Jared Peters | Jennifer Martin

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-08-08 01:00:00

Left: Jared Peters, Soap dish, oil on canvas, 45.72 x 60.96 cm, 2014. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Right: Jennifer Martin, Provenance, inkjet print, 2013. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Jared Peters: Just as it should be
August 8 to September 6, 2014
Closing reception | Friday, September 5 at 7:00 P.M.

Painting has a long and distinguished history of drawing our attention to the overlooked aspects of everyday life. From Roman depictions of the scattered remains of feasts to the kitchen still lifes of 18th-century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, artists have interpreted the mundane residue of daily existence as evidence of the ephemeral nature of life itself.

Jared Peters’ paintings of well-used kitchen stoves and still-damp bars of soap provide evidence of the recent presence of anonymous activity. These small, intimate close-ups, typically rendered straight from above, evoke both the deadpan matter-of-factness of documentary, and the provocative drama of mystery writing, in which the action has already occurred and we are left to assemble the clues.

As Peters puts it: “My paintings are concerned with the role of everyday objects and spaces in directing our behaviour and ways of seeing. The paintings are sourced from my immediate encounters with daily experience and interactions with the conventional arrangements of contemporary life.”

Through the practice of painting, Peters reveals and questions the aesthetic and formal logic of everyday living, permitting an active grappling and negotiation with the normalizing conventions of contemporary society.

Jared Peters is a contemporary artist engaged with themes of painting, history, power and identity. He received a BA in history from the University of New Brunswick, a BFA from NSCAD University, and is currently an MFA candidate at Western University. His work has been collected by the New Brunswick Art Bank and private collections across Canada. In 2011, Peters was a semi-finalist in the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

Jared Peters: Just as it should be is organized by McIntosh Gallery in collaboration with Western University’s Department of Visual Arts MFA program in Art and Visual Culture uwo.ca/visarts.

Jennifer Martin: Turning to see otherwise
August 8 to September 6, 2014
Closing reception | Friday, September 5 at 7:00 P.M.

When does a personal photograph cease to circulate within everyday life and become part of an archive? And how does its meaning change in the process? These are two key questions raised by Vancouver photographer Jennifer Martin in her solo McIntosh Gallery exhibition Turning to see otherwise.

Martin is specifically interested in the way in which discrete moments of everyday life captured in photographs are re-contextualized through their inclusion in an archive, with its own inherent organizational structure and narrative. As the exhibition title suggests, Martin’s focus is that elusive moment when meaning “turns”, or changes, as a photograph moves from one context to the other.

Using materials from her own family’s archive, which includes thousands of negatives, photographs, and Super 8 films representing multiple generations, Martin edits this extensive collection to focus on what she describes as the gesture of the turn. As Martin puts it: “I am interested in the transformation of single moments of the everyday into archival materials that then inform a collection’s narrative. By examining this turning point both formally and metaphorically, we can consider how our orientation, or rather disorientation, to the materials presented affects our understanding of the narrative.”

Any archive, including a collection of family photographs such as the one Martin uses as source material, has a narrative function. Determining what will be included or excluded can define the limits of its given history, and thus determine how its story is told. Martin questions how we, in turn, change our relationship to such images, as we become enmeshed in the fluidity of memory and meaning.

Jennifer Martin is a Vancouver artist, currently based in London, Ontario. She received her BFA in photography from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and is currently an MFA candidate at Western University.

Jennifer Martin: Turning to see otherwise is organized by McIntosh Gallery in collaboration with Western University’s Department of Visual Arts MFA program in Art and Visual Culture uwo.ca/visarts.


For more information, please contact Kay Nadalin, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at 519-661-3181 or knadali@uwo.ca.


McIntosh Gallery
Western University
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON
N6A 3K7

Twitter: @McIntoshGallery
Instagram: @mcintoshgallery

Monday to Friday 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Saturday 12 P.M. to 4 P.M.
Free admission

Read more »

Mike Smalley & Sann Sann Lam: Gravity

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-08-08 01:00:00


GRAVITY - Duet exhibition by artists Mike Smalley & Sann Sann Lam.

Exhibition Date: August 8 – 26, 2014
Opening reception: Friday August 8, 7:30-9:30pm

Gallery M Contemporary is excited to present ‘Gravity', an exciting duet exhibition by artists Mike Smalley & Sann Sann Lam.
Lam and Smalley are following in the footsteps of Pat Steir and Larry Poons, sensationalizing the dramatic force of gravity. The act of painting with incidents and accidents, the flow of fluid colour, as they path their way across the surface of canvas creating totally unique and exciting visual structures. Sann Sann Lam carefully constructs the colours and then allows the movement of the painting’s surface to releasing the power of gravity, creating a dazzling, complex combination of colour, form and movement.

