REVIEW: The Circle has 18 Sides: What I Learned as 1 of 18 Student Curators of Geometry of Knowing: Part 4, In 10 Parts

Alexis Lum | May 12, 2015

1. That the definition of “know,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a transitive verb that encompasses a variety of meanings:

to perceive directly
to have direct cognition of
to have understanding of
to recognize the nature of
to be aware of the truth of
to be convinced of or certain of
to have a practical understanding of
to be or become cognizant of
to have sexual intercourse with

2. That all of the above definitions were represented in the artworks shown in Geometry of Knowing: Part 

3. That this was accidental but fortuitous.

4. That the process of curating the show was a recipe that combined a call for artists working in all disciplines to share with us their approaches to knowing, democracy, delineation, dwindling, dramatics, proposal, re-purposing, re-re-purposing, re-proposing, stress, success, tears, vote, veto, vindication, victory, and wine.

5. That the following rhyme provides an accurate description of the psychological experience:    

You think you KNOW but you don’t know.  
You think it went but it won’t go.  
You thought you did, you didn’t though.  
Then suddenly there was a show!

6. That no matter how thoroughly you think you thought about something, made it as universal as possible, as all encompassing as a thing should be, or as final as it could be, there will always, always, always be: 

something to change (add, alter, explain, duplicate, remove)
something to offend, defend, differentiate,
something to vote on.

7. That one person’s way of knowing is entirely subjective. If there are eighteen subjective ways of knowing curating one show, it becomes a bitter soup of subjective objections…

8. But also that the aftertaste of “investigat[ing] the way in which artists engage tactics of fieldwork, embodiment and materiality in a manner that reveals or instigates a process of knowing,” is one of the most valuable experiences that we, as students, could be involved in. Our university years are enriched through the relationships we build, and this is what we based our curatorial process on.

9. That YOU ARE HERE is a phrase that encompasses presence, awareness, navigation and perseverance. To wade through discourse and opinions with an open mind and expandable geometries is an artistic practice that requires patience, creative and interpersonal skills, and a willingness to learn about oneself through, and along with, others.  

10. That time is fleeting and in the blink of an eye the chaos and glory of completing Geometry of Knowing: Part 4 becomes an honour, a feat, a memory and an entirely new body of knowledge that we will carry forward through our endless navigation and hungry exploration of the world. YOU ARE HERE becomes WE WERE THERE and is imbued with an awareness of where we are now and a wonder of where we will be next.

Geometry of Knowing Part 4: YOU ARE HERE, was a collaborative curatorial effort by SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, class FPA 361. It was curated by Chris Chapman, Margaux Cheung, Pearl Choy, Eileen Hsu, Kevin Jinn, Victoria Kon, Carolina Krawczyk, Jacky Lo, Siena Locher–Lo, Alexis Lum, Chris Mark, Oscar Sanchez, Ada Sakowicz, Neo Tang, Lauren Tsuyuki, Megan Wedge, Viki Wu, Sid Wu, with SCA Assistant Professor Sabine Bitter and Audain Visual Artist in Residence, Judith Barry. YOU ARE HERE was installed at Audain Gallery from March 19 – 28, 2015. The exhibition aimed to bridge theory and practice by locating interpretations of knowledge production in the context of a pedagogical institution, through archival elements and works curated through an open call. It featured artists Amanda Arcuri, John Baldessari, Alison Bremner, Vanessa Brown, Chris Chapman, Sarah Davidson, Irina Giri, Jessica Gnyp, Alex Grünenfelder, Aleezay Hashmi, Danyal Imani, James K-M, Carolina Krawczyk, Jaymie Johnson, Janna Kumi, Adriana Lademann, Anchi Lin, Lucida Lab Collaborative, Sandy Margaret, T.J. Mclachlan, Bronwyn A Mcmillin, Jennifer O'Keeffe - Almond, Shelley Penfold, Terra Poirier, Emilio Rojas, Oscar A Lira Sanchez, Erin Siddall, Christian Vistan and Viki Wu.

YOU ARE HERE was one part of the four- part exhibition Geometry of Knowing, curated by Amy Kazymerchyk and Melanie O’Brian from January 15 – May 15, 2015.

(Installation view of Geometry of Knowing Part 4: YOU ARE HERE, 2015. Photo: Blaine Campbell.)

For more information on Geometry of Knowing Part 4 click here.

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