Brendan Fernandes: They

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00


Rodman Hall Art Centre/Brock University
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 30, 7 pm


Curated by Stuart Reid

October 18, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Opening reception and performance: Thursday, October 30, 8 pm
HOT TALK: Thursday, October 30, 7 pm

Brendan Fernandes, a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, investigates the complexity of identity within an age of global migration, burgeoning diversity and the shifting politics of gender and sexuality via the notion of Queer. This exhibition encompasses three bodies of work that create an interdisciplinary conversation utilizing the artist’s talents as a dancer, choreographer, printmaker, filmmaker, and performer. In one video element, Fernandes uses a dialogue between two elephants, one Asian and the other African (a nod to his Indo/African roots), to explore the dynamics of a break up within a gay relationship, while also questioning post-colonial power struggles. The exhibition also includes a series of screen prints that play with imagery of elephants mirrored like Rorschach inkblots , and a live endurance performance based on Plato's the Symposium that features two male dancers executing performative directions written by the artist. The title work, They, is a video environment that uses gesture and shadow to convey the erotic and sensual dance between the hunter and the hunted in a gay cruising area on Fire Island, New York.

This exhibition will be documented in a forthcoming exhibition catalogue co-published by The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Rodman Hall Art Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

Image: Brendan Fernandes, Mirror Stage II, Screen Print, 2014


Curated by Marcie Bronson

Presented in collaboration with the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the University of Waterloo Art Gallery
October 21, 2014 to January 18, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 30, 8 pm
HOT TALK: Thursday, November 13, 7 pm

relay is a survey of Lois Andison’s work that comprises three distinct exhibitions undertaken by curators at three university galleries. Each exhibition focuses on a particular aspect of Andison’s work during the last fifteen years, and taken together, they reveal the depth of her practice.

In the intimate domestic space of historic Rodman Hall, this exhibition presents Andison's figurative kinetic sculptures, illustrating how body language is a potent form of communication. Using casts and pre-fabricated forms, Andison animates simple human gestures, like a wave or a nod, through intricate and labour-intensive mechanical systems. Each work engages the viewer in a relationship—or conversation—that draws attention to conditioned or prescribed behaviours. In so doing, Andison addresses issues of gender and power structures, skillfully mitigating their gravity with wry humour and references to popular culture. Calling to mind futuristic notions of hybrid beings, Andison's works translate subtle actions that encompass complex layers of human experience, but paradoxically, can be replicated by a series of indifferent sensors, circuits, and relays. Alongside these sculptures, the exhibition premieres a new video work that furthers Andison’s exploration of the temporal and performative nature of the body in motion.

Concurrent exhibitions on view:

Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough
Curated by Ann MacDonald
September 2 to November 8, 2014

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
Curated by Ivan Jurakic
September 11 to November 1, 2014

Image: Lois Andison, the wave, 2001, ceramic hands, metal, wood, motor, power supply. Courtesy of the artist and Olga Korper Gallery. Photo: Isaac Applebaum.


Rodman Hall Art Centre / Brock University
109 St. Paul Crescent, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 1M3
TEL 905.684.2925
FAX 905.682.4733

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Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 9 pm
Closed Monday and statutory holidays.

Admission is by donation.

Contact: Danny Custodio, 905 688 5550 ext. 5802,

Rodman Hall is in part supported by


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Transform, Distort, Warp, Explode! A Survey of Work by Lizz Aston

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00

PAMA logo

Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives

9 Wellington Street East
Brampton, Ontario, L6W 1Y1

Transform, Distort, Warp, Explode! A Survey of Work by Lizz Aston
October 18, 2014 to January 18, 2015

Lizz Aston’s work explores the crossroads between traditional craft practices, contemporary art and design. This exhibition examines Aston’s experimental process as she transforms traditional materials through methods of abstraction, using digital technologies and manipulating pattern to create distorted and exploded views.

