Under New Management: Video Store

30 Jul to 7 Sep 2013

Opening reception August 1st, 2013, with special screening.

**Please see below for screenings nights! Free, no sign-up required!

Organized by Toronto-based curators Su-Ying Lee and Suzanne Carte, Under New Management will temporarily convert Access into a video rental store. The project assumes the characteristics of the retail environment to connect to the local community while challenging the gallery’s role as an intermediary that delimits the viewer’s direct access to art. Video titles in stock are artists’ works procured through an international open call for submissions. “Customers” are asked to pay what they wish, which can be interpreted as cash, a non-monetary exchange, critique or no remuneration. This facet is in place as an experimental form of engagement, where artists have the opportunity to receive responses directly from viewers. In addition to payment, rental and return are also on an honour system basis to remove barriers that exist due to membership requirements, deposits and return policies at commercial venues. Boundaries are blurred and expectations subverted through a presentation model that proposes a hybrid between the gallery context and the broader public sphere. Under New Management also reflects upon the current economic climate, particularly the severe decrease in use of VHS and DVD recordings, and its devastating effect on video rental businesses both large and small. The most unfortunate loss, as we have witnessed recently in Vancouver, is that of local independent operations that carried rare and foreign titles, cult favorites, documentaries and experimental films. The plight of the small business has a special relevance to Access Gallery and its location on East Georgia Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown, where numerous independent, family-operated shops are closing due to escalating rental rates and rapid development.

Under New Management (UNM) is comprised of the curatorial team Suzanne Carte and Su-Ying Lee, a collective of cultural producers working in contemporary art. Operating as a mutable entity, UNM re-invents roles and shifts boundaries to inspire production and engagement. Collaboration with new and experimental strategies is at the forefront of their practice. Suzanne Carte is an independent curator and critical art writer. Currently, she works as Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of York University. Previously she held positions as outreach programmer for the Blackwood Gallery and the Art Gallery of Mississauga and as professional development and public program coordinator at the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Independently, Suzanne has curated exhibitions in public spaces, artist-run centres, commercial and public art galleries including All Systems Go!, MOTEL and Man’s Ruin. Su-Ying Lee is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art. From 2011-2012, she was Curator in Residence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. She has curated exhibitions that include the work of Kent Monkman and Lawrence Weiner and commissioned the work of Harrell Fletcher and Wendy Red Star. Lee is interested in the role of curator as co-conspirator, accomplice and active agent. She seeks new ways to mobilize art, audiences and context.


Summer Video Nights At Access Gallery!

Join us each Thursday night in August to view a selection of videos from the Under New Management: Video Store collection, specially chosen and presented by Vancouver-based artists and curators Liz Park, Brady Cranfield, Jem Noble and Donato Mancini. All welcome; free of charge. Popcorn will be served, and the front doors opened to the evening breeze.

In Time We Share: Liz Park Selects | Thursday August 1, 8pm | Exhibition Opening Reception 9pm

This is an invitation to share and think about time. In acknowledgement of the temporal dictates of time-based art, Liz Park presents a selection of videos based on their run time, and a talk that mirrors the length of the videos. An independent curator and writer, Liz is committed to generating forums to engage audiences with discussions of contemporary political and social realities. She received a Masters of Arts in Art History/Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. In 2011/2012, she was Helena Rubinstein Fellow in the Curatorial Program at the Whitney Independent Study Program. Liz was recently awarded the Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellowship at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

Breaking the Audiovisual Contract: Brady Cranfield Selects | Thursday August 8, 8pm

The French composer, sound designer, and writer Michel Chion defines the “audiovisual contract” as a kind of “symbolic pact” made between “audio-spectators” and the films, videos, television programs, and other moving images they watch and listen to. Vouchsafed in an unstated but seemingly requisite negotiation, this contract assembles the audio and visual characteristics of a film into a comprehensive experience, adding to the almost compulsive “suspension of disbelief” that films typically encourage. In an effort to break and reconfigure this contract, Brady Cranfield will choose a selection of videos from the Under New Management collection and present them as images only, as soundtracks only, as juxtapositions of different images and soundtracks, and finally in their original configuration. Brady is a Vancouver-based sound and visual artist, musician and writer. His work has been exhibited and performed across Canada.

Mystery VHS: a Posthumanist Aesthetics of Recording and Distribution: Jem Noble Selects |

Thursday August 15, 8pm

Parataxis is the juxtaposition of fragments without elaborating their possible links. In this presentation Jem Noble offers a series of excerpts from the Under New Management collection of “Mystery VHS” tapes, in conjunction with readings from VHS: a Posthumanist Aesthetics of Recording and Distribution – the artist’s parataxic contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World and an extension of his 2009 residency at VIVO. Jem's practice encompasses digital image-making, sound, sculpture, performance and text and is concerned with questions of framing, indeterminacy and co-production. Based in the United Kingdom, Jem is a founding member of the Blackout Arts expanded-cinema collective and was co-director of Venn Festival of new and exploratory music and sound between 2004 and 2008.

As You Remember: Donato Mancini Selects | Thursday, August 22, 8pm

Donato Mancini will present selections from Robert Zverina’s ongoing video memoir robZtv, as departure points for exploring questions of time, consciousness, cinematic ideation and the collaborative construction of memories. Donato's interdisciplinary practice focuses mainly on bookworks, poetry and text-based visual art. He is the author of four books of procedural and visual writings, including Æthel (2007) and Buffet World (2011).

He is based in Vancouver.

Curators' Talk via Skype | Thursday, September 5, 7pm

Join Director/Curator Kimberly Phillips as she speaks with Su-Ying and Suzanne in Toronto about the ideas that underpin Under New Management: Video Store.

Download a PDF copy of the Exhibition Tearsheet for Under New Management here