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Exibitions 2004

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

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Rutger Emmelkamp, Vladimir Mindek
From January 16th 2004 to February 21st 2004

I married a widow with a grown daughter. My father fell in love with my step-daughter and married her thus becoming my son-in-law, and my step-daughter became my mother because she was my father's wife. My wife gave birth to a son, who was of course my father’s brother in law, and also my uncle for he was the brother of my step-mother. My father’s wife became the mother of a son, who was of course, my brother, and also my grandchild. Accordingly, my wife was my grandmother because she was my mother’s mother—I was my wife’s husband and grandchild at the same time—and as the husband of a person’s grandmother is his grandfather—I AM MY OWN GRANDFATHER!

Vladimir Mindek was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia and now lives in Montréal. He studied Fine Arts at Concordia University. His work has been shown in various video events across Canada and in France.

Belinda Campbell
From January 16th 2004 to February 21st 2004
C'était bien, surtout la fin

Through the tradition of self-portraiture and in the spirit of self-fiction, Belinda Campbell uses video as a form of theatrical show in which she stages herself. This manipulation of her being (which becomes an object) serves as the playful pretext for transforming bland, dull, and mediocre daily life into a figurative, ironic, and poetic reality. Sprung from ramblings, these monologues draw their inspiration from improvisation — an inexhaustible form of experimentation. "C'était bien, surtout la fin" is a simple video installation that uses the bare essentials to get right to the point: Campbell in movement, and a struggle that takes place in a nondescript location. In a creative tug-of-war where the object is not to win but to struggle to exhaustion, this installation is truly a video-show in which she performs herself, in a presentation that is vulnerable and spare.

Belinda Campbell was born in Argentina, grew up in Saint Hyacinth, and lives in Montreal. She has done a little theatre, dabbled in literature, and has always played piano. She has studied at the Université du Québec à Montréal, takes a few courses there still, and will one day leave the place. Finally, she likes video because it's hybrid, and the subject because it’s sensitive.

Stephen Schofield
From March 5th 2004 to April 10th 2004
A Boy's Own Story

I’m interested in an imaginary world of youth which is somewhere between toys and tools. More specifically, I’m interested in the misdirected projection of sexual want onto the things that occupied the banal suburban home of my own story. The sculptures of this exhibition are an odd grouping of objects that I remember as being marvellous; some were mechanical, some crystalline, some furry and others smooth yet all are about self-absorption. Closing down the world around you, intensifying every gesture gives a boy a terrible and ridiculous power. It seems to me that self-absorption is marked by sudden shifts in scale, irregular and convoluted forms, twisted spaces and artificial colour, which is why I wanted to make these pieces both repulsive and beautiful.
- Stephen Schofield

Stephen Schofield has been exhibiting sculpture and drawings since 1979. In Canada he has participated in solo and group exhibitions at the Power Plant, the Biennale de Montréal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and Galerie Christiane Chassay. Exhibitions in France include solo exhibitions at the Centre d’art contemporain de Vassivière, the Credac in Ivry-sur-Seine and l’Aquarium in Valenciennes. In the United States he has shown in New York at John Weber Gallery, Horodner Romley Gallery, The Sculpture Center and White Columns.His work can be found in private and public collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Art Bank, the Burlington Art Gallery, the London Regional Art and Historical Museum, the Musée de Joliette, the Jersey City Museum and the Centre d’art contemporain de Vassivière.

Patrick Coutu
From March 5th 2004 to April 10th 2004
Le développement Maisonneuve

One of the major events to have marked our landscape and circumscribed our space since the middle of the twentieth century is the ease with which one has access to property. For many, a dream has come true. Would-be purchasers can now choose from various materials, like aluminum, wood, stone and brick of various types, and can also select from a variety of colours and patterns. Thus, they are free to invent as they like, to choose how their residence will appear, what will be seen from the street. We then see the emergence of countless variations on very popular — and pervasive — models. What interests me here, in this neighbourhood that used to be called “développement Maisonneuve” is precisely this manifestation of the individual on architecture.
- Patrick Coutu

Loly Darcel
From April 23rd 2004 to May 29th 2004
Trait d'union, du fleuve à la rivière

There is neither past nor future, only a succession of presents, a path endlessly destroyed and continued, in which we all advance.
- Le Temps ce grand sculpteur, Marguerite Yourcenar

I walked the island of Montreal from one river bank to the other, as if hyphenating the two, capturing the inner traversal on video, and the time it took through the continuous journey. Melded with the movement of the city, of passersby, trying to synchronize body, mind, and breath.