Opening reception:

Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Free Admission

Artist Talk with Lizz Aston:
Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Time: Starts at 2:30 pm
Free Admission

Join textile artist Lizz Aston as she takes you through her exhibition, Transform, Distort, Warp, Explode! With her interest in connections to domestic textile practices and objects of the past, Aston's work references traditional practices including spinning, knotting, papermaking, embroidery and crochet to explore forms of textile construction within a historical and cross-cultural context. Aston will share insight into her pieces and process as she walks visitors through the exhibition. 

For more information please contact:
Phone: 905-791-4055 ext: 3632; Email:

Lizz Aston exhibition image

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Pop-Ups and Illustrated Books of Vojtech Kubašta

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00


Pop-Ups and Illustrated Books of Vojtech Kubašta
October 18, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery
Sarnia, ON

Vojtech Kubašta lived and worked in Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the height of the Cold War yet remained politically neutral throughout his career. Although artistic and intellectual freedoms were rigorously controlled and restricted, he flourished within the limits set by the Communist government and succeeded in becoming one of the twentieth century's most gifted and prolific book artists and illustrators.

In addition to numerous commercial designs, it is estimated that he was responsible for creating over three-hundred books and that millions of copies in numerous languages were published and distributed throughout the world. This exhibition will nicely illustrate Kubašta's work, including major pop-up books with multiple movements per page, archival photographs and documents, and interpretations of many of your favorite childhood stories, characters and myths. Take this rare opportunity to enjoy the amazing art of a truly innovative illustrator and paper engineer.


Feature Event

Dagmar Vrkljan: Growing up with Vojtech
Thursday, October 23, 7:00 pm
Free admission

Growing up with one of the worlds most respected and accomplished paper engineers and illustrators inevitably leads to many memorable childhood stories. In this talk, Kubašta's daughter will share the story of his life's work. The story is remarkable, from studying to be an architect and engineer, to working in commercial art, and eventually illustrating timeless children's tales and myths in 24 different languages and 35 million copies sold. Mixed throughout the story are touching tales of father-daughter painting trips and a life lived with art.

For more information about upcoming programs and events at the gallery visit


Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery
147 Lochiel Street, Sarnia ON
N7T 0B4
(519) 336-8127
For more information contact:
Darryn Doull, Assistant Curator

Follow the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery on Facebook and Twitter
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Image Credit: Vojtech Kubašta, How Columbus Discovered America (1961), mixed media, 10.5" x 18" x 12.75", Courtesy of Dagmar Vrkljan.

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Group Exhibition: Moon Room

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00

Vanessa Brown, Ouroborous Holding the Moon, 24" x 21" x 9 3/4" Steel, paint. 2014


Adrienne Kammerer, Alexandra Mackenzie, Alicia Nauta, Carly Waito, Eli Langer, Eunice Luk, Hanna Hur, Heather Goodchild, Jennifer Murphy, Karen Azoulay, Kendra Yee, Lisa DiQunzio, Maggie Groat, Margaux Williamson, Maryanne Casasanta, Naomi Yasui, Nikki Woolsey, Patrick Krzyzanowski, Rebecca Fin Simonetti, Sab Meynert and Vanessa Brown.

New data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL mission reveals that the Procellarum region on the near side of the moon — a giant basin often referred to as the “man in the moon” — likely arose not from a massive asteroid strike, but from a large plume of magma deep within the moon’s interior.

The Procellarum region is a roughly circular, volcanic terrain some 1,800 miles in diameter. One hypothesis suggested that it was formed by a massive impact, in which case it would have been the largest impact basin on the moon. Subsequent asteroid collisions overprinted the region with smaller — although still large — basins.

Now researchers from MIT, the Colorado School of Mines, and other institutions have created a high-resolution map of the Procellarum, and found that its border is not circular, but polygonal, composed of sharp angles that could not have been created by a massive asteroid. Instead, researchers believe that the angular outline was produced by giant tension cracks in the moon’s crust as it cooled around an upwelling plume of hot material from the deep interior.

