Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-06 00:00:00


Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
on view at the McMaster Museum of Art
6 February – 3 May 2014

Curator's Talk and Walking Tour by Lori Pauli, Associate Curator, Photographs Collection,
National Gallery of Canada: Thursday, February 6, 12:30 – 1:20 pm

Author's Talk by Mary O'Connor, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, and Katherine Tweedie, co-authors of Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins: Thursday, March 13, 6 – 8 pm

In 1921, Vanity Fair magazine published a group of photographs by a photographer named Margaret Watkins. Titled "Photography Comes into the Kitchen" the two-page spread praised her ability to take ordinary objects – dirty dishes in a kitchen sink for example – and turn them into a work of art through her photography.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) is now regarded as one of Canada's most important Modernist photographers. This exhibition will be the first retrospective to examine her career. During the 1920s Watkins made a name for herself in the world of advertising photography, where she transformed ordinary mass-produced objects such as a bar of soap or a pair of gloves into alluring and desirable objects. In 1924, the Hamilton Spectator ran a feature on her, touting her success as a modernist photographer. Watkins was also elected as the Vice-President of the Pictorial Photographers of America and her photographs were shown in several international group exhibitions.

Drawn mainly from the Watkins Estate, this exhibition is curated by Lori Pauli, Associate Curator, Photographs, National Gallery of Canada.

The fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue is available.

Image above: Margaret Watkins, Academic Nude - Tower of Ivory, June 1924. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 1984 with the assistance of a grant from the Government of Canada under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act

McMaster Museum of Art

Alvin A. Lee Building
McMaster University
1280 Main St W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6
905.525.9140 x.23241

Admission is Free

Museum hours: Tue/Wed/Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11-7, Sat 12-5


The Museum's Blog


Read more »

Poetic Poverty; Experiments in Living

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-06 00:00:00


Poetic Poverty;

Experiments in Living
February 6th - 19th

The Starving Artist; an archetype which those of us in the creative world are quite familiar with. A romantic notion in theory but almost never in practice, the struggle to simultaneously create and sustain is reduced to a well honed balancing act. As creative individuals, we are starved for money, time or both. Wait tables for so many hours; paint. Landscape, and then sculpt. Check in with your temp agency, and then act.

But a minor artist with no money goes as hungry as a genius. What drove them to do it? I believe that such people were not only choosing art, they were choosing the life of the artist. Art offered them a different way of living, one that they believed more than compensated for the loss of comfort and respectability.

Our collective works become reflections of this lifestyle, of these experiments in living. We strive to move forward, outward from the constraints of both money and time in order to create works which can resonate throughout our communities.

Featuring the works of:

Erin Loree

Stella Cade
Kevin Columbus
Tongson Chen
Mony Zakhour
Rosalind Breen
Jordan McKie
Amanda Boulos
Craig Skinner
Andre Kan
Chris Perez
Susie Julia
Christina Mazzulla

Opening Reception

Thursday February 6th, 8:00pm
Creatures Creating
822 Dundas Street West


twitter: @creaturescreate

Artist Spotlight

Erin Loree

is a Toronto-based artist from Gananoque, Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting. She spent a year studying abroad in Florence, Italy through OCADU's Off-Campus Studies Program and has exhibited extensively in Toronto, Gananoque, Florence, Serbia and Peru. Loree has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the graduating OCAD University Medal for Drawing and Painting in 2012. She has recently completed an artist-in-residence program at the Sachaqa Art Center in San Roque de Cumbaza, Peru.

Stella Cade

has spent much of her life in New York City but has always maintained a direct connection to Toronto, her current base of operations. Cade has studied at the Art Students League, The Cooper Union and has recently completed her BFA from OCADU. Cade uses a tactile and sensuous colour palette to explore the human figure and the often-complex relationship between sex and identity. The subjects of her large portraits actively confront viewers through their steely, confident, outward stares; her works are often revealing self-portraits that comment on our highly sexualized culture. She was recently awarded the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and The Donna Maclean Award for portraiture and representational painting from OCADU. Stella will be showing in the UNTAPPED emerging artists section in The Artist Project 2014 running February 20-23, 2014.

