555 Hamilton St.
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Gallery hours 12 - 5PM
ScreeningJames Benning, Michael Snow
Clamour and Toll: Films
March 18th, 7:30pm, 2013
Curated by Eli Bornowsky
Produced in partnership with DIM Cinema and the Pacific Cinémathèque.
There is an operation in certain works of art where the hierarchy of the composition is unclear, offering the viewer the agency to compose her interpretation of the work experientially. We could call this operation something like subjective-manoeuvring. Ultimately it is the experience of freedom. I first experienced this through listening to music; however, because the operation is formal and perceptual, it is not medium specific. It also operates in great films, from Tarkovsky to Tati. It also informs my practice as a painter.
With this in mind, Clamour and Toll contrasts the austerity of James Benning’s Twenty Cigarettes with the cacophony of Michael Snow’s New York Eye and Ear Control. It may seem unusual to contrast free jazz bohemianism in New York with straight prairie portraits, but the contrast in content and context illustrates one strategy to facilitate subjective-manoeuvring that I prize: discord.
Total approximate running time: 133 mins.
Clamour and Toll is an ongoing series of performance, sound art, and moving images. Each event explores the relation between sensation and intellection of contrasting artistic mediums and experimental practices.
ExhibitionNeil Campbell, Hanne Darboven, Nicole Ondre, Cheyney Thompson
23 February - 20 April, 2013
Reception February 22, 8PM
Curated by Eli Bornowsky
“I decided to create a show in the same fashion that I would paint a picture.
At first I was thinking of symmetry and began drawing diagrams. If Ondre’s work was positioned in the exact middle point between Thompson and Campbell the symmetry would be maintained, but I was sure her work could easily shift to one side or the other. Further, the diagram was only symmetrical if Thompson and Campbell’s work were envisioned as the same shape (dots), and that, I was certain, could not be the case. This was an exciting observation because it meant that I could expand my two-dimensional model into a three or four-dimensional model. With these new dimensions, I could activate the negative space of my diagrams with Darboven’s musical work.
Ultimately I was designing a collection of four artistic worlds that spanned the relation between sensation and intellection. A generic tension, but generic in the sense that it could encourage us to say something like “art and human experience”. Existential! I like being alive; experience is what we are made for. How do we think about our sensations? How do we sense ourselves thinking?…”
PerformanceIan Wyatt, Lief Hall, MASS MARRIAGE, Lauryn Youden
Clamour and Toll: Dreams
Reception February 16
Curated by Eli Bornowsky
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre,
The Or Gallery is pleased to present Clamour and Toll: Dreams in collaboration with SFU Woodward’s and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.
An evening of sound and image, Clamour and Toll: Dreams presents a selection of refined audio-visual performances. From harsh and austere through the spectrum to the brightest rainbow, each solo performer will create an immersive world of improvised sound and projected video. Prepare for an abstract dream, and a surreal revelation. This is the third event in an ongoing series curated by the Vancouver painter Eli Bornowsky, for the Or Gallery. Each event positions sound art in relation to other mediums, exploring the relation between sensation and intellection.
Ian Wyatt is a Vancouver/Montreal based artist and graduate of Emily Carr University. He is a DJ and collaborator with Vancouver’s Mood Hut collective and has been an instrumental force in recording and touring with the experimental pop group No Gold. For Clamour and Toll, Wyatt will debut a new iteration of his rigorous and meditative Slow Riffs project. Influenced by Terry Riley, the techno of Basic Channel and the paintings of Agnes Martin, Wyatt’s work addresses constellations within the body-mind, creating interior spaces using sustained aural forms and gestures.
Lief Hall is a graduate from the Emily Carr University with a degree in animation. Her work often includes elaborate costumes, improvised vocals, and psychedelic visuals that push notions of genre, identity, and accessibility. She has collaborated as a vocalist with Jeffrey Allport and Robert Pederson under the name Glaciers and was lead singer for the experimental punk band Mutators. Her multi-media work has been presented across Canada and her performance work has expanded to include large theatrical productions including Paper House and The Golden Dawn: MYTHS Electronic Opera (Performed at SFU Woodward’s in 2012). Hall is one half of the electro-noise duo Myths, who recently toured North America with Grimes and Elite Gymnastics.
