'Acts of an Improbable Genius', 2021, Installation view
'I never knew what to do with my hands'
Melanie Jame Wolf
November 26, 2022 - February 4, 2023
We are happy to be opening the solo exhibition of Berlin-based Australian artist, Melanie Jame Wolf. This is the first time she is exhibiting in Winnipeg and in the country. As a visual artist, Wolf is an autodidact whose practice is closely informed by her work as a choreographer and background in theatre. She came to creating installations, objects, and video works for gallery contexts without any formal training. This shift from the stage into a studio practice and subsequent exhibition presentations, has been an opportunity to elaborate her artistic hand as a performer and extend criticality therein. More importantly, working within gallery contexts only heightens the gallery, often regarded as discernibly unassuming, as a stage in itself.
Over the years, her video works have pivoted into a cinematic language. Where she previously relied on herself for her video work, this new shift has meant working with more technical collaborators and a cast of performers. The transition into the widescreen space of cinema has also meant extensive pre-production planning, storyboarding, scripting, rehearsals, and post-production. This new exhibition, 'I never knew what to do with my hands', brings together for the first time two of Wolf's first filmic works both created in 2021 while in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. As the artist has described it, the title of the show and its contents is a "lament of the unskilled performer". Both films exemplify her ongoing exploration concerning the inherent and often under-regarded labour within performance as an artistic mode as well as an everyday survival mechanism. That is to say, performance for Wolf encompasses as a way of operating various degrees of one's subjectivity in the world. The films each centre on a specific theatrical practice—stand-up comedy and the rehearsal—as a means for further critical reflection that draws on larger social and political implications.
Read full exhibiton text here.
'Untitled', 2019, a handwritten letter and splintered dark concrete cylinder. From PRP Agency and courtesy of the artist.
'This whole time I've been seeing the same shit I had seen in my dreams'
Sept 24 - Nov 12, 2022
It is with great excitement that we welcome Oshay Green to Winnipeg for a solo presentation of new in-situ works. Green is a self-taught artist hailing from Dallas, TX and over the past month, he has been in the city engaging in a bit of residency which is culminating in this exhibition. Common to his practice, Green’s work uses carefully selected materials with a lapsed use or a previous life including discarded fabric, samples of sound, scraps of metal, along with any accompanying debris that comes with the found material. And using an improvisational hand, the artist assembles these cast-off odds and ends either by welding, folding, or merely through spatial positioning. All the while, he leverages the possibilities of generating a new successive life for these humble common items even if this happens within the temporary space of an exhibition. This project has been an interesting challenge and a rewarding means of experimentation for the artist. Through a continuous process of trial and error, composing and recomposing, he gradually discovered the work and its trajectory.
Green, to his surprise, has observed the close similarities between Dallas and Winnipeg: from the city's sprawl, identical timezones, to the surrounding prairie grasslands to the mosquitos and bugs that flare up in the humid summer. Another endemic aspect he learned through his research is the widely used methamphetamine drug that has especially wreaked havoc on the already vulnerable and marginalized populations of both cities. The ongoing dependence on these stimulant drugs is a grave manifestation of communities afflicted with perpetual pain. This pain is aggregated, inherited and reaches back to generations before them.
Leaning on his family and his own experiences of upcycling and making-do as a survival mechanism, Green finds intersections between the marginalized communities he is familiar with in Dallas and the ones here on Treaty One. He closely considers what it means to create out of a primal necessity in order to survive.
This is the first time Green is exhibiting in the country. His work has previously been circulated through the Dallas Museum of Art, AND NOW in Dallas and Nasher Sculpture Centre. He creates sound recording work using archival material under the moniker Malik Pope.
The title of Green's exhibition which is an off-the-cuff found piece of language from a conversation is 'This whole time I've been seeing the same shit I had seen in my dreams.'
Special thanks to Mark Pieterson for introducing Green to the gallery. You can read Pieterson's detailed conversation with the artist via the affiliate publication, Public Parking.
