Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim. Installation view, SFU Gallery, 2015. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim

September 5 - December 11, 2015
SFU Gallery, Burnaby

September 4 - November 8, 2015
Burnaby Art Gallery

Alex Morrison's practice investigates built environments and their countercultural inhabitation, from hippies and activists to historical re-enactors and skateboarders. Examining the aesthetics of political protest and counterculture, and the processes by which radical impulses are subsumed within commodities and cultural consumption, Morrison's work troubles notions of authenticity, particularly when the "authentic" is absorbed into the mainstream.

Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim is a collaborative endeavor between SFU Gallery and the Burnaby Art Gallery. The tandem exhibitions include two newly-commissioned projects among other works by the artist, as well as works selected by Morrison from the institutions' collections. The linked exhibitions address the architecture and cultural histories of each site, calling attention to connections between them. SFU Gallery is embedded within Arthur Erickson's Brutalist (and utopian) mountaintop university complex, while the BAG is located in a manor house that over the years has served as the home of a genteel Burnaby family, a monastery, a cult centre, an SFU residence, and since 1967 a public art gallery.

Morrison's analysis of architectural styles, the historical context of their development and the evolution of their use over time, informs his research on the SFU Gallery and Burnaby Art Gallery sites. In doing so, Morrison questions not only historical and social narratives, but also the aesthetics of cultural identification.

Alex Morrison (1972) is a Canadian artist who currently lives and works in Brussels. His work has been exhibited at institutions such as Kunstahalle Wien; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; 17th Sydney Biennial; Frankfurt Kunstverein; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Musee d'art contemporain de Montréal; and Kunstverein Hannover. In 2005 Sternberg Press published a monograph on his work.

Curated by Melanie O'Brian, SFU Galleries and Jennifer Cane, Burnaby Art Gallery.

EVENTS

Opening Reception
Thursday, September 3, 7pm
Burnaby Art Gallery

Artist Talk 
Saturday, September 5, 12-2pm
SFU Gallery, Burnaby and ending at Burnaby Art Gallery

Free Bus Trip from Vancouver to both galleries, leaving from SFU Audain Gallery, Vancouver at 12pm. Pre-registration required (book through sfugallery@sfu.ca).

Exhibition Tour with Melanie O’Brian
Wednesday, November 18, 12pm
SFU Gallery

Architectural Tour of SFU with Trevor Boddy
Saturday, December 5, 1pm
SFU Gallery

Annotated Bibliography
 

Publication

Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim

Published by SFU Galleries and Burnaby Art Gallery, this catalogue includes a curatorial introduction, an interview with the artist by Denise Ryner and a commissioned text by Andrew Bernardini.

For more information and to purchase this publication, click here.

 

Program Guide

 

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