Melissa Paget is a multi-disciplinary media artist whose abrasive sound and video works fall under the moniker MASS MARRIAGE. Paget’s work envisions a manic character obsessed with female identity from high fashion to the female body in popular culture, to prostitution, all embroiled in a world of bizarre European genre cinema. These fixations are appropriated by Paget from various media sources and heavily processed into vivid, concentrated, abstract and abrasive sound and video, often accompanied by her live amplified vocals. Recent performances include Victoria Noise Fest, Vancouver Noise Fest, and Pure Harsh Noise Worship in Portland, Oregon. She has collaborated with noise artist the RITA and released limited edition cassette recordings on the Absurd Exposition and Isolated Now Waves labels.
Lauryn Youden is a recent graduate in photography from Emily Carr University and works in Vancouver and Berlin. Stretching the limits of her photographic discipline, Youden uses video to document the material properties of simple objects. The resulting abstract footage is used to create large-scale videos for screening and installation. Some of these works will punctuate the performances of Clamour and Toll. She is cofounder of Vancouver’s experimental video gallery Ecke.
Eli Bornowsky is a Vancouver based painter. He is an MFA candidate at Bard College, New York, and Program Manager for the Or Gallery. Clamour and Toll represents his ongoing interest in sound and it’s relation to art and human experience.
Image by Mel Paget.
Special-ProjectAaron Carpenter, Hadley+Maxwell, Peter Gazendam, Laura Piasta, Cauleen Smith
Science Fiction 20 at Supermarket 2013, Stockholm
15 - 17 February, 2013
The Or Gallery is pleased to present the 20th iteration of its Science Fiction series for the Supermarket Art Fair 2013 (Stockholm), featuring the work of Aaron Carpenter (Vancouver), Hadley+Maxwell (Berlin), Peter Gazendam (Vancouver), Laura Piasta (Vancouver), and Cauleen Smith (Chicago).
Science Fiction 20 extends a conversation on subjectivity within the context of speculation and memory articulated in Science Fiction 18: The Future from Memory (Vancouver, 2012), taking on additional themes of pedagogy and personal history.
This project is the latest exhibition in its series of 88 Science Fiction related exhibitions planned over a 260 year period, and the third project the Or Gallery has produced in Sweden.
3rd floor, Kulturhuset, located in the city centre of Stockholm
Exhibition by 88 artist-run galleries and other initiatives from 33 countries. Performance art, talks and panel discussions.
SUPERMARKET – Stockholm Independent Art Fair 2013:
Vancouver Institute for Social Research
February 4 - April 18, 2013
Vancouver Institute for Social Research
The Vancouver Institute for Social Research ( VISR ) is an independent, para-academic, theory-based free school initiating in 2013. Its intent is to move beyond the borders of the traditional university and to open up a more accessible platform in the city for the engaged discussion of critical theory.
The Institute will be launching a 9-week pilot project in February 2013 and ending on April 1st. Once a week on Monday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Or Gallery (555 Hamilton Street), we will be inviting nine different professors to present on topics of their choice over this period. The seminar will be free to the public and all professors will be offering their services on a voluntary basis.
As we inaugurate this initial phase, we would like to take this opportunity to open up the conversation with prospective professors and students to create a sustained para-academic platform in the city.
Organized by the East Vancouver Young Hegelians – Chapter 13 (Infinite Judgement Society – Owl of Minerva faction)
The readings will be on our Wordpress site:
The schedule for this initial pilot project will be as follows:
Feb. 4th – Glen Coulthard – Rage against Empire: Resentment, Reconciliation and Indigenous Decolonization in Canada
On June 11, 2008, the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen J. Harper, issued an official apology on behalf of the Canadian state to Indigenous survivors of the Indian residential school system (IRSS). Characterized as the inauguration of a “new chapter” in the history of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relations in the country, the residential school apology was a highly anticipated and emotionally loaded event. Across the country, Native and non-Native people alike gathered in living rooms, band offices, churches, and community halls to witness and pay homage to this so-called “historic” occasion. Although there was a great deal of Native scepticism toward the apology in the days leading up to it, in its immediate aftermath it appeared that many, if not most, observers felt that Harper’s apology was a genuine and necessary “first step” on the long road to forgiveness and reconciliation.
