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Bishop's University
2600 College St.
Sherbrooke (Quebec)
J1M 1Z7   Canada
Tel.: 819-822-9600, ext. 2260/2279
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Exhibitions

VALUE
January 11 - March 17, 2012

Artists: Cooke-Sasseville (Québec), Antoni Muntadas (New York), Red Channels (New York), Anton Vidokle & Julieta Aranda (New York/Berlin), WochenKlausur (Austria)

Curator: Vicky Chainey Gagnon

Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Talk with the Curator and the artist duo Cooke-Sasseville at 6:00 pm

The exhibition is produced by the Foreman Art Gallery with a financial contribution from the Canada Council for the Arts.

The exhibition project Value poses a critical eye on the current economic climate and the way its politics are deployed. Paradigmatic transformations have occurred in the art world since the early nineties: these include the exponential growth of the art market, both vertically in terms of capital and horizontally in terms of a geography expansion. This expansion of the art market, a consequence of and a cultural enhancer to neoliberal ideology, have reshaped the map of power in the art world.

Value brings together contemporary works that explore a full range of practices and forms relating to specific interactions with art institutions and their contexts. Some of the artists in the exhibition explore the relationship between politics and everyday life inside the institutional system while others take to the streets, contemplating the economy through protest and direct action in the twenty-first century.

Press Release

Curatorial Text

Time Bank Press Release

http://artlab.ubishops.ca

The art of Cooke-Sasseville (Jean-François Cooke and Pierre Sasseville) has a humour quality sometimes absurd, scathing and really cynical. With thematics similar to our daily preoccupations – quest for happiness, love, sexuality –, their works translate the ordinary and the banal, but often take the shape of clearly surreal techniques and installations. Thus, installations of disproportionate elements or menageries of orange chickens, pink cat and elephant are part of the funny, bizarre world of the artists. With this touch of provocation that set them apart so well, Cooke-Sasseville have, among other things, dealt with the subject of death in a bowling alley (Aller simple, 2006), designed self-erotic structures (Le confessionnal, 2002, L'envie, 2003) or made a series of sweating or squirting fluids genitals (Le mur des lamentations, 2003, Silence on coule, 2005). Through their works, the duo points the finger at various behaviours commonly acquired, if not part of every day life, in western society. For example, the installation Silence on coule showed penises and vulvas made of ceramic and ejaculating oil on an altar surrounded with slogans associating human characteristics (strength, sexuality, arrogance, etc.) to the ones of a car. On the other hand, Le Nouveau Monde – a pen with farm animals entirely covered with popcorn – reminded us of the agri-food industry excesses such as the very controversial production of ethanol. If we can roar with laughter by flirting with the works of Cooke-Sasseville, we quickly realize that there is a more disturbing meaning hiding behind the door of the confessional or in the wheelbarrow full of popcorn. Cooke-Sasseville like to play with limits, whatever they may be, and by doing so attempt to bring the public with them. Their installations, consciously paradoxical, are inevitably putting us in ambivalent situations where comfort mingles with worry, where social criticism takes the shape of entertainment, where playful attitudes and an obvious lack of concern reveal a questioning of an utmost lucidity. In 2003, both artists graduated from Université Laval – Visual Arts School with an MFA in visual arts.

Muntadas was born in 1942 in Barcelona, Spain, and has lived in New York since 1971. He studied architecture at the University of Barcelona and received an M.A. from Escuela Tecnica Superior Ingenieros Industriales (Technical School for Industrial Engineers) in Barcelona, and also studied at the Pratt Graphic Center in New York.  Antoni Muntadas has produced a body of work across diverse media, including photography, video, publications, the Internet, multimedia installations and urban interventions. Through his projects, Muntadas addresses social, political and communications issues, the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks, and investigations of channels of information and the ways they may be used to censor information or promulgate ideas. Reading "between the lines" to decode the subjective and objective meanings and interpretations of media language and images, Muntadas analyzes the consumption of information and the process by which it is mediated and manipulated for power, propaganda, and profit. Critiquing the incursion of marketing and advertising strategies into politics, art and culture, his works often make reflexive use of mass media formats and contexts, including the World Wide Web, billboards and public sites. Muntadas has taught and directed seminars at diverse institutions throughout Europe and the United States. He is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and prizes, including those from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Laser d'Or, Locarno, Switzerland, and the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas. His work has been exhibited at numerous museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Berkeley Art Museum, California; Musée Contemporain de Montreal; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, and Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona. Other international events in which he has presented work are Venice Bienniale, Sao Paulo, Lyon, Taipei, Gwangju and Havana. He participated in the 51st edition of the Venice Biennale (2005), where he presented On Translation: I Giardini at the Spanish Pavilion.

