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Derek Sullivan
From January 19th 2007 to February 24th 2007
Cold Open 2006

The artists who participated in the project are : Mathieu Beauséjour (Montréal), Krista Buecking (Guelph and Toronto), Patrick Coutu (Montreal), Luke Sandler IV (Toronto), Derek Sullivan (Toronto)

In television as in cinema, “cold open” refers to an opening sequence that establishes the action and setting before the title and credits even appear. It usually lasts between one and ten minutes. The best example of this technique, plunging us right into the action, are the sequences that begin every James Bond movie since From Russia With Love, (1963).
Derek Sullivan applied this cinematic convention to an exhibition context, producing five posters whose full meaning becomes apparent when they appear to be publicizing exhibition information. Yet these posters are not signed, nor do they refer to a gallery exhibition. As supporting media, each poster serves to disseminate information that complements that given in the gallery mailing while also remaining self-contained as presentational object and context. Of a conceptual nature, this project raises several questions relating to the traffic of art and the organization of exhibitions as they are conceived in the milieu.

Sullivan is interested in the context of art’s dissemination and in what goes into its exhibition : how do the images a gallery publishes instill a sense of connection with the exhibition venue? Who receives the information? What are the audience’s expectations? Those who receive the posters by mail — a cold open — have a different understanding of the process than those who see them for the first time while visiting the gallery. The repetition inherent to the process and its form of dissemination suggests a sense of déjà vu. In this project, Sullivan gives critical attention to the conventional exhibition space and to forms of presentation by reconnecting with a promotional tool prevalent in the seventies, borrowing a presentational sequence from the world of media to create a “splash.”

Derek Sullivan lives and works in Toronto. He took part in several group exhibitions, at Galerie René Blouin (2006) in Montreal, at Power Plant (2005) in Toronto, and at such international fairs as Art Forum Berlin (2003), among others. He is represented by Jessica Bradley Art & Projects, in Toronto.