QUOTING THE QUOTIDIAN
Artworks, it is often said, dialogue. They dialogue with the contexts of their creation, the objects of their representation, and their cultural referents; they dialogue with the spectators that experience them, and the spaces in which they are exhibited. And perhaps most significantly, they dialogue with each other.
Quoting the Quotidian puts art objects in conversation with other art objects, allowing the audience both the close intimacy and the critical distance to weigh in on these conversations and draw their own conclusions from them.
This is especially relevant at a time when information technology facilitates the instantaneous accessing of artworks – or rather, images of the artworks. For it should not be forgotten that the digital technologies that mediate the art fundamentally alter the medium of the art as well; like a conference call or a video chat, the sound of the work’s voice is distorted, while its physical substance is sublimated and dematerialised into something other than itself.
Well-known for helping to canonise the concept of post-internet in contemporary art, MARISA OLSON’s works often interrogate the mutability of technology. Rendering the idea of “media archaeology” as sculpture, Olson has reclaimed obsolete technologies and memorialised them as art. As a direct counterpoint, DANIEL JEFFERIES presents ink drawings on flower petals that will inevitably degrade over time; in this case, no amount of preparation or preservation can prevent this delicate ephemeral medium from eventually fading away.
This is the crux of Quoting the Quotidian: while every work stands on its own, its positioning in the space and its proximity to other works effects an environment where the dialogues between the artworks is just as important as the discourses about and around them. And while the show includes myriad media and approaches, all the works relate to the idea of the quotidian – those meanings and rituals inscribed in society’s customs and culture.
MAYA BEAUDRY and LES RAMSAY investigate the affective qualities that inhere in domestic items, such as textiles and wallpaper, and challenge the mundane conventions associated with these materials. Similarly, IAN JOHNSTON experiments with the recontextualising of ordinary found objects by creating palimpsestic clay moulds.
Other works critically assess the aesthetic contexts in which objects are situated. ROULA PARTHENIOU’s sculptures make overt references to commonplace things, but their operations are far more subtle; for they rely on their audience’s acquired familiarity with consumer culture in order for their representations to be seen. JASON MCLEAN’s collaborative sculpture with SCOTT LAWRENCE functions cleverly as a visual double entendre. VANESSA BROWN’s flat panels fuse picture and sculpture, with the obj ects depicted in them derived surrealistically from dream-activated visual fields. BARRY DOUPE explores the various forms “a line” can take, and how its elasticity and transformability can be employed to express a vast range of emotional states.
The works of MANUEL CORREA and NATASHA MCHARDY examine those endlessly traversed landscapes of leisure frequented by tourists. McHardy’s stylised, collage-like painting presents Vancouver’s seaside skyline as seen from Kits Beach – a familiar summer haunt for many – while Correa’s manipulated photographs are shot in some of Italy’s most popular sites. As vibrant and colourful as the crowded sites they show, these images call attention to the plurality of public spaces in the summertime, which can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
Indeed, in a physical and cultural landscape littered with things, perhaps an object’s imaginative charge is its most important quality. In SCOTT BILLINGS’ video work, this imaginative charge comes with a very physical jolt, while DANIEL KENT presents a meditation on technology that uses an ironic humour to convey its message. Likewise, DUSTIN BRONS’ witty homage to Bruce Nauman is as smart as it is hilarious. KIRSTEN STOLTMANN’s work literally overwrites magazine advertisements to sardonically articulate a wry feminist critique. Finally, NICOLAS SASSOON reinterprets his digital moire work as a site-specific sculpture. In doing so, he posits insightful questions about the role of the art object in relationship to digital space and internet culture.
The thrust of Quoting the Quotidian is therefore not a pedagogic or didactic thesis, qualifying the work according to an overarching curatorial theme – as many have come to expect from group exhibitions featuring a diverse range of artists. Rather, it is an affirmation of the works’ vivacity and articulateness when viewed together in real time, in real space.
