Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber, The Templeton Five Affair, March 1967, 2010. Installation view Teck Gallery. Photo: Blaine Campbell.
Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965-2015
Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber
The Templeton Five Affair, March 1967, 2010
Mdf panels, wallpaper
Courtesy the artists
Sabine Bitter (SFU Assistant Professor in Visual Art) and Helmut Weber’s work explores tensions between academic freedom, education and collective agency. Part of Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965-2015, a three-part exhibition that looks at visual art production at SFU since 1965, the work refers to Henri Lefebvre’s notion that architecture is defined by social interaction. In The Templeton Five Affair,March 1967, photography, via the archive, articulates a social arrhythmia in which protagonists of a demonstration are seen within the SFU context. The wallpaper depicts the event with protestors removed, leaving only SFU’s modernist architecture, while the four panels present the same scene with the architecture missing, leaving only the protestors.
Through a Window considers each of SFU’s campuses as windows, taking up Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis as a framework for reflecting on the rhythms of visual art at SFU. Artists in the exhibition are affiliated with SFU as students, faculty or collaborators. From the windows of SFU’s Burnaby campus overlooking Vancouver; the Audain Gallery facing Hastings Street; and the Teck Gallery framing the mountains, the exhibition examines artists’ material practices, organizations they’ve initiated and forums they’ve convened. Looking back at the university, the exhibition considers the influence of SFU’s architecture, pedagogy and politics on artistic practice, and how artists have informed the social space of the university.
SFU Gallery, June 3 – July 31, 2015
Audain Gallery, June 3 – August 1, 2015
Teck Gallery, June 3 – April 30, 2016
SFU Gallery: Kati Campbell, Allyson Clay, Sara Diamond, Christos Dikeakos, James Felter, Keith Higgins, Owen Kydd, Laiwan, Ken Lum, Didier Morelli, Michael Morris, N.E. Thing Co., Anne Ramsden, Nicole Raufeisen and Ryan Witt, Carol Sawyer, Greg Snider, Reece Terris, Stephen Waddell, Jeff Wall, Jin-me Yoon.
Audain Gallery: Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Lorna Brown, Stephen Collis, Brady Cranfield, Olivia Dunbar, Rodney Graham, Julian Hou, Vishal Jugdeo, Paul Kajander, Tiziana La Melia, Irene Loughlin, Elspeth Pratt, Judy Radul, Anne Ramsden, Lisa Robertson and Kathy Slade, Gabriel Saloman, Althea Thauberger, Elizabeth Vander Zaag.
Teck Gallery: Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber.
Through a Window looks at visual art production at SFU since 1965. Literally considering the window at each of SFU’s campuses as a social, spatial and material symbol, the exhibition takes up Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis (1992), particularly the chapter “Seen from the Window,” as a framework for reflecting on the rhythms of the past fifty years. The polyrhythms within aesthetics, theory, pedagogy, technology and politics inform the movement of artists’ through the classroom, the studio, the gallery and the city – locally and internationally, in linear and cyclical, continuous and punctuated circuits.
The three-part exhibition reveals concrete and abstract rhythms of visual art at SFU and the speculative narratives that developed from them. The artists in the exhibition are affiliated with SFU as students, faculty or collaborators. From the windows of SFU’s Burnaby campus overlooking Vancouver, Audain Gallery’s window facing Hastings Street, and the Teck Gallery’s window onto the inlet and North Shore mountains, we have looked out at the city and observed artists’ material practices and collaborations, the organizations they initiated and the discursive forums they convened. When we look back into the university, we consider what influence the rhythms of SFU’s architecture, pedagogy, politics and community have had on artistic practice and how artists inform the social space of the university.
Lefebvre’s method of rhythmanalysis begins with observing the rhythms of the body and how they are impacted by the natural and synthetic rhythms of the economies and cultures we live within, which in turn produces social practices and public space. Because these rhythms are sensorial and temporal, Lefebvre asserts that they cannot be captured in an image. If this is so, perhaps the group exhibition, which produces a rhythm of artworks in a social space, colliding with the rhythms of urban life, makes a rhythmanalysis of visual art possible. How then is the contemporary gallery in the university also produced by these artistic rhythms?