The benefit of the doubt originally afforded the Prime Minister regarding the authenticity of his apology has since waned. Public distrust began to escalate following a well-scrutinized address by Harper at a gathering of the G20 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 25, 2009. It was there that Harper made the somewhat astonishing (but typically arrogant and self-congratulatory) claim that Canadians had “no history of colonialism.” Harper continued: “[W]e have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them.” This seminar will explore some of the issues raised by these two seemingly contradictory events and how they speak to the current entanglement of settler-colonialism with the politics of reconciliation that began to gain traction in Canada during the 1990s.
Biography: Glen Coulthard teaches political theory and Indigenous politics in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at UBC. He is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
February 11 – Hilda Fernandez – Introduction to Jacques Lacan
Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) was an innovative French psychoanalyst who opposed the dogmatic practice of psychoanalysis in his time and stated the imperious need to return to the essence of Freud’s teaching, centred in language. By reclaiming the “return to Freud”, he re-established the ethics of the analytical act and orchestrated an epistemic movement in the psychoanalytical field that created a new school within this field.
Influenced by thinkers of diverse fields, such as Spinoza, Hegel, Heidegger, Saussure, Levy-Strauss and Cantor, Lacan’s teaching spread over 50 years and his transmission was mainly oral throughout his numerous seminars. After more than 6 decades, Lacan has significantly influenced not only the therapeutic practice of psychoanalysis but many other disciplines such as literature, art criticism, political science, geography, film studies and feminist studies, to name a few.
Lacan’s style is often considered difficult, hermetic and “baroque”. In this workshop we will introduce the student to Lacan’s oeuvre, situating the context and the influences of his work, as well as mapping each concept in relation to the rest of his work. We will introduce the student to the following themes:
Feb. 18th – Clint Burnham – Does the Internet have an Unconscious?
In this seminar I propose to use the tools and concepts of psychoanalysis to address contemporary internet cultures, focusing on the concept of the unconscious. I will begin with Freud’s writings on the unconscious in The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and his various technical and metapsychological papers (including “The Unconscious” , “Observations on Love in Transference” , “Fetishism” , and “Negation” ). For Freud, the unconscious is both the repository of repressed traumas and desires and the source of symptoms, of uncontrolled actions.
But when Freud is revised by Lacan, in his seminars and the texts collected in Écrits (1966), the unconscious is now, on the one hand, “structured like a language” (or subject to the binary logic of signifier and signified, and read by Lacan very much in a way that emphasizes the role of puns, translation, and metaphor and metonymy), but also “ex-timate,” outside the subject, located in the big Other of the Law and the Nom de père (the name of the father but also the no of the father – and, les non-dupes errent , or the non-duped make mistakes). Lacan’s unconscious is not interior, not primordial, but exterior, and social.
Continuing with this very particular trajectory of psychoanalysis (the Lacanian tradition, let us say), Slavoj Žižek’s unconscious is now a formulation that has to do with the “obscene underside” of the Law, of the social: or the notion that social norms (the big Other) depend upon their transgression – illustrated in an example Žižek returns to again and again (in Metastases of Enjoyment , The Parallax View , etc.) from the film A Few Good Men, where U.S. Marines kill one of their own under an unofficially sanctioned “code red.” But it is also worth examining thinkers who have theorized the notion of the unconscious in a manner outside of (but sympathetic to) Freudian psychoanalysis. Thus Walter Benjamin’s concept of the “optical unconscious,” developed in his “Little History of Photography” (1931) holds that photography shows the unconscious of physical actions (a horse’s or human’s gait, as in Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs); the feminist art historian Rosalind Krauss, in her 1993 book The Optical Unconscious, argues in dialogue with Benjamin that, rather, the concept of the unconscious in a more Freudian sense can be used to construct a counter-history of modern art.
Finally, the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson, in his influential 1981 study The Political Unconscious, argued that a given social field will have its own repressed (utopian) wishes, which are then realized in cultural objects like novels or films, which enact an “imaginary resolution of a real contradiction.” My reading of these theorists, then, will enable an encounter with contemporary digital and internet cultures and subcultures via psychoanalysis.
In what way, for example, do the machines with which we increasingly access the internet, our smartphones, that lie nestled next to our genitals in our pants pockets, contain our sexual desires and wishes? How is email, or even better, spam, to be understood as the Lacanian “letter that always arrives at its destination”? How are trolls and pornographic internet subcultures (4Chan) the “obscene underside” of the proper world of e-commerce and governmentality? Is the internet unconscious an optical one – full of images that reveal more than we wish, through Google Earth and webcams – or, more frighteningly, a political unconscious that, with its Taliban beheading videos but also crowdsourced social media revolutions (Twitter and Tahrir Square), requires a psychoanalytic account to fully understand its paradoxical dimensions of libido and trauma.