Kevin Columbus

is an artist based in Toronto, Ontario. He studied at The Ontario College of Art and Design and graduated in 2012. Even though Kevin lives in Toronto, he has spent many summers painting in central and northern Ontario. He has enjoyed extended time studying Renaissance and Italian Art in Florence, Italy, and has spent the past several years refining his understanding of perceptive drawing and painting. While in Italy, he also assisted and studied under the Italian painter, Massimo Giannoni. Kevin continues to embrace the influences of Italian art, while maintaining his natural inclination towards the northern Ontario landscape.

His recent work has built upon his growing understanding of form, colour and the medium of oil paint. He combines what he's learned in traditional oil painting with his close inspection of master works; he does this alongside his continuous exercises in the plein-air technique to create contemporary imagery. He appropriates some recognizable elements from these pre-modern masterpieces and combines them with his personal memories, subconscious impulses and varied subject matter. This integration creates portraits, landscapes and elaborate narratives of either drama, tragedy, desperation or prophecy.


Erin Kjaer
is an emerging curator based in Toronto, Ontario. A graduate of the New Media BFA program at Ryerson University, she is the Director of Creatures Creating, an independent gallery and collective focusing on young artists with a mission statement of maintaining accessibility and diversity within the arts community. Alongside curatorial projects for her own space, Erin is involved with multiple collaborations including a design retrospective to be exhibited March 2014 at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Read more »

Sigalit Landau: Moving to Stand Still

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-06 00:00:00



Sigalit Landau: Moving to Stand Still

February 6 to April 6, 2014

Koffler Gallery | Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
Curator: Mona Filip

PUBLIC EXHIBITION OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 6 – 9 PM
ARTIST TALK: Tuesday, February 4, | 7 PM | Ryerson University (see details below)

Part of a significant international tour, Moving to Stand Still features six major video works by acclaimed Israeli artist Sigalit Landau, created between the years 2000-2011. Shown for the first time in Canada, Landau's poignant works offer a poetic investigation with global resonance of the complex realities of her native country.

Two fundamental notions are central to Landau's videos: the endless movement in search of a place of belonging, and the indelible wound of a traumatic history as well as a disputed present.

At the core of this body of work is one of Landau's first video performances, Barbed Hula (2000). Spinning a barbed wire hoop around her bare waist, the artist is caught in a continuous, looped movement. While constantly pushing against the defined limit, her body creates space for itself within the wounding border.

In Day Done (2007), Landau references a diasporic custom meant to remember the biblical destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Traditionally, the eastern wall of a newly built house would be left unfinished in memory of the devastation of the Temple and the exile of the Jewish people. Landau's camera focuses on the eastern façade of a dilapidated house in South Tel Aviv. A black circle around the window casement creates an ambivalent illusion of a wound or target.

The site and crystallizing properties of the Dead Sea also recur throughout Landau's works, both as material and subject of investigation. DeadSee (2005) confronts the ecological consequences of massive agricultural exploitation that leaves both nature and humanity vulnerable in its wake. Salted Lake (2011) takes the viewer as witness as a pair of shoes encased in crystalized Dead Sea salt slowly melts the frozen surface of a lake in Poland, one of the most charged sites in the memory of Jewish trauma.

Azkelon (2011) turns the individual struggle into interactive exchange through a children's game of borders on the beach. Gaza, populated mostly by Palestinian refugees, and Ashkelon, established by Jewish immigrants from Arab countries, are separated by a border on that beach. The youths in the video belong to both sides and manage to create, through play, a safe place of communication, rendering meaningless the lines drawn in the sand.

While adults discuss potentially serious implications above, a young girl plays a private game underneath a negotiation table in Laces (2011). Tying the participants' shoelaces together into a circle, she articulates a hopeful call to overcome the perceived impossibility of connection. But the child's game is undone by the adults' decision to extricate themselves and move away, leaving the shoes behind. The child holds the solution, but not the power to enact it.

