lectures and talks

Video Documentation

The Gallery's public lectures, classes and discussion groups presented by artists, curators, art historians, critics and collectors are springboards for understanding and appreciating the world of art and visual culture, for exchanging ideas and for debating issues. View videos of past lectures and talks below, or visit the Gallery's Vimeo page.
Vimeo - Vancouver Art Gallery
October 28, 2014
The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors
Patrcia Berger: Multiple Identities: The Many Faces of the Manchu Emperors of China
Berkley-based scholar and author of Empire of Emptiness, Patricia Berger presents a lecture that looks at the important role of Buddhist painting, sculpture, and decorative arts produced by Imperial Qing court artists and distributed throughout the empire

October 25, 2014
Offsite: Robert Youds
Artist Talk: Robert Youds
The presentation, Now is Not the Time, is comprised of a non-linear sampling of the artists recent art coupled with images of other artist's works. It takes the form of a spoken travelogue of thoughts, perceptions and practice, in relationship to images, objects and things from the world he has encountered. In addition, he drifts away from current discourse around art practice today from its partitioning of the present, towards a broader notion of how we might reconsider the irregularity of time embedded within our perception of things.

October 21, 2014
Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form
Jock Macdonald–Scholar's Panel: Anna Hudson, Michelle Jacques, Linda Jansma, Ian Thom & Joyce Zemans
This panel presents recent scholarship on Macdonald, exploring aspects of his early landscape work in the wilderness of British Columbia, his automatic drawings and development of "thought-forms," and his final period working in abstraction as part of the Painters Eleven. It also addresses Macdonald's influence as co-founder of a short-lived, rogue art school and as a dedicated and celebrated teacher.

Jock Macdonald was a pioneer of postwar abstraction in Canada and has been called one of the "greatest teachers of the century." Evolving Form is the first major retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work in more than thirty years.

October 14, 7pm
Emily Carr and Landon Mackenzie, Wood Chopper and the Monkey
Artist Talk: Landon Mackenzie
The artist presents an illustrated lecture about her work and discusses her curatorial research into the work of Emily Carr for the exhibition Emily Carr and Landon Mackenzie, Wood Chopper and the Monkey, on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery from September 20, 2014 to April 6, 2015.

October 1st, 2014
Material Future: The Architecture of Herzog & de Meuron and the Vancouver Art Gallery
Meet Herzog & de Meuron
Christine Binswanger, Senior Partner
Simon Demeuse, Associate

The design architects of the new Vancouver Art Gallery discuss their diverse take on museum design through a selection of previous projects. Founded in Basel in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron are internationally recognized for designs that are both highly inventive and responsive to the site, geography and culture of the place for which they are conceived. Hear what makes Herzog & de Meuron one of the world's most lauded architectural firms as well as their initial impressions about Vancouver, followed by a public discussion.

Led by five Senior Partners—Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach—Herzog & de Meuron have designed a wide range of projects, from highly recognized public facilities such as museums and stadiums, to distinguished private projects, and have been awarded numerous prizes, including The Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001, and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal and the Praemium Imperiale, both in 2007.

Perkins + Will are the Executive Architects of the new Vancouver Art Gallery.

June 24, 2014
Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything
Artist Talk: Douglas Coupland
Known for work that blends high and low culture, with generation-defining observations Douglas Coupland speaks about the ideas driving his work, and his impulse to engage a humouous, if somewhat darker understanding of ourselves. By approaching culture through art making, Coupland offers a unique vantage on cultural identity mixed with utopian optimism that can be a foundation to regard the "21st century condition".

June 11, 2014
Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything
The Future of the Future: An Evening of Ideas
Hosted by Douglas Coupland with Sophia Al Maria on Gulf Futurism | William Gibson on the Future of Anything and Everything | James Gleick on the Future of Information | Michael Stipe on the Future of Life and How to Live It| moderated by Michael Prokopow

What will life and art be like ten years from now, or twenty?

An artist and writer, known for work that blends high and low culture, and generation-defining observations, Douglas Coupland hosts an incredible range of cultural thinkers whose ideas inspire us to consider who we are and what we could become.

