Jon Sasaki

11 Sep to 30 Oct 2010

Opening Reception Friday, September 10 8PM In conjunction with Swarm 2010

Access Gallery is pleased to present Toronto-based artist, Jon Sasaki in his first Vancouver solo exhibition. Comedown explores ideas of futility, physical limitations, and letdown. In addition to earlier works, the exhibition includes the premiere of a new video project produced in collaboration with Parkour BC.

In the wake of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver is a space in transition, coming to terms with an event that has happened and the legacies left by this global spectacle. For Comedown, Sasaki collaborates with local parkour practitioners, or traceurs, to produce a new work. Originating in France, parkour is a way of physically engaging with urban spaces by interacting acrobatically with city spaces and forms of architecture often overlooked by the city’s inhabitants. Sasaki proposes a collective form of parkour, presenting a series of challenges that provide an allegory for the larger society.

Utilizing film, video, objects, performance and installation, Comedown takes cynicism and tragedy as starting points, countering thematic heaviness with dry, comic delivery. Works presented in the exhibition such as, Cycle (2009) and Toronto’s Official Y2K Mascot, Autumn (2008) are structured like the familiar “shaggy dog joke,” a deadpan escalation of expectations, followed by an anticlimactic punch line. Sasaki makes repeated use of an earnest “everyman” character in his short looped video work, suggesting an inescapable cycle of trial and failure. The work is a reflection on the mechanics of making artwork and the frustrations that can accompany its presentation.

Sasaki consistently investigates sports entertainment, athleticism, and the underbelly of unfettered celebration in his practice, finding unabashed optimism and value in what may appear as complete failure, resignation, or pathos.

Working in the vein of “romantic conceptualism,” Jon Sasaki utilizes primarily performance-for-video, objects, installations and interventions in work that mixes humor and pathos, often with gently antagonistic results. His work has been presented in recent solo exhibitions at The Doris McCarthy Gallery, (University of Toronto, Scarborough) 126, (Galway, Ireland), Centre Clark (Montreal), and Latitude 53 (Edmonton). He has participated in group exhibitions at VOX (Montreal), The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Owens Art Gallery (Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB), Simon Fraser University Gallery (Burnaby, BC), as well as the 2006 and 2008 editions of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. Jon was an active member of the Instant Coffee art collective between 2002 and 2007. He lives and works in Toronto and is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.

Please join us for the opening of Comedown, Friday September 10th at 8pm, in conjunction with Swarm 2010.

An artist talk by Sasaki, entitled, “A Talk That Will Possibly Make You Laugh and Make You Cry, Hopefully Both At the Same Time,” will be presented at Emily Carr University on Wednesday, September 15th at 12pm. For more information visit the Emily Carr Speaker's Series website.

Comedown is supported by Arts Partners in Creative Development. Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, our members and volunteers. Access is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres.

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