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.



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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

Charlene Vickers

Charlene Vickers

Performance by Maria Hupfield and Charlene Vickers as part of the Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice gathering at the Morris and

Thursday November 10, 1:00pm at 611 Alexander Studios 

Charlene Vickers’ cross disciplinary art practice includes mixed media beer case moccasins, performance, painting and sculptural installation, video and sound events to express memory as a conceptual and political site. Her recent works become physical embodiments of memory as tangible markers of her Anishinabe territorial presence. “When walking through the core of downtown Vancouver I am expressing my embodied territory; within each step, a trace of my ancestors is present. I am thinking of my work and where I am from and how to manoeuvre through this world.”

Charlene Vickers is an Anishnabe interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, B.C. Her work spans several mediums including painting, sculpture, video and performance exploring memory, healing and embodied connections to ancestral lands. She graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1994) and majored in Critical Studies at Simon Fraser University (BA,1998) where she also completed an MFA in 2013. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and the USA, and is in the permanent collection at MOA at the University of British Colum- bia . In 2016 Vickers was the inaugural Artist in Residence at Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver and will exhibit in Vancouver Special Ambivalent Pleasures ( curated by Daina Augaitis and Jesse McKee) group exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vickers has been an active member of the Board of Directors at grunt gallery since 2012. 

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Emily Hermant

Emily Hermant

Spatial Drawing I, Centre d'Exposition CIRCA, Montréal, QC, 2014. Hand-bent hardwood, lumber, clamps, wall. Size: 108” H x 200” W x 72” D.

Tuesday October 25, 12:30pm at 611 Alexander Studios

“I utilize and transform a whole range of materials in my work including thread, nails, pins, plastic, and wood, to create works that relate in one way or another to the body and the body’s experience of space. I’m also really interested in how materials, taken out of their ordinary uses and translated sculpturally, express their materiality, and perform in space. The ways in which I choose materials happens in relation to a set of ideas or questions I’m interested in pursuing, and what I think would best express those ideas. Within that framework, I do a ton of experimentation with materials and processes to figure out what would work best technically and conceptually. I spend a lot of time building maquettes at various scales, making technical and material samples, sketches, and collecting images and articles, as ways of thinking through my ideas.”

Emily Hermant is an interdisciplinary artist whose large-scale sculp- tures and installations explore themes of communication, gender, labor, and the spatial experiences of the body. She received her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montréal, in 2004 and her MFA as a Trustee Merit Scholar in Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Her work has been exhibited widely. Hermant is currently based in Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is an Assistant Professor in the Audain Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. 

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Stefan Römer

Stefan Römer

Stefan Römer, Welcoming Culture, 1 of 4 photographic plates, 2015

Tuesday September 27, 1:00pm at 611 Alexander Studios 

Stefan Römer works artistically de-conceptual with ideas and signification, he uses different media and writing. His deep interest in medial politics manifests his groundedness on the societal reality. Since he initiated the art-activist group FrischmacherInnen/Freshmakers in the early 1990s, connecting institutional critique, critical urbanism, and the change from the White cube to the Ambient as a sign of neoliberal corporatization and economization, he keeps the post-panoptical diagrammatics in focus: How does technical and social change incorporate the human body and influence the image regime?

Born in Katzenelnbogen, West Germany, Stefan Römer lives in Berlin. He is Prof. h.c. of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, received his PhD phil. from (Humboldt University, Berlin) and his MA form (Rheinische-Friedrichs-Wilhelms University, Bonn). His work has been exhibited widely internationally, including: Green Naftaly Gallery, New York; Cologne Kunstverein; The Fotobiennale Rotterdam; Museum for Contemporary Art, Antwerp and Herzliya Museum, Tel Aviv; MoCA Belgrad; Museum Göteborg; khoj-Emami Chisel, Kolkata; First Ural Industrial Biennial in Ekaterinburg, Russia; Daimler Art Collection, Berlin; IG Bildenden Kunst, Vienna; thereafter, New Delhi. Römer teaches art theory and art practice internationally at academies and universities; 2000 he received the Award for Art-critique by the Working Committee of German Kunstvereine (AdKV); he plays regularly with his band Stan Back & The Noise Glam.

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

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).