June 21, 2014
Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
Artist Talk: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
Dark suggestive spaces full of embodied memory: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller give an overview of their works and practice, focusing on the exhibition Lost in the Memory Palace.

Award winning artists Janet Cardiff (b. 1957, Brussels, Ontario, Canada) and George Bures Miller (b. 1960, Vegreville, Alberta, Canada) create immersive multimedia works usually involving sound.

May 24, 2014
The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors
Lecture: Jan Walls
In anticipation of the exhibition The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts a lecture by the eminent scholar Dr. Jan Walls. The talk addresses the palace context, touching on particular aspects of the architecture of The Forbidden City, including the role of numerology and animal symbolism in the building of this vast city complex.

Dr. Jan Walls is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the David Lam Centre for International Communication, Simon Fraser University. Active in many community organizations, Wall has published literary and cultural studies and translations, and lectured widely in the fields of East Asian languages and cultures, East-West intercultural communication and the theory and practice of cross-cultural translation.

May 20, 2014
Myfanw y MacLeod, Or There and Back Again
Lecture: Susan Fast
Whole Lotta Love: Power, Pleasure, Gender and Fandom in Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin's excessive, if always nuanced, music was pieced together from blues, psychedelia, folk, Indian and North African musics, and was transformed by technology and the quest for empowerment into a formidable construction of white masculinity. This talk explores issues of power, pleasure, gender and fandom in Zeppelin's music.

Susan Fast is Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University and Director of the Graduate Program in Gender Studies & Feminist Research.

April 8, 2014
Myfanwy MacLeod, Or There and Back Again
The Music Appreciation Society Presents: Led Zeppelin
The Music Appreciation Society, Brady Cranfield & Kathy Slade, chairs a listening panel on Led Zeppelin with contributions by Myfanwy MacLeod, Kevin Schmidt, Phil Smith, and Jean Smith.

The Music Appreciation Society (TMAS) is dedicated to the public appreciation of music. The primary activity of TMAS is to promote the discussion of music, especially popular music, in an art context.

March 14, 2014
A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky
Heller Lecture 2014: Edward Burtynsky
Known as one of Canada's most respected photographers, Burtynsky's remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in over 50 major museum collections around the world. The artist's illustrated talk explores his photographic practice with a focus on Water, his most recent photographic series, and his award-winning documentary Watermark. Following the lecture, Burtynsky is joined on stage by human ecologist William Rees, and anthropologist Wade Davis for a discussion concerning the role of water in global ecological sustainability.

Supported by Paul and Edwina Heller in memory of Kitty Heller.

March 11, 2014
Offsite: Babak Golkar
Artist Talk: Babak Golkar
Vancouver-Based artist Babak Golkar speaks about his Offsite installation Time to Let Go, a work comprised of several large terracotta pots. Golkar's installation addresses increased expectations and anxiety in contemporary society. Each vessel is uniquely designed to contain a scream, offering a location for viewers to release excess feelings encountered in their everyday lives.

Born in the United States, raised in Tehran and having lived between Canada and the Middle East since 1996, Babak Golkar has developed bodies of work, which navigate and negotiate the space between cultural and socio-economical registers. His research-based art practice is centred on seemingly contradictory forms, shapes and material.

January 28, 2014
Muntadas: Entre/Between
Critical Reflections 4: Robert Atkins on the Media Landscape
Antoni Muntadas: Media, Milestones & Memories

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the public lecture by Robert Atkins was unable to proceed as scheduled. In its place, Atkins has adapted his lecture to create this downloadable illustrated PDF. A welcome post-script to the exhibition, this text offers a critical perspective and lively insights about the exhibition and its relation to Muntadas' interrogation of the nature of media, a process spanning multiple projects and several decades.

December 3, 2013
Muntadas: Entre/Between
Critical Reflections 3: Cross Cultural Television
A talk by Hank Bull and Alex Muir

Vancouver artist Hank Bull first met Muntadas in 1979. In 1986 they collaborated on Cross-Cultural Television, a global comparative analysis of broadcast TV news. Produced as a special feature for the Vancouver edition of INFERMENTAL, a magazine on videotape, the work has a long exhibition history. Bull presents the video along with original correspondence related to the project. He is joined by local scholar and media curator Alex Muir to reflect on the cultural and media context of its production.