The use of gravity a paint drips and pours over the canvas creates the background for most of Smalley’s paintings. Overlaying the surface with writings and mark making, it form and movement. The use of gravity as paint drips and pours over the canvas creates the background for most of Smalley’s paintings. Overlaying the surface with writings and mark making, it forms the basis for most of his painting. This combined collection of works is a visual exploration of the often forgotten, yet most powerful force in nature.

Gallery M Contemporary Fine Art
7039 Yonge Street, Thornhill
Closest Subway: Finch Station
Direction: http://gallerym.ca/contact-us/
Tel (905) 597-7937


Gallery Hours
Wed ~ Fri 1:00 - 6:00pm, Sat: 9:00am - 4:00pm





Read more »

Where are the Luddites - An Open Call for BioLuddites

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-08-07 13:29:40

BIO LUDDITE grade h264

In the early 19th century, textile artisans started to break into factories at night to destroy the new labour-saving machines that their employers had bought. They saw the stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms as a threat that would make their skills obsolete and lead to lower wages.

The movement began in Nottingham on 11 March 1811 and spread throughout England over the following two years. The artisans who opposed the newly introduced machinery were called the Luddites. The origin of the name is uncertain but over time, the term "Luddite" came to describe people opposed to any form of technological progress. In the late 21st century, the neo-luddites emerged. They protest(ed) against the negative impact that technology has on individuals, their communities and the environment and aspire to a return to a 'simple lifestyle'.

17 year old Austin Haughwout was assaulted on a Connecticut beach by a woman upset about his use of a drone

Newspapers suggest that society is now facing the rise of a new type of neo-luddites. They don't fear for their jobs or for any damage to the ecology, they fear the loss of privacy brought about by drones and google glasses. In any case, the smartest form of luddism or neo-luddism is not one that commends violence, it's one that calls for a better understanding of new technologies and demands that people (all of them not just the ones who can afford to buy these technologies) have a voice in how they are to be distributed and used.

Speculative designer Lisa Ma, however, is pushing the discussion further. Over the past few month, she has been looking for the relevance of Luddism in the modern era by shifting focus from digital and communications technologies to the innovations of biotechnology industries. These biotechnologies which have started to pervade the food, health and ecological systems will undoubtedly attract their own forms of luddism. So who are the BioLuddites? Where are the group and individuals who ask for a demystification of biotechnologies and who are calling for a public debate about GMOs, systems ecology, hormone replacement, etc?

As part of her residency at Near Now, a programme which works closely with artists and designers to produce projects that explore the place and impact of technology in everyday life, Lisa Ma organised a panel titled Where are the Luddites - An Open Call for BioLuddites. The event took place on 4th June 2014, in Nottingham, birth place of the Luddite movement.

John O'Shea (photo)

Lisa Ma

0l Culture - Google Drive.jpg

Taking part in the discussion were Lisa Ma, Ben Vickers, David King and John O'Shea.

John O'Shea gave a compelling talk about his very funny adventures in proposing the implementation of a Meat Licence, and in bio-engineering a Pigs Bladder Football. Both are projects that catches the imagination of the public but the artist also discussed the legal, ethical and cultural questions that arose during the development of the works.

David King, who has a PhD in molecular biology, is the founder and Director of Human Genetics Alert, the founder of Luddite 200, and of the Breaking the Frame conference. He is also a frequent contributor to media debates on genetics and it is clear from his contribution to the panel that he has some strong and thought-provoking opinions about synthetic biology, three-parent babies, the need to engage in a dialogue with the powerful systems that control biotechnological innovations, etc.

Ben Vickers is a curator, writer, technologist and self-proclaimed Luddite. He talked about the functioning of unMonastery, a space that aims to develop a new kind of social space, akin to co-living and co-working spaces, drawing influence from both Monasteries and HackerSpaces, with a focus on the process of co-creation and co-learning between the community and unMonasterians. He is also a NearNow fellow.

An Open Call for BioLuddites was a great event and i can't recommend enough to watch the video of the panel:

Image on the homepage via BBC news.

Read more »

Last Chance to see: EX INDUSTRIA (Building Waterloo Region)

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-08-07 01:00:00


Don’t miss out on two outstanding summer exhibitions at Idea Exchange. Closing August 16, EX INDUSTRIA (Building Waterloo Region) and Young Canadian Painters have gained wide spread applause from art enthusiasts and community members throughout the Region. Stay tuned for more incredible exhibitions, art lectures and programming happening this fall.


Exhibition: On view until August 16 (Idea Exchange, Design at Riverside)
Curated by Rick Haldenby and Esther E. Shipman

Industry is the foundation of the cities in Waterloo Region. Mills became the catalysts for the growth of the communities and the urban landscapes of the towns were dominated by the huge masses and relentless facades of the factories. This is the most important architectural tradition of the region. The factories were the monuments.

