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.



2009

Elke Krasny

Elke Krasny

Elke Krasny is a cultural theorist, curator, urbanist and author, based in Vienna.  She researches on the interrelations of architecture, urban space, issues of cultural identity and representation, engaged art practices, gender and world fairs, museums and exhibitions as cultural formations.  She teaches Art and Public Space, Museum Pedagogy, Visual Didactics, Didactics of Architecture and Space and Cultural Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, "Garden as Community" at the Technical University of Vienna, Cultural Studies at the FH Joanneum Graz and is a visiting professor at the University of Bremen "Urban Transformation and its Narratives" 2006.
Elke Krasny's work is based on long-term research processes and investigations. The methods used during the research processes comprise a variety of different, open-ended formats, such as walks, talks, interviews, active listening, site specific research, historical research, studio visits, picture taking -¦  The process always involves a variety of formats of becoming public: exhibitions, publications, round tables, discussions, tours, walks, talks etc.
Recent curatorial work, projects and publications: Other Places. Vienna Lerchenfelder Street, together with Angela Heide, 2009. Exhibition in a store Here, There & In Between, KulturKontakt Austria, 2009, Exhibition at the Gallery ArtPoint, Vienna Walking Ijburg. City Telling, project at the Blue House in Ijburg/Amsterdam. 2009 Walking Linz, Voyage into the Neighbourhood,project at Bellevue. Gelbes Haus, Linz 2009  The Force is in the Mind. The Making of Architecture, exhibition at the Architekturzentrum Wien 2008/2009, accompanied by the catalogue: The Force is in the Mind. The Making of Architecture, Elke Krasny, Architekturzentrum Wien (Ed.), Birkhäuser Basel Berlin Boston 2008.

Ben Reeves

Ben Reeves

Ben Reeves lives and works in Vancouver where he teaches at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

"I am interested in the hallucinatory aspect of the everyday. In my work I examine how representations are internalized, then projected outwards mapped onto the world. I am interested in how representation alters and shapes our physical experience and perception of reality. That painting operates as both image and substance parallels this understanding. Painting has a mediated and an immediate aspect. Its otherwise insubstantial images are bodied forth with an inexorable physicality. My paintings accentuate this duality with moments where thick paint insists on its materiality challenging the illusionism of the picture, even as it is integral to it." - Ben Reeves

Artist Talk
September 30, 2009
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Ruben Ochoa

Ruben Ochoa

Ruben Ochoa is born in 1974 in Oceanside, California and lives and works in Los Angeles.

Ruben Ochoa's works focuses on the built urban landscape as the starting point in dealing with barriers, borders, class, and perspective. While known for his sculptural works, Ochoa also makes drawings, photos, and installations, a selection of which is currently at his first Canadian exhibition at Charles H. Scott Gallery in Emily Carr University.

Previous solo exhibitions include SITE Santa Fe, NM, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. He has also participated in group shows at the 2008 Whitney Biennial, The Center for Contemporary Arts in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the Haubrok Foundation in Berlin.

Ruben Ochoa will be exhibiting a series of cement pallets at Art Basel, Miami. He is preparing new solo works for Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects this winter, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California in March 2010.

"Ruben Ochoa's monumental use of building materials in sculpture, photography, and public interventions deconstructs a constructionworker aesthetic by investigating urban locations under contention. Cataloguing places of social and economic transactions as sites for documentation or site-specific installations, he presents a finely tuned vision of Los Angeles as a city socially, economically, and geographically described by its freeways and street curbs. Beyond its formal references to civil engineering, Ochoa's work critiques class boundaries determined by these borders in his rejection of traditionally exclusionary exhibition styles. Relocating industrial or outdoor materials such as cement, rebar, pallets, and dirt into the gallery and displaying artworks in unlikely areas throughout the city, he juxtaposes refinement with grit, as did Walter De Maria and environmental sculptors like Edward Kienholz. Increasingly Ochoa studies areas where nature buttresses itself against annihilation, a cultural metaphor lending hope and vivacity to his work." TRINIE DALTON http://www.whitney.org/www/2008biennial/www/?section=artists&page=artist...

Ruben Ochoa's exhibition at Charles H. Scott gallery is curated by Cate Rimmer
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30pm

Artist Talk
September 24, 2009
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Allison Hrabluik

Allison Hrabluik

Allison Hrabluik is an artist from Calgary and currently lives in Vancouver. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions and film festivals across Canada.

Allison Hrabluik's stop-animations, drawings, and sculptures have focused on explorations of the anti- or accidental-hero (a Manitoba farmer and his inventions and a pair of could-be lovers at a terrible job to name a few). Her recent work continues a character study, however questions the effectiveness of these accidental heroics to look more directly at choice. In a recent video work this takes the form of a woman trying to solve the question - what it means to be an active member of society - to quote the narrator in A Mild Case of Smallpox, 2007. Hrabluik and her characters use humor and allegory to discuss the role that ownership, faith, history, and the language of arguments play in answering and interfering with such questions. (Artforum, 2007)

Artist Talk
September 15, 2009
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Lisl Ponger