'It was my discomfort that weighted the camera': Zinnia Naqvi
July 16 - September 10, 2022
We are very excited to present the solo exhibition of Toronto-based artist/filmmaker/writer, Zinnia Naqvi. This is her first time visiting the prairies, her first time exhibiting here, and we are rather happy to welcome her. The show opens Saturday, July 16th and runs until September 10th, 2022. The artist is in town for a meet-and-greet during the opening and on the following day, Sunday, July 17th, 1 - 4 Pm for community interaction. Please make time to join us for the opening or visit the exhibit before it closes. And look out for an upcoming conversation with the artist later to be announced.
Naqvi’s artistic practice has for years now foregrounded the family archive, hers, as an analytical point of departure. For her, these private records act as raw material for critical and probing inquiry. She makes use of family narratives to meticulously tease out the broader cultural and political dimensions that trickle out and beyond the intimate space of the personal. Primarily drawing from seemingly inconsequential photographic materials and home videos, Naqvi's work positions her family history as a microcosm of sorts to build out layered discussions around language, class stratification, gender dynamics, and the fraught complexities of migrants with colonized histories making their lives in a settler-colonial state.
The artist's autoethnographic way of working is present throughout this new exhibition, It was my discomfort that weighted the camera. The exhibition features the film, Farzana (2021), which Naqvi scripted, directed, produced, and starred in. Its paired video, the Translation is Approximate (2021) will also be on display along with a suite of carefully staged photographs from her ongoing series Yours to Discover (2019-ongoing). And from that series, the show also includes an augmented photograph that interacts with the outline of the gallery.
Naqvi’s work has been shown across Canada and internationally. She is a recipient of the 2019 New Generation Photography Award organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada and was awarded an honourable mention at the 2017 Karachi Biennale in Pakistan. Naqvi is a member of the EMILIA-AMALIA Working Group, an intergenerational feminist collective. She received a BFA in Photography Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University and an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University. Recent solo exhibitions were presented at Dazibao and Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain in Montréal. Her work has also been featured in Esse, BlackFlash, Border Crossings, Public Parking, Le Devoir - Sur le Radar, and Canadian Art Magazine. In 2020, she published her first collection of essays, Yours to Discover a textual extension to her ongoing photographic project of the same name. And earlier this year she produced her own artist book, Dear Nani through Anchorless Press.
Read full exhibiton text here.
Read the exhibition response text here.
' Pomp Miracles '
Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes & Graham Wiebe
Curated by Luther Konadu
May 14 - July 2, 2022
I’m delighted to be presenting the exhibition Pomp Miracles, an installation of sculptural and photographic works by Winnipeg-based artist Graham Wiebe and Vancouver-based Marisa Kraingwiwat Holmes featuring a sound contribution from recording and mixing engineer/producer/musician, Nick Short who is also based in Vancouver.
The inception of this collaboration between all of us started over a year ago after a long time following Wiebe and Holmes’ trajectories in their respective practices. They were united in this project primarily for their shared sensibilities in apprehending photography in their work. This was a general sensibility and approach to the medium that often led to sculptural divergences and even further, material engagements that supplemented, expanded upon, or in several instances, resulted in lateral objects independent of photography. This loose starting point became the bases upon which the exhibit sprung out of. And with that, the artists went off their own paths over the months with an open possibility and they ended near a mid-point of unforeseen convergences that this exhibition contains.
Over the years, Holmes has liberally hopscotched between various photography genres. She employed her own captured images along with pre-existing stock images, ranging from nature photography, horse racing photography, product photography, concert photography, etc. In this exhibit, we see the latter two (concert and product) deployed. These starting images become a means to an end willfully divergent and irrespective of their point of origin. Through a series of experiments with a home printer, Holmes layers and embellishes product shots of a fake jade deer antique figurine that was for sale on an eBay-like online platform. The jade deer, a historical Chinese artifact of cultural and social significance regarded as an object of good fortune and a symbol of longevity, has been cast in resin resulting in a feeble replica filed under the awkward tag; ‘mid-century Chinoiserie’. Holmes redirects the innate use of the product shots. She veils its surface by feeding the printer with the printed product shots, repeating the process over and over until it's covered with errant printer inkjet marks and scanned drawings which divorces the image further away from its root. In other versions, she doodles, colours, scales up, and fragments the image. To extend this reconstructive engagement with the image, Holmes builds shelves at the base of the final Dibond print creating a kind of provisional relief sculpture stacked with empty drink cans and juice boxes she consumed with Wiebe and I during the installation process. She invites visitors to freely drop off their empties as well, and with their enticing colourful product designs, the cans become an added clutter of flourish to the fake jade image, making it less legible and creating an absurdist detour away from the photograph.