November 19, 2013
Muntadas: Entre/Between
Critical Reflections 2: Between the Frames
A lecture by Mary Anne Staniszewski

The second event in the Critical Reflections Speaker Series features a lecture by New York based writer and scholar Mary Anne Staniszewski addressing the history of display and the structures of the art world in relation to Muntadas' extensive work Between the Frames, an installation comprising eight sections that when taken together serve as a metaphor for the art world.

November 9, 2013
Muntadas: Entre/Between
Critical Reflections 1: Entre/Between
A talk with Muntadas, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker and Daina Augaitis

On the occasion of the survey exhibition Muntadas: Entre/Between, this speaker series casts a critical eye toward key works and moments in the artist's career. This conversation addresses the development of Muntadas' early practice in light of his recent activities. Curator and Director of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker presents remarks on the pioneering conceptual and media-based work Muntadas undertook upon visits to Vancouver in the 1970s. Danzker's talk is followed by a brief presentation by Muntadas' about a recent project, and finally a panel discussion between Danzker, Muntadas, and Chief Curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Daina Augaitis.

October 29 , 2013
Focus on the Collection:
Geoffrey James and Grant Arnold on the work of Charles Gagnon

Canadian photographer Geoffrey James gives a presentation on eminent Canadian artist Charles Gagnon, focusing on his photographic work and reflecting on Gagnon's particular influence and manner of working. Beginning with a reflection on his lifelong friendship with Gagnon, James is joined by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art for a discussion about the work and its importance in the Vancouver Art Gallery collection.

This talk was produced on the occasion of the Capture Photography Festival 2013.

October 26, 2013
Charles Edenshaw
Charles Edenshaw Symposium
Part 2: The Tenacity of Objects

A close look the qualities and complications of Edenshaw's work.

Robert Davidson, Haida Artist
Bill McLennan, Curator, Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Robin K. Wright, Bill Holm Center Endowed Professor of Art History, School of Art, Curator of Native American Art and Director of the Bill Holm Center, Burke Museum, University of Washington
Aldona Jonaitis, Director, University of Alaska Museum of the North

October 26, 2013
Charles Edenshaw
Charles Edenshaw Symposium
Part 1: What does it mean to be Haida?

How are Haida traditions carried forward through art within the community? To mark the Charles Edenshaw exhibition, the Gallery hosted two panel discussions. This day of presentations brought together Haida perspectives on their artistic traditions, the importance of Edenshaw's objects to the Haida and to the scholarly community and ways that these traditions are understood by a new generation.

Chief 7Idansuu, James Hart, Artist and Haida Chief
Christian White-Kihl guulaans, Haida Argillite Carver
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, gid7ahl-gudsllaay, Barrister and Solicitor
Rainbow Creek Dancers, Tuul gundlas *iiaal xaadii

September 7 , 2013
Portraits in Time
Artist Talk: Tom Sherman
Media artist Tom Sherman speaks about his work Exclusive Memory, on view as part of an exhibition called Portraits in Time, drawn from works in the Vancouver Art Gallery collection. Enabled by a long-distance video feed, the artist discusses his process and research toward the realization of the work, addressing his early career and immersion in new media. Sherman presents insight and a deep consideration of the subject of this six-channel work: an inquiry into artificial intelligence and human-machine relations.

June 15 , 2013
Persuasive Visions: 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Masterworks and Contemporary Reflections
Artist Talk: Rhonda Weppler
Clutter, Stacks and Cast Offs: A Talk About Process

An in-gallery talk by the artist Rhonda Weppler about her collaborative practice with Trevor Mahovsky. Together, the artists gather and collate materials to construct their sculptural works that are informed by the properties and surfaces of their chosen materials. In this talk Rhonda Weppler discusses the process of constructing Rozinante, a 15-foot veneer sculpture of the rozinante boat type, fabricated for the exhibition.

June 11, 2013
Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life
Reading: Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel
This reading and talk by author Karen Tei Yamashita considers the role of the residential hotel in the construction of Asian American identity. Reading from her 10-part novella I Hotel, Yamashita will discuss her research into the history of activism surrounding the International Hotel in San Francisco from 1968-1977.