Then, without moving, I observed and captured the island's exterior.

In the gallery, and in as much as I physically can, I attempt to re-do the duration of the traversal time while walking on the spot,accompanied by two video projections.

I make time, and/or I am all the times shown here.

Loly Darcel's work is articulated around the constitution of the visible, of time, of the dramatization of the body, in which endurance and fragility establish tensions and oppositions in the investigation of the real through an inner and outer play of representations of thought and knowledge.The significance of her work is manifest in invested city spaces, and in actions undertaken with people met in experiences of the unknown and of the present moment. Modes of expression she favours include video and photo installations, actions, performances, and artist's books. Her production testifies to an interest in in situ art and often tends to mesh with the social and urban fabric; "le blanc des yeux", 2003, Le Lobe, Chicoutimi, "les vagues", 2003, Lorient (France), "lifesavers", 2001, Hôpital, Articule, Montréal, "La chimie des corps", 2003, Centre Vu, Québec, "changement d'aire" , 2000, Lièges (Belgium), "petite histoire, naturelle, fragile bis", 1999, Lorient (France), "boulevard de l'effacé", 1997, Montreal. Also, many of her pieces are permanent works of public art in Quebec.

Visible Art Activity (John Dumett, Kirsten Forkert)
From April 23rd 2004 to May 29th 2004

"Blindspot" is a critical space in which to question and consider what happens when we stray into places or situations that have no obvious function, location or duration. In a situation without obvious purpose, what do we do and how do we make sense of it? Do we fall back on expectations for what we think should be happening, using what we already know to provide structure, context and purpose?

Cities are organized around a purpose, whether it is to provide access to services or easy movement of people and goods. This deliberate structure manages how we respond to, imagine and use the city. blindspot sidesteps this deliberateness through apparent purposelessness.

We started off wanting to pick locations and then provide directions on how to get there (to meet people there) but we decided we didn’t want to provide alternative ‘maps’ or narratives of the city, or to represent them in a pictorial sense. We also didn’t want to be in the position of having to ‘educate’ or explain, to provide the ‘content’ or answers to questions (according to conventional artist/audience relationships, and, by analogy, other social heirarchies), and so our decision to write this text was to bring people to the same place or similar position that we have in the work. It’s about what we do and say to each other, not the site, nor specifically this city, nor is it about you as audience, nor us as artists.

You can meet with us at 1pm, at the gallery on the following days :
Wednesday, April 28
Friday, April 30
Saturday, May 1
Wednesday, May 5
The blind spot is us.

Working under the name otiose, John Dummett has been active in installation and performance art internationally since 1997, most recently at Mountain Standard Time, Calgary and Factor 44, Antwerp, Belgium.

Kirsten Forkert is a Vancouver-based artist, teacher, activist and occasional art writer. Her practice is inspired by the possibility of ideas of community outside definitions offered by the rhetoric of official culture and/or market. Recent projects have taken the form of walks with groups of people — in which decisions of where to go are made collectively — and activities performed with individuals that draw attention to the politics of how we experience time.

Hugo Guerreiro
From September 10th 2004 to October 16th 2004
Mettre les mots à nu

Two dominant themes characterize the recent work of Hugo Miguel Serra Guerreiro: the spatialization of time and memory and the altering of perception, triggered by a different relation to words. Themes that mirror the craft of the artist himself, his relentless mapping of the world. In Fragile world of ideas, time is spatialized through the tip of a red marker, when a humanoid’s failed attempts at making sense of its experience in time, registered in random movements captured in real time by a camera, translate into fragmented writing. As the viewer projects his/her own experience onto the narrative unfolding on both the wall and the writing surface, the contrast between spatio-temporal dimensions allows for a more encompassing reading of the experience of time.

In one of the other works, a central piece in this exhibit, a certain sentence ethereally flickers against the background in a selected area of the gallery, framing the viewer’s experience of that space, thereby allowing for the transformation of his/her perception of it. An experience that also triggers a questioning of the power of the words themselves. An intangible but indelible power, since it’s only while exposing its inherent fragility that the word also reveals its immense strength.

