(A group exhibition I co-curated during the first semester of my MA.)
Jamie Drouin, Adad Hannah, Trevor Mahovsky + Rhonda Weppler, and Zoe Tissandier
November 27, 2010 – January 23, 2011
Curated by Kimberly Baker, Louis-Alexandre Douesnard-Malo, Tarah Hogue, Toby Lawrence, Klara Manhal, Meredith Diane Mantooth, Diane Marsh, Rachel Roy + Jenny Walton
Introduction by Tarah Hogue:
As graduate students in the Departments of Anthropology, Art History and Curatorial Studies, we have been willingly caught up in processes larger than our own. Each of us has been lured by the promise of higher knowledge in our selected fields, choosing to be inculcated into the discipline’s methodology, discourse, and ways of thinking and seeing. In the current moment each of these tendencies is surely critical in its mode of engagement with the surrounding world. However, there are still new areas to be explored.
The collaboration between anthropology, art history and visual art, particularly contemporary art, opens a new space for reflection. Specifically, how present existence as well as the practice of contemporary artists might be seen through an anthropological lens is a question that arises out of this intersection. This will be explored at the not-for-profit Satellite Gallery, shared with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, and the Presentation House Gallery, with support from the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation, and adjoined by the commercial Blanket Gallery. How these partners will work together is an experiment in progress. Occupying a similarly liminal zone, the curators of No Windows
seek to examine the structures of art and exhibition-making from within this shifting territory.
The No Windows exhibition takes up the concept of the “apparatus,” which has recently been re-presented by Giorgio Agamben. In a gallery setting, an apparatus functions strategically to manipulate the viewer in a particular way: into viewing an object as art, or as part of a larger narrative. Once captured by this seduction, the apparatus works to continuously uphold itself by naturalizing the process. The viewer may therefore be persuaded into a certain way of thinking and feeling without realizing the considerable influence the apparatus may have over these thoughts or emotions.
In the works included in the exhibition, it is clear that the artists, Jamie Drouin, Adad Hannah, Trevor Mahovsky + Rhonda Weppler, and Zoe Tissandier, recognize the apparatus as such, and work to undermine it. This is accomplished by destabilizing over-arching themes that are imposed onto a specific medium, or are implicit within the exhibition space. Such a practice allows space for criticality to come from the audience, rather than being imposed by the artist or exhibiting institution.
Works in the Exhibition
Adad Hannah, Ouija, 2007-2010. Video, 6 min 07s. Courtesy of the artist and Pierre-François, Ouellette art contemporain.
Adad Hannah, Dinner Date, 2007-2010. Video, 6 min 07s. Courtesy of the artist and Pierre-François, Ouellette art contemporain.
Jamie Drouin, Field, 2010. Sound and mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.
Zoe Tissandier, When love flourished in M for medical textbooks, 2009. Video and audio recording. Courtesy of the artist.
Rhonda Weppler + Trevor Mahovsky, Sun in an Empty Room (Crowded), 2010. Newspaper, wrapping paper, glue and flour. Courtesy of the artists.