May 28, 2013
Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life
Lecture: Michael Sheridan on Arne Jacobsen and the SAS Royal Hotel
A lecture by architectural historian Michael Sheridan touring through the SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, a grand hotel for the jet age. The talk expounds on the hotels many features, explaining its central role to Jacabsen's career and the sources of its enduring appeal.

May 7, 2013
Patrick Faigenbaum
Lecture: Jean-François Chevrier
Patrick Faigenbaum: Inside / Outside

A lecture by Paris-based curator and art historian Jean-François Chevrier on the work of Patrick Faigenbaum, presented in relation to the first survey exhibition of the artist's work in North America.

April 16, 2013
Grand Hotel
Lecture: Suzanne Oxenaar
The Lloyd Hotel, The Llove Hotel and Hotel The Exchange

Dutch curator and hotel proprietor Suzanne Oxenaar lectures on her work in instigating and managing three unconventional hotels, speaking to a process of working with designers, artists and architects across cultural and social boundaries.

March 26, 2013
The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)
James Hart
This talk by James Hart regards the process and context surrounding the design and carving of The Dance Screen (The Scream Too). This ambitious project brings together many of the principal animal figures from traditional Haida stories, especially creatures that depend on salmon for their survival.

March 19, 2013
CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps
Inkstuds Comic Talk: Robin McConnell
Robin McConnell, host of Inkstuds--a radio show devoted to interviews with alternative comics across North America-- joins artists Emily Carroll, Brandon Graham and Jen Vaughn for a live discussion on the art of comics, as well as reflections of their own work.

March 12, 2012
CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps
Lecture: Magnolia Pauker
Why Mice, Why Comics, Why the Holocaust: What Comes Before the Question?

February 19, 2013
Ian Wallace, At the Intersection of Painting and Photography
Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective
Ian Wallace in Conversation with Victor Burgin

The first use of the term "photoconceptualism" has been attributed to Ian Wallace in the late 1960s. At the time, London-based artist Victor Burgin-also a renowned critic and educator-was using similar methods in his own work and writing. This conversation offers a rare opportunity for two of photoconceptualism's leading practitioners to discuss the emergence of this defining movement.

February 5, 2013
Ian Wallace, At the Intersection of Painting and Photography
Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective
Ian Wallace in Conversation with Stan Douglas

Sharing a long history in Vancouver, Stan Douglas and Ian Wallace have helped to define the city's art scene internationally. In this special conversation, they explore the "cinematic eye" both employ in creating their photographic works.

January 29, 2013
Ian Wallace, At the Intersection of Painting and Photography
Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective
Ian Wallace in Conversation with Christine Poggi

Collage has been a recurring strategy in Ian Wallace's work, and the recent proliferation of collage-based activity in the wider art sphere suggests its significance in contemporary production. In this talk, Poggi will address collage in the wider context of art history and relate it to Wallace's practice.

January 15, 2013
Ian Wallace, At the Intersection of Painting and Photography
Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective
Artist Talk: Ian Wallace

A renowned artist, educator and critic, Ian Wallace gave an artist talk at the beginning of this series of presentations on the ideas and practices that have influenced his long career.

January 8, 2013
Book Launch and Talk: Cornelia Butler
This talk, entitled The Display of Art is a Political Act: Lucy Lippard's Feminist Curatorial Turn was given by Cornelia Butler, Chief Curator of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art New York on the occasion of the publishing of 4,492,040 (New Documents), From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows (Afterall Books), and in relation to the launch of an online resource related to the exhibition 955,000.

4,492,040 is a facsimile republication of a series of catalogues produced by Lucy R. Lippard between 1969 and 1974. 955,000, an exhibition of conceptual art curated by Lucy Lippard was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery from January 13 to February 8, 1970. In From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows, Cornelia Butler and others examine the numbers show and follows Lippard's trajectory as critic and curator, tracing her growing political involvement and engagement with feminism.

4,492,040 Publication: Purchase online
Vancouver Art Gallery publications page
955,000 Publication: Microsite
From Conceptualism to Feminism: Afterall Books site