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James Peale, 1822, Fruit in a Chinese Export Basket (detail)

FROOT ZALAD: SFU Visual Art BFA Graduating Exhibition

Audain Gallery, Vancouver
April 11 – April 25, 2015

 

Featuring work by Stéphane Bernard, Alex Hill, Jasmine Huang, Brennan Kelly, Jasmine Kwong, Adrianna Lademann, Lauren Lavery, Anchi Lin, Stephanie Ng, Cydney Paddon, Jocelyn Sánchez, Ariel So, Wan Hang Tsang, Larisa Volkova, Betsy Wen, Cory Woodcock, Angela Yan and Michelle Zhang.

What To Say If Someone Asks: "Why Froot Zalad?"

Fruit has always had a significant role in art. During the early Renaissance, fruit was used as hidden symbolism within painting. The apple represented carnal pleasures and sin, oranges were a symbol of free will, and a rotting or half-eaten peach symbolized a woman whose reputation had been tarnished with immoral behaviour. Fruit was an ideal subject because of its immobility and convenience for the artist. It continued to be popular in Dutch still life painting during the emergence of the mercantile class in the 1700s. As the middle class grew, so did their desire to show their wealth. In contemporary times, as we are experiencing the demise of the middle class, we enjoy fruit while we can. Our best future prospect is Froot: a brightly-coloured chemical sweetener used to simulate fruit but legally forbidden to be labeled as such.

In 2014 Monika Szewczyk curated "Szalon" at the University of Chicago. It is a play on words of the Polish "Szalone," which means crazy. The thesis of the show was to create a work/hand/exhibit space with a collective. The concept of Szalon can reflect a grad show in many ways. It is a showing of works by people who have worked together, displayed and critiqued together, and have spent the last four years becoming peers and developing relationships. Our works have developed parallel preoccupations with a performativity of the artist and materials, and evidence of the hand. Our work is serious about play.

Now why would you put a Z instead of an S? The same reason for naming so many drugs with the letter Z–because it is memorable. Zoloft, Zopiclone, Zannie, Zacatecas Purple, Zalad. We are considering the concept of "Z-pattern advertising." It's based on the theory that people will look at an image from left to right, then up and down. This pattern allows advertisers to put as much vital info into our brains–in literally a blink of an eye–before exiting the image. We want to acknowledge that we are all bombarded by advertising, and that we need to market even ourselves as artists, let alone our work.

The letter Z also has quite an interesting history; it was not always the cool fun loving bachelor. During the Roman Empire Z was removed from the alphabet because it was considered "archaic." As Butch from Pulp Fiction would eloquently put it: "Z's dead baby, Z's dead." It would be 200 years before the letter Z got back on his feet, and in the 80s Z was finally rebranded as something cool. Z continues to flourish in the Internet age: Can i haz Froot plz?

As we venture out into the world, we must remember that our time is different than those before us. We may not be able to go out into our orchard and pick a bowl of fruit to paint, but we can look up thousands of different orchards online. The questions we must pose now as young artists is whether the art world has space for something that tastes like fruit but is unquestionably not.

– Adriana Lademann


Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Events

Exhibition Tour with Artists
Saturday, April 11, 2pm

Opening Reception
Wednesday, April 15, 7pm

 

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