Each one of Landau's video performances contains the offering of a moment of transcendence, the pivotal moment of choice toward an imaginable resolution. Though set up as repeating loops where action endlessly begins and fails in an ostensibly inescapable cycle, the works imply that the solution lies inside the boundaries, not in a breakout. The repetitive, confined movement becomes akin to stillness, summoning transformation from within.

Regular exhibition hours:
Wednesday to Friday, 12 – 6 PM | Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM | Admission is free


Sigalit Landau: The Work of a Bridge Maker
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | 7 PM | FREE
Ryerson University, Image Arts Building, Room IMA 307, 122 Bond St.
Presented by the Koffler Gallery and School of Image Arts, Ryerson University

In conjunction with her major video exhibition, Sigalit Landau speaks about her artistic practice that spans a diverse range of media, including drawing, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Sometimes creating immersive environments, her complex works address social, humanitarian and ecological issues, exploring topics such as homelessness, exile, and the relationships between victim and victimizer, between decay and growth. Landau's process is ultimately that of a bridge maker, looking to connect the past with the future, the west with the east, the private with the collective, the mundane object to the epic narratives.

Sigalit Landau was born in Jerusalem in 1969 and graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1995. She currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. Landau engages with a diverse range of media – including drawing, sculpture, video, performance, and installation, sometimes creating immersive environments. Her complex works address social, humanitarian and ecological issues, exploring topics such as homelessness, exile, and the relationships between victim and victimizer, between decay and growth. Landau has participated in the 1997 and 2011 Venice Biennale, as well as Documenta X, Kassel, 1997, the Armory Show, New York, 2005, the Art Focus International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Herzliya, 1994, 1996 and 2005, the Videozone International Biennial of Video Art in Israel, Herzliya, 2002, and Art TLV International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, 2008 and 2009. She has received numerous awards, including the Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship, 1997, Artist-in-Residence at the Hoffmann Collection, Berlin, 1999, the ArtAngel/Times Commission, London, 2000, IASPIS Artist-in-residence, Stockholm, 2003, the Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation Israeli Art Award, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2004, the Beatrice S. Kolliner Award for a Young Israeli Artist, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2004, and the Sandel Family Foundation for Sculpture Award, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2007.


Sigalit Landau: Moving to Stand Still is generously supported by the Hal Jackman Foundation and Michael & Amira Dan. The Koffler Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Image: Sigalit Landau, DeadSee (video still), 2005.


The Koffler Centre of the Arts' new facilities at Artscape Youngplace have been made possible through the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Koffler Centre of the Arts acknowledges the support of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Koffler Foundation, Cultural Season Sponsor CIBC Wood Gundy, the Ontario Arts Council through the Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Organizations Program, our patrons and members.



Tony Hewer, Head of Communications and Marketing, 647.925.0643 x224,


Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street, Suite 104-105 | Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
647.925.0643 | |

Read more »

Book review: Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-02-05 12:42:29

Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.


(Available on amazon UK and USA)

Publisher MIT Press writes: Today designers often focus on making technology easy to use, sexy, and consumable. In Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas. For them, design is a means of speculating about how things could be--to imagine possible futures. This is not the usual sort of predicting or forecasting, spotting trends and extrapolating; these kinds of predictions have been proven wrong, again and again. Instead, Dunne and Raby pose "what if" questions that are intended to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want (and do not want).

Speculative Everything offers a tour through an emerging cultural landscape of design ideas, ideals, and approaches. Dunne and Raby cite examples from their own design and teaching and from other projects from fine art, design, architecture, cinema, and photography. They also draw on futurology, political theory, the philosophy of technology, and literary fiction. They show us, for example, ideas for a solar kitchen restaurant; a flypaper robotic clock; a menstruation machine; a cloud-seeding truck; a phantom-limb sensation recorder; and devices for food foraging that use the tools of synthetic biology. Dunne and Raby contend that if we speculate more--about everything--reality will become more malleable. The ideas freed by speculative design increase the odds of achieving desirable futures.

