The talk series organized by the Visual Art area at the Alexander studios provides a productive place for artists to present their work and to talk about their methods and concepts. Also, to engage with visual culture in a broader way, the series features curators and other cultural producers to present their projects and ideas. With approximately four talks per term, the series provides the possibility for our students and the public to engage in discussions with the visitors and explore contemporary art and its contexts and theories.



2008

Althea Thauberger

Althea Thauberger

Althea Thauberger very recently produced a work called "Carrall Street" through artspeak gallery. It was an evening in which the artist cordoned off  one block of Carall Street in Vancouver's Downtown East Side. The resulting pedestrian-only street was lit with film-style lights and animated by several different types of performances, from the nearly invisible, to theatrical recreations of historical moments which pertain to the area. Thauberger also worked with various neighbourhood groups including those on the streets of this historical area which presently faces many challenges including drugs, poverty, and gentrification.  The work is in keeping with Thauberger's larger practice. Her internationally produced and exhibited work typically involves collaboration with a group or community that result in performances, films, videos, audio recordings, and books. Thauberger gravitates towards social enclaves – groups of people who exist or develop in some form of seclusion and are often perpetuated by social controls – that are both coercive and voluntary. Thauberger's performances have involved diverse groups including young Canadian female singer/songwriters, U.S. military wives, Canadian tree planters, Vancouver-based reserve soldiers, and male youth in the German civil service. These amateur performers express concepts of self-definition, alienation, and community through their stories.
Thauberger's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at Manifesta 7, Trento, Itlay; the Gaungzhou Triennial, China; the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2008; Vancouver Art Gallery, 2008; BAK, Utrecht, 2007; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2006; Kunstverein Wolfsburg, 2006; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, 2006; Singapore History Museum, 2006; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, 2005; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, 2005; Berkeley Art Museum, 2005; Insite, San Diego/Tijuana, 2005; White Columns, New York, 2004; and Seattle Art Museum, 2004. In 2008 she will be traveling to the Canadian Forces Base in Kandahar, Afghanistan to work on a collaborative photograph with military members there.  Althea Thauberger is based in Vancouver.

Ron Tran

Ron Tran

Ron Tran is a Vancouver-based artist whose practice explores the ways that chance and coincidence influence daily life. Tran uses a subtle methodology of interaction and collaboration to produce works in a variety of media which appear as quiet, playful interpersonal gestures. Tran often inserts art into public life through absurdity, physical endurance and provocation. For instance his recent work at the Western Front Gallery featured only a low quality wooden door in the gallery. This, however was Tran's apartment door which he had removed and which he lived without for the duration of the exhibition. His work could be described as exploring issues of power and cultural anxiety as well as engaging with the critical potential of humour. Tran studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Canada including Saidye Bronfman Centre, Helen Pitt Gallery, Artspeak Gallery, Access Artist Run Centre, and Charles H. Scott gallery. Tran has also exhibited in Liu-Haisu Museum Shanghai, China. Recently, Tran was selected to be in East International 2007 Norwich England, and completed his two months residency in Sweden at Neon Gallery. Tran's recent work is on display at Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver.

Artist Talk
October 8, 2008
WATCH VIDEO

Jamelie Hassan

Jamelie Hassan

Jamelie Hassan is a visual artist and activist based in London, Ontario, Canada. Since the 1970's she has exhibited widely in Canada and internationally. In 1993 she was presented the "Canada 125 Medal" in recognition to her outstanding service to the community and in 2001 she received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. She received the Chalmers Art Fellowship in 2006 and Canada Council for the Arts Award in 2007.
Her interdisciplinary works incorporate ceramic, painting, video, photography, text and other media and explore personal and public histories.  Her recent installation Garden of Light was selected for the Pearson Garden of Peace & Understanding at University of Toronto for the city's first Nuit Blanche, September 30, 2006.Jamelie Hassan curated the exhibition Orientalism & Ephemera which opens at Centre A on March 14th.

