Speaker Series

 

Marking Place

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Across Canada individuals and institutions are asking what the sesquicentennial means for this country and are examining our understanding of nationhood. This year-long speaker series looks at visual art, design and art institutions in relation to ideas concerning Indigeneity, colonialism, immigration and national identity. Four prominent Canadians—curator Wanda Nanibush, artist Jin-me Yoon, curator Michelle Jacques and cultural historian Michael Prokopow—share their thoughts on these connections and our evolving sense of place.

Work in Progress

In this series, five Vancouver Art Gallery curators each discuss an exhibition they have organized this year in relationship to a project from the Gallery’s history. By coupling exhibitions from past and present, these talks are intended to map various trajectories of the Gallery and to highlight some of the ways that visual art has developed in Western Canada. At an important moment when the country reflects on its complex history, this is an opportunity to consider our own institutional history by assessing exhibition-making at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

   MARKING PLACE TALKS        WORK IN PROGRESS TALKS   



MAR 7
TUE 7pm
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Wanda Nanibush
Marking Place Speaker Series

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator and community organizer. In this talk, Nanibush discusses the power and place of Indigenous artists and art in shaping the country now called Canada. Nanibush shares her knowledge of contemporary Indigenous art practices, as well as how Indigenous resurgence and resistance, both historic and contemporary, has shaped the conversation of cultural artistic production across Turtle Island.

Nanibush is Assistant Curator of Indigenous and Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her recent projects include the exhibitions Sovereign Acts II (Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Montreal), Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) and The Fifth World (Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener), a film called A Love Letter to My People, a documentary on Gerald Vizenor, a book called Violence No More (Arp Press), as well as an anthology of Indigenous Curatorial Writing and more. She has a Masters Degree in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto and has taught doctoral courses on Indigenous history and politics at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.



MAY 19
FRI 12pm
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Jin-me Yoon
Marking Place Speaker Series *

Artist Jin-me Yoon speculates on significant shifts in her thinking and making of the last 25 years by looking at past and current work within larger discursive changes. In this artist talk, Yoon considers the movement between nationalism and transnationalism, displacement and emplacement, the local and the global, self and other, the representational and the abstract, and the human subject and the natural world in order to ask how we can generate spaces for exchange that create possibilities of transformative alternative futures. Her postcard project entitled Souvenirs of the Self, produced at the site of Canada’s first national park in Banff, Alberta in 1991, provides the main departure point to consider nationalism in the context of tourism, while her recent postcard project in progress at another Canadian national park, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, bookends her consideration of these questions.

Since the early 1990s Jin-me Yoon’s lens-based practice in photography, video and installation has re-examined questions concerning place, identity and the body supported by an underlying interest in how these very questions are based on entangled and interdependent relations and histories. In staging performative actions for the camera, she often uses her body as a sign of difference and more recently, evidence of an embodied corporality. Landscapes, particular sites and cities, people, objects and materials provide a departure point for broader issues and geopolitical particularities to be identified.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Yoon immigrated to Vancouver in 1968 where she lives and works. She is Professor of Visual Art at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. Her work has been exhibited widely across Canada as well as internationally.

This presentation is part of the Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium.



OCT
2017
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Michael Prokopow
Marking Place Speaker Series

Cultural historian and curator Dr. Michael Prokopow will offer his thoughts on the design history of Canada as it relates to the cultural and material effects of immigration. He will discuss how design—a category of human made objects under the umbrella of material culture—has long been seen as an effective mechanism in the construction of national identity. Dr. Prokopow will also consider how contemporary design practice in Canada presents an opportunity to consider and question the values of nationhood and nationality.

Prokopow's areas of expertise include material culture, critical and aesthetic theory and design history. He has written widely about material life and domesticity and is currently working on a project on middle class taste in North America between 1940 and 1975. He sits on the boards of the Arthur Erickson Foundation, Craft Ontario and C Magazine. Dr. Prokopow is a faculty member at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.



NOV
2017
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Michelle Jacques
Marking Place Speaker Series

With an interest in identity, the construction of gender and our social fabric, curator Michelle Jacques gives her reading of place and how art in British Columbia fits within national and global art communities. Her lecture will also reflect on how institutions must think critically about their role in constructing national identity through exhibitions and public programs.

Curator Michelle Jacques’ dedication to local artists, as much as her formal education in historical Canadian art, has made her an expert in artistic production in Canada. Her coast to coast experience—from her work in Halifax at Centre for Art Tapes to fifteen years at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto to her current position as Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria—has given her a breath of knowledge on contemporary and historic art of this country.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.

