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.
On Sunday April 1st at the CAG, Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey gave an engaging talk on Frances Stark’s practice in relation to her work My Best Thing to over 100 visitors. Frances Stark’s My Best Thing is a feature length animation film currently on view until Sunday April 15. Here are some images of the event taken by CAG volunteer Jamie Dolinko.
Beginning May 25 through September 2 2012, Josephine Meckseper will create eight new works for the window vitrines on the CAG’s exterior. Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada. Utilizing these spaces as a site that mimics a commercial display, her work invites a critique of the aesthetic and political connotations of the objects presented within. The juxtapositions of materials and objects in her installations compose a kind of narrative that challenge the world of advertising and consumer culture.
Below is an interview with Josephine Meckseper and Flavin Judd from Bomb Magazine speaking about her work and practice.
Karina Irvine – Curatorial Intern
Join us at the Contemporary Art Gallery on Saturdays at 3pm for a series of guided visits and public discussions on our current exhibitions. Recent discussions, led by Neil Campbell and Carla Nappi, have focused on Guo Fengyi’s work now on view until April 15th, 2012. Their talks ranged from issues relating to artistic process to traditional methods of Chinese healing and medicine. Guo Fengyi began drawing as a form of healing within the practice of Qi-qong, referring to her work as “painted perscriptions.” Over the course of twenty years her drawings evolved to engage relationships between history and myth, and knowledge and mystery.
Neil Campbell on February 11
Carla Nappi on March 10
This upcoming Saturday Keith Wallace, editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, will expand further on Guo Fengyi’s work in the context of art in China. The following Saturday, March 24th, The CAG’s Executive Director Nigel Prince, will give a Guided Visit.
In the following weeks we are offering guided visits of all our exhibitions, including Frances Stark’s My Best Thing and Scott Massey’s Aurorae. On March 31 CAG volunteer and educator Patricia Huijnen will give a tour in French and on Sunday, April 15 (the last day of the exhibitions) Jill Henderson, CAG Gallery Coordinator, will present.
Admission is free so please join us for this series of discussions on Saturday afternoons plus one Sunday. Conversation is encouraged and all are welcome! Please visit our website or contact email@example.com for more information.
Curatorial Intern – Karina Irvine
As part of the Contemporary Art Gallery’s on-going video series, One Question, Frances Stark discusses her feature length animation, My Best Thing, which is now on view at the gallery until April 15, 2012. While using the highly accessible and modest medium of the video chatroom, Stark explores complexities in communication through the guise of cartoon avatars. Here is Frances addressing the question “What is your identification with materials in contemporary culture?”
Video production by Adrian Buitenhuis.
Endless Renovation, Corin Sworn’s solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, incorporated a freshly cut floral bouquet which sat on the floor illuminated by an old school slide projector. On five mirrored shelves were ten vases, spanning different decades from as early as 1880 to the late 1980s. Once the flowers started wilting, almost weekly, a vase was selected from one of the shelves and brought to the local florist, who was asked to design an arrangement according to the era of the vase. Here is a record.
For images of the exhibition visit http://contemporaryartgallery.ca/#exhibitions
Thanks to Divine Vines http://www.divinevines.ca/
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