By Robin Laurence
ANGELIKA JAEGER: WANDERLUST Kelowna Art Gallery Satellite Space, Kelowna, Nov 7, 2016-May 8, 2017 Vernon-based artist Angelika Jaeger has created seven large, Valentine-style hearts from such diverse materials as woven willow branches, strips of canvas and lengths of old film, then connected them to each other by a thin red line. Installed at the KAGs satellite space at the Kelowna International Airport, the hearts suggest the intense emotions that are felt and expressed between loved ones in this place of departure.
HAROON MIRZA: ENTHEOGENS Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 13-Mar 19 The first solo exhibition in Canada by British artist Haroon Mirza combines elements of light, sound, electric currents, psychotropic botanicals and the evocation of transcendence. In one of the works on view at the CAG, Mirza passes electricity through various objects, including copper plates and plants forms, to create phantom-like images. In another, he manipulates the sights and sounds of Sao Paulo, where he spent a two-month residency.
MERE PHANTOMS: THREE CITIES grunt gallery, Vancouver, Jan 13-Feb 18 Subtitled Prayer and Protest, this shadow-based installation by Maya Ersan and Jaimie Robson addresses the tensions and controversies that exist within contemporary cosmopolitan environments. Collaborating under the studio name Mere Phantoms, the duo creates exquisite miniature cityscapes out of cut paper, taking inspiration from Montreal, Vancouver and Istanbul, where they have lived and worked. Viewers activate the paper sculptures using hand-held LED wands to produce shifting areas of light and darkness.
MERYL McMASTER: CONFLUENCE Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, Jan 14-Mar 19 This exhibition surveys the distinctive self-portraits of the award-winning, Ottawa-based artist Meryl McMaster. Combining sculpture, performance and photography, and altering her appearance with elaborate costumes, props and makeup, or by layering historic photographic images onto her face and body, McMaster undermines and reimagines representations of indigenous people. She also explores ideas of self and other in relation to the wintry Canadian landscape.
FRED HERZOG: SHADOWLANDS Audain Art Museum, Whistler, Jan 21-May 22 By focusing on the play between light and darkness in the works of Fred Herzog, curator Darrin Martens brings a new perspective to the practice of this internationally renowned street photographer. Herzogs brilliant colour palette has often been remarked upon, but not, until now, his use of shadow in relation to his urban subject matter. The show is complemented by a recent, highly acclaimed publication, Fred Herzog: Modern Colour, from the German publisher Hatje Cantz.
SCOTT BILLINGS: A RISKY JUMP Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Jan 21-Mar 19 Vancouver-based Scott Billings examines the connections between cinema and the unconscious while also symbolizing the instability of the artists life. He translates the physical acts of sleeping and reawakening into a poetic cinematic experience by using a specially designed projector on a track to follow a dramatically slowed-down video of himself asleep, then falling through a trap door and landing safely on a crash pad at the viewers feet.
CINDY MOCHIZUKI: ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, Feb 4-Apr 30 Through radio drama, video animation and sculpture, Cindy Mochizukis installation immerses the viewer in a trilogy of short stories, exploring the connections between Canada and Japan while also bridging the past and the future. The exhibition, which combines historical memory and speculative fiction, coincides with both the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation and the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Canadians during WWII.
BRINK New Media Gallery, New Westminster, Feb 24-Apr 30 This group show spotlights an array of international artists who work across the disciplines of video and sculptural electronic media. Ideas explored include democracy, choice and causality, with some works evoking open conflict in their evocations of power struggles, aggression, territoriality and the possibility of destruction. An example is Miguel Angel Rioss video of a highly competitive game in which contestants try to knock each others spinning tops out of bounds.
BAD PEOPLE: PORTRAITS OF THE PUNISHABLE Hot Art Wet City, Vancouver, Mar 2-18 Challenging our fantasies and phobias, those represented in this exhibition are billed as the worst, the naughtiest, the darkest, the damnedest [and] the shady. Featuring the artists collective Phantoms in the Front Yard along with invited guests, it is, sadly, the last show before HAWC closes its doors at the end of March. Kudos to Chris Bentzen, who has steered his gallery of fun, weird and accessible art through the last few years.
MARION PENNER BANCROFT: NOTES ON TRANSFORMATION Republic Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 11-Apr 15 Coinciding with Vancouvers Capture Photography Festival, Marion Penner Bancrofts exhibition features a new series of videos and colour photographs. Using a macro lens, Bancroft shoots organic objects found on or near the ground and in the water, her prints revealing an almost imperceptible state of flux. Her video work, she says, focuses on ordinary movements: logs drifting, birds flying, garbage burning and tugboats plying the Fraser River.
Mere Phantoms: Three Cities
Meryl McMaster: Confluence
Bad People: Portraits of the Punishable
Marion Penner Bancroft