Running until November 14th, Jiggery Pokery is an exhibition that features sculptures by Drew Shaffer and collage works by Angela Grossmann. Both artists use ephemera from past eras to infuse their work with emotion and nostalgia. Discarded objects take on new meaning. Grossmann’s figures stare intensely at the viewers challenging them to explore gender, exploitation, beauty and sexuality. Shaffer’s works come with evocative titles that imply confrontation as well as the complexities of language, emotion and communication. The aesthetic symbolism of each sculpture also metaphorically reiterates the sentiments found within the title. Grossmann and Shaffer are masters at exploiting desire, emotion and memory.
Leaves fall and the inclination for home-burrowing becomes overwhelming. Autumn has arrived. Our thoughts turn to change and transition as we also quietly reflect on the beautiful disappearing days of summer.
A suite of current Vancouver exhibitions parallel this phase shift. Each show examines themes of nostalgia, memory and storytelling. Should you be in the mood for some introspection and time travel, here are some gems to visit this week.
PRESENTATION HOUSE GALLERY – 333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver
Running until November 29th, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B re-presents and reflects on an exhibition and book that was originally commissioned in 1970 by the Stills Division of the National Film Board of Canada. The project featured photographic booklets produced by fifteen West Coast Artists including Vincent Trasov, Michael Morris and Christos Dikeakos among others. A timely exploration of print production, presentation, distribution and experimenting with new technologies, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B evokes the liveliness of the time when these original works were made. Concurrently presented at the gallery, a wide range of media and ephemera from artists who were participating Almanac contributors. The Presentation House Gallery Bookstore also has reprinted copies of the original book/project available.
BURRARD ARTS FOUNDATION – 108 E Broadway, Vancouver
Running until the 31st of October Jay Senetchko’s exhibition threads together multiple pasts into a series of situational paintings. Monochromatic works feature largely in the exhibition. A factor that enhances the intensity of the artists’ colour works, the interplay between colour and monochrome is compelling. A vibrant red line cuts through the space connecting all stories together on a continuum. Another point of connection crossing through all works in the show, Senetchko artist has drawn imagery from a collection of Time Life Magazines dating from a specific era. Best of Life, as Senetchko states, “is a visualization of the pathological nature of the North American dream.” The exhibition has familiar and romantic qualities, yet also, lurking amongst the plurality of narratives, a darker visioning. One that reveals the problematics of memory, storytelling and writing history. Meaning and interpretation are muddled as pasts and present collide.
Exhibiting until October 31st, Janice Wu’s exhibition Wishes at Back Gallery project explores the slippages between time, interpretation and ephemera. Wu meticulously paints hyperreal gouache renderings of postcards that have been forgotten but found again. The impossibility of conveying the essence of an experience or a voyage in a single short paragraph – it is interesting to note both the importance and futility of brevity, especially when comparing these nostalgic analogue objects of the past, with our digital-twitterized present. The repetition of the postcard as the visual medium across the exhibition allows for interesting variations to be explored: handwriting, travel topics, salutations and endings, visitors act as graphologists, anthropologists and interpreters. Wishes gives viewers the possibility of losing themselves in an experience told through the voice of another. It’s all about using your imagination.