Maria Zuber, the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and also MIT’s vice president for research, says that as cracks occurred, they formed a “plumbing system” in the moon’s crust through which magma could meander to the surface. Magma eventually filled the region’s smaller basins, creating what we see today as dark spots on the near side of the moon — features that have inspired the popular notion of a “man in the moon.”

“A lot of things in science are really complicated, but I’ve always loved to answer simple questions,” says Zuber, who is principal investigator for the GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) mission. “How many people have looked up at the moon and wondered what produced the pattern we see — let me tell you, I’ve wanted to solve that one!”

(Excerpt from Solving The Mystery of the Man on the Moon, October 1, 2014. Story Source: Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office

Curated by Kristin Weckworth

Opening Reception:
Saturday October 18, from 4-8pm
DJ Set by Maryanne Casasanta

2104 Dundas St West
Toronto ON Canada M6R 1W9

Exhibition Dates:
Oct 18 - Nov 15, 2014

Carly Waito, Lunar Meteorwrongs, 8" x 6" x 3/4", Oil on panel. 2014

Patrick Krzyzanowski, Untitled (Mali and Georgia), 12" x 16", Scratchboard. 2013

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Lisa Birke: red carpet

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00

Please join us for the opening of
red carpet
Lisa Birke

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Join us for a conversation with the artist at 3pm.
red carpet is on view
October 18 – November 14, 2014


It might have started with the Greeks. The earliest reference to “walking a red carpet” is in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon in 458 B.C., when the title character is greeted by his vengeful wife Clytemnestra, who invites him to walk a “crimson path” to his house. Not wanting to show hubris, the returning warrior opines that such luxuries are the preserve of the gods and he, after all, is a mortal. But step he does, and die he does, albeit off-stage in this curse-ridden, blood-soaked tragedy.

Fast forward a couple of thousand years and we have grown accustomed to the sight of the crimson path in countless images of award ceremonies, heads of state visits and all the other “celebrity” events that the media deem worthy of attention.

Lisa Birke’s version of the red carpet is decidedly different. Instead, the viewer witnesses an extended performance-for-video work that was filmed by the unaccompanied artist over the course of nine months. red carpet follows a glamorous female figure in a black glittering gown, teetering down a seemingly endless red carpet—a carpet that cuts its way through an ever-changing landscape. Humorously unfettered by the obstacles in her way, we witness the heroine tripping over uneven surfaces, navigating through trees and dense grasses, plunging through a river crossing, maintaining equilibrium on a carpeted log, baring skin bitten by snow and ice, careening down a deep snowy slope, mounting sand dunes and finally disappearing into the waves all while wearing a pair of black, three-inch heels.

The most arresting aspect of the work is not just the physical engagement of the artist as she walks into the horizon, but her steely denial of our gaze. Resolutely anonymous, back to the camera, she recedes through each landscape into terrain that is swampy, or snowy or waving with vegetation, always moving away from us even as she claims her status as worthy of the red carpet that has, inexplicably, been laid for just her use.

But this is not quite how it was either. Lisa Birke is a wry observer of her own modus operandi, writing, “In the final product, romanticism glosses over the reality of the process that involved getting up at the crack of dawn, finding accessible yet secluded spots, and trudging there weighed down with gear—sixty feet of red carpet strapped to an external backpack frame, props, camera, and tripod. I was simultaneously sex object and pack-mule.”


Lisa Birke is a multi-disciplinary Canadian artist who situates her practice between the tradition of painting, digital video and performance art. She is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Waterloo (2013). She examines notions of ‘self’ through the lens of gender, bringing the cultural tropes of women into focus and into question. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in nuanced and complex narratives in single and multi-channel video works that make reference to art history, mythology and popular culture. She has had solo exhibitions and screenings across Canada and her short films have been shown at film and video festivals internationally.