MAYA BEAUDRY is a Vancouver-based artist who holds a BFA in sculpture from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. In 2013 she founded Sunset Terrace, a shared studio and exhibition space in East Vancouver. Her work with the space is in constant dialogue with her studio practice, both of which employ the affective qualities of disparate materials to explore the psychological implications of interior spaces. She is the recipient of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art CD Howe Scholarship, and has shown her work in Vancouver, Montreal and Berlin.
VANESSA BROWN is a Vancouver-based artist who works predominantly in sculpture and painting. She graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University in 2013 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. She recently participated in The Universe and Other Systems residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts (2014) and has exhibited throughout Canada and in Germany.
SCOTT BILLINGS is a visual artist and designer based in Vancouver. His art practice centers on issues of animality, mobility, and cinematic spectatorship. Through sculpture and video installation, Scott’s work examines how the apparatus itself can reveal both the mechanisms of causality and its own dormant animality. Billings has exhibited nationally and internationally including New York, Seattle, Toronto, Winnipeg, Prague, and China. He holds an MFA from UBC, a BFA from Emily Carr University, and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
DUSTIN BRONS is an artist in Vancouver. His work is mostly performance based, taking the form of videos and other documentation. He has participated in exhibitions in Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City, and he performed at the 2013 LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver. Recently, he took part in the thematic residency “Confuse the Cat” at the Banff Centre, Alberta. He holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia, and is an MFA student at the University of California, San Diego.
MANUEL CORREA is an artist originally from Medellin, Colombia currently working towards his BFA in Film & Video at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. Correa is a founding member of the film production company + art collective Atelier Bolombolo. Correa’s artworks have been exhibited internationally at venues in Colombia, Canada and Austria.
BARRY DOUPE is a Vancouver based artist primarily working with computer animation. He graduated from the Emily Carr University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Media Arts majoring in animation. His films have been screened throughout Canada and Internationally including the Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor, Michigan), International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Anthology Film Archives (NY, New York), Lyon Contemporary Art Museum (Lyon, France), Pleasure Dome (Toronto, ON), MOCCA (Toronto, ON), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and the Tate Modern (London, UK). He was shortlisted for the 2015 Brink Award.
DANIEL JEFFERIES is a painter living and working in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He received his BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2010, and subsequently received his MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012. He has exhibited in Israel, the Bay Area, New York, and Vancouver.
IAN JOHNSTON is an artist who’s work is most often sculpture and installation. He lives in Nelson, BC and does much of his work elsewhere at residencies. Architecture (B.Arch Carleton University) has influenced his practice in terms of multiplicity of media used and attention to spatial quality of the work. Upon graduation Johnston spent four years teaching and co-facilitating interdisciplinary studios in post Berlin Wall, Germany, at the Bauhaus in Dessau. His recent body of work Reinventing Consumption has been touring across the country since 2013 and a catalogue was produced with essays from Kimberly Philips of Access Gallery, Vancouver and Ihor Holubizky, McMaster Museum of Art. Most recently he was commissioned by the Jacksonville MOCA to create the piece Fish Tales for their Project Atrium (Nov 2015 – Feb 2016).
DANIEL KENT, also known as Exotic Maple, is a Canadian multimedia artist located in Brooklyn, New York. He has exhibited work internationally and is known for reveling in immature humor and pointless jokes in his work. He has gained recognition for challenging the notion of the commercial viability of the artist. He is a co-founder and working member of Bazaar Teens, an art collective whose sole purpose is purportedly to ‘look good and feel good.’ This maxim manifests itself in works that are either immaterial or sold at an immoral or irrational cost to the buyer. He also works as both a graphic and industrial designer, creating products, books and other artifacts that have been mass manufactured and internationally distributed. He is currently working on a book about Diogenes the Cynic.
SCOTT LAWRENCE is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY and Providence, RI. He holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts (NY), a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art (GA) and a B. Arch. From Auburn University (AL). In 2002 he co-founded the award-winning Atlanta art collective Dos Pestaneos. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as Interstate Projects (NY), NURTUREart (NY), Bullet Space (NY), Jen Bekman Gallery (NY), Fosdick Nelson Gallery at Alfred University, Mass MoCA, Saltworks (Atlanta), Transient Projects (Paris), Brain Factory (Seoul), and Mastul e.V. (Berlin). He was included in the Brucennial, in association with the Bruce High Quality Foundation. His work can be found in White Columns’ Artist Registry.