Hugo Miguel Serra Guerreiro’s artwork is, therefore, a gesture where the magic of perception unfolds, beyond meaning. A gesture that offers itself. An endless celebration of encounter. But it is for the viewer to discover what this means, and to cherish that discovery.
- Pedro Schachtt Pereira, 2004

Marie-France Brière
From September 10th 2004 to October 16th 2004
Nimber le lieu

The dust contaminates the studio, blanketing space in its ethereal substance; it blows its pigments everywhere, rendering the destroyed material's last farewell. All but smothered, my hand traces furrows of absence on the block.

Bearing witness to loss, the dust imposes a supple materiality that shrouds, drowning the gaze in a white fog. Space of remnants, mirage and suspension of fine, weightless matter.

Its form fades, to the point of indifference. In part, it exists only in memory. Drawing the improbable, capturing this smoke rising in whorls from fissures in the rock to sculpt a disappearance.

The slow dispersion of things that will no longer be.

My work rests on the necessity of redefining some aspects of sculptural practice, rethinking the actions actions associated with it, especially those connected with the tradition of stone sculpture.

"Nimber le lieu" begins a dialogue with the dust that results from carving a block of white marble. Dust particles tangle under glass, graduating the void and the stone's wear and tear.

Spectators may reconstruct the whole event by interrogating the loss, the visible withdrawal into the material, this lack in the visibility of the form.
- M-F Brière

© Carton d'invitation pour l Invitation for «Les panoramiques», 2004.

Les panoramiques
October 28th 2004
Événement bénéfice

David Armstrong Six
From November 5th 2004 to December 11th 2004

An exhibition that predicates itself on delusion is nothing new and there is nothing grand or psychoticin my version. In this way it is a rather conventional composition of smaller events; perhaps the contrailof incomplete thoughts or ambition itself that has been reduced to rubble...

I will always leave room for failure but not defeat so it's natural I should be thinking of this show as my own private factory. It is a factory that churns out debris: I have written some songs, gathered garbage from the side of the road and renegotiated some sculpture I made almost ten years ago. Because ephemera is a given force in today's economy the end product of my own personal production will always be a fantasy projected in space...

David Armstrong Six (1968) is a visual artist based in Toronto. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Europe and New Zealand. He has participated in various group shows, most recently "I Wanna BE A Popstar" curated by Vanessa Ohlraun for loop-raum in Berlin. He is represented by Goodwater Gallery and Greener Pastures Contemporary Art in Toronto.

Adad Hannah
From November 5th 2004 to December 11th 2004
Room 112

"A celebrity is interviewed, a couple fights, a musician is interviewed and subsequently walks out on his girlfriend, an assistant applies powder, a babysitter sends instant messages on a mobile phone while his charges play video games and while these people all remain motionless, Room #112 slowly spins."

"Room 112" starts with the celebrity interview convention of shot / reverse shot and then expands and disintegrates it as the piece progresses. The hotel room setting serves as the location of any number of events. It is no accident that this is where movie studios choose to make their stars available for interviews, as it is only in such a ‘non-place’ that local Montreal television personality Mosé Persico (the host of Entertainment Spotlight on CFCF, mentioned on several websites as a press-junket-loving sycophant) can sit across from Tom Cruise and have what may resemble a conversation. Whether or not they are in the same room, or simply edited together from an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) distributed by the studio is irrelevant. Each is playing an assigned role in the performance well known as Celebrity Interview.

"Room 112" takes the Celebrity Interview and brings it together with another well worn cliché: the Fighting Couple to create a foursome of Stills that cut back and forth between “correct” and “incorrect” pairings – sometimes showing what we expect to see and other times showing an incongruous or irreconcilable pair. During this splitting of stereotypical scene cells, the cells split again and then again. The result is a video cycle that mimics, fractures, and complicates the generic forms of the most pervasive medium – television. Narrative morsels are given in one scene and then negated in the next. While the room with its red walls, striped couch, and white trim creates a claustrophobic coherence, attempts to join the separate scenes into a meaningful narrative lead to frustration.

Also inspired by the occasional inclusion of lights and producers just before or after a celebrity interview (a new post-modern addition to the television lexicon designed to present celebrities as “real people”), this piece self-consciously exposes the Camera Operator and the Sound Guy - who of course are not recording anything. Just like the recent addition of “behind the scenes” footage shown more and more on mainstream television, this inclusion does not reveal the production process, but rather adds to it another layer of artifice.