EX INDUSTRIA traces the origins and development of these industrial landscapes and their influence on the culture of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo through four distinct eras (pre-WW I to the present) and builds a case (through maps, drawings, models and digital reconstructions) that modern architecture is the ‘vernacular’ style of Waterloo Region.

EX INDUSTRIA — appropriately presented at a public gallery within a School of Architecture, in a reused/repurposed silk mill — provides the contextual foundation for Building Waterloo Region and as part of its scope explores the widespread repurposing of industrial buildings in Waterloo Region today.

Building Waterloo Region (BWR) is the largest series of architectural exhibitions and events ever staged in Canada. A festival of exhibitions, special events, walking tours, public forums, and lectures BWR celebrates the past, present and future of progressive architecture in Waterloo Region. Many major cultural institutions in the region are participating with a total of 8 exhibitions featured throughout the summer. Visit ideaexchange.org/art or buildingwaterlooregion.ca for more information.

Idea Exchange, Design at Riverside
7 Melville St S
Cambridge ON N1S 2H4
Tel: 519.621.0460
Location Hours:
Tues – Thurs 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Fri 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Exhibition: On view until August 16 (Queen’s Square)

Young Canadian Painters is an exhibition of new works by three artists whose practices have gained critical international attention in recent years. Large scale works by Melanie Authier, Scott Everingham and Dil Hildebrand constitute this exhibition that showcases the latest in contemporary painting. Working predominantly in abstraction these artists tackle issues of representation in distinct ways, offering highly complex and at times contradictory compositions that provide the viewer with suggestive narratives without being deliberate.


Melanie Authier received a BFA from Concordia University and completed her MFA at the University of Guelph. Authier has exhibited across Canada and is the recipient of the Honourable Mention Prize for the 9th Annual RBC Painting Competition 2007. Her paintings are in numerous national and international collections. She is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects and currently lives and maintains a studio in Ottawa.

Scott Everingham holds an MFA from the University of Waterloo, where he is currently teaching, and a BFA from NSCAD University. He was a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition for two consecutive years, 2009-2010. His work has been shown widely in Canada, the United States, England, Denmark and The Netherlands. He is represented by General Hardware Contemporary and Patrick Mikhail Gallery. He lives and works in Toronto.

Dil Hildebrand was born in Winnipeg. He received his BFA and MFA from Concordia University, Montreal. His work has been collected by major museums throughout Canada. He has shown extensively and is the recipient of the National Award in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition 2006. Dil Hildebrand lives and works in Montreal and is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.

Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square
1 North Square, Cambridge, N1S 2K6
T: 519.621.0460
Location Hours:
Mon – Thurs 9:30am – 8:30pm
Fri & Sat 9:30am – 5:30pm
*Sun 1:00 – 5:00pm
*We are closed Sundays from May until September
For more information visit ideaexchange.org/art or call 519.621.0460 or follow on Twitter @IdeaxChng


Media Contact:
Tamara Neill
Publicity and Promotions Specialist
Idea Exchange
1 North Square, Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6
T 519.621.0460 x187

Read more »

Soft Turns: Behind the High Grass

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-08-07 01:00:00



An installation of recent work by

AUGUST 7 – AUGUST 28, 2014


© Soft Turns, “a new path to the waterfall (p.157)”, acrylic on acrylic, 22 x 33 cm, 2014


DATES: THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2014, 6-8 p.m.
Exhibition Opening and Reception
Artist will be in attendance.
LOCATION: 131 Ossington Avenue, Toronto.
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 – 6 and by appointment.
TELEPHONE: 416.413.9555



The mutable nature of space and time seems all the more evident given the post-digital capacity in which we lead our lives today. Much of human existence is now poised on the act of travel, from the intertwined subterrain of urban public transit to sky-born birds of metal leaving white trails in their wake. This physical ubiquity runs parallel to that of the contemporary technological id, a psychic force that seeks both immediate consumption of and presence in the everyplace.

A foundation of Soft Turns’ long-term research, movement in space and time is a topic of continual contention. The reason, other than its wily character, is that it is belied by stasis—the human experience is oftentimes a bisection of the self wherein past and present bodies coexist. The same can be said of distance and proximity, collapsing perception into something of a closed circuit. For their second presentation in O’Born Contemporary’s gallery space, Behind the High Grass (2012—), Soft Turns has ensnared this particular perceptive enigma, reiterating it through three distinct video works and a suite of auxiliary paintings and installations. This project is an ongoing excavation of source images taken from a found post-war travel book by Czech explorers and filmmakers Jiri Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund.