This, finally, will be my argument: that it is only by being able to work through the Freudian tradition that we can understand our current fixations with online culture: not an addiction but a repeating, not a hard drive but a death drive, not a virtual reality but a fantasy that is more Real than reality.
Optional Supplementary Readings:
Feb. 25th – Jeff Derksen – On and Off the Waterfront
Urban waterfronts are a complex collision of life, commerce, industry and nature and they have – over the last forty years — become a site where residual industrial economies give way to a lifestyle-driven economy of the “creative city”. As an area that seems continually to be in flux, being made and remade as economic and cultural imperatives generate new demands, waterfronts have become even more densely historically layered ciphers for the contradictions and tensions have dropped down onto cities from decades of global urbanization. As a result, as Deb Cowen and Susannah Bunce argue, “Urban ports and waterfront areas are simultaneously local spaces and heavily contested sites where the multi-scalar politics of urban development, national security, continental defence and the global ‘war on terror’ are territorialized through built form.”
In Vancouver, the urban waterfront not escaped this rescaling and repoliticization. In fact, despite, its modest claims of being a “world-class city, Vancouver has in fact been world class in terms of the remaking of its waterfront – both in terms of the size of these remakings and in terms of the financial risks and benefits. For VISR we will look at cultural representations of Vancouver’s waterfront in relation to concept and the language of the post-political city. Such a post-political city builds an imagination of a city that is outside of politics because it naturalizes urban revitalization and because it uses a language of “lifestyle” rather than politics to justify urban transformations. In this imagination, the waterfront is the edge where nature, culture, and lifestyle meet. Can we identify the language of the post-political city, and the manner in which it has used public art on the waterfront both as an ornament to the spectacle of development and as a means to celebrate certain aspects of the city’s history?
March 4th – Dina Al-Kassim
With the translation of Michel Foucault’s 1975 seminar Society Must Be Defended in 2003, a new wave of interest in biopolitics, already underway since the appearance in English translation (1998) of Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer, swept through several fields and established a discrete vocabulary for post 911 actualities and in particular for voices critical of the seeming normalization of refugee status, indefinite detention, torture and other sovereign exceptions that blur the distinction between rogue state and rule of law. While political philosophy has attended to intensifications and alterations in the contemporary framing and embodiment of state sovereignty, going so far as to suggest that the “state of exception” has become the rule, recent work in postcolonial studies, critical races studies, feminist philosophy, queer studies, third world cultural studies and literature offers nuanced and complex analyses of life in the margins, analyses that demonstrate the inextricability of state sovereignty and subjectivity. Openly resisting Agamben’s political despair, such writing contends that considerations of sovereignty that foreclose or ignore the many forms of subjection (sexual, racial, gendered, religious, class based, to name a few) cannot answer to the demands of description nor can they yield new resources for thought or action. Something of a polemic results, each side claiming its Foucault.
Enter Derrida’s detailed examination of sovereignty and a tradition that continually imagines self-possession, knowledge and power through a bestiary of mythical, gifted, foolish, crafty and dangerous animals. Proliferating distinctions that aim to define man from beast, Derrida’s meandering discourse provides us the means to question the enclosure of Agamben’s approach to the political animal and its biopolitics, which pictures the human caught in a vast holding pen or state of exception become global in ever more ruthless forms of diminished life. Focusing on the final three sessions of this work (pp. 250-349) we will follow Derrida’s engagement with Agamben’s appropriation of Foucault and augment that discussion through reference to two short texts: Agamben’s “What is an Apparatus?” and Foucault’s “The Confessions of the Flesh”.
Dina Al-Kassim is the author of On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant, Al-Kassim is a critical theorist working on contemporary political subjectivation, sexuality and aesthetics in the EU, USA, Middle East and Africa. On Pain of Speech examines ranting as a waste product of modern subjectivity. A Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Associate and Associate Faculty at IGRSSJ, Professor Al-Kassim teaches in the English Department at UBC. Publications appear in Grey Room, International Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Public Culture, Cultural Dynamics, and the volume Islamicate Sexualities.
March 11th – Matt Hern
In Praise of Sport
I am proposing that you should care about sports.
