Art Gallery of Alberta

6,000 square foot gallery transformed into an exhibition in the form of a haunted house.

The Intellection of Lady Spider House—a new exhibition at the AGA organized by Canadian contemporary artist Geoffrey Farmer.

Edmonton, AB (September 5/13) – A new exhibition created for the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) by Vancouver artist Geoffrey Farmer will open on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Entitled The Intellection of Lady Spider House, the exhibition is a collaboration between Farmer and 11 other contemporary artists: Valérie Blass, Julia Feyrer, Hadley + Maxwell, David Hoffos, Brian Jungen, Tiziana La Melia, Gareth Moore, Judy Radul, Hannah Rickards and Ron Tran.

The exhibition transforms the 6,000 square feet of the AGA’s 3rd floor gallery into a labyrinthine haunted house walk-through. Superimposing the form of a museum exhibition on the structure of a fun fair haunted house, Farmer and the artists have created an environment in which visitors will make their way through deconstructed structures, darkened corridors and environments containing artworks, artefacts and assemblages. Working in a warehouse in Vancouver and onsite at the AGA, they have collected and altered original material from haunted house attractions and discarded theatre sets and mixed these together with newly conceived works of art for an exhibition that ruminates on ideas of the uncanny.

The exhibition, which borrows and alters the title of a American artist Bruce Conner’s assemblage, Spider Lady House, (1957-1959) can be understood as a metaphor for Farmer’s poetic, web-like activity of collecting and categorizing and as a memento of his first form of exhibition making as a child; a crudely constructed haunted house walkthrough that he made for neighbours. Although rooted in this memory, the exhibition and the artists also reflected and responded to Edmonton’s local context, monuments and history and its largest spook house, the colonial reconstruction of Fort Edmonton Park.

“Farmer is recognized for his ability to combine poetry and social commentary in large-scale exhibitions that encourage viewer participation.” says Catherine Crowston, AGA Executive Director and Chief Curator. “We are very excited to have been able to commission this new exhibition by Farmer and works by the other artists that he invited to participate”

The Intellection of Lady Spider House will be on view until January 12, 2014 and is presented by Enbridge.

Geoffrey Farmer garnered international attention with his installation Leaves of Grass, which was created for the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition in Germany in 2012. Farmer’s most recent exhibitions include Let’s Make the Water Turn Black at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, Switzerland (opened June 2013) and The Surgeon and the Photographer at The Curve, Barbican Centre in London, England (2013). His installation The Last Two Million Years, consisting of cut-outs from a discarded history book, is currently on long-term loan to the Tate Gallery in London, England. He has two upcoming solo exhibitions in Canada: February 2014 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and a mid-career retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2015. Earlier this year, Farmer was awarded the Gershon Iskowitz Prize for outstanding contribution to the visual arts in Canada.

Geoffrey Farmer and a number of the artists included in the exhibition will give a pre-opening talk at the AGA on Friday, September 13 at 6 pm. Tickets for the talk are now available at youraga.ca and are $20 for the general public, $12.50 for AGA Members and Free for students with valid student ID. Please note: only a limited number of free student tickets are available; free student tickets cannot be reserved online, they must be picked up in advance in person at AGA Member and Guest Services.

The Intellection of Lady Spider House inspires the AGA’s next Refinery party—Funhouse Refinery! Taking place on Saturday, November 16, this late-night art party is under the creative direction of Kristine Nutting, an independent Edmonton artist. Tickets go on sale to AGA Members October 22; public tickets are on sale November 5. More details on Funhouse Refinery will be revealed in late September.

Also opening

AARON MUNSON & DAVID HOFFOS: Isachsen, 1948-1978
RBC New Works Gallery
September 14-November 24, 2013

Conceived by local experimental filmmaker aAron munson, in collaboration with Lethbridge-based artist David Hoffos (also featured in The Intellection of Lady Spider House) this exhibition tells the history of the now-abandoned Isachsen weather station located in the remote Canadian arctic.

Through photographs and film from the 1950s to the 1970s, combined with contemporary footage, interviews and re-enactments by former station workers, the exhibition creates a unique window to a part of Canada’s little-known history and provides insight into the intense physical and psychological conditions of life at the station—dealing with months of darkness and intense cold followed by months when the sun never set. Also included is a new installation by David Hoffos—a diorama of the site as it existed in 1971, into which Isachsen’s inhabitants are projected back into a cold night landscape.

While this exhibition tells the story of a single, outpost in the far north, it also speaks to our nation’s desire to assert a presence within the most uninhabitable lands within our borders and to the sense of adventure, challenge and perseverance of those who chose to work in this isolated arctic outpost.

Your AGA presents two artists talks in conjunction with Isachsen, 1948-1978. On Sunday, September 29 at 2 pm, aAron munson will speak about the exhibition and screen original footage shot at the Isachsen station over four decades ago. This event is free to attend as part of Alberta Culture Days at your AGA. David Hoffos will give an artist talk on Wednesday, December 11 at 7 pm; tickets are $15/$10 AGA Members.

The RBC New Works Gallery features new artworks by Alberta artists. Initiated in 1998 and named the RBC New Works Gallery in 2008, this gallery space continues the Art Gallery of Alberta’s tradition of supporting Alberta artists.

 

EXCLUSIVE MEDIA PREVIEW

The Intellection of Lady Spider House
Friday, September 13, 1 pm, Art Gallery of Alberta

Remarks by Catherine Crowston, Executive Director / Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Alberta
Interviews and exhibition access are available following the opening remarks.

For media information, to coordinate interviews and to RSVP for the Media Preview please contact:

Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse, Communications Specialist
T: 780.392.2468 E: Kimberly.VanNieuvenhuyse@youraga.ca

Oksana Gowin, Director, Marketing & Communications
T: 780.392.2466 E: Oksana.Gowin@youraga.ca

 

PUBLIC PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

Events

Members’ Opening Reception
Friday, September 13, 7:30 pm
AGA Members and VIPs Only

Funhouse Refinery Late-Night Art Party
Saturday, November 16, 9 pm-2 am | 18+

Public Programs

Geoffrey Farmer in Conversation: The Intellection of Lady Spider House.
Friday, September 13, 6 pm

BMO All Day Sunday: Assembling Structures
Sunday, September 15, 12-4 pm

Artist Talk: The AGA Presents aAron munson
Sunday, September 29, 2 pm

Film: Take Shelter
Tuesday, October 8, 7 pm
Metro Cinema at the Garneau Theatre

Art for Lunch: Creating Environments for Contemporary Art
Thursday, October 17, 12:10-12:50 pm

Artist Talk: The AGA Presents David Hoffos
Wednesday, December 11, 7 pm


ABOUT THE ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta. It is the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Arts Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.