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Bogdan Cheta, still image from Be what you want but stay where you are interview

Bogdan Cheta, still image from Be what you want but stay where you are interview (2014), photographs and audio interview [Stride Gallery, Calgary AB, Jul 23-Oct 10]

Bogdan Cheta: Be what you want but stay where you are: notes on learning how to live

Stride Gallery
Calgary AB – Jul 23-Oct 10, 2014

Among the propositions that describe our contemporary condition, questions of life and how to live it remain foremost on the minds of many artists and writers. (Witness, for example, writer Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? and poet Lynn Crosbie’s Life Is About Losing Everything.) From the title of his current exhibition, Calgary artist Bogdan Cheta seems less interested in definitions and questions than he is in directives.

In what is billed by assistant director Amanda Hu as “an ongoing found object installation and writer-in-residence program,” Cheta continues a project that has him collecting texts from various human encounters. However, these encounters begin not with what the artist refers to as the “confrontational” nature of “certainty,” but with a desire to “ask for help – help from who might have the same questions that I do; help from strangers or from friends – as a way to share and find valid answers and think through ideas.”

Some of these ideas are displayed as assemblages, based on what the artist has “found” during his residency. Other ideas come to light not as emblems of our current moment but as the grout that holds that moment together.

Michael Turner

 Sun, Sep 7, 2014