I submit that progressive, radical, ‘thinking’ people have long held condescending attitudes towards sports and have thus abandoned the sporting world as a legitimate place of contestation and struggle. This retreat has left the sports world easy prey for hyper-consumptive, violent, militaristic, sexist and homophobic politics and handed over the immense power of sports to some of the worst elements of our culture.
Noam Chomsky (echoing the Frankfurt school and many others) once said that if people paid as much attention to politics as they do to sports we would have a much better country. This is a fairly common sentiment I think, but he never would have said that about music, dance, theatre, painting or poetry. That contradiction is what I want to explore: I want us to consider sports as seriously as we take other ‘high’ art forms, and make it a place for legitimate contestation and politics. Sure capitalism has grotesquely distorted the sporting world, but what hasn’t it maimed?
I’ll argue that there is something very deep that even ungodly amounts of garish marketing, ultra-nationalist tendencies, hyper-corporatism, and dislikable athletes with their tricked-out Hummers can’t extinguish: we love sports for lots of really good and defendable reasons. One of those reasons is the bodies-on-bodies materiality of sports (or, in Nancian terms, touching) that marks out thresholds of difference: not fixing identities, but confirming them and their spacing. A spacing that is possible to play with, work with inside of a flexible, malleable notion of difference and a community that is bodily hospitable. It is a possibility which is so often misapprehended, but carries with it the promise of neighbourhood.
Taking these and a couple of other threads I want to make a specific argument for the relevance, power and possibilities of the sporting world, and why it is, can and should be a force for good in our culture.
Jean-Luc Nancy: The Inoperative Community
March 18th – Steven Taubeneck – Kant’s Conflict of the Faculties
The Educational Sublime: Conflicts between Faculties
The President of The University of British Columbia. Dr. Stephen Toope, has a website called “Place and Promise,” where he discusses his vision for the university. The page includes a picture of someone standing on a rock overlooking the water and mountains in the distance, and evokes the “vistas” available to anyone at the school. Since it is a kind of recruitment document, the blatant recuperation of the sublime for educational purposes seems understandable. But what I want to expose in my paper is the historical and structural duplicity of this “educational sublime,” beginning with the articulation of the “dynamic sublime” in Kant’s Critique of Judgment. This use of the sublime conceals the conflicted, shifting foundations that have marked the university since Kant’s day as well.
My account of the fractured university will begin with Kant’s own “Conflict of the Faculties,” from 1798. In that work Kant responds to the reprimand of his king, who criticized him for his book Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. On the one hand, he seeks to justify the king’s use of censorship. But on the other hand, he claims the need for a freedom form force within the university, especially regarding philosophy. Whereas theology, law and medicine are basically instruments of the government, and hence restricted by force, philosophy on his account would occur outside the governmental jurisdiction. Kant seeks to escape the governmental arm of the university in his rethinking of philosophy.
The second text in my account will be Martin Heidegger’s infamous “Rector’s Speech,” from 1933, entitled “The Self-Assertion of the German University.” On Heidegger’s account, philosophy will lead the university into a new domain. No longer seeking a kind of freedom in realm of reason, philosophy takes over the leadership of the student body by directing them towards the destiny of the people. In its context the speech marks a sinister event. Heidegger had become the Rector of the University of Freiburg under the National Socialists. Although he was to step down only eight months later, the kind of “responsibility” he proclaims for the university brings it closer to an arm of the totalitarian, government. When philosophy guides the university, according to Heidegger, it will lead in the direction of the state.
My third text will be the essay by Jacques Derrida from 1980, called “Mochlos, or The Conflict of the Faculties,” which explicitly returns to both Kant and Heidegger to mark the centenary of the graduate school at Columbia University, after Derrida had received an honorary degree there. Derrida wants to expose the “paradoxical structure” of the inside and outside of the university, as well as the divisions between the disciplines. Through his questioning of the university and its limits, he raises the question of the very legitimacy of law in the first place. For Derrida, the law of the law is a fundamentally paradoxical relation built into the foundations of the university. In other words, the “educational sublime” as envisioned by President Toope has developed through several different and basically contradictory forms over the last two centuries. My paper will show the historical and structural fault lines built into such a notion.