401 Richmond St., #452
Toronto, ON  M5V 3A8
Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm
For more information, contact, 416 351-1317

Please contact Kate Barry at Vtape to book class visits to view any Vtape Video Salon program as well as other titles in the Vtape holdings and to have an orientation to Vtape and all the extensive research facilities available to students, curators, writers and the general public.

Vtape acknowledges the generous support of all of our funders including The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

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Camilla Singh: Filthy by Nature

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Published on : 2014-10-18 01:00:00


Camilla Singh: Filthy by Nature

October 18 - November 8, 2014
Reception: Saturday October 18th, 6 - 10 pm

Filthy by Nature is a fashion label established in 2014 that debuted a line of uniforms for curators in Camilla Singh’s solo exhibition Uniforms for Non-Uniform Work at the Art Gallery of York University. She recorded and transcribed interviews with curators as source material and produced uniforms to introduce a story depicting contemporary curatorial practice using sculpture and installation.

In her first solo exhibition at De Luca Fine Art, Singh’s sculptural works signify the particularities of a curator’s methodology. Taken from their original context for closer inspection, these objects also exhibit a pragmatic quality and expose a broader relationship to curatorial practice and explorations about the nature of work.

Singh has been exploring the subject of work and its role in creating values, shaping modes of conduct and behavior and affecting collective psychology, daily habits and emotional and physical well being. Through the multi-disciplinary approach of her studio practice she looks for ways to question the nature of work, why it is highly regarded, and what it means to disengage from that aspect of culture and to see work-culture through another lens. In this exhibition she releases the tools and talismans of curatorial practice from the uniforms of the curators they were created for.

Camilla Singh is a multidisciplinary artist and curator living in Toronto. Her practice includes installation, sculpture, drawing, photo and audio-based work, as well as performance, movement and collaboration. She performs in the band MORTIFIED with dancer/choreographer Jenn Goodwin.

Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (2014), Jam Jar Gallery (collaboration with Walter Willems), Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2014), Angell Gallery, Toronto (2012). Recent residencies include Visiting Artist in Sculpture, York University (2013 – 14), Onagawa AIR, Japan (2013), Your Call Will be Answered in Sequins, Drake Lab Residency, Toronto (2012), and MORTIFIED was selected for a HATCH production residency in the Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (2012). In addition to other grants and awards, Singh received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council in 2012 to support her research towards creating uniforms for curators.

Singh is the former Assistant Director/Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (2002 – 09) and holds an MFA in Contemporary Studio Practice from the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands (2000) and a BFA from the University of Guelph (1997). She has worked with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto to produce two major commissioned installations (2011), as the Curator for Zone C: Supernatural City (2007), produced MOCCA independent projects (2007-08), and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee.

For further information or to RSVP, please contact:
Corrado De Luca
T: 416-728 4408

de luca fine art | gallery
217 Avenue Road, Toronto  [map]
Wed - Sat. 12 - 6 pm or by appointment


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Invasive. "What if your tax money is used to kill animals?"

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Published on : 2014-10-17 12:52:35

Invasive. What if your tax money was used to kill animals?

At first sight, there's something inherently funny in a headline that claims: Warning as alien mussels found near Heathrow airport. But it turns out that these molluscs not only sit on top of native mussels and smother them to death, they also threaten thousands of other native animals and habitats. If that were not enough, they are also accused of disrupting water supplies by blocking pipes and causing flooding.

These mussels are only one of the many invasive species that are identified by environmental departments as posing danger to biodiversity. These invasive plants and animals are often eradicated using drastic measures. Authorities can infect them with a virus, for example. Or they can use chemicals, hunting, fires, birth control, etc. These measures are expensive and they also create a dilemma for citizens who are caught between a desire to preserve the eco-system and a reluctance to kill animals.