Dunne & Raby, Teddy Bear Bloodbag Radio

Dunne & Raby, Technological Dreams Series: No.1, Robots, 2007

Dunne & Raby, Michael Anastassiades, Huggable Atomic Mushroom: Priscilla (37 Kilotons, Nevada), 1957, 2004-05

A book that champions the power of ideas is always a great addition to anyone's library. And because my lack of enthusiasm for design is fairly well documented, i'm going to be cynical and add that a book that calls for more ideology and values in design is a rare find indeed.

In Speculative Everything, Dunne and Raby ask whether it is possible for design to operate outside of the market place while at the same time acknowledging that we live in a consumer society. Once the focus of design is not on selling a product, can it act as a catalyst to connect, debate and speculate? And more importantly, can it turn us into more discernible consumers?

You probably already know how the formula works: the two designers create objects, photos, texts and insert them into scenarios that are neither too realistic nor too outrageously disconnected from the world as we know it already. They don't package the work in a complete narrative either. Instead, they sketch a skeletal structure that leaves enough space for the public to be puzzled, fill in the gaps and attempt to answer the many questions that lie at the core of the work that Raby and Dunne submit to their attention.

Most of us aren't used to a design that doesn't do all the imaginative work and requires us to think. Yet, we live in a time when consumers moonlight as producers, rediscovering craft, 3Dprinting at home or self-publishing porn fiction. So why shouldn't we also be stimulated (by design or other creative disciplines) to produce our own dreams, our own ideas about a future that should or shouldn't be?

If you've ever asked yourself perfectly sensible questions such as "What is speculative design?" "Is it the same as critical design?" "Is this another name for fiction design?" "Why don't they call that art?" or just "What's the point?", then you'll probably find satisfying answers in this book. And because by now Dunne and Raby are used to communicating with scientists, artists, fellow designers, as well as the broad public, they answer these questions in a clear, efficient and very enjoyable way.

Speculative Everything neatly and quietly dispels the myths, misunderstandings and simplifications surrounding speculative design. Of course, there will always be people who dismiss Dunne and Raby's work for being too arty, and, well, too speculative to be strictly design but if some of them ever read the book, i'm quite convinced that they will at least agree on the fact that its authors ask some valid questions and more importantly perhaps articulate them in an intelligent, compelling way.

Dunne & Raby, United Micro Kingdoms, 2012/13

Dunne & Raby, Between Reality and the Impossible, 2010

Dunne & Raby, Between Reality and the Impossible, 2010

I often find design to be too insular but in their book, Raby and Dunne look beyond design and survey the works that operate in the same speculative area. These works belong to all creative disciplines under the sun: art, architecture, film, manga, cinema, literature, science, art, ethics, politics, etc. And it's quite a joy to read about works as different as Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror tv series and Luigi Colani's shark-shaped plane. I couldn't resist listing some of these works below:

Luigi Colani's aircraft from 1977 is based on the shape of the Megalodon shark. It has four flight decks and swing-wings at the rear. Each flight deck can seat up to 1,000 passengers

Troika, Plant Fiction, 2010

Insititute of Critical Zoologists, Hiroshi Abe, Morosus Abe, Winner 2009 Phylliidae Convention (from the series The Great Pretenders)

Robert Duvall surrounded by the police in George Lucas' movie THX 1138, 1971

PostlerFerguson, Liquid Gas Tanker, frpm the series Wooden Giants

Ai Hasegawa, I Wanna deliver a Dolphin, 2013

Jaemin Paik, When We All Live To 150 (Moyra's 'child' in her second family), 2012

P.s. Favourite quote from the book is "Designers today are expert fictioneers in denial" (p.88)

Between Reality and the Impossible,
United Micro Kingdoms.

