Artist: François Roux
Opening: Fri, 16 March 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Fri, 16 March – Sat, 31 March
H2O Cycle is a series of three videos shot in and around English Bay in Vancouver, BC. These videos were presented in grunt’s Media Lab as a loop for the duration of the exhibition.
The three videos are characterized by their relationship to water; what Roux describes as “a way of working.” Water in its various forms and resonant meanings shapes the nature of these videos.
This can be understood in contrast to another group of his videos, RGB Cycle, where colour rather than water form the basis of his working methodology. Roux’s process can be characterized by a constant back and forth between complexity and simplicity, experiment and analysis. Gradually, his work finds its place between what he has in mind and what he encounters while wandering through the landscape. This exhibition was produced in conjunction with CSA Gallery.
Born and raised in a small French town, François Roux is a 24-year-old artist. Having completed an internship at the grunt gallery, he currently works with Vancouver artists Geoffrey Farmer, Kevin Schmidt, and Hank Bull. Until the age of 18, François came to know the urban landscape on his skateboard, alternately via skate spot reconnaissance and drunken wandering.
Exhibition Title: Ominjimendaan/ to remember | Charlene Vickers
Exhibition Title: Ominjimendaan/ to remember
Artist: Charlene Vickers
Opening: Thu, 23 February 2012, 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Thu, 23 February 2012 – Sat, 31 March 2012
Carvings in wood, grasses wrapped in fabric and hair, and a clan of turtles become signals and searchers to remember those lost or missing.
Grunt gallery is pleased to present the work of Charlene Vickers in her new installation entitled, “Ominjimendaan/ to remember”. This exhibition is comprised of a range of sculptural objects including wrapped grasses, sturdy spear forms, and stylized turtles. At the heart of this exhibition, Vickers evokes a healing space for those who have experienced loss or who are looking for someone who is missing. Within each grass stalk, spear, and turtle, memory is a source of experiential meaning both historical and personal, for maker and viewer.
History, healing and growth are themes of the early wrapped grass and fabric works. By wrapping and binding grasses and hair together with cotton and linen strips, the grasses begin to resemble bone-like forms to evoke vulnerability and recovery. The most recent wrapped grasses stand facing the viewer in relation to their own body. Emphasis on how the body and experiences of the viewer are incorporated in the meaning of the work is crucial.
Tall lengths of pointed, sharpened cedar stand balanced against a wall waiting for someone to employ them with purpose; a story, a history, an action. Resembling spears or tipi poles, one thinks of weaponry, hunting, or traditional shelters that provide protection and sustenance. The initial idea for the form of the work began when thinking of the porcupine quill and its elegant and efficient functionality as deterrent to predators.
The clan of turtles are the searchers of things lost: people, culture, languages, and histories. The clan shuffles, floats, dreams and searches to find lost sisters and family members, then slowly re-enters the land and the rivers from where they came.
This exhibition was produced in cooperation with Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg.
Charlene Vickers is an Anishinabe artist based in Vancouver BC. She graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (94) and is currently an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser University (2013). Born in Kenora Ontario and raised in Toronto her art explores her Ojibway ancestry and her experiences living and working in urban spaces. Vestige Vagabond, a performance and collaboration with Maria Hupfield was recently presented at the 2011 Santa Fe Indian Art Market hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.
Exhibition Title: The Symbolic Meaning of Tree | Christoph Runné
Title: The Symbolic Meaning of Tree
Artist: Christoph Runné
Opening: Thu, 12 January 2012, 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Fri, 6 January 2012 – Sat, 11 February 2012
Grunt gallery is pleased to present Christoph Runné’s 16mm film installation entitled “Baum”. “Baum” uses multiple 16mm film projections to create a sparse and virtual forest that is traversed by a solitary figure that appears both rooted and moving throughout the frames. The cyclical and repetitive movement of the abstract wanderer suggests a passage of time, and a path through the subconscious as the drifter searches for his or her place. An attempt to give form to intangible abstractions, such as “longing” or “isolation,” is evident in the discontinuous flickering of the trees caused by the single-frame footage shot of a motion picture camera—a staccato movement suggestive of Morse-code communication or the arrhythmic pressing of typewriter keys.
