By Robin Laurance
ANNIE BRIARD: IN POSSIBLE LANDS
Outdoor installation at Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam. Ongoing
A series of colour inkjet prints on vinyl by Canadian artist Annie Briard is installed in the exterior lobby windows of the Evergreen Cultural Centre. Imagery consists of superimposed landscape photographs, arrived at through a process of slide projections that randomly pair photos taken by the artist’s father with those taken 45 years later by Briard. The effect is to confront us with familiar landscape tropes while also registering the impact human activity has had on the natural environment over the past few decades. As well, Briard challenges us to consider the nature of visual perception and how it shapes our understanding of the world.
DEANNA BOWEN: NIGHT PROWL
Contemporary Art Gallery Off-site, THE WALL, CBC Plaza, Vancouver. Ongoing
Raised in Vancouver and based in Toronto, interdisciplinary artist Deanna Bowen has built a powerful body of work out of research into her family’s roots and migrations and, alongside that, the history of Vancouver’s Black entertainment community in the middle years of the 20th century. Her Night Prowl photo mural serves as a ghostly remembrance of Vancouver’s once-thriving, multi-ethnic theatres and nightclubs, erased by “urban renewal” projects in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The work pulls a frame from a 1959 CBC TV news story and features the Blue Sky dance-club marquee, its neon sign sadly extinguished. Equally symbolic are the circular holes – the failures of history – punched by the manufacturer into cellulose film at the end of the reel.
THE PANDEMIC IS A PORTAL
@sfugalleries. Jun 22 – Jul 31
In this Instagram exhibition, two dozen artists respond to questions posed by our uncertain times. The show proposes the renunciation of a post-pandemic return to the social, economic and political policies that defined the old “normal.” Curators Karina Irvine, Christopher Lacroix and cheyanne turions draw inspiration from a Financial Times article by Arundhati Roy, in which she suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic could be “a portal, a gateway between one world and the next” – the next being a profoundly different and more caring way of living. The curators also note the conditions imposed by social distancing and ask artists to interrogate “how we form community, who we form it with, and how we can do better.”
JENN E. NORTON: SLIPSTREAM
Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna. Through the summer
This immersive six-channel video installation by Guelph-based interdisciplinary artist Jenn E. Norton consists of six reflective panels positioned in a ring and facing inward, reflecting each other and the viewer in infinite regress. A videotaped dancing figure in a flowing blur of coloured silk also appears, moving from panel to panel, disrupting the mirrored images and seeming to inhabit the same physical space as the viewer. Influencing Norton’s work are Art Nouveau scenography, spectral forms of technology and the innovative modern-dance artist Loie Fuller (1862-1928), who, according to the show’s curators, “used her voluminous robes as a performative sculptural object.”
CELEBRATING THE AGGV COLLECTION
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria. To May 19, 2021
From Emily Carr paintings and Tony Hunt masks to a Brendan Tang ceramic sculpture, and from Utagawa Hiroshige woodblock prints and E.J. Hughes pencil drawings to Meryl McMaster performance-based photographs, the best of the permanent collection is on view throughout the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria this summer and into next year. The periodically changing exhibits are organized to reveal the best of the gallery’s holdings and new acquisitions. Following the pause imposed by COVID-19, director Jon Tupper says, focusing on the collection allows the AGGV to create rewarding and responsible experiences for visitors “as they start to venture out, looking for opportunities to reconnect to the world and each other safely.”