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 / past / 2012-2013 / THE INDIVISIBLE


September 5 - December 12, 2012

Artists: Matilda Aslizadeh, (Vancouver, Canada), Pascal Grandmaison (Montréal, Canada), Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline (Winnipeg, Canada), Soft Turns (Toronto, Canada), Tanya St-Pierre (Sherbrooke, Canada)

Curator: Vicky Chainey Gagnon

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Artist Talk with Soft Turns at 6:00 pm

The exhibition is produced by the Foreman Art Gallery and financially supported with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Indivisible addresses the medium of portraiture from a contemporary standpoint and raises questions about visual narrative, the social and political implications of subjectivity and the construction of the individual in postmodern societies. Together the artists’ treatment of the human figure and face problematizes individual identities — how these are formed and revealed within social contexts and constructs, and specifically what roles they play in more intimate and private narratives. The selected paintings, photographs, animation and installation works by Matilda Aslizadeh, Pascal Grandmaison, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Soft Turns and Tanya St. Pierre emerge in a context of economic and culture patterns of globalization, thus pointing to vital questions about the status of those identities in a growing neoliberal context.

By exposing ambiguities, tensions and possibilities, the exhibition also brings to light questions about the existence of collective identities: Is there a way, for example, that individuals enact the process of becoming collective subjects that is different than in previous times? Are there indivisible aspects at the core of individuality today and in the ways in which identities are performed?

Vancouver based artist Matilda Aslizadeh works primarily in the mediums of video and photography. Her work focuses on the image: the blurry façade, the telling close-up, the beautiful portrayals and the ugly truths that wait to be revealed. Her 2011 work Phantom Smile explored the flash of celebrity, the rise of reality-show stardom and Facebook, these phenomena that have blurred the boundaries between where the real world ends and where our collective dream world begins. In contrast, her 2008 piece Hero of our Time delved into the harsh realities of child soldiers. Aslizadeh graduated with a BFA at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in 1998 and received a full tuition scholarship for her MFA (completed in 2004) at the University of California, San Diego in 2000. She won the Visual Arts Development Award from the Vancouver Foundation in 2005 and was granted the Project Assistance to Media Artists program from the BC Arts Council in 2011. Recent Solo exhibits include Still Life at the Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto (2012), Phantom Smile at the Simon Fraser University Gallery in Vancouver (2011) and Hero of Our Time at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse in Montreal (2009).  For the past twelve years, Aslizadeh has been part of group exhibitions across Canada, in Tokyo, Berlin, Los Angeles, Taipei and Shanghai. She is represented by Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto.

Montreal native Pascal Grandmaison has been an active presence on the contemporary art scene at home and abroad since the latter part of the 1990’s. His work revolves around the mediums of photography and film, often capturing the complexities of the mind through a minimal and emotionally unembellished approach. Following his show at the Casino of Luxembourg-Forum d’art Contemporain in 2011, some 250 images of the artists’ works were published in the catalogue Half of the Darkness, Pascal Grandmaison. The publication ventures into the polarities of existence, the clear and obscure, the presence and absence, the material and immaterial and the real and imaginary, - these tensions that are housed in the heart of man and the environment he believes to master. Grandmaison explores these stark contrasts by revisiting the history of photography though archived footage and technical processes that unveil the reality of subjectivity and the fictional universe created by the image.  Grandmaison graduated with a BA in Visual Arts from the Université du Québec à Montreal in 1997. He received the 2003 Pierre Ayot prize from the City of Montréal in collaboration with l’Association des Galeries d’art contemporain. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2006); The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2007); Eponyme Galerie, Bordeaux (2011); Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto (2011) and the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2012). Since 1997, his work has been exhibited in group shows across Canada, France, Belgium and the United States. You can find his works in the public collections of the MontmArtFund in Paris, the Musée des Beaux-arts de Montreal, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, to name a few. He is represented by Galerie Réné Blouin, Montréal; Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto; and Jack Shainman, New York.

Based and born in Winnipeg Manitoba, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline uses printing processes and digital manipulation in conjunction with traditional painting techniques in order to transform conventional spaces of escapism into ambivalent ones in which the personal meets spectacle. Often borrowing from his native Manitoban landscape, the artist delivers figurative paintings that are direct extensions of his process of ''intuitive exploration.''  In his current body of work, an aspect that he finds most engaging is “the sense of rhythm--the repetition of motifs and gestures within and across paintings that creates a tempo manifesting difference and variation.” Following the completion in 2006 of his BFA (Honours) at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, Kaktins-Gorsline went on to graduate in 2008 from Columbia University's MFA program in New York City. Since 2006, solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Thierry Goldberg Gallery and the Mulherin Pollard Projects in New York, the Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Project in Toronto, Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert, California and at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon. During the same period, Galerie Simon Blais (Montreal), Deitch Studios, (Long Island City, New York), Galerie Schuster (Berlin), Rohrer Fine Arts (Laguna Beach, California), Winnipeg Art Gallery and Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York have included his work in group exhibitions. He is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Project, Toronto and Battat Contemporary, Montréal.

Soft Turns is the collaborative effort of artists Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. Currently based in Toronto, Canada, the artists have been collaborating on video installation and stop-motion animation since 2006. Their artistic eye focuses on light in all its soft radiance, quiet contemplation and bleak form. In 2000, Olejnik completed his bachelors in Philosophy at the University of Toronto. In 2002, Gorlitz received her Bachelors of Fine Arts (Honours) at the University of Waterloo, Canada and Olejnik completed his masters at the same institution. In 2012, Gorlitz completed her Masters of Fine Arts at the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded the collective with numerous grants including the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in 2008 and a 2013 Paris Residency. They have also recently received support from both the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, and from the Edstrand Foundation in Sweden. In the year 2012 alone, they have had solo exhibits at PAVED Arts, (Saskatoon, Canada) Southern Exposure (San Francisco, USA) and Centre Clark (Montréal, Canada). Between 2009 and 2012, they have participated in group exhibitions in Germany, Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Norway, the United States, and France.

Visual artist Tanya St-Pierre was born in Gatineau, Québec and now resides in the city of Sherbrooke. Since 2001, her visual and sound installations have focused on the correlation of installation, digital print and narrative works. Throughout her artistic practice, she addresses various social anxieties, the representation of the body and the depiction of the ill or defective, present or dissimulated body by questioning the modes of representation that stem from two large archetypes and antipodes of our understanding of the world: scientific or rational thought and mystic, magical or archaic thought. St-Pierre graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivière in 1998. Since 2003, she has received several grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the city of Sherbrooke. Since 2000, St-Pierre's installations, illustrations and digital prints have been presented in solo and group shows at venues such as the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke Qc.; Action Art Actuel in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Qc; and L'Écart, lieu d'art actuel in Rouyn-Noranda, Qc. She has participated in several artists' residencies: Diapason Sound Art Gallery (Brooklyn, New York), Productions Recto-Verso in Québec City and two at the Centre Sagamie in Alma, Qc. Member of the performance duo NOÏZEFER CWU, St-Pierre has participated in various collective events throughout Quebec.

Press Release

Essay by the Exhibition Curator