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Hank Bull, Transmission Table I

Hank Bull, Transmission Table I (2015), telecommunications art, props and ephemera from collaborative projects and world travels, 1980s-1990s [Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC, Jan 20-Apr 6] photo: Hank Bull

Hank Bull: Connexion

Burnaby Art Gallery
Burnaby BC – Jan 20-Apr 6, 2017

Hank Bull, Doctor Faustroll

Hank Bull, Doctor Faustroll (1976), shadow puppet [Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC, Jan 20-Apr 6]

Although he is not among its original founders, no one is more closely associated with the Western Front artist-run centre than Hank Bull. Now in his 68th year, Bull is the subject of his first large-scale solo outing – a multi-city touring exhibition that began at the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, PEI, before its conclusion at the Burnaby Art Gallery this spring.

Curated by Vancouver-based Joni Low and the Confederation Art Centre’s Pan Wendt, the exhibition subtitle is derived from Bull’s primary medium: an “eternal network” of connected individuals at large in a world of their own making. Amid these connections came a number of historic international collaborations, performances, videos, radio and telecom-based works, in addition to curatorial and administrative projects, most notably Bull’s co-founding of Centre A: Vancouver Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in 1999.

For those curious as to what an exhibition of connectivity might look like, consider another of Bull’s life-as-art manifestations: social sculpture. An idea first put forth by the German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), the social sculptor uses language, properties and gestures to form alternative structures and relations. In Bull’s exhibition, these structures and relations include not just the artist’s ephemera, but its refinement as the basis of a total composition.

Michael Turner

Hank Bull, Dichroic 1

Hank Bull, Dichroic 1 (1978), a shadow play from Vis-à-Vis [Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC, Jan 20-Apr 6] Photo: Kate Craig

 Thu, Feb 9, 2017