Read more »

Ken Nicol: Every3point65

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-05 00:00:00


Ken Nicol, Every3point65, exhibition view @ galerie antoine ertaskiran

Ken Nicol


January 29 - March 1st, 2014

galerie antoineertaskiran is proud to present Every3point65, the first solo exhibition by Ken Nicol in Montreal. The title of the exhibition refers to a blog that Ken Nicol started on January 1st 2013 to report on the goings on in "Ken's world" ( As part of his "hundreds of things" body of work, the blog is updated every 3.65 days culminating in exactly one hundred entries for the year. This is not a "what I had for lunch" type of blog, but this is ''what I'm working on" blog and the exhibition Every3point65 is the physical realization of the blog. Each piece in the show includes an entry reference number allowing the viewer to refer to the blog on smart phones while viewing the show.

Ken Nicol's work is marked by an obsession with collecting and turning everyday objects into artworks. He creates objects from start to finish by mundane repetition over countless hours. His process is methodical, laborious and time consuming. The diverse materials he uses range from small dead bugs collected from his studio windowsill to grid paper. Elements of his work include drawing, typing, metal, index cards, coffee cups and improbable objects such as potato chips or salt packets.

Ken's series Inappropriate Grids is inspired by humorist George Carlin's list of "Seven dirty words". During the 1970's, those words were considered highly inappropriate and unsuitable for broadcast on the public airwaves in the United States. The artist writes out these dirty words, or expressions containing the words, meticulously by hand in grid like formations.

Ken Nicol is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist who studied at the Ontario College of Art and at the Sheridan College, Toronto. He's been exhibited in Miami, Chicago, New York, and Winnipeg and in Toronto. His work was presented at the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton (2013) and at the Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto (2012). Nicol was also part of the exhibition curated by renowned artist Micah Lexier: One, and Two, and more than Two held at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2013). The artist's installation ''Book Works'' was presented during Toronto's Nuit Blanche in 2011.

galerie antoine ertaskiran

1892 rue Payette
Montreal, QC H3J 1P3 Canada
tel : +1 514.989.7886

facebook :

twitter :
instagram :


Ken Nicol, Sachet de sel 12 372, 2013


Ken Nicol, Fuck the bunny suit version 1, Motherfucker, (detail), 2013

Read more »

Threshold: Third Year New Media Exhibition

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-05 00:00:00



Third Year New Media Exhibition

February 5th - March 1st, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, February 6th, 6 - 9 p.m.

"How do I look?"
said the insecure artist to the computer.

Progress has been at the core of man's essence since the beginning of civilization. Famously, the residents of the fallen civilization Easter Island cut down every tree on the island to support the growing population, until resources were depleted and wars began to break out over the last plank of wood. Today, as we pause to read about new digital tools or write New Media curriculums, our understanding of technology has already become outdated. This cycle, that Canadian author Ronald Wright calls the Progress Trap, is something that confuses our understanding of not only technology but also ourselves. In a post-monovial world, artists are exploring the objective viewpoint that technology provides (Google Earth, webcam feeds, selfies, etc), in efforts to see how a computer interprets the world around us as well as how it interprets us. Out of this desire for man to better understand himself, and his world, through technology there is an increased production of interactive and generative artworks.

This brings us to Threshold, the annual exhibition from third year New Media students at Ryerson University. Threshold, held at the IMA Gallery (80 Spadina, Toronto, ON), is a stepping stone for the selected artists to display their work outside the studio walls and welcome public opinion on their projects.

I.M.A Gallery

80 Spadina, Suite 305
Toronto, ON
(416) 703-2235

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 5 p.m.

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Dungan

I·M·A GALLERY is a non-profit student and faculty-run gallery, providing an exhibition venue for contemporary Canadian and international film, new media and photography artists. The gallery is supported by the Project-Funds Allocation Committee for Students (P-FACS), Ryerson University's School of Image Arts, and generous donations from community and individual partners.


Read more »

Peter Dykhuis: Peripheral Traces (Dark Heart)

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-05 00:00:00



Peter Dykhuis, Home Front #1 (detail), 2013. Photo Credit: Steve Farmer.

Peripheral Traces (Dark Heart)

Peter Dykhuis

February 5 – March 1, 2014

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m.

The Red Head Gallery
presents Peripheral Traces (Dark Heart) by Halifax-based artist Peter Dykhuis.

