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.



2017

Gabrielle Hill

Gabrielle Hill

Gabrielle Hill makes sculptures, mostly but not entirely out of found objects. Her practice involves a method of research that combines thinking and movement: reading, archives, notes, talking to people, going on long walks, collecting and moving materials. For example, in a project that began while she was an undergraduate visual arts student at SFU, Waste Lands, Gabrielle walks through the abandoned tract of land near the CN Rail yards, learning about the way people use the site and picking up objects to bring back to the studio. Waste Lands is a continuous long-term sculptural project that just enjoyed it's third iteration at the Helen Belkin Gallery in January, 2017.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill is a Metis artist and writer from Vancouver, BC, located on unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh lands. Gabrielle's sculptures and installations perform as both a material exploration of form and an enquiry into economic systems, ideas of property, and the land.
 

Christine Major

Christine Major

Christine, acrylique on canvas, 2016. Installation View, L'affaire du 3915 Sainte-Catherine Est (The 3915 Sainte-Catherine Est Project).

For her 611 Talk Christine Major will discuss her site-specific painting installation project The 3915 Sainte-Catherine Est Case in the context of the symposium A Crimp in the Fabric: Situating Painting Today, where she'll be part of the panel Making a Difference: The Effective Capacity of Painting with Charlene Vickers and Francine Savard and moderator Nicole Ondre.

Christine Major painting practice is engaged, concerned with identity and feminist issues, and takes a critical look at the function of the image in the media and its impact on the representation of bodies. Her recent work evokes alternatively, horror films, the macabre art of the Middle Ages and gore literature. She uses fiction to play around with the disturbing figure of "the stranger" in a site-specific painting installation. In order to do this, she diverts images of female stereotypes used to exacerbate the fears and prejudices of the audience by provoking fright, and possibly disgust. She works with collages to develop an hybridization of images in the construction of her paintings. She advocates illegibility and variability in the appropriation of images and exhibition
of her work. She is interested in the monstrous, where pain borders horror when faced with difference.

A representative of a new generation of Canadian painters and based in Montréal, Christine Major (professor in the painting and drawing area of the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at the Université du Québec à Montréal) has exhibited her work at numerous venues in Quebec and Canada. She is currently part of a Virtual exhibition realised by the Galerie de l'UQAM in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada, The painting project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada. She was part of HER NOW, Six Painters from Quebec and Canada in 2016, a group show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. Her work is part of different public and private collections.

Hannah Rickards

Hannah Rickards

Still from One can make out the surface only by placing any dark-coloured object on the ground, 2016.

Rickards’ work deals with perception and its description; with how one can translate an encounter, be that with a space, image, object or sound. It examines the relationship between either temporary or permanent elements in a landscape and the perception of groups or individuals to a landscape as a whole, with the sites concerned being used as both a vantage point and a stage for examining our verbal, spatial, auditory and gestural relationship with our surroundings.

Through this process it examines how a landscape might be read as a score, how it might affect ones utterances, movements, perceptions of scale, distance and material, particularly instances where those measures by which we locate ourselves in space become uncertain. Hannah Rickards’ interdisciplinary practice explores the fluxive, non-linear dynamic between site, gesture, staging and recording: integrating elements of the language of performance, film, drawing and installation.

Hannah Rickards lives and works in London. She has held solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, the Fogo Island Gallery, Newfoundland, Artspeak, The Whitechapel Gallery and The Showroom Gallery, London. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Palais de Tokyo, and Witte de With, and was included in the recent Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition, ‘Listening’. She received the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2008 and in 2015 was awarded the Phillip Leverhulme Prize in Visual and Performing Arts. Rickards is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London.

hannahrickards.info

Jayce Salloum

Jayce Salloum

02 February 2017, 1:00pm at 611 Studios.

A grandson of Syrian immigrants, Salloum was raised on Sylix land in western Canada. His projects engage the personal/subjective, reconfiguring notions of identity, community, history, boundaries, exile, (trans)nationalism and resistance, taking place in in many locales including Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, x-Yugoslavia, the Americas, and Polynesia. He has exhibited pervasively at the widest range of local and international venues possible, from the smallest unnamed storefronts in his dtes neighbourhood to institutions such as Musée du Louvre, MOMA, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sharjah Biennial, Biennal of Sydney and Havana Bienal. Salloum is a recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and a finalist of the 2016 ScotiaBank Photography Award.

“I tend to go only where invited or where there is an intrinsic affinity, to ground my projects in an intimate engagement with place and the inhabitants of those spaces, relying on the kindness of strangers when I'm in unfamiliar territory, speak next to nothing of the language or know less than I think I do which is most of the time. I have been producing art, collecting objects, making things happen and mixing it up discursively for as long as I can remember. It was always part art and part social lubrication, or maybe that makes it all ‘art’, anyways it usually challenged whatever the dominant culture is and involved people from various parts in liaison and/or at odds with each other. My practise is consistently about mediation – the gap between the experience and the accounting/telling/receiving of it, engaging in an intimate subjectivity and discursive/ dialectical challenge while critically asserting itself in the representation and perception of social manifestations and realities. All of my work could be considered experimental, at least socially and conceptually. It incorporated 'relational' aesthetics/methodologies years before the term was invented, with emancipation, liberation, justice and complex non-essential identity construction while fluidly embracing subjective affinities.” – Jayce Salloum

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Adrian Stimson

Adrian Stimson

12 January 2017, 1:00pm at 611 Studios.

Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta. He is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and educator with a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan.

Stimson is also curator of UnSettled, an exhibition that will be part the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), which runs from June 17-29, 2017 in Vancouver. Resolutely contemporary, the exhibition will focus on art produced in the new millennium, bringing together Two-Spirit visual artists working in new media, video, photography, performance, painting, sculpture, and installation in Canada.

“I was in Indigenous politics for eight years. But I find the arts to be a gentler place to deal with the issues of residential schools, racism and homophobia.” He is clearly engaged in the task of creating new stories in the face of censored histories. And his work repeatedly focuses on the figure of the buffalo as a metaphor for spirituality, resistance and creativity. As he tells it, “I use the bison as a symbol representing the destruction of the Aboriginal way of life, but it also represents survival and cultural regeneration. The bison is central to Blackfoot being. And the bison as both icon and food source, as well as the whole history of its disappearance, is very much a part of my contemporary life.” In Stimson’s work, the buffalo appears in many guises: as provocative trickster in Buffalo Boy; as romantic icon in the black-and-white paintings; and as witness, mourner and survivor in two hauntingly beautiful installations, Old Sun (2005) and Sick and Tired (2004), in which Stimson bears witness to the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal lives. (From Canadian Art.)

Co-presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU and the Queer Arts Festival.

The Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is an annual artist-run multidisciplinary festival at the Roundhouse. Recognized as one of the top 5 festivals of its kind worldwide (Melbourne Herald Sun), QAF harnesses the visceral power of the arts to inspire recognition, respect, and visibility of people who transgress gender and sexual norms. We celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art, bringing diverse communities together to incite artistic risk-taking, encourage experimentation and cultivate creative collaborations. Each year, the festival theme ties together a curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, readings, artist talks, panels, workshops, and media art screenings. QAF has garnered wide acclaim as “easily one of the best art exhibitions of the year” (Vancouver Sun), “concise, brilliant and moving” (Georgia Straight), and “on the forefront of aesthetic and cultural dialogue today” (Xtra).