The sculptures are liminal structures that transform the gallery space into an arena for experiential dance. They initiate a desire to be held, dwelled within, stood upon, shaken, or worn on one’s head. Pictorial space is navigated in both two and three dimensions allowing for spatial and embodied images to be created through the object’s entrances and exits, physical follies, and material oppressions.
For this project, the artists created a video reminiscent of 1960s performance art, while taking cues from contemporary dance. Enacted by amateur performers, the stark repetition of simple movements is juxtaposed by a curious engagement with hybridized objects that are both utilitarian and functional in nature. Amidst the subject’s multimodal engagement with highly fetishized material phenomena, subtle themes of gender play emerge. Traditional archetypes of masculinity and femininity are transformed to elicit new ways of thinking about the body’s relationship to objects and the visual cultures that inform these engagements.
The Laboratory of Spatial Bemusement sets up conditions for thinking about our cultural associations with objects in relation to gender and capital conditions as a way of reflecting on how we relate to the world around us.
Tia Halliday + Megan Dyck
An Operational Gaze, 2020
With the cancellation of the TRU BFA graduating exhibition traditionally held throughout the studios in the Visual Arts Department and in the Thompson Rivers University Gallery each spring, the Kamloops Art Gallery is honoured to present this exhibition at the KAG in support of the graduates and faculty.
Omnium Gatherum | A collection of miscellaneous things showcases the final projects developed by a group of 13 students during their time in the visual arts program. The Cube, Open Gallery, and the Tricia Sellmer and Ken Lepin Studios have been transformed to present selections from bodies of work produced in the graduates’ 4th year of study, leading to the completion of their Bachelor of Fine Arts.
This gathering of works, as inferred in the exhibition title, addresses diverse subject matter and explores a range of mediums, including digital media, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and installation.
We live in a time when major advances in scientific knowledge are made daily. We have progressed from once believing the earth was flat to now having direct evidence of gravitational waves and black holes, as predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The 1972 Blue Marble photograph of the Earth taken by the Apollo 17 Spacecraft crew on route to the moon is one of the most reproduced images in history; seeing this image for the first time was a watershed moment that transformed humanity’s view of the world. With every new discovery about the universe’s expansiveness, our sense of significance diminishes. This knowledge can be overwhelming and difficult to comprehend. Massey grapples with his existence and our collective existence within this seemingly infinite context by creating a visual framework that is often experimental and driven by a deep curiosity. While recognizing the historical divide between science and religion, Massey offers a critical reframing of humbling concepts to disrupt these binaries and allow space for quiet contemplation, where scientific and spiritual dimensions can coexist.
Using light as a medium and employing image-making apparatus in both the creation and presentation of works, Massey’s practice takes up the mechanisms of photography in sculptural forms. The ground glass lens has played a pivotal role in Massey’s work, through the medium of photography, but also as a fundamental instrument of light gathering. Much of what we currently know about the cosmos can be traced back to the invention of the ground glass lens. Galileo’s lens-based observations of the moons of Jupiter in the early 17th century led him to confirm the heliocentric theories of Copernicus (1543), which propose that the planets orbit the sun and the Earth turns daily on its own axis. These theories mark a shift away from a religious-based world view to scientific observation of the “heavens.”
Connecting the physical properties of light and the paradigm-shifting potential of the ground glass lens, Massey’s work visualizes everyday phenomenon that we might take for granted. The video work Untitled (An Object Kindly Enclyning), 2012, presents a large magnifying lens spinning and wobbling on an illuminated glass surface, falling on its side and then righting itself and spinning in the opposite direction, repeating the sequence in an endless loop, and playing with our perception of gravity. The work borrows its title from Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem Hous of Fame written in the late 14th century and draws on Copernican theories of gravity, a subject further developed by Galileo.
The panoramic installation The Day Breaks, 2013, presents a time-lapse "photograph" of changing light captured over the course of a day onto a single image plane in real time, made using a device constructed from salvaged enlarger lenses and ABS plumbing pipes. In his ongoing photographic series Via Lactea, 2014-, Massey captures small sections of the night sky over the course of many hours on the same segment of Kodak Ektar film in remote locations with little light pollution in order to achieve the illusion of seeing white stars on a luminous blue background ? a reminder that the stars are still “out” during the daytime. Through the use of a full-spectrum light bulb and grass grown in a circular planter over the course of the exhibition, Rememoration Piece (grass ring), 2004/2020, evokes questions about our definitions of “natural” and “artificial” and our relationship to the natural world.
All these works play with scale, investigating small and large phenomenon as a way to reveal aspects of the seemingly unknowable, unfathomable, or invisible. Grounded in both the macro and micro, the exhibition presents over 15 years of Massey’s ambitious and meticulous undertakings, as a portal for contemplating the inexplicable.
Massey holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC; and has participated in residencies at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City, YK; the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, AB; Dazibao/PRIM, Montréal, PQ; and Lumen Collective, Atina, Italy. He has been awarded numerous production/creation grants from the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as a number of other scholarships and awards.
