lot of time to over think which happily kept things spontaneous and unexpected. I also enjoyed hearing what other artist participates had recorded as there was a great diversity of sounds and approaches that when played together will definitely spook any unsuspecting radio listeners over in the UK.

Dan Potter

Latest tracks by Scarcity Radio Vancouver

This program was made in collaboration with Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Slow Boat, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.

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Newcomer to the CAG

Hello dear CAG Blog readers,

My name is Amelie Puget, and I have the great pleasure to join the Contemporary Art Gallery as a new curatorial intern.
Currently, I am a visual arts and French kindergarten teacher, and I am glad to be able to combine my job and my interest in contemporary art in doing this internship.

To introduce myself a bit more:
I studied Art History and Visual Arts in France before teaching arts as an interpreter/educator. In 2011, I worked for 7 months at WIELS, the Contemporary Art Centre of Brussels, Belgium. There, I was both education and curatorial assistant. It was an amazing experience, and now I am enthusiastic to be a part of the CAG team and to be in Vancouver.

My internship starts today, in the midst of install of the new exhibitions… exciting!
See you this Thursday for the opening,

Amelie Puget – Curatorial Intern

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A recent trip to Belgium and Germany, starting in Genk at Manifesta 9 and ending in Kassel for Documenta 13.

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I’ve posted a few research images from my recent trip to Belgium and Germany, starting in Genk at Manifesta 9 and ending in Kassel for Documenta 13. The slide show represents a fraction of what I saw, but here are some highlights.
Jenifer Papararo
CAG Curator

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Goodbye for now!

Today is the last day of my six month Curatorial Internship at the CAG. Well actually, as I write this it is fast approaching the last minutes of my tenure here.

I’ve been trying for a while now to distill my experience here into a series of anecdotes or learned facts, but I keep feeling like they don’t add up into something meaningful enough to describe what this internship has given me.

Ultimately, the most valuable thing I’ve been able observe is how an institution like the Contemporary Art Gallery functions and what a curator’s role is. As a viewer of an exhibition one rarely has a sense of how much work goes into every single miniscule detail. The CAG is able to pull it off because there is an incredibly dedicated staff here that ensures that everything from the carpentry in the installation to the design of the publication is immaculate.

I already knew that all of the curator’s choices and the  judgements will be scrutinized, but I could not have anticipated the amount of personal responsibility you begin to take in making sure that ever detail is considered. There are pressures to be locally minded but not insular, to be international but not arrogant, to make your presence known but let the artist’s work shine, to be diplomatic, to be articulate, to be involved, to be discreet, to be social and to be studious. The funny thing is, all of these pressures just make me want to pursue this path more. Who wants to exist in a bubble? I want to have to answer to the highest standards possible, heck I want to eventually start setting those standards.

When I was interviewed for this position I remember Nigel asking me why I aspired to be a curator, between tangents and stuttering ‘umm’ I remember answering that one of the reasons was because I was interested in how an exhibition becomes much more than the sum of its parts. I still consider this to be a crucial element of exhibition making, but now I know that why I want to curate  goes far beyond some logistical considerations and the launch of an ‘event’. Rather, it is because I want to keep learning, I want to make connections, I want to track histories, I want to explore visual languages, I want to ask questions, and mostly I want to be sincere in these pursuits.

Meredith Carr – Curatorial Intern

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