1. About
  2. Âjagemô
  3. Mark the spot

September 18, 2017 - January 2, 2018 

Wayne Baerwaldt, Curator
Wayne Baerwaldt, Curator

Mark the Spot: Mediation as Medium

Curator’s statement

For 60 years, the Canada Council for the Arts has been supporting artistic creation and its power to stimulate our imagination, solicit debate and collective action, and inspire story-telling. Artists’ ability to mediate their work – to engage people in conversations on art and its “order of things” – is fundamental to our experience of the arts. This exhibition invites the public to be part of the artistic process of three artists known for their mediation through mark making.

Each of the artists has unique mark making strategies– they find form on different support surfaces and in various performance spaces. Their approaches range from descriptive, narrative and process oriented to finished stand-alone works that are somewhat representational. Yet for all three artists, mark making is the building block for communicating information, narrating a story, creating a scenario, conjuring a world or a system of belief – even occasionally rethinking the function and importance of whole fields of knowledge.

Visitors will be part of the creation and development of the exhibition as each artist, through a series of week-long residencies, makes Âjagemô their studio. The artists will share a “mental mapping” of their mark making process, sometimes divulging secrets behind their narrative structures; other times guiding the interpretation of their work.

Wayne Baerwaldt, Curator

Michael Morris: The Letter Paintings, and Other Concerns

Michael Morris, Untitled/Sans titre (1968).  Ink on paper, part of City Deluxe #1-9.
Untitled/Sans titre. 1968. Michael Morris. Ink on paper, part of City Deluxe #1-9.

Exhibition: September 18 - October 22

Residency: September 18 - 23, 2017

Over the last five decades, Vancouver/Victoria-based Michael Morris has produced city-specific ‘letter paintings,’ each a poetic construction as form of abstract reportage addressed to and from a notable city (e.g., Calgary, Rome, Los Angeles, and New York).

Over the course of his residency here, Morris will produce watercolour sketches as preliminary studies for Ottawa Letter, a large-scale painting to be produced in 2018. It will be a mixed-media painting whose graduated colour scheme and shape is articulated via the qualities of light and space within the Canada Council for the Arts building and the expansive open sky above Ottawa.

Visitors can see the development of the watercolour sketches for Ottawa Letter, and be part of the celebration of 50 years of the artists’ production, which began in 1967 with Canada Council support. They can further interpret Morris’ studio and creative practices through other works on view – seminal works by Morris in the Art Bank collection, digital prints, unframed watercolours and selected notebooks that he’s kept for contemplation and inspiration.


Video - The Image Bank Postcard Show, 1971

In this video, Morris and Vincent Trasov introduce viewers to the postcards for the Image Bank Postcard Show, curated by Alvin Balkind at the Fine Arts Gallery of the University of British Columbia, and discuss this living and ongoing archive as collective artwork.

Michael Morris

Biography

Michael Morris is known nationally and internationally for his work in visual and media arts, including significant curatorial projects, for over 50 years.

He is co-founder of Intermedia, the Image Bank (with Vincent Trasov), The Western Front Society (the first artist-run centre in North America) and the Morris/Trasov Archive at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and private galleries, and has represented Canada at the Edinburgh Festival, the Paris Biennial, the Sao Paulo Biennial, and the DAAD, Berlin.

He has received several Canada Council awards, including the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts (2013). He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Emily Carr University. Morris lives in Victoria and Vancouver, B.C.

Thierry Marceau: The Great One's Back

The Great Alberta tour 2010 (excerpt), 2017 Thierry Marceau Digital photo, video
The Great Alberta tour 2010 (excerpt). 2017. Thierry Marceau. Digital photo, video.

Exhibition: October 30 – November 26

Residency: October 30 – November 4, 2017

Montreal-based Thierry Marceau produces performances, photographs, installations and videos that challenge our perceptions and interpretations of well-known pop culture icons such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, the Canadian Mountie, and Marilyn Manson. In each case he remodels and mimics them in his own likeness, creating performative portraits in which the pop icons become complex forms of character assemblage and deconstruction. His new, more inclusive narratives open imaginative spaces around the elusive public pop culture figures.