March 25th – Thomas Kemple – History of Sexuality pt. 1, section 5:
The ‘Bio-Social’ Roots of Neoliberalism
Abstract of the Seminar: What today we call ‘neo-liberalism’ refers very loosely to a set of ideas which became popular in North America and the Europe in the 1980s about the how the rights of the individual are guaranteed by the free market against the coercive power of the state . For the most part, then, neoliberal ideas have been more influential in politics and economics than in sociology, history, or philosophy. In this seminar, we’ll consider two important sources of ‘neoliberalism’ which have been studied by French philosopher and historian, Michel Foucault: 1) 19th century social Darwinism of the 1860s and 70s with its ‘biological’ understanding of social life as a struggle for survival of the species which was partly inspired by classic liberal ideals of autonomy and free trade; and the social economics of the Freiburg and Chicago schools of economics in the 1920s and 30s which promoted moderate state intervention as a necessary condition for minimum social welfare. Our seminar will start by considering the challenging Part V of his History of Sexuality, Volume I, ‘The Right to Death and Power Over Life,’ since that’s where he first sketches the idea that liberal power is exercised less by protecting the interests of the state and society then by enhancing the vitality of individuals and populations.
Some background: My own research interests are in how ‘neoliberalism’ can be traced to the classical liberalism which informed the birth of sociology in the 19th century, which coincided with the emergence of evolutionary biology and scientific psychology. Drawing on the insights of philosophy, literature, history, and the arts, this new ‘science of social life’ also considered physics, mathematics, biology, and psychology as possible methodological models and theoretical allies. As sociology freed itself from from competing or complementary disciplines, and established its institutional legitimacy in universities and professional associations, it could then develop its own methods of research and objects of study. From the late 1870s to the late 1920s, the classical’ sociologists in Europe and North America proposed that ‘life’ itself has now become the central problem of human existence, superseding ‘society’ in the 18th century and ‘the individual’ in the 19th. They argued that the acceleration of the capitalist money economy offers opportunities for the management and control over human and non-human life while evoking ethical appeals to personal duty and collective responsibility. In recent years, social scientists and political philosophers writing under the influence of Michel Foucault’s later writings and lectures have been concerned with how these ideas inform recent concerns about how the genetic codification of life poses fundamental moral problems which exceed any techno-scientific, bio-medical, or bureaucratic solution. Membership in bio-social communities on the basis of race and sex, illness and age, they argue, is not determined solely by state regulation, but by biologically defined rights and entitlements, statuses and obligations in a variety of communal and institutional settings. A new style of ‘somatic ethics’ which exceeds the boundaries of professional expertise aims to translate the clinical goals of cure and care into the everyday disciplinary objectives of normalization and enhancement. Besides raising political quandaries over the biological basis of citizenship, this medical and moral ‘problematization of social life’ down to its molecular level also presents new opportunities for the economic investment of ‘biocapital’ and for therapeutic regulation through ‘biopower.’ Thus, later attempts by socio-biologists to reduce social life to its biological substratum, and by bio-sociologists to explore the social and cultural underpinnings of the bio-sciences, might seem to revive earlier debates which previous generations believed they had settled.
Reading: Foucault – The History of Sexuality Book 1, Section 5
April 1st – Randy Lee Cutler
Crystal Worlds – Between a Virtual and a Hard Place
Crystals have both a literal dimension and a metaphorical presence representing both a thing – crystalline solids- and a way of thinking about multiple facets and transformation. Through the figure of the crystal, this talk brings together theoretical, scientific and art historical approaches highlighting a shared fascination with these resilient and always emergent formations.
‘The Crystal World’ refers to the 1966 work of fiction by J.G. Ballard and Cyprien Gaillard’s 2013 exhibition at PS 1 in Brooklyn. Both works navigate unfamiliar geographical sites and explore the relationship between desire, nature and erosion. In varied ways, the atmospherically lush and mysterious environments evoke crystalline images where time is compressed producing a profound effect of opacity and indiscernability. Gilles Deleuze takes up the figure of transparency and reflection in his work Cinema II: The Time Image particularly chapter four, “The Crystals of Time” where he considers Post WWII cinema in light of the time-image, fragmentation and internal limits. Through a reflection on various films he offers us images of a world full of doublings, mirrors and dynamic extension. Drawing out the simultaneously actual and virtual potential of the moving image, the concepts that he proposes evoke models for looking at unconventional and otherworldly expressions of space and time, literature and visual art, organic and inorganic systems. The crystal circuit or the compression of unfolding time brings to the fore recollection, memory (real and virtual) where “Ever vaster circuits will be able to develop, corresponding to deeper layers of reality and higher and higher levels of memory or thought.” Like crystals themselves, the metaphors that they call up inhabit border worlds between genres, lifeforms and rhetorical strategies not to mention the slow geology of molecular time and space.