At SFU Gallery the rhythms of framing space both formally and conceptually centre around the lens. Here works interrogate the frame, seriality and representation. In addition to the exhibition, past student campus projects by Reta Koropatnick, Yi Xin Tong and Vikram Uchida-Khanna are remounted outside the gallery. These rhythms extend to the Audain Gallery where literary practices, performativity, activism and the aura of industrial film are taken up. Photography, via the archive, re-emerges at the Teck Gallery as an installation to articulate social arrhythmia.
In addition to the exhibitions, a multi-part poster project asks artists and writers to undertake rhythmanalyses from various windows that connect to SFU’s visual art history. From campus gallery windows to studios and artist-run centres, the textual analysis posters will be distributed back into the locales they describe. Look for these posters at SFU Gallery, Teck Gallery, Audain Gallery, Artspeak, Or Gallery, Unit/Pitt Projects, Alexander Street studios and the Perel Building. Writers are Patrik Andersson, Colin Browne, Brady Cranfield, Sharon Kahanoff, Laiwan, Kathy Slade and Urban Subjects.
Wednesday, June 3 / 6 – 9PM
World Art Centre / Audain Gallery
Jeff Derksen (Associate Professor in the English Department at SFU), speaks to the relevance of Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis at 6PM, followed by a reception in Audain Gallery at 7PM, and a performance by The Stick (alumni Julian Hou and Mike Loncaric) at 8PM.
Exhibition Tour with Curators and Artists
Saturday, June 6
2PM SFU Gallery / 3.30PM Audain Gallery / 4.30PM Teck Gallery
Curators Amy Kazymerchyk and Melanie O’Brian lead a tour of each part of the exhibition in dialogue with artists Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber, Lorna Brown, Allyson Clay, Vishal Jugdeo and Reece Terris. A free bus departs from Audain Gallery at 1PM and returns for the 3.30PM tour. Book now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art + City + School*
Saturday, June 20 / 1PM – 4.30PM
Teck Gallery / SFU Gallery
Free registration required
Taking cues from the flow of social, economic, cultural and pedagogical spaces that both construct and comprise our field of observation, these events focus on the intersection of place and practice through site-specific lectures. At 1PM at Teck Gallery, SFU students and alumni Brady Marks, Barbara Adler and Paul Paroczai, Alexandra Spencepresent acoustic responses to rhythmanalysis. At 2PM the bus leaves Teck Gallery to SFU Gallery. During the trip Peter Dickinson (Director, Institute for Performance Studies at SFU) and Catherine Murray (Professor and Associate, Center for Studies on Culture and Communities at SFU) discuss civic cultural policy, cultural place-making and site-specific performance. At 3PM artist and publisher Keith Higgins talks at SFU Gallery. Book by emailing email@example.com. For more information, click here.
Rain or Shine Saturdays*
Saturday, July 11 / September 26 / October 3 / 1PM
Audain Gallery / SFU Gallery
Free registration required
A series of guided sound and narrative walks by SFU alumni and associates connect SFU’s campuses to Hastings Street and nearby environs. Ethnographer and artist, Jenni Schine with composer and artist, Russell Wallace start the series on JUL 11. Composer and researcher Alex Muir will continue the series on SEP 26 and artist Gabriel Saloman concludes the series on OCT 3. Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, click here.
Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965-2015 Audio Archive*
SFU Galleries’ website
An online audio archive connects relevant spaces and histories to the exhibition. Through the exhibition webpage, stream or download sound works to animate travel between SFU Galleries, and as references for guided walks and talks. For more information, click here. The Audio Archive is still accepting submissions of soundwork produced by SFU affiliated composers and artists. Please forward your minimum 192 kbs MP3 formatted submissions, along with a brief bio, a statement about your work, a link to your website (if you want it listed with your work) and credit info to email@example.com.
ISEA 2015 Keynote: Sara Diamond
Monday, August 17 / 4PM
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University and SFU alumna, presents the keynote at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in partnership with SFU Galleries. In response to the symposium’s theme of “disruption,” Diamond reflects on how rhythms of social, aesthetic and technological disruption influenced early video and media production in Vancouver. Through a Window at Audain Gallery will re-open from AUG 14-18 to coincide with ISEA. isea2015.org
*These programs are curated by Denise Ryner, SFU Galleries’ Curatorial Assistant and Intern.
Opening Reception: Jeff Derksen Talk
Wednesday, June 3 / 6 PM
World Art Centre / Audain Gallery