Lisa Ma identified and fleshed out this dilemma in her work Invasive. The project brought her to Ghent in meat-loving Belgium. Ghent is often called the "Vegetarian Capital of Europe." In 2009, it became the first city in the world to adopt a weekly vegetarian day. Restaurants now offer at least one vegetarian menu item, every Thursdays (the city "vegetarian day") schools serve entirely vegetarian meals and maps listing the places selling fries fried in vegetable oil circulate (that might not seem extraordinary to you but as a Belgian i grew up eating fries cooked in beef fat.)

Ghent prides itself on being animal-friendly thus. Yet, Lisa soon discovered that the city is spending tax payers' money to kill thousands of invasive Canadian geese every year. The animals have taken advantage of the well-preserved ecology of the city and of the absence of competition or predators. The heavy birds constantly push the soil into Ghent's canals and literally blocking a city already below the sea level.

0goose roundup2_rato.jpg
Rounding up geese. Photo courtesy of Karel Van Moer - Rato

0collecting eggs.jpg
Collecting Canadian geese eggs. Photo by Lisa Ma

The city deals with 'the problem' by eradicating the Canada geese at great cost. The animals are round up, individually injected with poison and incinerated. People would also take eggs from the nests and throw them in the river. They make sure to keep one egg though. They shake it and put it back in the nest, so that goose parents would continue to nest the 'dud' egg all summer instead of starting a new batch.

Collaborating with cultural organisations Timelab, FoAM, Vooruit, the newly formed food council and a series of local experts, Lisa Ma suggested that the citizens of Ghent ate the invasive animals, rather than leave them for governments to poison at huge public costs.

0feeding_mayor_Tom Callemin.jpg
Serving mayor Daniël Termont a plate of Canadian goose. Image by Tom Callemin

0lab_tour3_ Fred Debrock.jpg
Canadian Geese paté. Photograph © Fred Debrock

Photo by Tom Callemin

Unsurprisingly, the idea spurred an intense debate in the media. But it also led to some pretty unusual experiences: volunteers jumping into rivers to fish out freshly thrown eggs, vegetarian chefs crying when they cooked their first gosling pie, making feather plucking machines from cement mixers, etc.

The Invasive project also attempted to tackle the notoriously invasive Japanese Knotweed. A local cake store used the plant (which tastes like rhubarb 'without the laxative effects') to bake cheesecakes. Invasive grew into a real movement that even launched the first ever food council in the city.

'Weed-pick' the invasive Japanese knotweed. Photograph © Fred Debrock

Cake made using Japanese knotweed paste. Photograph © Fred Debrock

These last two paragraphs which sum up some of the lessons learnt in the process were written by Lisa:

The project also addressed a new shift in our believes and values. Vegetarianism used to be a form of activism, what now when it's become a status quo and no longer addressing the dilemma between our believes and our values?

There is no such thing as perfect solutions, even this story of eating invasive animals has its potential pitfalls. Equilibrium doesn't last forever, so activism must be iterative to reassess it's relevance to the dilemma. This project is a real-life case of how even the most aspirational of political communities have a need to further challenge a status quo, even when it had become the pride of their own city.

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2014 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection

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Published on : 2014-10-17 01:00:00



Official Openings, October 17, 2014

Host Galleries
Canada: Nunavut Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
USA: Steinbrueck Native Gallery, Seattle, WA

If you are interested in purchasing prints you can do so through one of our listed galleries at

Acclaimed Cape Dorset print studio is celebrating its 55th year!

Buzz, Snapshot, Tingling Bird. These are 3 of the provocative titles in this year’s Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection. A giant fly, a bag of ice, an owl with lines of fine French lace, multiple worlds orbiting a writhing serpent – these are just a few of the 38 images represented in this year’s collection. Nestled on the South coast of Baffin Island in the far north, the tiny hamlet of Cape Dorset enjoys the distinction of having the longest continuously operating print studio in Canada. Since its inception in 1959, Kinngait Studios, as it is now called, has published over 3200 different print images. Limited edition prints by renowned artists such as Parr, Kenojuak Ashevak and Kananginak Pootoogook are proudly displayed in major museums and prominent collections around the world. This year’s collection highlights a new generation of artists who are redefining the meaning of ‘Inuit art’ through original subject matter and some bold and daring print techniques in the traditional media of stonecut/stencil, lithography and etching/aquatint. The prints will be released to the public in venues across Canada and the USA on the morning of Friday Oct. 17th. The images, along with a listing of participating galleries and artist’s biographies can be viewed at

