Vancouver Gallery Hop Panel Conversation: Air, Land, Sea

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Vancouver Is Awesome is a proud media partner of this year’s Gallery Hop Vancouver! Watch this space over the coming days for previews and insight on the free tours and talks taking place during this year’s event!

Written by: Bryne McLaughlin, Managing Editor, Canadian Art

Clandestine rocket launches, backyard archeological digs, reclusive lighthouse keepers—these are just a few of the extra-ordinary takes on lived space gathered for “Air, Land, Sea,” the Canadian Art Foundation’s Vancouver Gallery Hop panel discussion on Saturday, April 27, at VIFF’s Vancity Theatre. Featuring Berlin-based artist Charles Stankievech, Saskatchewan-based artist Kara Uzelman, and Charles H. Scott Gallery curator Cate Rimmer, the panel promises to unpack not only literal aspects of shared social, cultural, and geographic realities, but also the overlooked, hidden, or otherwise invisible mechanics of modern life.

Charles Stankievech, Loveland, 2009-2011, Interior view of mirror vitrine with special LOVELAND edition of The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel behind diachroic glass. Courtesy the Artist.

Research and experiment are bound to be key themes for all of the presenters. Stankievech’s practice centres on what he calls “fieldworks.” Sited in disparate locations ranging from the snow-swept subarctic to the tumbleweed ranges of the Texas desert, his works—including radio transmissions, rocketry, and sculptural architecture—are meticulously developed as intrusions or disruptions on the dominant narratives of art history and geopolitics, not to mention the nefarious underworld of the military-industrial complex. Uzelman, who is trained as an urban planner and archeologist, mines the everyday archive in process-based projects that salvage and repurpose meaning from the bric-a-brac of urban existence, be it in a stratified exploration of her residential backyard or the entire contents of a neighbourhood garage sale. Rimmer brings a curatorial angle to the discussion grounded in her ongoing exhibition series “The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea,” which matches seafaring works by an A-list cast of international contemporary artists with the local histories of objects and artifacts borrowed from the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Dorothy Cross, Jellyfish Lake, 2002, Video still, courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery.

Yet for all of these archival fascinations, it’s perhaps an overriding sense of fantasy—the potential of fact to become fiction, and vice versa—that ultimately powers Stankievech’s, Uzelman’s and Rimmer’s work. Whether it’s an arctic sublime, garage-sale poetics or the timelessness of the sea, each offers a metaphor for life outside of reality that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Kara Uzelman, Magnetic Snow Boots, 2013, Courtesy the artist

For more information on “Air, Land, Sea” and other Canadian Art Foundation Vancouver Gallery Hop events that are to be presented with our partner the Contemporary Society of Art Vancouver, visit candianart.ca/vancouverhop.

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