   MARKING PLACE TALKS           WORK IN PROGRESS TALKS   



MAR 21
TUE 7pm
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Curator’s Talk
Ian Thom

Susan Point: Spindle Whorl (2017) & Arts of the Raven (1967)
Work in Progress Curators' Talks

Ian Thom, Senior Curator – Historical, will discuss the exhibition Susan Point: Spindle Whorl (2017) in relation to the exhibition Arts of the Raven (1967). Arts of the Raven: masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian [sic]* was an exhibition that honoured of the one hundredth anniversary of Canadian Confederation, which included Tsimshian, Tlingit, Haida and Kwakwaka'wakw art.

*The exhibition title, which includes the term “Indian,” is reproduced as it was originally published in the interest of historical accuracy. Its use in this description is not intended to be disrespectful.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.



APR 4
TUE 7pm
in the Gallery
Annex Building
Courtroom 302
Curator’s Talk
Daina Augaitis

From the BC Annuals to Ambivalent Pleasures:
The arc of the local at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Work in Progress Curators' Talks
Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, will trace the history of local survey exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This talk will look at the trajectory from the Gallery’s long history of BC Annual exhibitions, which gave many artists between 1932 and 1968 their first exposure to a broad public, to the myriad of group exhibitions in the intervening decades, to the current exhibition Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures, the first in a series of triennials that reaffirms the institution’s commitment to the local.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.



APR 25
TUE 7pm
in the Gallery
Annex Workshop
Curator’s Talk: Diana Freundl
in conversation with artists Josh Hon and Gu Xiong

Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver (2017)
& Here Not There (1995)
Work in Progress Curators' Talks

Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art, will discuss her exhibition Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver (2017) in relation to the exhibition Here Not There (1995). Here Not There presented sculpture, stoneware and paintings by Vancouver-based Chinese artists Gu Xiong, Huang Yali, Sam Lam, Shi Guoliang and Zhang Qun that illuminated the problematic nature of cultural identity in unfamiliar territory and pointed to the impermanent character of “home” in the contemporary world. Pacific Crossings presents works from well-known Hong Kong artists David Lam, Carrie Koo, Paul Chui and Josh Hon, who immigrated to Vancouver throughout the 1960-90s. It explores various visual languages from Hong Kong’s modern and contemporary art beginnings including ink painting, abstract and landscape painting, and examines the influence that a new environment had on their practices. Following Freundl’s presentation, artists Josh Hon and Gu Xiong will join the curator in a discussion of issues arising from this pairing of exhibitions.

Free, no Gallery admission required. Seating is first come, first served.



JUNE 6
TUE 7pm
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Curator’s Talk
Grant Arnold

Pictures From Here (2017) & 13 Cameras (1978)
Work in Progress Curators' Talks

Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, will discuss the exhibition Pictures From Here (2017) in relation to 13 Cameras (1978), an exhibition of photographs by a group of individuals who use the photographic image as a means of visual expression, collectively curated by the artists. It included work by Marian Penner Bancroft, Iain Baxter, Taki Bluesinger, Chris Dahl, Michael de Courcy, Don Druick, Chris Gallagher, Barrie Jones, Roy Kiyooka, Dale Pickering, Dave Rimmer, Kazumi Tanaka and Paul Wong.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.



NOV
2017
in the Gallery
Room 4East
Curator’s Talk
Bruce Grenville

Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting (2017) & weak thought (1998/1999)
Work in Progress Curators' Talks

Senior Curator Bruce Grenville will discuss the exhibition Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting (2017) co-curated with David MacWilliam and the exhibition weak thought (1998/1999) co-curated with Grant Arnold. Both exhibitions are examples of collaborative projects that offer diverse and sometimes contradictory models for examining the production of contemporary abstract art from Canada and Vancouver respectively. Drawing its title from Italian philosophy, weak thought featured painting, sculpture and mixed-media works by ten contemporary artists from Vancouver whose art encouraged the redressing of modernist art and ideas from within.

Free for Members or with Gallery Admission.

*TICKETED EVENT | All programming is in the Gallery and free with Gallery Admission unless otherwise indicated.
Dates and times are subject to change. Please check back for complete up-to-date listings.


Images-top: Barbara Spohr, Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Banff, 1980, chromogenic print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Bill Jeffries; Interior view of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery