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Past Exhibitions: 2002

Hungry Eyes

18 October to 1 December

The exhibition Hungry Eyes arose from the observation that contemporary abstract painting feeds on a great variety of sources, histories, and influences. Abandoning the restrictive diets of mid-century formalism, current abstraction tucks in with gusto, absorbing all manner of things into the infinitely mutable space of the canvas. Hungry Eyes drew attention to the work of eight early- to mid-career painters in New York and Toronto: Jordan Broadworth, Paul Campbell, Steven Charles, Jane Fine, Elizabeth McIntosh, Julie Sass, David Urban and Dan Walsh. Guest curator Monica Tap is also a painter whose practice is located along the interface of abstraction and representation. Her lively and informed commentary on recent abstraction was published in the accompanying illustrated catalogue. The exhibition was generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Culture Division of the NS Department of Tourism and Culture, and Ideas Canada Foundation. Hungry Eyes was presented as part of the Halifax-wide forum "About Painting" which took place in the fall of 2002.

Brooklyn Rail review by Sarah Hollenberg

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2 to 24 November 2002

We were pleased to collaborate with the Centre for Art Tapes (CFAT) for the presentation of Cycles, curated by Ælab, an artist research and communication unit (Montréal). Featuring 12 Motor Bells, a computer-controlled electromechanical audio installation by Ken Gregory (Winnipeg) and Screen, a telerobotic net.art work by Brad Todd (Montréal), the exhibition considered the shifting relationship between assembled structures, the cross-purposing of objects and the experience of the spectator/participant, where interactivity is never an autonomous terrain. Cycles received funding from The Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Arts Council. (New Media Gallery)

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About Memory and Archive /
Autour de la M émoire et de l'Archive

10 August to 6 October 2002

Selected from the permanent collection of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal by curator of collections Josée Belisle, this fascinating and unusual exhibition featured painting, photography, film, mixed media and sculptural installations by nationally and internationally-known contemporary artists Bernd and Hilla Becher, Christian Boltanski, Melvin Charney, Thomas Corriveau, Angela Grauerholz, Claude Hamelin, Raymond Lavoie, Arnaud Maggs and Francine Savard. Examining the notion of memory (in its element of alternately lasting and fleeting impressions) and history (in its simultaneous connotation of finiteness and perpetuity), this selection interpreted "archive" in the broadest terms. Organized and circulated by the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal with the assistance of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the exhibition was presented at Dalhousie with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts.

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An Invested Nature: Contemporary photography in the permanent collection

10 May to 7 July

Selected from recent acquisitions in the Gallery's permanent collection, this exhibition featured the photographic works of Marlene Creates, Lorraine Gilbert and Susan McEachern. Each artist, through her unique perspective and concerns, creates a space for reflection on the impact of human culture on the "natural" - and vice versa. Creates examines the histories and myths accrued to the land and water, while ordering a view of nature that reveals its form and design (and therefore beauty). Gilbert portrays tree-planters in a manner recalling the heroism of early pioneers, while also photographing the eerily beautiful scars of rapacious clear-cutting. McEachern's works (layered as are both nature and human culture) address a wilderness experience through which we may come to know ourselves and others. The accompanying illustrated brochure included an essay by artist/educator Ian McKinnon.

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The Underwater Pinhole Photography Project

10 May to 7 July

British Columbia-based artist Donald Lawrence combined his art-making skills and kayaking passions in this touring exhibition, which featured: a custom river kayak that has been converted into a floating darkroom, large-scale black and white photographs of the sea bed, and a Super-8 film "The Inter-tidal Photographer". The kayak, loaded with homemade pinhole cameras (built with parts collected from trips to nautical and plumbing supply shops), chemicals for developing the photos, and a portable developing tent, looked so burdened by its equipment that we doubted its ability to float. This ambiguous quality, coupled with Lawrence's documentary-style film (reminiscent of films once shown in high school History classes depicting early Canadian explorers) left us questioning whether we were looking at an artefact or a work of fiction.


Some Canadian Landscapes/Made in China

Lorraine Field combined her interests in ceramics and photography in this exhibition of "interrupted landscapes" in which serene photographs of well-known Canadian sites (such as Banff, Niagara Falls, Cavendish Beach and Peggy's Cove), taken in the "off" season, were interspersed with images of the typical souvenirs (mostly made in China) that tourists purchase. These occasionally surprising juxtapositions elicited some fascinating speculations about national identity, the land, and the tourist experience. Some Canadian Landscapes/Made in China was the seventeenth in our series of front alcove exhibitions, designed to present smaller bodies of work by emerging or recently graduated artists.

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The world in the evening
works by Sara Hartland-Rowe and Mitchell Wiebe

15 March to 28 April 2002

While Halifax-based painters Sara Hartland-Rowe and Mitchell Wiebe have pursued distinctly different practices, they both work in narrative-figurative modes that draw upon historical painting traditions. Both have developed casts of characters that turn up in their works in different guises and in varied scenarios. Hartland-Rowe reconstitutes fragments of early renaissance frescos as 21st-century stories of "everypersons" set within a post-industrial landscape of commerce, conflict and pollution —- and, occasionally, of beauty and redemption. The protagonists in Wiebe's large, expressive paintings are stuffed animals, whose antics oscillate between the charming and the alarming as they negotiate the often dark complexities of society now. The exhibition and catalogue received generous funding from the Nova Scotia Arts Council.


David Clark: A is for Apple

Halifax-based film and media artist David Clark presented a new interactive digital installation, A is for Apple, that explored a "hermeneutics or cryptography of the apple", and created a labyrinthine network of images, anecdotes, associations and meanings (with surround sound). The work was simultaneously accessible in the New Media Gallery, and on the world wide web as an online interactive project, as well as in CD-ROM form as a part of the exhibition catalogue. This work received generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Arts Council. (New Media Gallery)

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Works by Lyn Carter, Ginette Legaré and Jeannie Thib

18 January to 3 March

Ontario-based artists Lyn Carter, Ginette Legaré and Jeannie Thib create uncanny, witty and provocative objects. Each artist is in mid-career and has a significant practice, but only one has previously exhibited her work in the Atlantic region of Canada. The works in semble were constructed out of materials such as fabric, paper, neoprene, stainless steel, and latex rubber, and seemed to have their origins in spaces such as the kitchen, the laboratory and the archive. The title of the exhibition alluded to the potential multiple lives of the individual objects as they hang, pose, gesture from the wall, or lie camouflaged in glass cases. Well-known psychiatrist/art theorist Jeanne Randolph (author of "The Amenable Object"), and curator Susan Gibson Garvey contributed essays for the illustrated exhibition catalogue. The exhibition and catalogue received generous funding from Ideas Canada Foundation.

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