Lisl Ponger

Lisl Ponger lives and works in Vienna, Austria. She has shown widely in Europe including recent solo shows at the CUC, Berlin, Kunsthaus Dresden, and Charim Galerie, in Vienna. She is in Vancouver to do a residency of several weeks.
In ArtForum, March 2007, Bridgitte Huck summarizes Ponger's work.
“For the Dak'Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art 2004, Austrian artist Lisl Ponger hoped to photograph selections from the famous ethnographic collection of Dakar's Musee d'Art Africain. As she waited for permission from the museum, she started a series of photographs in her hotel room; when the official okay never came, these works became her biennial contribution. Si j'avais eu l'autorisation ... (If I Had Had Authorization ...)--thus ran the project's subjunctive title--then she wouldn't have stayed in her room photographing props from her own personal archive of materials relating to the themes of colonialism, globalization, and travel. She grouped these items on the tile mosaic of the hotel floor according to classificatory patterns: ethnologist, painter, photographer, tourist. Although this was not the project that Ponger originally planned, it hews closely to her interests. Her politically motivated work continues to investigate issues of colonialism, ethnology, ideology, and constructions of identity.
A visual artist, photographer, and filmmaker, Ponger is equally at home at Documenta (she participated in 2002) and at film festivals. Acting (often in the same work) as director, set designer, performer, and archivist, she investigates the interfaces between art and science, between sociology, art history, and political activism, moving obliquely through these disciplines to create compositions of explosive power and precise observation.
Ponger interrogates the resonances of non-Western art within Western modernism.”

Hadley and Maxwell

Hadley and Maxwell

Hadley+Maxwell have been working together since 1997 and until recently they were based in Vancouver, but now are working from Berlin. They are currently in Vancouver to participate in the exhibition How Soon is Now: Contemporary art from here. Now, which runs Feb. 7 to May 3rd. Their investigations into cultural history, contemporary philosophy, models of subjectivity, and aesthetics have taken the form of conceptually driven works in a variety of media. In their practice they employ video, music and installation to reset the staging of human relations, often appropriating iconic images, traditional forms and contested histories as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements of the past. In deconstructing and recombining the symbolic economies of these images, forms and histories, they perform a critique of their ideological underpinnings while celebrating the desire they represent for a sense of belonging.
Publication about the artists' work include: Negotiating Desire, with text by Kathleen Ritter, Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver; The Decor Project, with text by Melanie O'Brian, Clint Burnham and Jonathan Middleton, Projectile Publishing, Vancouver; and 1+1-1: Endless, Nameless, by Eric Fredericksen, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.
Recent exhibitions include: "Where is the Contemporary Art?" Museu de Arte Contemporanea (Sao Paolo); "Just Play: Musik als Sociale Praxis," Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Oldenburg); "Into the Musik," Kunstraum München; "Good Gangsters," Taipei Fine Art Museum; and the solo exhibition "1+1-1," Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin). Upcoming activities include participation in: "If we can't get it together," curated by Nina Möntmann, Power Plant (Toronto); "Nomads" curated by Jose Drouin-Brisebois, National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); "There is no Audience," curated by Adnan Yildiz, Montehermoso Cultural Centre (Spain).

Bik Van der Pol

Bik Van der Pol

Letters From A Front, billboard for Action Field Kodra, Kalamaria (Thessaloniki, Greece) 2008

Bik Van der Pol have worked collectively since 1995. They live and work in Rotterdam.
Rather than produce discrete objects their work responds to the specifics of an exhibition, a site, a community, creating a response which calls into question the norms of institutions, promotion, public spaces, community boundaries, discourses. Their work uses a creative, aesthetic, critical approach to invent a corresponding response which might take the form of a book, a billboard, a built environment, or a sign on a traveling truck. The art investigates methods of working and the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge. They describe their working method as one which engages with "functionality, site sensitivity and negotiation at an institutional and intimate, local level. Generation of knowledge and memory as a necessary potential for dialogue and the development of a certain level of understanding is one of its main objectives."
Bik Van der Pol will be in Vancouver to do a residency at Western Front media program.
Recent projects and exhibitions include I've got something in my eye, Marie Louise Hessel Museum/CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Becoming Dutch, Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven; Plug In, Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven; For Reasons of State, ISP Whitney, New York; Utopia Transfer, Kiscelli Museum, Budapest (2008).
All their projects and updated information can be found on their amazing website, www.bikvanderpol.net.

Vishal Jugdeo

Vishal Jugdeo

still from Self-Portrait with Mirrors, 2004, split-screen single-channel video projection with sound, 8:52 minutes, looped

Vishal Jugdeo's work will be of particular interest to SFU Visual Arts students as he was a graduate of the School for the Contemporary Arts before going on to complete his MFA (2007) at U.C.L.A in Los Angeles. He has shown at in numerous group shows and has had solo exhibitions at LA><ART, Los Angeles, and  The Western Front, Vancouver. He is in Vancouver for an exhibition at the Pitt Gallery, titled "Square Configuration Study" opening on January 9th. It could be said that Jugdeo uses props, objects, video in sculptural configurations that evoke absurd narratives, or, just as accurately that Judgdeo creates theatrical configurations which evoke sculpture. Sculptural objects feature in the videos and videos feature in the sculptural objects. There is a back and forth exchange, sometimes involving language, between the animate and the inanimate, in Jugdeo's installations. Describing one of Jugdeo's installations in ArtReview, Ed Schad, writes, "The absurdity creates a disjoint between the uncertain or undefined and universals. "Hurry up and mean something" is said in desperation at one point.