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Ron Terada: Stay Away from Lonely Places

Catriona Jeffries Gallery
Vancouver BC thru Jun 25, 2005

Ron Terada - Palm Tree
Ron Terada, Palm Tree (2004), digital c-print [Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver BC, through Jun 25]

Ron Terada is a Vancouver-based conceptual artist who uses signage and advertising as art forms. He is best known for his monochromatic and neon signs onto which he transposes text. Terada attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the University of British Columbia. Since 1998 he has been an instructor at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

Terada has been a significant force in the development of a deconstructionist viewpoint that casts suspicion on “high” art. His work has pointed to the conflated esteem in which contemporary art exhibitions are held, the curatorial forces that promote them and the manner in which they are legitimized by art writings, sponsorship and catalogues. Ironically, it is this very discourse about art that endears him to the critical community. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast in Contemporary Art (2003), which opened at the Seattle Art Museum before touring to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Wattis Institute, Oakland and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For this exhibition, Terada created a neon sign reading “Stay Away from Lonely Places”, from the Willie Nelson song title, and fixed it to the exterior of the gallery. The ambiguous phrase competes with commercial advertising signs around it. Inside the gallery, a series of photographs document a variety of local signs he encountered. With their visual idiosyncracies or odd turn of phrases, the signs viewed in isolation are terse and cryptic


Mia Johnson

 Tue, May 31, 2005