For further information please contact Kate Vasyliw at (416) 504-2157 or

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Book review: Imagine Architecture. Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm

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Published on : 2014-10-16 16:01:51

Imagine Architecture. Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm, by Lukas Feireiss and Robert Klanten.

Available on amazon UK and USA


Publisher Gestalten writes: Contemporary developments in the visual arts are often reflected in urban landscapes. Imagine Architecture explores the ways in which visual culture develops in public spaces and how it shapes those spaces. This book focuses on the fruitful exchange between visual culture and architecture and follows up on the themes introduced in our previous release Beyond Architecture. It compiles experimental projects and creative perspectives from the fields of illustration, painting, collage, sculpture, photography, installation, and design.

A young generation of creatives sees the urban landscape as the starting point for their work. When these illustrators, sculptors, or photographers engage with architecture, their art overrules conventional doctrines on the use of space. They use buildings as a medium for their ideas, breaking norms and triggering new tensions. Whether they make sculptures that are created within the context of a given structure or street art whose forms and colors impact its surrounding architecture, all of the featured projects interpret and reflect their spatial settings in compelling ways. In the process, these visionary concepts are playfully expanding the definition of architecture. Their creativity has the potential to breathe new life into public spaces and promote the evolution of our cities.

Fredrik Raddum, Climbing the Clouds, Skatt-Øst, Oslo, 2009

Imagine Architecture follows Gestalten magical recipe: a theme which will catch everyone's imagination, a straightforward introduction, a brief description of each work and lots of very big images. The formula works every time.

It's not my favourite book from Gestalten though. It's still a brilliant one but i opened it with the assumption that artists exploring architecture were always going to be far more thought-provoking than architects expressing the radical or outlandish ideas you'd expect from an artist. I looked back at architecture titles i've reviewed in the past (in particular the two i've just linked to) and realize that i was wrong, i shouldn't dismiss architects' creativity.

Now to what i like about the book: the title and content might be catchy but that doesn't reduce the Imagine Architecture to a catalogue of what was cool and trendy on design and art blogs these past couple of years. The editors have brought to light gems from exhibitions and portfolios that haven't reached the mainstream yet. Some of the works are deeply political. Others have no other ambition than be poetical. Some are paper models of an imaginary city that, like a real one, is ever growing, ever-evolving. Others are typographic experiments that attempt to dialogue with architecture. Some explore architecture through the introspective lens of the home. Others look at the arrogance of men who hope to control and dominate from the height of the towers they've built.

Right, i can see now that my arid review hasn't probably done justice to the book, let the images speak then:

Tom Sachs, The Island

Tom Sachs' The Island is a modified model of the radar tower of the USS Enterprise CVN-65, "The world's first and finest nuclear powered aircraft carrier." It's also one of my favourite works ever.

Bertrand Lamarche, The Fog Factory, 2005-2011

Bertrand Lamarche, The Fog Factory, 2005-2011

The Fog Factory is the model of the area around the train station in Nancy, France. Fog, which creeps over the streets, constitutes the architecture, an artificial copy of a meteorological phenomenon, mechanically produced but randomly distributed and imponderable.

Beth Dow, Ruins

Beth Dow looks at the American environments, and its penchant for fake antiquities. My pictures of faked antiquities are an attempt to evoke nostalgia for inaccurate history, to wrestle with ideas of authenticity, and to question the value we place on classical ideals.