Randy Lee Cutler is a Vancouver based writer, artist and educator. Through the intersections of gender, art, science, and technology she investigates the emergence of new cultural forms and expression. Originally from Montreal, she lives in Vancouver where she is an associate professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Optional Supplementary Reading:
Contact – email@example.com
Venue is wheelchair accessible.
LA Art Book Fair
February 1 - February 3, 2013
Reception Thursday, January 31, 6-9PM
The Or Gallery is please to participate in the first annual LA Art Book Fair, from February 1-3, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. An opening will be held on the evening of Thursday, January 31.
Presented by Printed Matter, the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event for artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 180 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from eighteen countries.
For more information, please visit http://laartbookfair.net
Preview: Thursday, January 31, 6–9 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Winnipeg Babysitter at Club PuSh
Reception January 26, 8PM
Club PuSh at Performance Works on Granville Island
The Or Gallery is pleased to participate as a Community Partner in the presentation of Winnipeg Babysitter at Club PuSh as part of the 2013 PuSh Festival.
In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Winnipeg experienced a ‘golden age’ of public access television whereby almost anyone with a creative dream was granted airtime and professional production services. When the archives of these precious gems were destroyed, artist Daniel Barrow went to work hunting down original producers, collectors and enthusiasts in order to salvage the footage. Part documentary and part performance project, Winnipeg Babysitter brings to light the outrageous and shameless personalities of public access television.
Visit PuSh website
ExhibitionKika Thorne, Heather Passmore, Michael Drebert, Jen Weih
December 8, 2012 - January 26, 2013
Reception Friday, December 7, 8PM
Curated by Klara Manhal
Accompanying Talk with artist Kika Thorne and political theorist Dr. Laura Janara: December 11th, 7pm.
The Or Gallery is pleased to present Things’ Matter, a group exhibition featuring works by Kika Thorne, Heather Passmore, Michael Drebert and Jen Weih.
Things’ Matter is an exhibition of contemporary art that draws on the concept of objecthood and thingness. Each artwork is invested in exploring the affecting nature of its material makeup and challenges the viewer to consider how inanimate things might be thought of as imbued with a vitality or life force.
In a series of prints utilizing ink made of plant matter and illustrating theoretical grids of light bending, Kika Thorne explores how plant matter responds to the manipulation of being used as ink to describe its own photosynthetic processes. Heather Passmore makes paintings from raw milk paint, hand made by the artist. Passmore’s interest is in the medicinal and nutritional properties of raw milk and the politics surrounding its designation as an illegal substance in Canada. Jen Weih and Michael Drebert are less oriented toward the material and instead explore the thing’s capacity to seduce and the effective potential that the human desire for things has on human behaviour. In a gestural work, Drebert uses his own body to transport a fisherman’s glass floater from Haida Gwaii back to its place of origin in Kamakura, Japan. While objects aren’t normally thought of as having desires and needs, Drebert assumes the ball’s yearning to return home and uses himself as a carrier and witness in this service. For Thing’s Matter, Jen Weih has made an animation using fragmented things pulled from the internet. Weih’s is an experiment in animating and anthropomorphizing these otherwise inanimate things that are the detritus of cultural production, human desire and need.
Things’ Matter is curated by Klara Manhal, a candidate to the Masters Degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies at The University of British Columbia.
Michael Drebert currently lives and works in Vancouver. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and an MFA from The University of Victoria. Michael’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Western Front Gallery, Lobby Gallery, The Contemporary Art Gallery and Blanket Gallery, among others.
Jen Weih is a multi-media artist and sessional instructor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Jen graduated with an MFA from the University of British Columbia in 2006 and since has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2006 her design was chosen for the Art Underfoot: Sanitary Sewer Cover, public art project.
This exhibition is made possible through support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia.
30th Anniversary Book & Edition Sale
May 2 - May 4, 2013
Reception Thursday, May 2, 8PM
30th ANNIVERSARY BOOK & EDITION SALE
Or Bookstore Relaunch
May 2nd – 4th
Come by for a cocktail (or two) and a book (or three)!
Up to 60% Off // Editions // Artists’ Publishing // Monographs // Journals & Magazines // Catalogues
Motto Vancouver is now Or Bookstore at the Or Gallery.