Far Away So Close: Part II
Access is committed to contributing to critical discourse about and within contemporary art in Vancouver, and in linking artists of different generations to one another and to the wider community. Join Access Gallery Director/Curator Kimberly Phillips as she speaks to exhibiting artists Kathleen Ritter and Guillermo Trejo (visiting from Paris and Ottawa, respectively) with invited guest Ian Wallace about “revolutionary becoming,” repetition, and the efficacy of the political image in the aftermath of revolt.
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
― André Gide
Far Away So Close is a series of exhibitions, publications, and events that explores the idea of distance, considers the bridging of distance as an ultimately quixotic gesture, and investigates the particular relationship of this gesture to art making. Presented over the course of 2014–15 at Access, each installment features emergent artists who draw upon a variety of modes, materials, and methodologies, and whose practices are scattered across the globe.
Part II is focused on the political utterance or gesture. Here, in a nod to the long history of this consideration by the avant-garde, Paris-based Kathleen Ritter and Ottawa-based Guillermo Trejo explore moments of revolutionary utterance and action: the call to arms and what Slavoj Žižek has called “the day after tomorrow.” They consider the roles of opacity, subterfuge and repetition, and ways in which the creative act itself may above all be akin to the desire for political upheaval and change: foolishly impractical, resigned to the probability of failure and yet driven by an insuppressible hope.
Kathleen Ritter is an artist based in Vancouver and Paris. She was an artist in residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, in 2013. Her art practice broadly explores questions of visibility, especially in relation to systems of power, language and technology. Recent solo exhibitions include G Gallery, Toronto, and Battat Contemporary, Montréal, both in 2014. In addition Ritter has organized exhibitions in Canada and abroad. From 2007 to 2012, she was the Associate Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her writing on contemporary art has appeared in ESSE,Prefix Photo, and Fillip as well as in numerous catalogues.
Guillermo Trejo is a Mexican artist based in Ottawa. He completed his BFA at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Etching in Mexico City with a specialization in printmaking, and moved to Canada in 2007. The experience of immigration has shaped Trejo’s work. He holds an MFA from University of Ottawa and presented his Master’s thesis at the Ottawa Art Gallery. His first solo exhibition was at Saw Gallery (Ottawa), and he has been Artist-in-Residence at Creative Fusion (Cleveland, 2012). In addition, Trejo has worked as research consultant at the National Gallery of Canada, and he teaches printmaking at the Ottawa School of Art. He was the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Grant and the Becas para Jóvenes Creadores (Emerging Artist Award) from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Mexico) in 2014.
Ian Wallace has played a critical role in the development of contemporary art since the late 1960s. He has made an outstanding impact on both his contemporaries and subsequent generations through his important work as an art historian, critic and educator, and through an art practice that query the possibility of representation as a method of constructing meaning in the world. In his support for artist run centres, visiting artist programs and progressive curricula that address the histories of new media, Wallace has been and continues to be a significant force in Vancouver’s visual art community and beyond. Based in Vancouver, Wallace was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2012.