Bill Burns: Artist Talk and Book Signing

June 7th, 7pm, 2012

Curated by Tarah Hogue

Bill Burns will talk about his critically acclaimed book Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible published by Space Poetry in Copenhagen and his new record album The Dogs and Boats and Airplanes Children’s Choir.

Animals are deeply connected to us through property relations, agriculture and husbandry. Dogs, for instance, have traveled, over several millennia, the entire planet with us; they are part friend and advisor; part worker, part merchandise and part wolf. In a number of our origin stories they are uniquely excluded from Eden yet act as our guides to the dangers beyond. They are interlocutors. Double agents. Their role is tied, now to race, now to class, now to nation and now to advanced industrialism. In modern industrial societies, children, who play important roles in several of my current projects, share many characteristics of this double agency. They are purity and innocence; they are drug addled; they are gun-toting. Like dogs and foreigners, they often stand in for the unknown. My boats, airplanes works are on the one hand an absurdity, a challenge to our assumptions about what are appropriate themes for art, and on the other hand, they are stand-ins for war, desire, global travel and industry.

The Dogs and Boats and Airplanes Children’s Choir

The Dogs and Boats and Airplanes Children’s Choir is a collaborative choral work involving 32 choristers from Howard Park and Lord Lansdowne public schools in Toronto. The vinyl LP we have recently produced was recorded in Toronto for Nuit Blanche in 2011 it is is a production of Big Pond Small Fish, Toronto and was pressed at EKS in Brooklyn New York in 2012. The album is a production of Big Pond Small Fish. A 100 voice version of the choir will perform at the JAF Festival in Australia in 2013.

The books and vinyl record albums will be available for sale at the special price of $30.00 each.

Bill Burns Bill is artistic director of the Dogs and Boats and Airplanes Choir.
His work about animals and civil society has been shown in solo projects at the Fondacion Cristina Enea, San Sebastian, Spain (2010), Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2008), the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2007) and the Wellcome Trust, London (2002) as well as in thematic shows at the Museum of Art, Seoul (2002); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006).

His artist books include Bird Radio, (KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, 2007); The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Station, (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England, 2008); Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War (Verlag der Buchhanlung Walther Konig, Cologne, Germany, 2011); Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible, (Space Poetry, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011). His editions are included in collections at the MoMA, New York, Tate Britain, London and Cabinet de estampes, Geneva.

Image: Bill Burns, Ushuaia Dog, 2006, colour chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist.

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Or Gallery

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