Sarah Pierce, Campus (2011). Commissioned by Georgina Jackson for the Mattress Factory. The Pittsburgh Press, October 15, 1969. Courtesy Civil Rights Archive, University of Pittsburgh.

Sarah Pierce

The SFU School for the Contemporary Arts is pleased to welcome Sarah Pierce as the SCA’s 2019 Spring Audain Visual Artist in Residence.  

During her time in Vancouver, Pierce will work closely with third-year visual art students on questions around the archive and its role as a generative source in contemporary art practice. She will lead seminars and work with students in the studio. Pierce will also present a lecture that is open to the public.

Together with Pierce, the students will present No-Place, No-Time, an exhibition that will engage with ideas around the reanimation of documents, objects or events of the past. Pierce’s work Campus (2011) will be re-presented alongside a diverse range of student work that will include painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, textiles, and performance inspired by items chosen from SFU Archives and SFU Library’s Special Collections.

Sarah Pierce is an artist based in Dublin. Since 2003 she has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project, characterised by forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes demonstrate a broad understanding of cultural work and a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art, the potential for dissent, and self-determination. Pierce works with installation, performance, archives, talks and papers, often opening these up to the personal and the incidental in ways that challenge received histories and forms of making. Her sources include civil rights movements and student governments, art historical legacies and the work of figures such as El Lissitzky, August Rodin, and Eva Hesse, and theories of community and love founded in Maurice Blanchot and Georges Bataille.   

Pierce has recently held exhibitions at the Centre of Contemporary Art, Derry (2018, 2017); Chapter 13, Glasgow (2018); Rua Red, Tallaght (2017); Hessel Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2016, 2013, 2012); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2015); National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (2015); and The Showroom, London (2012). In 2014 she staged a major three-part solo exhibition in Walter Philips Gallery, Banff, Mercer Union, Toronto, and SBC Gallery, Montreal. In 2005 Pierce represented Ireland in a group exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennale. She has also participated in Glasgow International (2018), Eva International (2016, 2012), Lyon Biennial (2011), International Sinop Biennial (2010), and the Moscow Biennial (2007). Publications on her work include No Title, co-edited with Sara Greavu, published by CCA Derry with essays by T.J. Clark, Karl Homqvist, Mason Leaver-Yap, and Claire Potter; and Sketches of Universal History Compiled from Several Authors, edited by Rike Frank, published by Book Works, London, with essays by Melissa Gronlund, Tom Holert, Barbara Clausen, Declan long, and Padraíc E. Moore. Pierce regularly writes and has chapters in a many publications, most recently in, Of(f) Our Times. The Aftermath of the Ephemeral and other Curatorial Anachronics (upcoming in 2019).

Pierce is currently a Lecturer in the School of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, where she co-leads the Masters program Art in the Contemporary World. She holds a PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge from Goldsmiths College, London and an MFA from the College of Architecture Art and Planning at Cornell University, and she is a past participant of the Whitney Independent Study Program.

The Audain Visual Artist in Residence program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities and the community at large. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts, the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.

Talk: Sarah Pierce  

March 11, 2019 | 7:00 p.m.
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
SFU Goldcorp Centre for Arts
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BFA Project 2019: No-Place, No-Time

March 21 – 30, 2019
Audain Gallery
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Thursday, Friday, 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Opening Reception
March 20, 2019 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Audain Gallery

Student-led Exhibition Tour
Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 6:00 p.m.
Audain Gallery

Presented in collaboration with SFU Galleries.