For Drive-by, artist Danny Singer returns to a format that he experimented with ten years ago, a digital panorama of photographs taken while driving through the city of Vancouver. With the camera mounted in the passenger window of his van and pointed perpendicular to the sidewalk, Singer drives slowly, tripping the shutter with a remote control, using speeds slow enough to blur the backgrounds and a strobe that freezes or ghosts the foreground. The resulting images both capture and suggest movement while being frozen in time.
In this new digital photograph created for the exhibition at the Seymour Art Gallery, Singer builds on his earlier image by adding new scenes, editing, scanning and stitching to create a continuously blended print that reads like a film strip. He plays with the order and juxtaposition of images, implying a narrative and relationships that may not have occurred. By mixing scenes shot ten years ago with ones photographed recently, Singer demonstrates that “fragmentary images can trigger memories and emotion” and reminds us that memories have a way of blurring and fading as time passes. The resulting print is more than 70 feet long and 3 feet high and wraps around the gallery walls, so that as viewers walk along the image they re-enact the drive-by experience.
Like Singer’s photographs of main streets of towns in the Canadian and American prairies, this single long print raises questions about the nature of reality and perception. The prairie images depict real Main streets but present them in a way that we could never see with the naked eye, just as the Drive-by image shows us scenes that we might have seen but which did not take place in the order in which they appear.
Danny Singer is a photographer living in North Vancouver. Born in Edmonton, he studied acting and film at Simon Fraser University and embarked on a career as a filmmaker when hired to work in the film department at CBC. Singer made the transition to photography in the 1970s, while living in Montreal. His artwork has been exhibited across Canada and is in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, among others. He was included in the 2010 Alberta Biennial and two of his photographs will be exhibited in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection. He exhibits his work in Vancouver at Gallery Jones.
Gallery Jones is pleased to announce that Pierre Coupey will be featured in an exhibition at this year’s Harmony Arts Festival, running from July 29 – August 7 on the waterfront in Ambleside, West Vancouver.
An artist’s talk and reception will take place on August 3, celebrating artist Gordon Smith’s contributions and accomplishments to the community. Please join Gordon Smith and Pierre, along with Douglas Coupland and Ian Wallace on the waterfront for an evening of celebration as they discuss important artists who contributed to establishing British Columbia as a leading centre for the visual arts. Proceeds from the event will go to support the West Vancouver Museum and future visual art exhibitions and programs. Ticket price: $75 per person for the talk and reception.
The Artist’s Circle exhibition is a 10 day, 10 artist special exhibit highlighting the works of internationally recognized artists associated with Gordon Smith, member of the Order of Canada and winner of the 2009 Governor’s General Medal for the Visual and Media arts. The Artist’s Circle exhibition is free to the public.
Exhibiting artists include Gordon Smith, Sonny Assu, Joan Balzar, B.C. Binning, Pierre Coupey, Douglas Coupland, Attila Richard Lukacs, Jack Shadbolt, Sylvia Tait, Ian Wallace, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.
Visit http://www.harmonyarts.ca/ for event information and how to purchase tickets to the talk and reception.
This summer Pierre Coupey and Bryan Ryley, along with Landon Mackenzie, Bernadette Phan and Martin Pearce, are showing work at the Kelowna Art Gallery in an exhibition titled “The Point Is”, curated by Liz Wylie. Coupey’s most recent body of work was shown at Gallery Jones last fall and Ryley will be having his inaugural exhibition with us this September. For more information, please visit http://kelownaartgallery.com/exhibitions/2011-2/the-point-is/
New paintings by George Vergette will be on display at Gallery Jones Vancouver starting on Saturday, June 4th with an opening reception on Thursday, June 9th, conveniently sandwiched between two Vancouver Canuck wins!
Congratulations to James Nizam on being named to the 2011 Sobey Art Award Long List as a potential representative for BC/Yukon.
The Sobey Award is widely recognized as the preeminent award for Canadian artists under 40. To be named as one of five artists who could potentially represent the West Coast and Yukon is a much-deserved honour.
Nizam has been exhibiting with Gallery Jones since the gallery’s inception. Over the course of his busy career, James’ work has maintained an elegant adherence to technical principals of photography, while the aesthetics have been varied. To create the Dwellings Series, which Gallery Jones exhibited in 2006, James used long exposures and manipulated light within abandoned homes. The subsequent series, Anteroom (2007), involved turning rooms into camera obscuras and capturing the resulting projection inside the room. Most recently, Memorandoms was executed inside one apartment of a social housing development slated for demolition. The objects that contributed to the functionality of living spaces (light bulbs, closet doors, shelves) were employed to build totems or memorials, which James photographed with a 4×5 camera and presented as large format prints. The consistency of his inquisition into how we perceive the spaces we occupy and how they show evidence of our lives is a subtext to the varied aesthetic merit of the work itself.
I sometimes think of James as a researcher, someone who has invented the field of structural anthropology or architectural ethnography. On the West Coast, in a city ever-looking forward, he is doing the rare thing of pausing to examine the back edge of progress. This is far from documentation of a time and place, which inevitably holds tinges of nostalgia. It is documentation of events, perpetrated by the artist in a space and with material that is of import to the structure of our lives. Why this is relevant and important is that visual art, James’ research tool, is having its scope, capacity and potential expanded.
In an artist talk given last Saturday (Feb. 12) at the West Van gallery, Pierre Coupey introduced the audience (at least it was an introduction for me) to the concept of proprioception and how it influences the way he makes his work.
Proprioception is an inherent sense apart from the exteroceptive senses (how we perceive the outside world) and interoceptive senses (how we sense what is going on inside our bodies), and concerns where parts of the body are as they relate to on another. Pierre spoke about the content of the paintings having a proprioceptive sense that allows for composition and colour to determine itself. He also provided the caveat though of “art is a game, and if I’m losing, I change the rules” (quote attributed to Michael Snow).
Pierre’s methodology perhaps came from the motivation for making many of these paintings in the first place. He recounted a story about the burial of Robin Blaser, a noted author and poet, and the passage from being someone perceived to someone remembered. This idea, combined with remembered perceptions from his travels and youth, inform Pierre’s paintings and to hear him recount the thought process (or conscious effort to remove the thought-process) was enlightening.