These works began as collaged layers of paper-based ephemera -- such as personal lists, envelopes, invoices and notes -- that were organized into three categories according to their social and economic locations within the artist's life.

The paper fields were then mounted onto clipboards and overlaid with squares of encaustic wax paint or the following image-patterns:

  • weather-based graphics on the Home Front series;
  • economic charts and symbols on the Work Force series;
  • gaming/board graphics on the Art World series.

The resulting visual phrases document the material traces of a common life overwritten with emblematic references to larger environmental, economic and social forces.

Peter Dykhuis has exhibited in artist-run centres and public galleries throughout Canada and the United States. As a member of the Red Head Gallery he has participated in solo and group projects since 2004.

On the international stage, Dykhuis has exhibited at The Embassy of Canada in Tokyo in 1998 and installed Pressure Today at the conference titled Cartography and Art – Art and Cartography in Vienna, Austria, in 2008. You Are Here (Works on Paper) was presented at the Sydney College of the Arts in Australia in 2009. Early clipboard-based works were displayed in the exhibition The Art of Mapping, organized by TAG Fine Art in London, England, in November of 2011. Subsequent new work is in circulation in various group exhibitions in the United States. Peripheral Traces (Dark Heart) will be remounted later in March of 2014 at the AC Institute in Chelsea/New York City.

Parallel to this, Dykhuis developed a career as an arts administrator, curator and critical writer, first in Toronto and presently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In August 2007, Dykhuis became the Director/Curator of Dalhousie Art Gallery at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he is responsible for its administration and programming.

For more information, please contact:

Emilia Ziemba,
 Administrative Director
401 Richmond St West
Suite 115, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Gallery hours: Wed - Sat, 12 - 5p.m.

Connect with us on: Twitter | Facebook | Vimeo | LinkedIn


Read more »

#A.I.L - artists in laboratories, episode 52: Loop.pH

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-02-04 13:16:18

The new episode of #A.I.L - artists in laboratories, the weekly radio programme about art and science i present on ResonanceFM, London's favourite radio art station, is aired tomorrow Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.



The Biological Bakery, 2014

Algae Curtain, 2012

My guests in the studio will be Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield from Loop.pH. The work of the London-based studio speculates on near and far future scenarios as a way to probe at the social and environmental impact of emerging biological and technological futures. Some of their most renown projects include collaborating with a Nobel prize winner to communicate the functioning of molecular machines, designing a curtain made of algae that produce bio-fuel, setting up an edible DIY bio fab-lab for the video of Aussie band Architecture In Helsinki, creating an immersive sound and light performance that explores the field of neuroscience and investigating the possibilities of living architecture.

The radio show will be aired this Wednesday 5 February at 16:00, London time. Early risers can catch the repeat next Tuesday at 6.30 am. If you don't live in London, you can listen to the online stream or wait till we upload the episodes on soundcloud one day.

Read more »

Jason Wright: To Serve Man is a Cookbook

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-02-04 00:00:00



gallerywest presents:

To Serve Man is a Cookbook
Jason Wright

Feb. 4-28, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6 from 7-10 PM

To Serve Man is a Cookbook peers into the pleasures and excesses of contemporary food culture in relation to ones' body. The work examines the communal performances of form, the smacking poesy of lips, the creamy comedy of slick tongues, the playful pulls and squishes of mouths dripping and salivating words, the joyful spill-overs of conversations and connections.

Food(ie) culture in all its sexy vigour may unite us in pleasure to be sure, but it is the slippery mush of our bodies that truly connects us. Not the long table, not the artisanal sausage, not the handmade ice cream,nor the designer juicer. (The language surrounding the trend of artisanal food culture often eerily parallels that of earnest contemporary art-speak : rhetoric of community and of community based values, of organic process, of cultural service, of broad yet local cultural inclusions and brandings, of green interventions, and ultimately of transcendent social purposefulness.)