Marceau’s exhibition will focus on his latest installation comprised of a video of a re-creation of two scenes from hockey Pop icon Wayne Gretzky’s wedding ritual, and related objects, photos and text from Marceau’s collection.

Each day during Marceau’s residency, he will publicly transform himself into a version of Wayne Gretzky for animated photo opportunities and discussion with visitors.

Thierry Marceau

Biography

Thierry Marceau is renowned for his performances, videos, photographs and installations over the last 10 years. His works challenge our interpretation and fluid acceptance of a long line of famous pop culture icons, such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, the Canadian Mounties and Marilyn Manson. His portrayals of himself as the pop stars – through stranger than life dream sequences – are complex deconstructions of their public, often strange narratives.

Marceau’s work has been presented throughout Quebec, Canada and the United States. It has been featured in Glissements, Art et écriture at Galerie de l’UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal), «Poils» at Joyce Yahouda Gallery (Montréal), Nuit Blanche Toronto, M:ST (Calgary), VIVA! Art+Action (Dare-Dare in Montréal and Praxis in Toronto) and many other venues. Marceau is based in Montréal.

Katherine Boyer: To Bead is To Visit 

Do You Lose Your Moccasins on the Forest Floor, 2016 Katherine Boyer seed beads, stroud cloth
Do You Lose Your Moccasins on the Forest Floor. 2016. Katherine Boyer. Seed beads, stroud cloth.

Exhibition: December 7, 2017 – January 2, 2018

Residency: December 7 - 14, 2017

Winnipeg-based artist Katherine Boyer explores her Métissage, family memories and the notion of inheritance by situating historically significant Métis materials, techniques (such as beadwork) and familiar imagery within the structure and framework of domestic architecture and furnishings.

Throughout the residency, Boyer will develop a work of beaded documentation in the traditional style of Métis beading that grows daily as more people participate in the project. Each flower, or other element of the design, will be connected to a specific individual. When done, the work will present the interconnectivity developed between participants, as a natural organic form. The exhibition also includes works that illustrate nature as the focal point – flowers, a forest or and abstracted landscape – and give historical context for Indigenous arts.

Visitors are invited to learn and join in the beading, drink tea and explore the exhibition. For Boyer, beading has a connective power that creates spaces and opportunities for a particular kind of sharing. The silence between stitches allows for a natural group breath that breeds confidence and opportunity to share and tell stories.

Katherine Boyer

Biography

Katherine Boyer is an emerging Métis artist whose work is a crossover between traditional and non-traditional printmaking, sculpture and installation work, with a current focus on beading.

She is a member of the board of a number of arts organizations in Regina, such as the Sâkêwêwak Artist Collective and CARFAC Saskatchewan, and is the curator and caretaker of the Plain Red Art Gallery at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina.

Boyer has received multiple awards and scholarships including a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant. She is currently based in Winnipeg where she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba.

Wayne Baerwaldt, Curator

As a curator of art, Wayne Baerwaldt has been co-producing exhibitions, events, symposia and publications for over 30 years.

His best-known projects trace performative elements in artmaking with an emphasis on unstable, disputed identities. Baerwaldt has curated and co-curated exhibitions on the work of Cardiff & Miller, Pierre Molinier, Susan Turcot, Joep van Lieshout, Beck & Al Hansen, The Royal Art Lodge, John Kormeling, Glenn Ligon, Dawna Rose, Adam Pendleton, Iran Do Espirito Santo, Zachari Logan, Jeffrey Gibson, Shari Hatt and many others. He has contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogues and periodicals, including POV, City Magazine, Art&Text, Border Crossings, Parkett, Art on Paper, Time, Poliester, Art Paper, C Magazine, BlackFlash, Inuit Art Quarterly.

He is currently working on projects for Cadillac Fairview, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the University of Regina (MAP) and the Kochi Muzrisis Biennale, India. Baerwaldt currently lives in St. Victor, Saskatchewan and Calgary, Alberta.