Laurent Chechere, Flying Houses

Laurent Chehere looks for understated and overlooked examples of architecture in Paris. From caravans to circus tents to sex shops. He photographs them and then sends them high up in the air from his digital manipulation room.

El Ultimo Grito, Mine Schaft, from the series Collapscapes

El Ultimo Grito, Chemical Plant, from the series Collapscapes

Collapscapes are fictitious industrial spaces made of glass. Called Chemical Plant, Mine Shaft, Super Collider and Gas Depot, the objects look at industrial architecture and the contraction (or collapse) of industrial sites that follows increasingly mechanised production.

Dietrich Wegner, Playhouse

A synthetic cotton treehouse for children in the shape of a mushroom cloud.

Darryl Chen, New [Socialist] Village, 2013

Daryl Chen's New Socialist Village explores what the UK can learn about planning from the community living in the village of Caochangdi, an atypical 'new socialist village' outside of Beijing. In the space created by the Chinese government's evolving planning laws, the village's growth is driven by the instincts of local peasants and the bohemian opportunism of artists who have established a set of unstated rules governing urban form.


Jiang Pengyi, Unregistered Cities

Jiang Pengyi creates Unregistered Cities, miniature abandoned cities. He then places them in the historic abandoned houses that Beijing's hunger for "excessive urbanization, redevelopment and demolition" has left to rot.

Vangelis Vlahos, Athens Tower (Tenants Lists 1974-2004), 2004


Judith Hoffman, The Soap Factory.

Views inside the book:









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Joseph Tisiga: A Sacred Game: Escape is Perpetual

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Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00


Joseph Tisiga
A Sacred Game: Escape is Perpetual

16 October to 15 November 2014
Opening 16 October from 7 to 9

Diaz Contemporary is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of works by Joseph Tisiga. With a series of watercolours, collages on canvas and sculpture, Tisiga reflects on his impressions of indigenousness within the modern world. He cites a range of influences to his approach, from the philosophy of Paulo Freire, whose work served to acknowledge and empower the disenfranchised and oppressed; to Carl Jung for his articulation of archetypal images as emerging from the collective unconscious; and Samuel Beckett for the minimal and bleak environments that characterized his writing.

Tisiga’s investigations into the complication of identity culminate in works with disjunctive, cultural iconographies woven into one narrative field. Incorporating depictions of ritual and seemingly randomized symbols, Tisiga builds scenes with complex but ambiguous objectives. For Tisiga, the drawings and paintings began with the consideration of a state of “aimless ambition,” in which the figures or inhabitants of this fictional space could be understood to be compelled into action, though without a discernible motive to that action. Whether absurd spiritualism, trivial creation or simple makework, the inhabitants appear unable to know how to casually exist, persisting instead to awkwardly feel out solutions. Here, Tisiga equates Beckett’s barren landscapes to the worn and makeshift states of many First Nation communities, or settled, indigenous communities worldwide, and sees the tragic monotony of Beckett’s world aligning with the insistent survival of the “indigenous soul”.

Tisiga grapples with the idea of a supernatural banality which conceals the criticality of our contemporary condition, effectively muting any singular history's (perspective’s, memory’s, culture’s) ability to translate reality. Perhaps it is that the 'supernatural banality' is a kind of magic that dilutes particularities and reduces culture and time to one continuum that in turn must be reworked on an individual basis, returning everything to pure narrative in which everything and nothing are happening. This viewpoint can be perceived throughout the work, particularly in the collaged material, with its interplay of social, cultural and historical reference.

Joseph Tisiga was born in 1984 in Edmonton, Alberta and is a member of the Kaska Dene Nation. He is currently based in Whitehorse, Yukon. He studied at Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design and has been a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition (2009) and was longlisted for a Sobey Art Award (2011). His work was included in the recent Oh, Canada, an exhibition curated by Denise Markonish for MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.

For more information please contact us:

Diaz Contemporary
100 Niagara Street (at Tecumseth)
Toronto, ON M5V 1C5

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 to 6, or by appointment


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