SLOW: Relations + Practices (2010)

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CentreA_23SLOW: Relations + Practices
Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
May 15 – June 19, 2010

Slow: Relations + Practices was a residency/exhibition project initiated by a working group of diverse, local cultural producers. Initiated in 2008 this project reflected a shared desire to discover the subtle and unexpected links between cultural producers over a sustained period of time. Project participants were: Lorna Brown, Candice Hopkins, Elizabeth MacKenzie, Marian Penner Bancroft, Makiko Hara, Liz Park, Elspeth Pratt and Jin-me Yoon.

In developing the residency/exhibition, the working group’s consideration of proximity and meaningful exchange took on the pressing issue of time—slow and hurried, lost and found. Is the time for art practice found on an airplane, in a hotel room, in bed? Is it housed in a laptop or a car? Is it found in solitude or anonymity?

Each of the participants presented a project that allowed for interaction and transformation during the period of the residency/exhibition. This circumstance of proximity and engagement encouraged direct or indirect exchanges between the participants, while they maintained autonomy as individuals within a shared relational context.

This residency/exhibition provided a number of opportunities for community participation including a series of open studio visits, and a slow food pot-luck meal and open space discussion at the closing reception.

During these events the SLOW working group invited participants to investigate questions about the present conditions of artistic practice: How do you locate ‘the studio’ in time and space? Where does it begin and end? How does it relate to others? Is it necessary to become unavailable to others in order to have a practice?

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, May 20, 5-6:30 pm: SLOW Open Studio visit with Elizabeth MacKenzie and Jin-me Yoon

Thursday, May 28, 5-6:30 pm: SLOW Open Studio visit with Liz Park and Marian Penner Bancroft

Thursday, June 10, 5-6:30 pm: SLOW Open Studio visit with Lorna Brown and Makiko Hara

Thursday, June 17, 5-6:30 pm: SLOW Open Studio visit with Candice Hopkins and Elspeth Pratt

Saturday, June 19, 12 – 5 pm: Potluck Lunch, Open Space Discussions + Closing Reception

  • Lunch: 12 – 1 pm
    Makiko Hara served 5 dishes learned during the project. Other potluck contributions were welcome (but not required).
  • Open Space Discussions: 1 – 2 pm
    Visitors were invited to investigate questions about the present conditions of artistic practice: How do you locate ‘the studio’ in time and space? Where does it begin and end? How does it relate to others? Is it necessary to become unavailable to others in order to have a practice?
  • Closing Reception: 2 – 5 pm
    Reception included launch of Candice Hopkins’ “SLOW Guide” to the residency/exhibition.

Exhibition Patron: Anndraya T. Luui
Project Sponsor: Vancouver Foundation

Link to Centre A’s Flickr site with SLOW photos.

Project Participants

Lorna Brown developed an index of images, texts, conversations and responses using a set of variables such as time and space to allow points of entry into the discursive potential of the exhibition and its associated activities.

Lorna Brown works between studio practice, curation and writing to explore interests in social phenomena such as boredom, administrative structures and systems, and the dynamics of public spaces. Recent exhibitions include The Chatter of Culture, Artspeak, Vancouver; Threshold (cont.) at the Koerner Library at UBC, and AdmIndex, commissioned by the Audain Gallery at SFU Woodwards. Recent independent curatorial and editorial projects include Group Search: art in the library and Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties, an online digital archive. Brown was the Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004.

Candice Hopkins developed a text work that took its impetus from a series of actual and hypothetical conversations, responding to elements of the exhibition, artists’ works and practices. The conversations took place remotely and were compiled into a newsprint document—an actual and fugitive “slow guide” to the exhibition.

Candice Hopkins, formerly the director and curator of the exhibitions program at the Western Front in Vancouver, is also a writer and artist whose curatorial efforts often relate to her Tlingit heritage. She has been published by MIT Press, BlackDog Publishing, New York University, and Banff Centre Press, among others. She is co-curator of the exhibitions Jimmie Durham: Knew Urk (2005), which originated at the Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland; and Shapeshifters, Timetravellers and Storytellers (2007), organized by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is currently the Sobey Curatorial Resident at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Elizabeth MacKenzie produced an installation of drawn faces that acknowledged the development of a self that is constituted in and through social practices and exchange.

Elizabeth MacKenzie’s work explores the complexity of familial and other social relations and their representation. Her drawings were included in Facing History: Portraits from Vancouver organized Presentation House Gallery in 2001 as well as For the Record: Drawing for Contemporary Life at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2003. She maintains an ongoing commitment to collaboration, writing and teaching.

Liz Park operated the Centre for SLOW Growth, a space dedicated to growing plants from cuttings and finding homes for these plants.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Liz Park is a Vancouver-based curator, interested in creating discursive spaces and generating forums to engage an audience with discussions of political and social realities of today. She received an MA in Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia, for which she curated Limits of Tolerance at Centre A in Vancouver in 2007. In 2008-2009, she was Curatorial Resident at Western Front Media Arts through Canada Council Assistance to Culturally Diverse Curators in Residence Grant. Presently she is the Co-Director/Curator of Access Gallery.

During the period of the exhibition, Marian Penner Bancroft produced a series of digital photographic and video images (including sound) that focused on a variety of transformations in Chinatown. These transformations included those taking place over hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Marian Penner Bancroft’s practice is based in photography, with necessary inclusions of writing, sound, text and video. Her work addresses the histories in which our visual and physical experiences are embedded, be they of landscape, immigration, music, family, geographies. Her work has been shown throughout Canada as well as in the US, France and Italy. She is an Associate Professor at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and is represented by Republic Gallery.

Makiko Hara presented a food-based project, “SLOW Cooking + Learning“ that allowed her to examine the process of learning to cook favourite dishes from number of artists/friends. Hara served these dishes at the closing reception pot-luck lunch.

Makiko Hara is the curator at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. She has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions by Japanese, Canadian, and international artists and has served as project coordinator for several international exhibitions, including the International Triennale of Contemporary Art in Yokohama, 2001/2005; and The Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale, 2003.

Elspeth Pratt considered ideas around the possibility for a performative sculpture and how this could take shape in this context alongside the other artist’s projects and the constraints of the gallery.

Elspeth Pratt is interested in architecture, the character of materiality, the value of the everyday, and the politics of location. She has been exhibiting since the early 1980s in Canada and abroad. Her most recent exhibitions include Silent As Glue, Oakville Gallery, 2010, Blanket Gallery, 2009, Diaz Contemporary, 2008, Nonetheless, at Charles H. Scott Gallery, 2008 and Bluff at the Contemporary Art Gallery, 2007.  Pratt currently teaches visual art in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Her work is represented by Diaz Contemporary in Toronto.

Jin-me Yoon enacted a mode of open ended speculative inquiry through performative actions for the camera in relation to the site of Centre A and Vancouver as well as the questions posed by the other SLOW member’s work.

Jin-me Yoon’s lens based work for the past two decades follows a trajectory of inquiry focused on questions of place, identity and subjectivity. She has exhibited extensively in Canada and internationally. Her most recent projects exploring the associative connections between corporality, history, cities and memorialization include Seoul (Korea), Beppu (Japan), Mexico City, (Mexico) and Vienna (Austria). She works and teaches in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

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