I imagine this show as through a smeared prism of flesh. On the surface, this show may appear as a sneering play against excessive consumption, against 'consumer culture.' But how does one elude this consumer culture? It is not something one merely avoids or navigates around. Culture-as-traffic-accident. Rather, one takes it all in as one may food; consumer data cascading in and out of ones' body. This lyrical model of consumption is a tract, a body. One takes it all in and yet it all must leave. Food to body to waste. This show looks to examine not only what we consume but how this consumption moves through our bodies and ultimately, how this movement may connect us as individuals and as larger communities, however grotesque, however beautiful.

Image: Tragedy of Open-Faced St. Sebastians or The Sacrifice of the Artisanal Sandwich for the Redemption of the Ethical Glutton (detail),2013, c-prints on archival watercolour paper

About the artist

Jason Wright lives and works in Vancouver, BC. He received his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Regina in 2009. The backbone of Jason's work is humour and laughter, yet there is an underlying tension of bodies within the work, a disconcerting movement between a comic pleasure (of recognition perhaps) and a desire to belong. Jason's material practice may include drawing, sculpture, photography, text-work, installation, collage and, painting. The materials used in his practice are largely dependent upon the specific project at hand.




1172 Queen St West
Toronto, ON
M6J 1J5

Read more »

Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life, at FACT in Liverpool

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-02-03 14:18:03

Finally! A few words about FACT's ongoing exhibition, Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life....

San Precario, saint patron of the generation of workers holding precarious jobs

Original Films Of Frank B Gilbreth - Business Process Management

The title of the show is a direct reference to the Time & Motion Study, a method developed by Frederick Taylor (and later by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth) in the early 20th century to analyse work procedures and determine workers' optimal productivity standards.

By bringing side by side archive material and contemporary artworks to explore how the working day has evolved from the industrial revolution to the digital age, Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life makes it quite clear that a lot has changed since the days of the good mister Taylor. Digital technology has brought numerous work opportunities, but also new rhythms: work accompanies freelances and employees whether they're in an office, at home or in transit from one to the other and back. Some people juggle several jobs (no wonder at a time when a London flat earns more than a professional writer) and zero hour contracts are the ultimate expression of work 'flexibility'.

Our economy has changed too, it is now mostly characterized by services and knowledge (whether they are outsourced or crowdsourced) and mass consumption coexists with models in which we are both consumers and producers.

Installation at FACT as part of Time & Motion Redefining Working Life designed by Alon Meron. Image FACT Liverpool

In this context, what remains of the Eight Hour Day movement preconized by social reformer Robert Owen in the first half of the 19th century? Is there a new definition of 'work life balance'?

Artists, along with anyone working in the cultural sector, have experienced this evolution of working standards perhaps more acutely than most people. It seemed thus natural that FACT, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, would ask them to explore these questions. The result is timely, thought-provoking and at time, upsetting. Time & Motion will, i am sure, bring a new perspective on your working day.

I've actually already interviewed some of the artists in the show: last year, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen told me about 75 Watt, an object for dancing in the factory line and last week, Oliver Walker explained his One Pound video installation.

Here's a couple of works i found equally interesting:

0Punchcard Economy, Sam Meech, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Sam Meech, Punchcard Economy, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Sam Meech, Punchcard Economy, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Sam Meech, Punchcard Economy, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Sam Meech, Punchcard Economy, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Sam Meech paid homage to the heritage of the local textile industry, whilst delineating contemporary working patterns in which digital technologies have enabled the blurring of work and private life.

Meech asked people working in the 'creative industry' to log their working hours on the project website. The data collected was compared to the traditional 8 hour shift and translated into a knitting pattern which was used to create a banner based on Owen's '8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest' slogan.

The banner was produced on a domestic knitting machine using a combination of digital imaging tools and traditional punchcard systems.

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance, 1980-81. Photograph and C. Tehching Hsieh

Between 1978 and 1986, Tehching Hsieh did a series of One Year Performances. He lived one year inside a cage, one year completely outdoors, one year tied to another person, one year without making, viewing, discussing, reading about, or in any other way participating in art (and as a consequence this last performance is barely documented.) A photo in the exhibition reminded us that in 1980-1981, the artist spent a whole year punching a workers' time clock in his studio every hour. This last endeavour involved never being able to sleep for more than one hour running or not being allowed to leave his house for longer than 60 minutes.

