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September 7 to October 6, 2018

Serpentine Rhythm

Laura Piasta

Dear L,

I’ve also been thinking about snakes. Absently, I find myself drawing them—
To loop. To coil.
—picturing their perfect funnelling, my imperfect lines.
Somewhere they have my attention. There is something there.
It’s not enough to just apply the ouroboros; neither Tiresias' strike, his/her blindness, or his/her/his (growing and shrinking) breasts; nor my mother’s acute fear; nor psychoanalysis’ tiresome assertions, for example. No, somewhat traceable here, but beyond and through.
So now I am in the desert. You got me here. Lofty sky.
Thinking heat. Thinking of rocks, of a landscape resembling a snake’s hide; coming to be called for it, in fact.
To be like the serpent.
I am thinking of geology—pressure and time—incubating conditions.
And I think of the baby.
Not the baby’s booties this time, but your nipple cast in bronze. And of the body and skin. And now of patina.
And of how the snake moves
for us.



The work of Laura Piasta considers the agency of objects through a conceptual exploration of their materiality. Based in Vancouver, Piasta received her BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2006 and an MFA from the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts in Sweden in 2012. Her work has been exhibited at a number of institutions and galleries in Europe and North America including Bildmuseet (Sweden), Auto Centre (Berlin), Romeo (New York), Malmö Show Room (Sweden), The Charles H. Scott Gallery and The Contemporary Art Gallery (both Vancouver). Recent solo shows in Vancouver include A Definite Volume but No Fixed State at BAF, Sounding the Ultraviolet at Access Gallery and Bog Breath at Sunset Terrace. She has been an artist in residence at Fabrikken for Kunst og Design (Copenhagen), Sikås Art Center (Sweden), The Burrard Arts Foundation (Vancouver) and the Banff Centre.

Katrina Niebergal (Kelowna, BC, 1986) is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Her practice is centrally concerned with feeling. She questions how intimate, fleeting experience might be distilled into form and how form might be made to transmit affect. She is currently studying in the Master of Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art, Den Haag, The Netherlands. She received her BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2013 and was a co-founder of Sunset Terrace and Duplex, shared artist-run studio and exhibition spaces in Vancouver.
July 14 to August 11, 2018

the future is a distorted landscape

Christina Battle

Science fiction often suggests alternative visions for society. This multiscreen video installation takes up time travel as a political act and a way to draw attention to the failings and inequalities embedded within contemporary life.

Chronesthesia, or mental time travel, refers to the brain’s ability to remember the past while imagining the future. In essence, chronesthesia allows us to visualize the future based on our previous experiences. The more exposure we have to an experience or a particular type of event, the more likely it is that we can imagine and realize a similar event in the future. The recent discovery of gravitational waves by a team of astrophysicists in Louisiana makes the fantasy of time travel seem possible, even if not within our lifetimes. The knowledge that it might be possible to escape from the struggles unfolding worldwide (climate change, capitalism, inequality, nuclear war, racism...) offers much needed hope. This project proposes that visualizations which imagine what the future might look like, both good and bad, could offer a way to encourage the collective creation of a better one.

Originally from Edmonton (AB),
Christina Battle is currently based in London (ON) Canada. Her research and work consider to the parameters of disaster; looking to it as action, as more than mere event and instead as a framework operating within larger systems of power. She has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries, most recently at: Nuit Blanche (Toronto), Galveston Artist Residency (Texas), Studio XX (Montréal), Le Centre des arts actuels Skol as part of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal (Montréal), Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, ON), Casa Maauad (Mexico City); and SOMArts (San Francisco).

the future is a distorted landscape was commissioned by Nuit Blanche Toronto in 2017.

CLICK HERE for Q&A with Christina Battle about the exhibition
A screening series of revealing documentaries tracing the lives and work of two seminal and elusive artists as well as the birth of the the 20th century land art movement.

Thursday, May 10 at 7pm

Eva Hesse

Dir. Marcie Beglieter | 102 min | 2016

As the wild ride of the 1960s came to a close, Eva Hesse, a 34-year-old German-born American artist, was cresting the wave of a swiftly rising career. One of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene, she had over 20 group shows scheduled for 1970 in addition to being chosen for a cover article in ArtForum Magazine. Her work was finally receiving both the critical and commercial attention it deserved. When she died in May, 1970 from a brain tumour, the life of one of that decade’s most passionate and brilliant artists was tragically cut short. As Jonathon Keats wrote in Art and Antiques Magazine, "Yet the end of her life proved to be only the beginning of her career. The couple of solo gallery shows she hustled in the 11 years following her graduation from the Yale School of Art have since been eclipsed by multiple posthumous retrospectives at major museums from the Guggenheim to the Hirshhorn to the Tate." Her work is now held by many important museum collections including the Whitney, MoMA, the Hirschhorn, the Pompidou in Paris and London's Tate Modern.

Eva Hesse deepens the understanding of this extraordinary artist, not only in terms of her ground-breaking work, but also the life that provided the fertile soil for her achievements. With dozens of new interviews, high quality footage of Hesse's artwork and a wealth of newly discovered archival imagery, the documentary not only traces Eva's path but engages in a lively investigation into the creative community of 1960s New York and Germany.