SOFT TURNS is the collaborative effort of artists Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. Currently based in Toronto, Canada, they have been collaborating on video installation and stop-motion animation since 2006. The idea of an encounter with something, as an ever-changing space between the foreign and the familiar, the accessible and inaccessible, is a central theme of their practice.  Their collaborations employ found objects, common, easily available materials (i.e. paper and plywood), D.I.Y. methods, and experimentation as much as intuition to make stop-motion animations and installations that invite viewers into an active encounter with a narrative, subject or space.

Wojciech (MFA University of Waterloo 2002) and Sarah Jane (MFA Malmö Art Academy 2011) have received support from the Swedish Edstrand Foundation, as well as numerous grants from the Toronto, Ontario, and Canada Arts Councils; including the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in 2008 and a 2013 CCA Paris Residency.  In 2011, they were featured in the Fall issue of Canadian Art.  They have exhibited frequently in Canada and internationally; having recent solo exhibitions at YYZ (Toronto), Southern Exposure (San Fransisco), Foundation 3,14 (Bergen), Skånes konstförening (Malmö) and Greusslich Contemporary (Berlin), and significant group exhibitions such as SESC_Videobrasil 18th and 17th International Contemporary Art Festival (São Paulo), Now&After ‘12, Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), Interaccess (Toronto), Dortmund Bodega (Oslo), Soap Factory (Minneapolis), and in early 2014, Oakville Galleries (Oakville).

For media information:
Rachel Anne Farquharson
T: 416.413.9555
E: Rachel@oborncontemporary.com

Read more »

Strange Weather: into the clouds

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-08-05 12:22:35

One of the thing that surprised me when i moved from Belgium to Italy all those years ago is that i suddenly found myself in a culture where the weather wasn't part of the conversation. The sky never changed much. Every day was mostly sunny and fairly dry. This is less the case nowadays. I'm living in London where the Summer has been boiling hot. Meanwhile, Northern Italy has been showered by torrential rains. The weather has decidedly taken a turn for the weirder.

Newspapers publish alarming and disconcerting articles about climate change and 'extreme' meteorological phenomena on a daily basis. It seems that no matter how much we cycle to work and recycle our trash, this is too little too late (becoming a vegetarian would have a bigger impact anyway.) Climate change is a phenomenon so complex and grim that most people feel powerless and inadequate even taking about it..

'SurvivaBall' by The Yes Men as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com 1.jpg
The Yes Men, SurvivaBall as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

The exhibition Strange Weather: Forecasts from the Future at the Science Gallery in Dublin gives a more human dimension to the issue. The show features 26 artworks that, each in their own way, act as springboards for new discussions and debates about the eccentricities of the weather.

The show goes from the very absurd (the Halliburton survivaball) to the very dark and dramatic. But the adjective that pervades the show is 'fun'. While visiting the exhibition, i've been drinking cloud, watched a 1959 film that speculates on how weather control departments would use satellites and met with little child mannequins in Hazmat suits in the most unexpected places.

Strange Weather is one of those rare shows that's never dull, never obscure, never preaching. A quick video walk-through of the exhibition will prove my point:

Given my enthusiasm for the exhibition, there's a lot i'd like to blog: all the ideas, all the works i've discovered. Being notoriously lazy, i'm going to bide my time and slowly publish stories about Strange Weather. Here's a first batch of artworks which explore clouds in the most poetical and critical ways:

Karolina Sobecka collecting clouds near Dublin. Photo Jodi Newcombe

'Thinking Like a Cloud' by Karolina Sobecka as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com 3.jpg
Karolina Sobecka, Thinking Like a Cloud. Photo Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

'Thinking Like a Cloud' by Karolina Sobecka as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com 2.jpg
Karolina Sobecka, Thinking Like a Cloud. Photo Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

Karolina Sobecka climbed to the Sally Gap in the Dublin Mountains to harvest clouds, decant them into little tubes and invited gallery visitors to consume them.

The artist built her own Cloud Collector, a device that is sent into the atmosphere attached to a weather balloon. Clouds condense on its mesh wings and flow into a sample container. These cloud samples are analysed for microorganisms and ingested by experimental volunteers. By combining the cloud microbiome with their own, the volunteers become part cloud and keep a cloud journal reporting their transformation.

Thinking Like a Cloud owes a lot to Aldo Leopold's land ethics motto 'thinking like a mountain'. It describes an ability to appreciate the deeps interconnectedness of all the elements in the ecosystems. By ingesting clouds, clouds become part of you and you become part of the atmosphere yourself.

'I Wish To Be Rain' by Studio PSK as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com  1.jpg
Studio PSK, I Wish To Be Rain. Photo Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

Studio PSK, I Wish To Be Rain

I was strangely moved by Studio PSK's proposal for the ash dispersal of your loved ones. I don't care whether it is speculative or art or whatever, i want this project to be real.