0Minimum Wage Machine, Blake Fall-Conroy, 2008 - 2010. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Blake Fall-Conroy, Minimum Wage Machine, 2008 - 2010. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

The Minimum Wage Machine allows visitors to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 5.7 seconds, for £6.31 an hour (UK minimum wage). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money.

The process couldn't be more transparent: you turn a handle, a clock records your effort and penny fall down as a reward. Ultra simple and cynical!

In the future, I see possibility in a lot of these machines hooked into a grid, with people performing basic human labor for money, Fall-Conroy told Make magazine. Perhaps a new form of renewable energy generation? A new kind of supercomputer with thousands of people performing basic calculations at minimum wage "stations" across the world? Who knows?

Molleindustria, To Build a Better Mousetrap, 2013

Molleindustria's usual neat aesthetics casts a critical eye at the increasing popularity of online management games in which the user performs time-based tasks. The game examines the blurring of work and play and highlights the tensions between labour, automation, unemployment and repression.

Andrew Norman Wilson, Workers Leaving the Googleplex, 2011

Andrew Norman Wilson's short video Workers Leaving the Googleplex draws a direct parallel with what is regarded as the first real motion picture ever made: the Lumière brothers' silent film Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory. Wilson planted his camera in front of two Google locations in California to document the various levels of workers. It turns out that the possession of a badge of a certain colour dictates your place in the Google hierarchy and the amount of privileges you have access to. The artist manage to film very little as his efforts were stopped by Google security and resulted in the termination of his own employment at Google.

0Marking Time, Adrain McEwen, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Adrian McEwen, Marking Time, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Adrian McEwen hacked an antique clock that used to regulate strict time management and remixed it with the retro mathematical Game of Life, created by John Horton Conway in 1970.

Each day a new game plays out, driven by the punch of the time clock. The mechanical action of the clock is combined with a computer which drives a nearby monitor - and also replayed on the LED screen at the front of the FACT building - to visualise the Game of Life grid and move it on a turn every time a timecard is stamped.

More images from the exhibition:

0Workers Leaving the Factory, Harun Farocki, 2006. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Harun Farocki, Workers Leaving the Factory, 2006. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

0Die Falle, Gregory Barsamian, 1997. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Gregory Barsamian, Die Falle, 1997. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Gregory Barsamian's Die Falle (German for 'The Trap') is a zoetrope of a man's dream-time reality.

Video over here.

0Installation at FACT as part of Time & Motion Redefining Working Life designed by Alon Meron.jpg
Installation at FACT as part of Time & Motion Redefining Working Life designed by Alon Meron

0Hybrid Lives Co-Working Space, The Creative Exchange, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Hybrid Lives Co-Working Space, The Creative Exchange, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

0i75 Watt, Tuur Van Balen and Revital Cohen, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time & Motion Redefining Working Life (3).jpg
75 Watt, Tuur Van Balen and Revital Cohen, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time & Motion Redefining Working Life

0Laborers of Love, Stephanie Rothenberg and Jeff Crouse, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Stephanie Rothenberg and Jeff Crouse, Laborers of Love, 2013. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life

Electroboutique, iPaw. Video by FACT

0iPaw, Electroboutique, 2011. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life.jpg
Electroboutique, iPaw, 2011. Installation at FACT as part of Time and Motion Redefining Working Life


Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life is at FACT in Liverpool until Sunday 9 March 2014. The catalogue of the exhibition contains a series of essays by artists and curators reflecting on topics that range from Video games and the Spirit of Capitalism by Paolo Pedercini to an essay by Harun Farocki examining the cinematographic representation of factory workers (get the Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life book on amazon UK and USA)

Previously: The Chronocyclegraph, 75 Watt, an object for dancing in the factory line and All That is Solid Melts into Air: Jeremy Deller.

Read more »