Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre: February 26-April 17, 2005
The Edmonton Art Gallery: May 21-September 4, 2005
Michael Campbell and Janice Rahn
Andrew King and Angela Silver
Curated by Catherine Crowston and Anthony Kiendl and produced by The Edmonton Art Gallery and the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre.
The Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2005 brings together some of Alberta’s most compelling artists. The Biennial is presented as an opportunity to explore where art is going today. This exhibition, marking the Centennial year of the province of Alberta, represents a range of artistic strategies that both draw connections and distinguish Alberta’s visual arts community from national and international contexts.
Arguably, spectacle and crisis have become the foundational elements of vision at the beginning of the 21st century. Saturation of media images and other diverse aspects of culture necessarily inflect the work of artists who are very much a part of contemporary society — propelling culture, as they provide essential reflections on the media, ideas, politics, and everyday life. The Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2005 will surprise, enlighten, question, stimulate, provoke, amuse, and entertain. By loosely grouping artists and artworks into themes, this exhibition invites viewers to look at works through multiple lenses, posing multiple questions including, where is art going today?
The built environment has re-emerged in the past decade as one of the primary preoccupations of artists in the production, exhibition and understanding of their work. The expanded field of sculptural territory resides among aspects of nature and architecture. Several artists in the Alberta Biennialstretch boundaries, explore scale, and investigate space. Simon Black, Clay Ellis, Andrew King and Angela Silver, and Nicholas Wade create works that share a provocative look at the built environment. They ask the viewer to reconsider their relationship to the world around them.
The collision of culture and the natural environment has been widely analyzed in contemporary art.Tom Andriuk, Michael Campbell and Janice Rahn, Faye HeavyShield, Liz Ingram, Paul Jackson,Lylian Klimek, Lyndal Osborne, and Tanya Rusnak engender a sense of wonder in their mixed-media installations. While diverse in their approaches, their work builds relationships between nature and culture, and proposes that our assumptions about both may not be so straightforward.
Popular culture and entertainment have colonized and even subsumed most aspects of society. To varying degrees, artists have employed a number of strategies to respond to this situation. No longer universally understood simply as an investigation in aesthetics, it could be argued that art has become a wing of the entertainment industry (if a particularly transgressive one). Artists may or may not be complicit in this to varying degrees, but galleries, museums and Biennials almost certainly are. Reflecting on spectacle, entertainment, the media, and popular culture, Dianne Bos, Rébecca Bourgault, Mark Clintberg, David Diviney, and David Hoffos, delineate alternative ways to negotiate our information-saturated visual culture.
Utilizing alternatives to conventions of traditional visual art, Mary-Anne McTrowe, Chris Millar,Cherie Moses, Mireille Perron, and Marc Seigner share the impulse to tell stories. Whether through documentary narratives, poetry, song writing, the conventions of comics and film, or the world of dreams, these artists take us on a journey beyond the everyday.
CURATOR: CATHERINE CROWSTON
Catherine Crowston is Deputy Director / Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Alberta. From 1994-1997, Crowston was the Director / Curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre and prior to that was Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto. Crowston currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Edmonton Public Art Committee and has been both an Editor and Chair of the Board of Directors of Fuse Magazine in Toronto. Crowston has curated numerous exhibitions over the course of her career and overseen the production of several national travelling exhibitions. In 2002 Crowston served as the Canadian Commissioner for the Sydney Biennale of Contemporary Art and was awarded the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts.
CURATOR: ANTHONY KIENDL
Anthony Kiendl is currently Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, and winner of the 2009 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art. In 2007 he was Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Arts, Middlesex University, London. He was the Director of Visual Arts, Walter Phillips Gallery and the Banff International Curatorial Institute at The Banff Centre from 2002 until 2006. In 2002, he served as Acting Director of the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library in Saskatchewan where he was Curator since 1997. He has lectured internationally and has been instrumental in the delivery of several symposia including those for Tate Modern, the Banff International Curatorial Institute and Plug In ICA. His most recent curatorial project was the creation and direction of the Summer Institute (Plug In ICA), an inter-disciplinary alternative art school/residency program for professional artists and curators.