Through this work, Runné explores the visual symbolism of the tree. While the human condition often seems caught in cycles of hopelessness, homelessness, poverty, and “uprooted-ness”, caused by socio-economic strife, wars, and refugeeism, despite great wealth, education, and promise which should be able to allay suffering— Trees, in contrast, stand vigil; firmly rooted— steadfast reminders of survival, regeneration, and hope within natures’ grander cycles. Man’s reflection on his place in nature is timeless, and the poetic metaphors which trees inspire are as relevant in a contemporary context as they were in antiquity.
Christoph Runné is a Vancouver-based experimental film, video, and installation artist. His work explores the unhidden yet seemingly invisible world around us. He creates visual tone poems with a humanitarian heartbeat whose minimalist and impressionistic methodology contradicts the complex human conditions with which Runné engages.
Exhibition Title: Pin-Up
Artist: Colette Urban
Opening: Friday, October 28th , 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Friday, October 28th – Saturday, December 3rd 2011
grunt gallery, 350 E 2nd Avenue, Unit 116
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm
grunt gallery is pleased to present video and digital stills of works by noted Newfoundland-based artist Colette Urban. The exhibition Pin-up will feature digital stills from the new performance “Limited Possession”, digital stills from HOOT and a single channel video loop documenting HOOT’s performance as an introduction to the film Pretend Not To See Me. “Limited Possession” will premier at grunt on October 28th.
“Limited Possession” is a performance-based project that was documented for an exhibition of thirteen still photographs. The documentation took place in a storage facility in the community of McIvers, Newfoundland. This project includes the production of a 2012, signed-edition calendar. The gallery installation will also include a slightly larger than life-size photographic, sculptural cut-out of the performer.
HOOT is a performance that was documented at Full Tilt Creative Centre for the purposes of the installation. The costume is made up of a feathered garment, petticoat and a helmet with CD discs and battery lights.
Performance artist Colette Urban uses humour to address themes of identity and social convention. Born in Denver, Colorado, she immigrated to Canada in 1973 where she studied and established her career. She began spending summers in Newfoundland in 1993. In 2007 she moved full-time to Newfoundland and established the Full Tilt Creative Centre on an abandoned chicken farm.
Colette Urban Performs “Hoot” before a screening of “Pretend Not to see Me” at the Emily Carr campus November, 2011:
Exhibition Title: Like A Great Black Fire | Rebecca Chaperon
“Like A Great Black Fire”
Exhibition Title: Like a Great Black Fire
Artist: Rebecca Chaperon
Opening: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 7-11pm
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 8 – Saturday, October 15, 2011
grunt gallery is pleased to present Rebecca Chaperon’s latest suite of paintings, entitled Like a Great Black Fire. In this series, an elongated and detailed landscape stretches across canvases populated by foreboding, black, geometric forms and meticulously rendered figures. Her current paintings portray the narrative of a female protagonist within a surreal landscape. Chaperon’s subject matter ranges from ethereal and dream-like to darkly humorous; she often deals with the feminine perspective from an autobiographical point of view.
With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, Rebecca Chaperon takes the imaginative subjects of her paintings and establishes an ability to engage people by speaking to the enchantment of our human experience. Her paintings act as a means of storytelling, conveying the notion of human struggle in the 21st century. Tempered by references to the synthesized, modern world she combines the classical landscape aesthetics of the past with an aspect of ambient, self-reflective self-portraiture.
Born in England in 1978, Rebecca settled in Toronto, Ontario at age 8. She attended Emily Carr University where she studied fine arts until graduation in 2002. She has exhibited her work across Canada and has been featured in several Canadian publications.