I Wish to Be Rain suggests that after their death, people could literally become part of the weather by having their ashes used for cloud seeding, the dispersing substances into the air to trigger rain.

Following a funeral and cremation of a body, the crematorium will give the bereaved an aluminium vessel that contains their loved ones remains and a dormant aerostat. When the family are ready, the encapsulated ashes are sent skywards tethered to a weather balloon, to be dispersed in the macroscopic structure of a cloud. The capsule becomes increasingly pressurised. At the point it reaches the troposphere, the highest point at which clouds form, the capsule bursts, dispersing the ashes into the clouds below. When dispersed into the clouds, the remains get enveloped into a macroscopic structure far beyond the most grandiose human experience. But this is short lived, again they enter the domain of the miniature, falling back to earth as raindrops, before eventually finding their way back into the sea.

Matt Kenyon, Cloud 2014 (Dublin version)

'Cloud' by Matt Kenyon as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com 1.jpg
Matt Kenyon, Cloud. Photo Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

Matt Kenyon, Cloud. Photo University Times

'Cloud' by Matt Kenyon as part of STRANGE WEATHER at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. dublin.sciencegallery.com 3.jpg
Matt Kenyon, Cloud. Photo Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin

One thing i noted when i spoke to people who live or used to live in Dublin is that they all have something to say about the fluctuating prices of the houses in the city. Matt Kenyon's Cloud therefore feeds into two concerns: real estate and weather. The artist turned the last 10 year of housing market into a stream of small house-shaped clouds that fly to the ceiling of the gallery, stick there for a while, lose stamina (and metaphorically value) and then fall down to the floor.

The viewers witness common house-ownership dreams disappear as fast as they materializes -- just as many saw the false promises of their homes disappear as they were quickly foreclosed upon during this period.

Strange Weather: Forecasts from the future was curated by artists Zack Denfeld, Cat Kramer and meteorologist Gerald Fleming. The show is open at the Science Gallery in Dublin until 5 October 2014.
Previously: The Tornado diverting machine.

Read more »

Final Weeks: Ryerson Image Centre exhibitions address queer identity and visibility

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-08-05 01:00:00

Michael Abramson, Gay Liberation March, New York City, USA, June 25, 1971, gelatin silver print. BS.2005.246385 / 151-388. The Black Star Collection, courtesy of the Ryerson Image Centre.

Ryerson Image Centre exhibitions address queer identity and visibility
FINAL WEEKS – All exhibitions on view until August 24, 2014

What It Means To Be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility
Guest curated by Sophie Hackett, Associate Curator of Photography, AGO
Mounted in celebration of WorldPride 2014, this exhibition addresses the importance of visibility, long tied to the campaign for greater acceptance of those in the gay community. What It Means to be Seen features a broad range of media, including photographs, video, and archival materials drawn from Ryerson University’s acclaimed Black Star Collection, and from prominent institutional holdings worldwide. Taken together, the selection allows viewers to see how the medium has historically been used (and misused) to make queer people visible, collectively and individually. The exhibition is presented by TD Bank Group and organized by the Ryerson Image Centre in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario and WorldPride 2014 Toronto.

Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases
Curated by Dr. Gaëlle Morel
Faces and Phases aims to address the representation of black lesbian and queer identity, focusing largely on post-apartheid South Africa. This ongoing series of large-format black and white photographs includes more than 240 portraits, of which 36 are featured in the exhibition. As a visual activist for the rights of LGBTI people in South Africa and beyond, Muholi endeavours to radically change the conventional perception of lesbian and transgender communities. Working from and for her own community, Muholi creates strong, beautiful and positive images of empowered individuals.
Related events:
Exhibition tour with curator Dr. Gaëlle Morel: August 13, 6pm

Aleesa Cohene and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay: The Same Problem 5
Displayed on the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, The Same Problem 5 explores questions of the ego and memory within a reconstruction of deeply felt media experiences. Both artists are interested in notions of splintered identities and the mutability of self. Through the process of addressing these ever present vulnerabilities, composite characters begin to emerge, stitched together from pre-existing material and subtly melded with scenes filmed by the artists themselves and with a carefully wrought sense for language and sound.

Also on view at the Ryerson Image Centre:

Wynne Neilly: Female to “Male”
A self-portrait project documenting the artist’s transition from female to “male” through weekly photographs, recorded vocal changes, documents and objects that represent a segment or moment in his gender exploration.

Judy Ruzylo: The Order of Things
Through the use of video, The Order of Things explores the relations between gender, identity and society, using the observations and lived experience of a diverse group of transgender individuals.