Friday, May 11 at 7pm

Burden: a film about the artist Chris Burden

Dir. Tim Marrinan and Richard Dewey | 86 min | 2016

A probing portrait of Chris Burden, an artist who pushed the limits of creative expression and risked his life in the name of art. For more than 45 years, Chris Burden’s work has consistently challenged ideas about the limits and nature of modern art. His pioneering and often dangerous performance works of the 1970s earned Burden a place in the art history books while still in his early 20s. He had himself shot (Shoot, 1971), locked up (Five Day Locker Piece, 1971), electrocuted (Doorway to Heaven, 1973), cut (Through the Night Softly, 1973), crucified (Trans-fixed, 1974) and advertised on television (4 TV Ads, 1973–77). But as the 70s progressed Burden became disillusioned with the expectations and misconceptions based on his early works and as the pressure grew, the line between his life and his art blurred.

Burden quit performance in the late 1970s and had to artistically reinvent himself, going on to create a multitude of assemblages, installations, kinetic and static sculptures and scientific models. His work has influenced a generation of artists and been exhibited around the world, but the provocative nature of his art coupled with his sense of privacy mean that most people know the myth rather than the man. Now, having followed Burden creating new works in his studio and with access to his personal archive of images, video and audio recordings, Burden is the first feature documentary to fully explore the life and work of this seminal artist.

Saturday, May 12 at 7pm

Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

Dir. James Crump | 72 min | 2015

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms. The film casts these artists in a heroic light, which is exactly how they saw themselves. Iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever, these revolutionary, antagonistic creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative); a headstrong troika that established the genre. As the film makes clear, in making works that can never be possessed as an object in a gallery, these troublemakers stand in marked contrast to the hyper-speculative contemporary art world of today.

March 17 to May 5, 2018

The State of Things (in two parts)

James Lindsay | Lance Austin Olsen

A continuation and evolution of their 2016 exhibition hide in plain sight, The State of Things (in two parts) extends the interrogative narrative of that exhibition into uncharted territory for Olsen and Lindsay, even as it it arises from the cumulative sum of each artist's life. Lindsay eschews pure abstraction to present a suite of 19 new paintings that “document our contentment with the unpalatable parts per million in our nature.” The precarity and beauty of islands under threat from spillage and navigational hazards underscore ongoing concerns around health, environment and corporeal existence. Olsen, whose experimental sound work has always seamlessly tied into his visual output, has imagined an installation composed of and reliant on both; presenting a new sound work scored from drypoint print plates, in addition to prints and paintings. The artists—“both at an age where death is no longer an abstraction”—agree that careerism is anathema to life. The exhibition has been bifurcated temporally for these most recent (and undoubtedly not last) iterations of their vital and ongoing production, with Lindsay and Olsen remaining in conversation with each other, despite or perhaps because of the resolute independence of each voice.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 @ 7:00pm

Untitled (Just Kidding)

Screening/Performance: Jesse Malmed in person

Untitled (Just Kidding) is an ever-evolving suite of films and performative interjections made over the last half decade.

The works play in creative reading, studied density, the one-(hundred)-liner, choirs, screen texts, the bootleg, the cover, jokes, speculative etymologies, accents, loops, the cinemagical, body swaps, poetry, citation and human voice. Conceptually engaged, language-intensive and visually mesmerizing, the suite scrambles somewhere in the intersects of conceptual comedy, dizzying illogics, the poetic plu-future and sustainable sourcing. Through deliberate mistranslation and strategic denaturing of languages and codes, Malmed revels in and reveals their extra-communicative potential as sound, as image, as object, and shift audiences’ concepts of the show, of the cinema.

Including and occluding collisions and confoundments between textual forms—written, spoken, sung and otherwise enunciated; variations on versioning; shifting registers of spectatorial engagement; jokes that are poems that turn out to be videos. Unexpect the expected. 

Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator living and working in Chicago. His work in moving images, performance, text and occasional objects has exhibited widely in museums, cinemas, galleries, bars and barns, including recent and upcoming solo presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, San Francisco Cinematheque, Microlights, Echo Park Film Center, and the University of Chicago Film Studies Center. His platformist and curatorial projects include the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, programming at the Nightingale Cinema, instigating Western Pole, the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project Trunk Show (with Raven Falquez Munsell), programming through ACRE TV and organizing exhibitions, screenings and performance events both independently and institutionally. Originally from Santa Fe, he earned his BA from Bard College and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he currently teaches.
January 19 to February 24, 2018

Real Tears

Christine D'Onofrio

Curated by Wil Aballe

D’Onofrio complicates the real and synthetic effects of media as applied in dialogue with social and political struggles of power, liberty, exploitation and humiliation. In this, her most recent work, the artist uses art historical references, filmic tropes and commercial aesthetics to tease out social codes of subjectivity and consider how they affect freedoms and power.

Using tears and the act of crying as both subject and conduit to investigate these codes and their affect, D'Onofrio takes on an analysis of the specific social impositions of sincerity and virtue as contrived "authentic" or "biological" signs that internalize and enforce the feminine position. As an investigation of the deliberate boundaries of what is genuine and what is pretense, Real Tears exists as a hologram, enacting the contranym of the virtual as both "not existing" but also "almost the same."

Christine D'Onofrio is a visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was born and grew up in Toronto, Ontario and attended York University for her BFA. D'Onofrio completed an MFA at the University of British Columbia where she now teaches.