“It’s her laborious attention to detail that draws you in, like that dream you keep trying to fall asleep to catch another glimpse of. You can’t help but be drawn into her invitingly playful painting technique which quietly screams off the canvas.
Like A Great Black Fire is an exciting ten-canvas narrative that brings the viewer through a delightful romantic dream scape and I am nothing short of ecstatic that the Grunt Gallery has chosen to highlight her during this year’s Swarm.” – Sonny Assu
“Somewhere between a Happy Unbirthday and a walk through Dante’s Inferno extinguished, her imagery holds us sway, a storm-soaked storybook where even characters of seemingly incorruptible purity have daggers hiding behind their back. You wonder who these characters are, how they came to arrive and why they’ve been caught in such blighted situations. Each notion within her work asks a question, but the answer remains as to when Rebecca lets go of your hand, if you will find your way back.” – Graeme Berglund
“Certainly her most ambitious work to date, Like a Great Black Fire, is a large, acrylic polyptych panorama featuring a dark and stormy landscape sparsely populated by scurrying ferrets and her signature female protagonists. Chaperon creates powerful females in dainty bodies. The power they possess tends to be painted into their faces, in their eyes and expressions.” – Todd Nickel, Co-Founder, Gallery Atsui
Exhibition Title: Taking Care of Business | Immony Men
Exhibition Title: Taking Care of Business
Artist: Immony Men
Exhibition Dates: Sat, July 9, 2011 – Sat, August 6, 2011
Opening: Fri. July 8, 7:30pm
Completion Reception: Tue. July 26, 7:30pm
“Taking Care of Business” is a performance/installation that lasts the run of the exhibition. The performance involves the artist creating a multi-wall, floor-to-ceiling mural of an office space out of post-it-notes. The artist, Immony Men, will spend each day of the exhibition working 9-5 printing out a 360° view of an office one post it note at a time until the main walls of grunt gallery are filled. The artist writes:
“I am mesmerized by the drudgery of daily office routine. The pattern I have established in the creation of these kinds of murals attempts to replicate this drudgery. The performance aspect of my work is the actual construction of the mural. I want the raw elements behind the creation of the project to be in the forefront: the physical space taken up, the artist’s repetitive movements, the materials used in full evidence. By subjecting myself to a mind-numbing process, I will also create and exhibit the mental state fallen into in performing iterative tasks” (Immony Men)
Immony Men is a Canadian visual artist currently based in Montreal and Toronto. He is a recent graduate of the MFA Visual Arts program at University of Windsor. He has completed Concordia’s BFA program majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies within Studio Arts. Immony is a member of the Broken City Lab research group; an initiative that tactically disrupts and engages the city of Windsor.
Exhibition Title: Skullduggery
Exhibition Dates: Sat, May 28 – Sat, June 25, 2011
Opening: Fri, May 27, 7:30pm
Artist: Robert McNealy
Skullduggery is a painting installation rooted in palio-archaeology and physical anthropology. The works consist of an installation of many small paintings of skulls taken from the human fossil record painted on wadded pages of art magazines. The skulls trace the range of human evolution, and the magazine pages, a record of art practices. Together they express the fragility of ourselves as a species and the punctuality of art movements. The installation presents a periodic story of our species painted on periodicals.
In May 2011 ATSA and grunt gallery hosted an ALL-INCLUSIVE event entitled “The Pigeon’s Club.” This event took place at Pigeon Park on the corner of Hastings and Carrall in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC.
The event boasted a getaway complete with exterior swimming pool and deck chairs and additional tourist iconography in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area where social exclusion and human suffering are among the most intensely experienced in Canada, but where there is also the greatest concentration of mutual aid and frontline services.
The Pigeon’s Club was a satirical critique of the glossy, squeaky-clean view of the world championed by travel agency brochures, which extol happiness as an all-inclusive package deal. ATSA provided its own outrageous take on the whole aesthetic of the ALL-INCLUSIVE to better pull people’s strings and stir up debate.
gruntKitchen produced a video by ATSA titled “in this mean time” and a video documentary of the project by Elisha Burrows. Funding for this program was provided by the City of Vancouver 125th Grants, The British Columbia Arts Council through the Arts Based Community Development Program and The Quebec Arts Council. We also thank The Carnegie Centre, Gallery Gachet and W2 for support of this project.