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30pm

Follow us @RICgallery


Media Contact:

Erin Warner
Ryerson Image Centre
416.979.5000 x7032

Read more »

Art Residencies in Colombia

Feed : Universes in Universe - Magazine
Published on : 2014-08-04 05:36:03
For artists, curators or researchers from Africa, Asia or Middle East. Offered by Arts Collaboratory and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia. Deadline: 20 August 2014

Read more »

POLSPRUNG (POLE SHIFT) - Devastating Experimental Set-ups

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-08-02 12:36:23

POLSPRUNG, installation view in Riga. Image courtesy of FIELDS


Yet another work i discovered in Riga when i visited Fields - patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations, an exciting exhibition featuring artworks that challenge existing viewpoints, deconstructs social issues, and proposes positive visions for the future.

POLSPRUNG, by Erich Berger, explores the psychology and politics of disaster. The installation focuses on geomagnetic reversal, a change in Earth's magnetic field that makes poles switch ends with the magnetic north pole becoming south, and vice versa. Scientists believe that the reversal is cyclically and some have even calculated that the moment is long overdue.

Starting from (im)possible disasters during a polar reversal, an attempt is made to generally ask how we deal with threat scenarios and states of emergency. We are hereby especially interested in the role of mass media in the production of a permanent state of emergency, as well as the social function and the possible exploitation of disasters for personal, economic and political purposes.

The POLSPRUNG installation features a series of instruments that measure the earth's magnetic field to detect a possible polar reversal, register the gamma radiation caused by the solar wind and compare the data with the speculative disastrous gamma radiation data during a polar reversal. A small reading space also provides information about polar reversal research and disaster speculation, a magnetite laboratory and a notebook in which visitors can write down their thoughts about disasters.

POLSPRUNG, installation view in Riga. Image courtesy of FIELDS

Interview with the artist:

Hi Erich! I've been looking online to understand the meaning of Polsprung and the more i googled, the more lost i felt: it is geomagnetic reversal and not pole shift, right?

In Polsprung I refer to the geomagnetic reversal, when magnetic north and south are reversing their position and earth its geomagnetic polarity. The German word for the geomagnetic reversal is POLSPRUNG and I use it because of "SPRUNG" - which means "jump" as substantive. A "jump" implies some form of time, something very short in our time experience. But a geomagnetic reversal has a duration of about 10.000 years - nothing we humans would consider a jump, it is only a jump considering geological time. I liked the idea of the jump which makes us think about different time scales.

Appearance of magnetic field before and during a reversal (credit: Gary Glatzmaier/Los Alamos National Laboratory)

The other thing about frantically googling Polsprung is that it does look scary. Maybe worse than anything we might read about climate change (sorry for the link to that awful publication) Yet, it doesn't get that much coverage in newspapers. How do you explain that? Is it because we cannot yet feel the effects of the Polsprung?

True, from time to time we hear about a possible catastrophic scenario related to the polar reversal, but maybe it is not so popular amongst journalists, as the concept is not so easy to sell. And there are less "esoteric" scenarios around. This was also the reason I picked it, because it is rarely used in talking about catastrophes.

POLSPRUNG, installation view in Riga. Image courtesy of Erich Berger

POLSPRUNG, installation view in Riga. Image courtesy of Erich Berger

POLSPRUNG, installation view in Riga. Image courtesy of Erich Berger

Could you tell us about the setting of the installation. It's very techy, with instruments that look scientific. Yet, the work explores 'the role of mass media in the production of a permanent state of emergency, as well as the social function and the possible exploitation of disasters for personal, economic and political purposes.' So what is the role of the instruments if the works explore the psychological and political dimensions of a catastrophe?

A constant flow of states of emergency produced through media was the starting point for me to work on POLSPRUNG. In the last years I saw myself constantly bombarded with possible catastrophes, the swine flue, the bird flue, climate change, global warming, peak oil, an asteroid hitting, super solar storms, you name it. Some of these scenarios are just briefly in the media, some stay for some weeks and month others are permanently with us.

It is a really interesting phenomena when you observe it for a while. Most of these scenarios never play out, or were totally disproportionate or are predicted for a future we are not part of. What they have in common is that they create states of emergency which create fear, keep us occupied and make us worry about our current life, our loved ones and our future. States of emergency are also perfect for enforcing measures which we could call unpopular, so I am also interested in the politics of these states.

