The Audain Visual Artist in Residence (AVAIR) 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 cornerstone of the residency is the sharing of artistic research. The program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.


Claire Fontaine

Claire Fontaine

Claire Fontaine, Carelessness Causes Fire
, Installation view, Audain Gallery, 2012. Photo: Kevin Schmidt

Claire Fontaine: Carelessness Causes Fire

Audain Gallery, Vancouver
October 12 - December 22, 2012

Carelessness Causes Fire is the first solo exhibition in Canada by the Paris-based “collective artist” Claire Fontaine, who is the Audain Visual Artist in Residence for fall 2012. Taking her name from a common brand of French notebooks and stationery, Claire Fontaine is a self-described “readymade artist,” founded in 2004 and aided by her “assistants” Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill.

Claire Fontaine’s exhibition Carelessness Causes Fire, features sculpture, writing, video and painting. These different media are used as “vectors of a specific intensity” to critically explore what the artist identifies as the “crisis of singularity” and the political impotency she sees in contemporary society.

The exhibition presents old and new works to examine the psychological and political consequences of the Arab Spring on the Western perception of reality. The ambiguity of the exhibition’s title, lifted from a security warning found by the artist under an office chair, evokes both the metaphorical fire of the uprising as it invaded streets and buildings, and the actual fire of weapons that often accompanied it.

A climate of blind, even careless violence is also recreated through a number of works in the exhibition that quote the aesthetic codes of abstraction and minimalism. These enduring visual languages, although removed from figuration, still have ethical consequences. Here, the artist confronts these languages directly with the real world economic and political violence that they do not portray but, nonetheless, still intimately relate to.

The series of digital paintings entitled Studies for Tactical Entry, for example, faithfully transcribes the representation of the “cones of action” of firearms held by two armed people as they traverse various corridors and stairways. Although these geometrical figures on the canvases appear very similar to the visual language of Suprematist painting, in reality they are schematic representations used by the armed forces to display dangerous movements in interior spaces.

As part of her residency, Claire Fontaine will work with students from the MFA Visual Arts program at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and the MFA in Visual Art program at the University of British Columbia, through the screening of films and presentation of seminars exploring the artist’s notion of the “human strike”. Claire Fontaine’s work with students will culminate in a final public presentation featuring a talk and a screening of excerpts from the selected films, on November 24 at 7pm in the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Carelessness Causes Fire is realized with the support of the Consulat général de France in Vancouver and presented in partnership with the Institutions by Artists conference, which runs from October 12 - 14, 2012, at Simon Fraser University at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Curated by Sabine Bitter.


Opening Reception
Thursday, October 11, 8pm

Artist Talk
Thursday, October 11, 6pm

Lech Kowalski – East of Paradise (2005)
Wednesday, October 3, 6pm

Claude Lanzmann – Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001)
Wednesday, October 10, 6pm

Tamar Yarom – To See if I'm Smiling (2007)
Wednesday, October 17, 6pm

Marco Bellocchio – Devil in the Flesh (1986)
Wednesday, October 24, 6pm

Jean-Luc Godard – La Chinoise (1967)
Wednesday, October 31, 6pm

Sam Green and Bill Siegel – The Weather Underground (2002)
Ralph Arlyck – Sean (1969)
Monday, November 19, 6pm

Lecture and Screening: Claire Fontaine: Human Strike Within Moving Images
Satuday, November 24, 7pm
The Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema

Antoni Muntadas

Antoni Muntadas

Antoni Muntadas, About Academia (production image), 2001. Courtesy of Irina Rozovsky.

Antoni Muntadas: About Academia

Audain Gallery, Vancouver
January 10 - February 23, 2013

Antoni Muntadas, the Spanish-born, New York-based artist, is the second Audain Visual Artist in Residence for the 2012/13 year. For his residency, Muntadas will present his work About Academia at Audain Gallery, give an artist’s talk, participate in a public panel presentation and discussion, engage with students in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and work collaboratively with Audain Gallery to produce a new publication derived from his residency and exhibition.

Turning critical attention to the structure and function of the university, About Academia investigates the complicated, often contradictory relationship between the production of knowledge and economic power.  Projected on three large hanging screens in the gallery, the video installation simultaneously juxtaposes scrolling textual quotations drawing from Muntadas’ research, excerpts from interviews by Muntadas with significant figures in contemporary academia, and footage of various universities that emphasizes their architectural characteristics. Together these components form a disassembled and spatialized documentary, encouraging viewers to move amongst the screens. Presented in Vancouver, specifically within the neighbourhood known as the Downtown Eastside, the issues and questions raised by About Academia take on localized significance and urgency.

To compliment the projections in About Academia is a book that offers the complete texts of the interviews, providing a fuller sense of context for the excerpts in the videos. As part of the exhibition at Audain Gallery, copies of this book, with a collection of Muntadas’ other artist books and catalogues, will be presented in a small reading kiosk in the gallery’s walk-in vitrine.

Audain Gallery and Muntadas, in partnership with West Coast Line’s LINEbooks imprint, will also work collaboratively to produce a new publication that will develop out of the panel presentations and discussions that are part of Muntadas’ residency. Addressing the unique social, political and economic context for universities and academia in Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver in particular, this publication will be a valuable contribution to the work initiated by Muntadas’ original project.

Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1942, Muntadas has lived and worked in New York since 1971. His work addresses social, political and communications issues; the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks; and the investigation of channels of information and the ways in which they may be used to censor central information or promulgate ideas. He works in a variety of media, including photography, video, publications, Internet and multi-media installations.

His works have been exhibited throughout the world, including at the Venice Biennale, Documenta Vl and X in Kassel, the Sao Paulo Biennial, the Whitney Biennial, the Lyon Biennial, the Havana Biennial, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Berkeley Art Museum in California, Wexner Arts Center in Columbus, Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, le Capc de Bordeaux, France, the Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. Muntadas is currently Professor of the Practice at ACT/Department of Architecture at MIT and visiting professor at the IUAV in Venice, Italy.

Curated by Sabine Bitter.


Artist Talk: Antoni Muntadas
Wednesday, January 9, 6pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre.

Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 9, 7pm

Panel Discussion: About Academia
Friday, January 11, 7pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre.
Panelists: Ian Angus, Glen Coulthard, Serge Guilbaut, Antoni Muntadas, Geraldine Pratt
Moderator: Kirsten McAllister