Exhibition Title: Old Growth | Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Exhibition Title: Old Growth
Exhibition Dates: Thu, April 21 – Sat, May 21
Opening: Thursday, April 21 · 7:30pm – 11:00pm
Artist: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Curator: Liz Park
Working with curator Liz Park, Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas presents a selection of his published works alongside previously unseen drawings and sketches from his thirty plus years of graphic art production. Yahgulanaas’ work combines traditional Haida form-line with the conventions of Asian graphic novels known as “manga” in a distinct style he calls “Haida Manga”. This exhibition is coordinated with the release of Yahgulanaas’ latest publication, a retrospective collection of his graphic work, produced in conjunction with grunt gallery.
This exhibition at grunt will feature a reading room/ lounge where Yahgulanaas’ previous publications can be reviewed in comfort. Selections of drawings and notes from his archive will be available for viewing and reproduced in large format on the walls of the gallery. Yahgulanaas’ interest in manga and its importance in East Asian culture creates unique cross- cultural dialogue and exchange. The reading room and its contents will open up discussions around indigeneity, issues of accessibility and non-oppositional strategies of engagement.
The Old Growth project comes out of the artist’s and curator’s histories of politically engaged work within a broader cross cultural context. Manga is an important and popular cultural force globally, and provides a specific cultural backdrop to Yahgulanaas’ practice. He works out of a Haida tradition of adaptation, pushing the capacities of Haida formline design further through the use of new materials and ideas. Yahgulanaas’ visual storytelling methods expand and cross the boundaries of different artistic disciplines, cultures and sub-cultures, and challenge conventions around exhibiting the Art of Indigenous Peoples.
“Old Growth” publication, available for purchase.
The publication was produced in conjunction with grunt gallery. This project has been made possible through contributions from the Vancouver Foundation and the Hamber Founda- tion. The publication was published in conjunction with Simply Read Editions and Raincoast Books.
Exhibition Title: gruntKitchen: Media Lab Unveiling
Grunt gallery celebrated the unveiling of a high-tech media lab called gruntKitchen, a transformation that modified the previously existing kitchen space. The opening represented the culmination of several years of fundraising and planning, and two solid months of renovation. In addition to the support of funders and the work of grunt’s staff and volunteers, this project was realized through the particularly strong show of support in donations made by the individu- als that make up grunt’s community.
The Media Lab is a key component of grunt’s Activating the Archive project. Activating the Archive is a multi-year project that involves bringing the archive of grunt’s 26+ years of production into the digital realm through the development of an online, interactive, database-driven website. The MediaLab provides facilities for the digitization of records and capturing of video. It is also a site for a curated program of contemporary artists to develop and from which they can present new media and performance-based work in response to materials found in grunt’s archive.
Grunt’s kitchen has been central to grunt’s history as the literal and metaphorical heart of the organization. This small room has been the ‘think-tank’ of our collective where programs and exhibitions have been developed while sipping a cup of coffee. It has also been the place where many new ideas and organizations have come into fruition. With the establishment of the Media Lab, grunt gallery looks forward to meeting its continued commitment to provide artists new ways of presenting and disseminating their work.
This project was made possible in part through financial support from the City of Vancouver, through the Capital Grants and Infrastructure Grants programs; Canadian Heritage, through the Cultural Spaces Program; the British Columbia Arts Council, through the Capacity and Sustainability Program; the Canada Council for the Arts, through SOFI; and radio stations 103.5 QM/FM, the Beat 94.5 and TEAM Radio, through the ArtsFACT program. This renovation was also supported by in-kind donations from Coast Decorating Benjamin Moore Paint and Cantu Bathroom Hardware Ltd.