NATASHA MCHARDY received a BFA and MFA from the University of British Columbia and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Centre A Centre for Contemporary Art, the Shanghai Art Museum, Or Gallery, the Belkin Satellite Gallery, and the Helen Pitt Gallery. She was recipient of the BC Binning Drawing Award in 2001.
JASON MCLEAN graduated from Emily Carr in 1997 and has exhibited internationally including shows at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Loyal Gallery in Malmo, Sweden and at Richard Heller in Santa Monica. His work is in major collections including Museum of Modern Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, MOCCA, Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada.
MARISA OLSON’s interdisciplinary work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Tate(s) Modern + Liverpool, the New Museum, the Nam June Paik Art Center, British Film Institute, Sundance Film Festival, Performa Biennial; commissioned and collected by the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Houston Center for Photography, Experimental Television Center, and PS122; and reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, the New York Times, Liberation, the Guardian, Art21, the Globe & Mail, Interview Magazine, Folha de Sao Paolo, and elsewhere. She’s also curated projects at the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, SF Camerawork as Associate Director, and Rhizome as Editor & Curator. She has been a Visiting Artist at Yale, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown, and VCU; was recently Artist-in-Residence at Eyebeam; and is currently Visiting Critic at RISD.
ROULA PARTHENIOU graduated from the University of Guelph in 2001, and has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally, with recent exhibitions at Oakville Galleries (Oakville); The Art Gallery of Peterborough (Peterborough); Tanya Bonakdar (New York); galerie antoine ertaskiran (Montreal); Owens Art Gallery (Sackville); Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga); The Power Plant (Toronto); Museum of Bat Yam (Bat Yam, Israel); Plug In ICA (Winnipeg) and MASS MoCA (North Adams, USA). Forthcoming exhibitions include UWAG (Waterloo); MKG127 (Toronto) and The Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina). Her works are held in numerous private collections and in the corporate and institutional collections of the Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, MunichRe, the Royal Bank of Canada, University of Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
LES RAMSAY studied visual arts at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and at the Universitat de Politecnica in Valencia. He is currently completing his MFA at Concordia University. He has participated in many group and solo exhibitions such as Ignition 10 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery in Montreal (2014), Keep the Glove at the Sunset Terrace in Vancouver (2014), De-Accessioned Group Show at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto (2012), or still in 2009 with All In Together Now at the Together Gallery, located in Portland, Oregon. His work has recently been acquired by many Canadian collections, such as Clarigde and TD Bank.
NICOLAS SASSOON is a French-born artist living and working between Biarritz, France and Vancouver, BC. Nicolas Sassoon is currently exhibiting at the Vancouver Art Gallery and has previously exhibited his work at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Today Art Museum, New Museum, 319 Scholes, Eyebeam, May Gallery & Residency, Contemporary Art Gallery, Charles H.Scott Gallery, Western Front, PRETEEN Gallery, the Centre d’Art Bastille, Arti et Amicitiae, MU Eindhoven, the Berlin Fashion Week and the New-York Fashion Week. Nicolas is a member of the online collective Computers Club and a founder of the collective W-A-L-L-P-A-P-E-R-S.
KIRSTEN STOLTMANN is an artist living in Ojai, California who makes work about being uncomfortable and just trying to fit in, or not. Her work has been influenced by her Midwestern roots, self-deprecating and humorous nature and feminism. She has exhibited work In Abstract America, New Painting and Sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London, U.K., Bitch is The New Black, Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA., Think Pink, Gaalak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL., Cut-Ups, Fotografiska Collage, Center for Photography, Stockholm SE., Out of Focus, Sala Pelaires, Mallorca, Spain. She recently screened her new video in the group show Psychosexual, curated by Scott Hunter at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL. Her most recent solo shows, Rising From The Ashes of Your Mind, was at the Brennan and Griffin Gallery New York and I AM SO HAPPY at Emma Gray HQ in Los Angeles. She is also included in the book, Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of Twentieth-Century Comedy by David Robbins for the video, “Self-Reflecting.”