Look At Me!, Daniel Lin, 2021. Courtesy the artist

BFA Project 2021: Images that Take, Images that Give

March 18 – 27, 2021
Audain Gallery
Registration required

Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter (with Helmut Weber), Debbie Chan, Sena Cleave, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Research, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti), Aakansha Ghosh, Sofia Grace, Shinaaz K. Johal, Ritz Li, Daniel Lin, Quinn Lumsden, Sahar Rahmanian, Oliver Ressler, Ravneet Kaur Sidhu, Paige Smith, Xiaotong Sun (Shiny), Lil Waldegger, and Yunze Xie (David). 

Can art, in fact, mobilize change? And should we be expecting this from art in the first place?

– Heba Y. Amin

Images that Take, Images that Give investigates the agency of images, as well as the tactics and technologies artists use to create, produce, and circulate them. The third-year visual arts cohort — alongside Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin, professor Sabine Bitter, and MFA candidate Aakansha Ghosh — have developed artworks related to themes of resistance, control, mapping, and language. As a site of research, this exhibition seeks uncertainty and curiosity to support new ways of seeing.

Each work in the exhibition contributes to a glossary of terms that describes the agency of images within frameworks such as archives, surveillance, technology, and perception. These frameworks can support a reciprocal relationship between images and cultural change, where images both spur radical action and articulate new kinds of subjectivities. The artists seek what lays beyond the tangible and rational to explore new ways of coming together, although for now our bodies can only be together in restricted ways, full of caution. Because this class project has been mostly developed remotely, via technologies like email and Zoom, examining and critiquing these digital frameworks is particularly urgent.

Heba Y. Amin teaches at Bard College Berlin, is a doctorate fellow in art history at Freie Universität, and is a Field of Vision fellow. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, the curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War. She has had recent exhibitions at the Mosaic Rooms, London (2020); MAXXI Museum, Rome (2018); 10th Berlin Biennale (2018); 15th Istanbul Biennale (2017); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2017); Karachi Biennale (2017); 11th African Biennale of Photography, Bamako (2017); Kalmart Art Museum (2017); 12th Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2016); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2016); the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2016); the Kunstverein in Hamburg (2016); Camera Austria (2015); 64th Berlinale, Berlin (2014), and the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014).

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.

This exhibition takes place on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU and the Audain Visual Artist in Residence Program in partnership with SFU Galleries.


Panel: Images with Agency: Towards a Speculative Glossary
Thursday, March 18, 10am PDT
Presented on Zoom. Please register in advance.

Counter-Strategies: Digital Methodologies and Practice-Based Research
Thursday, March 25, 10am PDT
Presented on Zoom. Please register in advance.

Video Documentation

Video by Samwick Productions