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Sylvia Grace Borda, Hunter Secondary School Complex, East Kilbride

Sylvia Grace Borda, Hunter Secondary School Complex, East Kilbride (2005-2006), photograph

Sites of Assembly

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Jun 23-Aug 13, 2017

Roy Kiyooka, Gold Windows of the Sun

Roy Kiyooka, Gold Windows of the Sun (1979)

The increased international presence of artists Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen, and Liz Magor has played a large part in broadening perceptions of Vancouver from a photo-based town to one conversant in sculpture and installation. Indeed, it is this very broa-dening that provides the premise for an exhibition that considers the full range of photography – from the relationship between the photographer and the photograph to the photograph as “simultaneously art and document.”

Co-curated by Acting Director Lorna Brown and postdoctoral fellow Gabrielle Moser, Sites of Assembly draws from an equally broad range of collections – the Belkin’s permanent collection, the private collection of UBC art historian John O’Brian and the research archive of Tsimshian-Haida scholar Marcia Crosby – to present works “ordered around several themes – propositions for the use of public space, whether through buildings, artworks or social activities; the surveillance of the public and performances for the camera; and the way that photographic records create potential histories for Vancouver.”

Viewers familiar with an earlier generation of Vancouver-based conceptual photographers will appreciate entries like N.E. Thing Co.’s “aesthetically-claimed” car lot. But it is the relationship between works such as this and the cracked and vacant foregrounds of Sylvia Grace Borda’s Hunter Secondary School Complex, East Kilbride (2005-2006) that remind us how the story of Vancouver photography is not pedagogically singular but critically plural.


Michael Turner

Daniel Congdon, Technical School

Daniel Congdon, Technical School (c. 1990s)

Mark Lewis, 1500 West Georgia

Mark Lewis, 1500 West Georgia (2012), production still

 Mon, May 29, 2017