레이무숨이 우리를 안고 있어 | 'Leymusoom Is Holding Us'
March 4 - April 22, 2022
Q & A with artist : April 16, 2022 5PM CST
We are very delighted to present Leymusoom Is Holding Us, the solo exhibition of San Francisco-based South Korean artist, Heesoo Kwon.
About five years ago, Kwon opened the portal to her autobiographical digital dream universe, Leymusoom. Grounded within feminist thinking, the lucid 3D animated environments of the universe doesn’t come to us fully formed both in its ideals and aspirations but it is rather ongoing and fluid. Through interactive video games, digital archives, cinemagraphs, and video passages, the imagined worlds which are inflected by the artist's personal memories become accessible to users and viewers. Leymusoom is often populated by avatars of Kwon and her female ancestors in communion with one another, flowing in the boundless utopic conception the artist has conjured. In this intergalactic expanse, there is swimming, dancing, lounging, and perpetual rejuvenation away from selves that are otherwise restricted by the violence of our abject patriarchal world. In this new exhibition, Leymusoom Is Holding Us, various fragments of Kwon’s envisioned exploratory universe are assembled in a sculptural video installation. A built structure that serves as an inlet into the digital universe hosts a projection of videos the artist has created over the years including a newly rendered corner of the universe made especially for this exhibition. The videos include Leymusoom Mogyogtang [ 레이무숨 목욕탕 ], Leymusoom Bridge [ 레이무숨 다리 ], Leymusoom Ssitgimgut [ 레이무숨 씻김굿 ], and the titular Leymusoom Is Holding Us.
Join Winnipeg-based artist Mariana Muñoz Gomez in a weekend of reading, discussion, and creative writing. On February 4, we will be engaging with texts from the anthology Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water, which includes a large variety of texts from over 80 contributors, spanning from historical non-fiction pieces of writing to contemporary literature and everything in between. On the final day of the workshop, the group will have the option to spend some time writing, sharing their writing if desired, and continuing discussions/activities sparked by the readings and the theme of processing relationships to place through creative expression.
Each participant will receive a free copy of Manitowapow and will be asked to read a few selections in preparation for the workshop. The workshop will be held online through video chat (Zoom or Jitsi). Please note any accessibility requirements when sending in your application. With the intention of facilitating these sessions as collaborative learning spaces, the participants selected for the workshop will be paid an honorarium. This workshop is open to individuals identifying as Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
See more here.
Associated Program: Screening
Friday, December 17th, 2021
A night of film screening in association to the exhibition 'New Photographs' by the artist, Gonzalo Reyes Rodrígez. These selection extend the central thematics the exhibition revolves around.
The following are the line of features selected by the artist in the order of the screening:
Nostalgia (1971) by Hollis Frampton, 38 mins
Notes on Blue (2015) by Moyra Davey, 27 mins
Blue (1993) by Derek Jarman, 1hr 15mins
Letter to Jane (1972) by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin, 52 mins
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) by Jean-Luc Godard, 1hr 30 mins
'New Photographs' | Gonzalo Rodrígez Reyes
October 22 - December 19, 2021 (extended date 31st Dec)
Artist Presentation & Discussion:
Saturday, October 23rd, 7 PM; on-site in the gallery
Associated Screening: Friday, December 17th, 2021
It is with such great pleasure to present Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez's solo exhibition, 'New Photographs' at Blinkers Art and Project Space. This is Rodríguez's first time showing in Winnipeg or in Canada. He is coming to us from New York where he has an adjunct teaching position at Parson's The New School. Prior to that, he was based in Chicago where he received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and was also a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.