Solo exhibitions include Movement Without Moving, VU Photo, Québec City, PQ (2018); Black Hole Sun (with Blaine Campbell) at Republic Gallery, Vancouver, BC (2016); Unstable Ground, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC (2015); Light Adjustments, Dazibao, Montréal, PQ (2014/15); Let’s Reach c Together, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, BC (2013); The Day Breaks, Gallery295, Vancouver, BC (2013); Topologies and Limits, CSA Space, Vancouver, BC (2011); Swan Song, Luminato Festival, Toronto, ON (2009); Mi>Collapse: Spill 01, Artspeak, Vancouver, BC (2004). His work has also been included in group shows at Gallery44, Toronto, ON; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC; the Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio; and Contact Photography Festival, Toronto, ON. Scott Massey currently lives and works on Bowen Island, BC.
The title of the exhibition, A Marker to Measure Drift, and included artwork are borrowed from a book of the same name by Alexander Maksik.
A video tour of the exhibition with Scott Massey and Charo Neville can be viewed HERE. Many thanks to Jonathan Fulton who recorded and edited this video.
Transit (viewed through unexposed processed transparency film), 2012
99 x 122 cm
Klapstock’s Ambiguous Landscapes (2003–) is a photographic and video series of human-made and natural landscapes that are spatially ambiguous in scale due to the size of the image and the framing of the subject matter. The series was first exhibited at the Kamloops Art Gallery in 2006 as a touring solo exhibition, Lisa Klapstock: Liminal coordinated by the Kamloops Art Gallery, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery. This work, entitled Kamloops (2004), is captured in two parts. The first image is dislocated and abstracted from any frame of reference or scale while the second image reveals scale through the presence of a person. The two images are installed on opposite walls as a way of reinforcing the difference in how the landscape is represented and to create an uncanny viewer experience. The photographs capture a snapshot of a place and time in space that has been framed by the artist in a way that allows for only a limited perspective. Shown in the context of Kamloops, Klapstock’s representation of the grasslands in this region evokes a sense of familiarity, reflecting the geography outside the Gallery, while offering a shift in how we see this familiar landscape.
While Klapstock distorts our perception of our surroundings, Mark Soo looks inward, distorting the actual film captured. In his work Indeterminate Parts (2009), Soo has enlarged a portion of a film negative showing an automotive garage. The negative is enlarged allowing particles of film grain to be revealed and distorting the image when viewed closely. The scattered tools and car parts warrant closer inspection but only by backing away does the image reveal that things are not as they seem. Soo is interested in exploring the picture plane and the flatness of photography while playing with the viewer’s changing perception of the image. In this work he interrogates the spatial relationship of the viewer to the work and how meaning changes depending on the physical viewpoint.
Together, Klapstock and Soo offer new ways of looking through their approach to representation and provoking questions about what we think we see. They are interested in the mechanism of image as captured through analogue photography. Klapstock’s landscapes question what it is we are looking at absent of context and how our views change once that context is provided. Soo’s images reverse the relationship of viewer to image. Rather than images becoming clearer as the viewer draws near, the viewer is forced to recede in order to bring things into focus.
Lisa Klapstock is a Kamloops-born, Canadian artist working in photography and video. She has exhibited her photography in North America and Europe including The Center for Photography, New York; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Presentation House, Vancouver and La Musee de al Photographie, Belgium.
Mark Soo is a Canadian artist based in Berlin and Vancouver. He graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2001. Past exhibitions include presentations at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery; Western Bridge, Seattle; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and the Biennale für Aktuelle Fotografie, Heidelberg. He works in a variety of media including photography, sound, and video, which he uses to investigate notions of perception, modes of representation, and considerations of social space. His work draws on diverse sources ranging from art history to popular and social histories.
Installation view of Lisa Klapstock and Mark Soo Ambiguous Parts.
Photo: Garnet Dirksen
Comet MMXVIII was created for the Gallery’s Luminocity 2018 exhibition (luminocity.ca) and served as a beacon of light at Riverside Park during this evening festival of video projections and new media projects. Installed on top of the newly renovated TNRD entrance, this light sculpture will act as a beacon for this public building, marking it as a significant civic and cultural space in the city. It holds visual interest in the daytime and at night, celebrating this building as a key public space in downtown Kamloops and highlighting an exceptional example of local talent. The sculpture also serves as an opportunity to showcase a new work acquired for the Kamloops Art Gallery’s collection and visibly marks the excellence embodied in one of Kamloops’ principle cultural institutions. The sculpture is representative of the Gallery’s rigorous exhibition program and commitment to community engagement.
Donald Lawrence is a professor in the Visual Arts Program at Thompson Rivers University. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC and a Masters of Fine Arts from York University, Toronto, ON and exhibits his artwork nationally and internationally. Lawrence was the 2017 recipient of the Kamloops Mayor’s Award for the Arts Artist of the Year award and was the first Chair of the City of Kamloops’ Arts Commission.
Research for this sculpture draws upon Lawrence’s duel interest in solar phenomenon and optical devices. He referenced numerous books in this research and made sketches based on medieval imagery he sourced. These ephemeral resources will also be displayed in the entrance to the TNRD building to further inform visitors about the sculpture and Lawrence’s art practice, and to mirror the Library’s fundamental interest in books, their importance and history.
Donald Lawrence Comet MMXVIII, 2018 salvaged galvanized items and fluorescent light tubes, LED lights, Bubble Wrap, rope and tackle 444.5 x 279.4 x 88.9 cm Photo: Krystyna Halliwell
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