Red Channels is an open collective which meets in a weekly basis and to discuss and plan for upcoming events and projects. They have organized screenings and discussions at spaces like Anthology Film Archives, BAMcinematek, Bluestockings, The Brecht Forum, e-flux, Flux Factory, Maysles Cinema, 92Y-Tribeca, OKK/Raum29, 16Beaver, Spectacle Theater, and UnionDocs. In 2011, the collective traveled to Berlin, Chicago, and San Francisco. They have produced 8 short videos, as well as 5 publications, both in print and online, of collected and original writings. Their work has been screened at B_Books, The Brecht Forum, Brooklyn Community Access Television, Flux Factory, International House Philadelphia, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, MassArt, MoMA PS1, New Nothing Cinema, 92Y-Tribeca, Philadelphia Community Access Media, La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez, Spectacle Theater, and West Germany.

Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and arrived to the U.S. in 1981, but now is based in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale, Lodz Biennale, and at Tate Modern, London; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer, L.A.; ICA, Boston; Haus Der Kunst, Munich; P.S.1, New York; among others. With Julieta Aranda, he organized e-flux video rental, which traveled to numerous institutions including Portikus, Frankfurt; KunstWerk, Berlin; Extra City, Antwerp; Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; and others. As founding director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life and Martha Rosler Library. Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was canceled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called Unitednationsplaza—a twelve-month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences. Located behind a supermarket in East Berlin, UNP’s program featured numerous seminars, lectures, screenings, book presentations and various projects.

Julieta Aranda was born in Mexico City in 1975 and currently lives between New York and Berlin. Her multidimensional practice deals with a range of themes including circulation mechanisms and the idea of a “poetics of circulation”; the politicized subject or the possibility of a politicized subjectivity; the perception and use of time; and one’s power over the imaginary. Projects take the form of printed media, installation, video, and community organizing. As co-director of e-Flux with Anton Vidokle, she developed the projects Pawnshop (currently in Beijing), and e-flux video rental, which started in the e-Flux storefront in New York in 2004, and has traveled to more than fifteen venues worldwide. In 2006, Julieta Aranda graduated with an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, New York. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2009), where she was the first artist to do a solo presentation for the “Intervals” exhibition series; Kunstverein Arnsberg (2010), MOCA Miami (2009), Witte de With (2010), Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2007), 2nd Moscow Biennial (2007), MUSAC Spain (2006), and VII Havana Biennial (2000), among others.

The artist group WochenKlausur has been conducting social interventions since 1993. The concept of intervention, whose usage in art has undergone an inflationary trend in recent years, is often used for any form of change. In contrast, WochenKlausur, at the invitation of art institutions, develops and realizes proposals - small-scale but very concrete - for improving sociopolitical deficits. In the context of many twentieth-century artists who understood how to actively take part in the shaping of society, WochenKlausur sees art as an opportunity for achieving long-term improvements in human coexistence. Artists' competence in finding creative solutions, traditionally utilized in shaping materials, can just as well be applied in all areas of society: in ecology, education and city planning. There are problems everywhere that cannot be solved using conventional approaches and are thus suitable subjects for artistic projects. Theoretically, there is no difference between artists who do their best to paint pictures and those who do their best to solve social problems with clearly fixed boundaries. The individually selected task, like the painter's self-defined objective, must only be precisely articulated. Interventionist art can only be effective when the problem to be solved is clearly stated.