to show, to give, to make it be there: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver: 1954 – 1969

January 9 – March 13, 2010
SFU Gallery

Participating artists: bill bissett, Tom Burrows, Judith Copithorne, Stan Douglas, Maxine Gadd, Gerry Gilbert, Ray Johnson, Roy Kiyooka, Gary Lee-Nova, Glenn Lewis, Malcolm Lowry, Michael Morris, Al Neil, Ian Wallace

Taking its title from the opening editorial poem of bill bissett’s debut issue of blewointment magazine, this exhibition seeks to recognize an interdisciplinary literary activity that emerged in Vancouver in the 1950s, beginning with the collagist fiction of Malcolm Lowry and proceeding through the 1960s in magazines, exhibitions, performances, and through the mail. The work in the exhibition—including bookworks, photography, music, paintings, sculptural assemblage, drawings and epistles—is contrasted with the “straight” literary modernism of the TISH newsletter and the Georgia Straight Writing Supplement. It is further contextualized by video screenings of Léonard Forest’s film In Search of Innocence (1963)—which bissett addresses in his opening editorial—as well as Maurice Embra’s 1964 film portrait of bissett, Strange Grey Day This (1966).

This exhibition is curated by SFU’s 2009 - 2010 Ellen and Warren Tallman Writer-in-Residence, Michael Turner.


Opening Reception
Saturday, January 9, 2010, 2–5 pm

Walking Tour with Michael Turner: 3pm

Lunchtime Tours of the Exhibition
January 12 and 13, 12:05pm
January 14, 12:35pm

The curator would like to thank all participating artists and writers. Also, Charo Neville, with whom Turner co-curated the “Expanded Literary Practices” section of the Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties website, as well as the site’s editors Glenn Alteen, Lorna Brown, and Scott Watson; and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Presentation House Gallery, Special Collections and Rare Books at SFU Library, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Elisha Burrows and Charo Neville, Judith Copithorne, Henning and Brigitte Freybe, Glenn Lewis, Ian Wallace and Scott Watson for their loans. Special thanks to SFU Gallery Director Bill Jeffries for his patience, guidance, and insight and to Gallery Assistant Adriana Contreras, who designed the publication.