Ideas & Things
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March 28 to June 13, 2015
Central Gallery
Derek Sullivan
Hadley+Maxwell
Jen Aitken
Mark Neufeld
Kelly Lycan
“The story of objects asserting themselves as things, then, is the story of a changed relation to the human subject and thus the story of how the thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation. And, yet, the word things holds within it a more audacious ambiguity.”  

“Temporalized as the before and after of the object, thingness amounts to a latency (the not yet formed or the not yet formable) and to an excess (what remains physically or metaphysically irreducible to objects). But this temporality obscures the all-at-onceness, the simultaneity, of the object/thing dialectic and the fact that, all at once, the thing seems to name the object, just as it is, even as it names some thing else.” Bill Brown, “Thing Theory,”Things, 2004.  

The social life of things, the representation of things and the potency of objects have been at the crux of visual culture since the turn of the 20th Century and remain central to contemporary theoretical debates. The disruption to the definition of art by French-American artist Marcel Duchamp is still being interrogated in different ways by artists today.

The art object is no longer understood to be autonomous from the surrounding world, but instead, is seen as part of and sourced from the world around us. Branches of critical theory such as Thing Theory focus on human-object interactions and call into question the ways in which we make meaning out of things, depending on the context and use. While assimilating and expanding on post-object theories and conceptual strategies, artistic production centred on object culture and materiality has persevered.

Ideas & Things looks at current material (thing) and conceptually (idea) based artistic practices that are engaged in this ethos, where objects are no longer privileged but integrated into a greater exploration of space, time, material and subject. The exhibition brings together the work of five Canadian artists whose practices share a strong research methodology and diverse approach to materiality through the investigation of colour theory, text, intervention into the conventions of gallery display and viewership, integration of the everyday object, film history and performance. New work has been created for Ideas and Things and includes installations made specifically for this exhibition space.

While acknowledging art history of the past through a continued dialogue with Modernist sculpture, photography, abstraction and Conceptualism, the work of Jen Aitken, Kelly Lycan, Hadley + Maxwell, Mark Neufeld and Derek Sullivan forges new situations and propositions. Traditional display methods such as the vitrine and plinth are no longer relevant; in some cases the pedestal and the wall are the work. In a double agency where form and content merge, the architectural space of the exhibition has become the exhibition. The works question the monument and the monumental and offer a new currency of ideas about things.
Curated by Kamloops Art Gallery, Charo Neville
View images of the exhibition here.
Ideas & Things
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As a supplement to the Kamloops Art Gallery’s exhibition Ideas & Things, the KAG has produced an online pdf reference providing installation documentation and texts on the artists and works in the exhibitions. Designed by Ross Macaulay.

Kamloops Art Gallery, 2015
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