Stefan Römer

Stefan Römer

As a resident with the visual art area in collaboration with the OR Gallery, Stefan Roemer will give an artist talk, screen the film conceptual Paradise and conduct a seminar
In three years of filmic research, the artist and author Stefan Römer has interviewed numerous outstanding international artists with his film team. In engaging in intellectual exchanges before the camera, Stefan Römer is able to develop a special filmic mode of reflecting on the state of international contemporary art.
The film essay »Conceptual Paradise: There Is a Place for Sophistication« traces out the debates that allowed the intellectual art movement of Conceptual art to emerge in the 1960s and led to the most relevant questions in art today. The artists speak about their own artistic practices and the socio-historical development of the various conceptual movements. In so doing, it becomes clear that there can be no one valid definition of conceptual art, since a permanent engagement also makes up its theoretical and philosophical complexity, including for example the question of whether there can be art without an object.
In these discussions with the most interesting artists and art theorists alive today, the fiction and ideal of art as political engagement are brought to life. The history of art is a history of struggles around strategies of representation. This makes this film about Conceptual art also a film about filmmaking. Stefan Römer reflects in numerous passages of the film with the well-known German filmmaker Hartmut Bitomsky about the documentary as a genre.
With the documentary essay Conceptual Paradise, Stefan Römer continues his analytic engagement with forms and modes of narrative for artistic documentation. Beside his extensive body of photography, his recent work includes the Super 8 film Corporate Psycho Ambient (235 media Köln on DVD 2004) and The Analysis of Beauty, a short film produced on the basis of single photographic montages (on the DVD Loop Pool by Graw Böckler, commissioned by Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2005). His filmic praxis extends back before the period of video activism in the mid-1990s, including interview videos, for example on the 1993 exhibition Unfair, and numerous multimedia punk performances in the 1980s.
Screening CONCEPTUAL PARADISE
Wednesday, March 5th, 7.30 pm, Cinemateque
Seminar with Stefan Romer
Thursday, March 6th, 10.30 am - 4.00 pm, Alexander Studio

Lida Abdul

Lida Abdul

Abdul’s video, film, photography, installation and performance works explore relationships between architecture and identity in post-war Afghanistan. Architectural ruins, many the result of numerous wars, appear throughout her landscapes as both real and surreal images. While acknowledging the devastation of conflict, the gestures of the men, women, and children depicted amidst the ruins in these works evoke, among many things, the survival, recovery, and resilience of this country.
Lida Abdul (b. 1973) was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She lived in Germany and India as a refugee before relocating to the United States. Abdul has exhibited widely including solo presentations at the Afghanistan Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale; Central Asian Biennial; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff; and Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Netherlands. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at such venues as the Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil; the Kwangju Biennale, South Korea; and the Singapore Biennale; Tate Modern; Centre d’Art Contemporain de Bretigny, France; Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee; ifa Galleries, Berlin and Stuttgart; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Le capc Musee d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France; and Le Parvis, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Tarbes, France. Lida Abdul is represented by Giorgio Persano Gallery, Turin.
Lida Abdul’s survey exhibition at the Western Front is curated by Candice Hopkins and Makiko Hara.
http://www.lidaabdul.com

Corin Sworn

Corin Sworn

We are very fortunate to have CORIN SWORN speaking at SFU as she will only be in Vancouver very briefly to install work at UBC for the Exponential Future Exhibition.
Corin Sworn is an artist living and working in Glasgow, Scotland.   Her video work, drawings and sculpture examine how the proposed social organizing principles of architecture are complicated by the actual experience of the subjects that use them.  Corin graduated from Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design in 2002, following this she participated in a three month residency at the Bauhaus in Dessau. She has exhibited in group shows across Europe and North America including exhibitions at Gasworks, London and the Kunstverein Wolfsburg in Germany.  Most recently she has completed solo exhibitions in New York and Vancouver.