So I thought to create a test environment, a laboratory, a vehicle to explore such a case. I was looking for a possible scenario which would not be possibly created by human impact like climate change or random (act of god?) catastrophes like an asteroid collision. My interest in geology lead me to the geomagnetic reversal. If we look at the reversal statistics of the last 5 million years then the next reversal is long overdue - so I found my perfect state of emergency. Now, the speculations of possible catastrophes related to a polar reversal range from nothing to a complete mass extinction event. One quite probably effect could be an increase in gamma radiation on the ground leading to a higher rate of mutation in biological organisms but also to unwanted interaction with the electronic hardware. The electromagnetic spectrum was always of high interest to me in my artistic work and so I settled for the gamma radiation increase as possible catastrophe. With this as basic setting the installations manifests itself in 3 parts:

* Disastrous test arrangement # 1: Polar Reversal Detector
A magnetometer measures the earth's magnetic field to detect a possible polar reversal and make the deviation of the pole from its "normal" position audible through sonification.

* Disastrous test arrangement # 2: Muon Telescope
A muon telescope permanently registers the gamma radiation caused by the solar wind, comparing the measured data with the speculatively disastrous gamma radiation data during a polar reversal.

These two arrangements are self build but functioning instruments which permanently detect the fluctuations of the earth magnetic field (magnetometer) and the related gamma radiation (muon detector). With enough patience and time at hand (a couple of hundreds to thousand years) one can observe the reversal process and gamma ray increase - I call that radical witnessing.

Though the instruments are built quite simple and open they still remain black boxes for the visitor and make it difficult to completely understand the whole process. The detection really happens but people also need to believe in it and need to make them believe to actually be able to create the state of emergency.

Image courtesy of Erich Berger

* Disastrous test arrangement # 3: Reading and Feedback
Includes information about polar reversal research and disaster speculation. The disaster notebook invites spectators to give personal feedback on their fear of disasters.

The third arrangement is central, as here fears and personal catastrophes of visitors and witnesses are collected. A black book on a writing table invites people to write down their stories and thoughts. The book collects the stories of the different exhibition venues. I haven't seen the result from Riga yet, but in Hamburg, where POLSPRUNG was exhibited for the first time, people made intense use of it. At the same table you find literature to read regarding the polar reversal, the dynamic environment our earth represents when you look at it from a deep time perspective but also philosophy and ecology of geology and disaster sensationalism. For the more playful mind there is also a box where you can investigate and play with magnetic minerals.

Curie's Children [glow boys, radon daughters] (Martin Howse and Erich Berger measuring radiation). Picture by Liisa Louhela during Case Pyhäjoki

"POLSPRUNG is the first installation in a cycle of the works that deal with the psychology and politics of disaster." Do you already know what the upcoming installations will be like?

I am currently working on the second work called INHERITANCE together with Finnish/Danish jewellery artist Mari Keto.

I already mentioned my interest in geology which specifically focuses on techno minerals, like uranium and thorium ores or rare earth elements, their origin, occurrences, mining, technologies and politics, etc. In one of my field trips quite close to my home I discovered native copper in the bedrock.

I knew this was exceptional and informed the geological research centre. To make a long story short, my sample also caught the attention of the researchers working for the Finnish nuclear waste industry. They saw the sample as physical evidence that copper is resistant enough as canister material for nuclear waste in Finnish bedrock. This was a rather
unforeseen and unfortunate outcome of my activities and the only sensible way for me to respond was to start to engage with the topic.

Into Eternity - Trailer

Finland currently builds the first permanent nuclear waster storage facility called Onkalo. There is a quite interesting film by Danish film maker Michael Madsen which I can recommend, called INTO ETERNITY which explores the facility and the people working around it. Also last year I participated in the excellent nuclear field lab Case Pyhäjoki organised by Mari Keski-Korsu which engaged with Finnish nuclear politics from an art and activism viewpoint. Anyway, nuclear processes are vast in time but also in their spacial and economical dimensions, and as such really difficult to grasp. I was thinking of ways how to make them more comprehensive and now we are working on sets of family jewellery which are rendered unwearable through their radionuclide content for quite a long time.

Family jewellery is perfect to inverse the logic of nuclear waste. Family jewellery is a vehicle for family identity and wealth into the future. With nuclear waste we in-debt the future. We have now researched the legal conditions we are working in and planned 3 different jewellery sets which will be presented as installations. Details are too early to

Another off-spin of this workings is the Curie's Children [glow boys, radon daughters] workshop which I developed together with Martin Howse.

Thanks Erich!

This is the last weekend to discover the Fields exhibition, produced by RIXC and curated by Raitis Smits, Rasa Smite and Armin Medosch. The show remains open at Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Arts Museum (LNAM) in Riga until August 3, 2014.

Other posts about the Fields exhibition: Sketches for an Earth Computer, Ghostradio, the device that produces real random numbers, On the interplay between a snail and an algorithm and FIELDS, positive visions for the future.

Read more »

Mexican cowboys, rubber masks and the little Merman. This was July in London

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-08-01 11:23:40

Trujillo/Paumier, Untitled (Muxes 10), 2009

I'm one day late (how lame!) for my wrap-up of the exhibitions i enjoyed in London in July.

Starting obviously with the favourite one. Men y Men by TrujilloPaumier at New Art Projects. Joaquin Trujillo and Brian Paumier went to Oxaca to portray two communities who communicate radically different ideas of masculinity. Paumier's Moros are cowboys standing next to their horses, while Trujillo's Muxes shows a community of mixed gender people living in the indigenous Zapotec culture of Oaxaca.

Trujillo/Paumier, Untitled (Muxes 4), 2009

0MUXES 11) (2009)  fred.jpg
Trujillo/Paumier, Untitled (Muxes 11), 2009

Trujillo/Paumier, Untitled (Moro 2), 2012

Trujillo/Paumier, Untitled (Moro 27), 2012

Trujillo Paumier: Men y Men closed on 20 July.

British Folk Art at Tate Britain is bizarre, quirky but thankfully never condescending. Instead of wasting time speculating on is it art/is it not art?, the exhibition celebrates people's creativity and resourcefulness. Expect gigantic boots that served as tradesmen's signs, a cockerel made by prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars out of mutton bones, imposing ship figureheads, embroidered remakes of classic paintings, etc. I'd be more enthusiastic if folks didn't have to pay £13.10 to enter.

As assortment of oversized objects, including a boot used to advertise a cobbler's. Photograph: Anna Partington/Rex Features

British Folk Art © Ana Escobar for Tate

Image by HFA

Jesse Maycock, King Alfred 1961, Museum of English Rural Life. Photo: Tate

The show is up until 31 August 2014. Happy Famous Artists has a great flickr set.

Still at Tate Britain, there's a couple of rooms hosting Chris Killip's photos. Love the work, not so much the sponsor of the exhibition.

Chris Killip, Whippet Fancier. Serie Huddersfield, 1973. © Chris Killip

Chris Killip, Crabs and People, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire © Chris Killip, 1981

One of the most interesting galleries in London, Calvert22, is showing the work of photographers and video artists who explore identity and place in early 21st century Russia alongside the pre-revolutionary works of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky.

I liked the work of Alexander Gronsky a lot. Especially the series Pastoral, which looks at the desolate spaces where the urban and the rural meet.

Alexander Gronsky, Yuzhnoe Tushino II, 2010. From the series "Pastoral: Moscow Suburbs"

Alexander Gronsky, Dzerzhinskiy VI, 2011. From the series "Pastoral: Moscow Suburbs"

Close and Far: Russian Photography Now is at Calvert22 until 17 August.

I also went to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, London. The building and botanical gardens opened in 1901 to host the collection of a business man who traveled the world to gather objects related to world culture, natural history and music. Among the 350,000 objects, there are lots of stuffed animals, a Spanish Inquisition torture chair and a charming little Merman (the husband of the mermaid?)

Specimen of Ningyo mermaid, Feejee mermaid or merman, Japan, with paper-mache body, and fish-tail originally from the Wellcome Collection

Flying Fox (Pteropus sp.) Skeletal - taxidermy double preparation of Flying Fox

European Hedgehog specimen from the Natural History Gallery

I never found the merman, alas! But i discovered doublepreps: half the animal is shown as taxidermy, the other half is stripped to its skeleton.

One of the Horniman galleries has a fascinating photo exhibition that documents the lives of indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic. The photos were taken by British photographer Bryan Alexander who has been travelling to the Arctic since 1971.

Grisha Rahtyn, a Chukchi reindeer herder, iced up at -30 C after working with his reindeer during the winter

Khanty women in traditional dress at a spring festival in the village of Pitlyar

When thrown into air at -51C, boiling water transforms into vapour and ice. This is because boiling water is close to a gas and breaks into tiny droplets that can freeze at once

Reindeer graze in the Yamal peninsula

Whisper of the Stars: Traditional Life in Arctic Siberia is at the Horniman Museum until 07 September 2014. Interview with the photographer. More photos in The Guardian.

I'll end with An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition at the Wellcome Collection. The exhibition offers a selection of some of Henry Wellcome's objects, medical artefacts, paintings, photographs and sculptures, along with a couple of contemporary artworks.

I wasn't as impressed as every single journalist who published glowing reviews of the show in their newspapers but i did enjoy some of the artefacts. Such as this photo of rubber beauty masks that removed wrinkles and blemishes.

Rubber beauty masks, 1921. Image Wellcome Library

Or this fetching corrective ear-cap, patented by Adelaide Claxton in 1945 to wear at night in order to 'correct and prevent the disfigurement of outstanding ears'.

The Claxton improved patent ear-cap, 1925-1945.

The exhibition is up until 12 October 2014.

Read more »

[1] « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 » [561]