The Idiot of Nature
Exhibition runs from January 16th to February 2nd, 2013.
Opening: Wednesday, January 16th, 5 to 7pm.
AHVA Library Gallery
Koerner Library, Room 112
1958 Main Mall, Vancouver
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm
University of British Columbia
Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory
Featuring works by:
Matilda Aslizadeh, Scott Billings, Karilynn Ming Ho, Sophia Isajiw, Sasha Krieger, Nick Lakowski, Evan Lee, Athena Papadopoulos, Holly Parmley, Roula Partheniou, and Nick Smolinski
When the rational meaning and natural order of things rub up against our sense of understanding, laughter’s innocent self-ignorance is perhaps a naïve, unconscious acquiescence responding to the shortcomings of knowledge. It is a laughter of despair at the mind’s failure to offer a satisfactory explanation of the world. Humour usually takes a subversive stance towards all given knowledge. Jokes are always a fantasy. Yet, they carry a cognitive reckoning that often yields more profound facts. That fleeting moment when the laughter of forgetting your self grasps the underlying cognitive truth, that moment of pure delight, is one of awareness of a revealed error. It secures us with a sense of superior knowledge, the superiority we feel over instinct, and yet belies the inferiority we have in understanding it. In this lies the idiot of nature – the human spirit is at once superior to material life, and yet the mind remains inferior to the pure realm of absolute truth. As an outlet for repressed, or socially-unacceptable norms, it is but a whisper to the larger, possibly even more exploitative, agenda of the virtues and vices of humour. Suspending judgment is the morality that compensates for the suspicious or doubtful. The artists do not create laughter, but rather, humour – in a dance between subjectivities. They bring us closer to reality by what is revealed through imagined ideals faced pragmatically, the ‘serious’ approached ‘playfully.’
Curated by Christine D’Onofrio
Matilda Aslizadeh works primarily in the mediums of video and photography. Recent showings of her work include exhibitions at The Foreman Gallery, Sherbrooke; Centre A, Vancouver; and SFU Gallery, Burnaby. Upcoming exhibitions include Art Souterrain 2013, Montreal. Matilda is a Sessional Instructor at Emily Carr University and Kwantlen University.
Scott Billings’ practice centers on issues of animality, mobility, and cinematic spectatorship. Through video, sculpture, and installation, Billings’ work examines how the apparatus itself reveals both the mechanisms of causality and its own dormant animality. Billings has exhibited both locally and internationally. Billings holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia, a BFA from Emily Carr University, and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He lives and works in Vancouver.
Christine D'Onofrio is a visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended York University in Toronto for her BFA, and completed her MFA at the University of British Columbia. D’Onofrio has held positions at many academic institutions, and is currently teaching at University of British Columbia in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory. She has exhibited her work, given artist talks and served on panels in various institutions, throughout Canada. Christine works in photography, video, digital media, interactive media, printmaking, sculpture, book works, and installation.
Karilynn Ming Ho is a visual and performance based artist in Vancouver, British Columbia. She received an MFA at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts in 2010. Her practice involves the research and exploration of various formal and conceptual notions of performativity existing through live actions, video, installation, sculpture and photography. She has exhibited her video and performance-based works at Images Festival (Toronto), Festival Nemo (Paris), Stride Gallery (Calgary), and the Khyber Institute for Contemporary Art (Halifax).
Sophia Isajiw’s interdisciplinary works in installation, print and performance explore polarities and continuums, interconnection and legacy, yearning and memory, as these kiss or collide in lived physical or conceptual spaces. She teaches, curates, and writes on art, has too many credentials, shows and awards to list, and is known to produce festivals and events at major Toronto venues.
Sasha Krieger is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Vancouver, BC. She received her BFA in Photography from Emily Carr University in 2005 and her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2010. Krieger has exhibited projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Vancouver, and Toronto.
Nick Lakowski is a Vancouver artist currently indulging in suspicion, anxiety, dread, and colourful hard-edge abstraction. He holds a BFA from ECUAD and an MFA from UBC.
Evan Lee was born in 1975 in Vancouver. He received his MFA in 2000 from the University of British Columbia. Exhibitions include: On the Nature of Things at the Kamloops Art Gallery, Again and Again and Again and In Dialogue with Carr at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Triumphant Carrot: the Persistence of Still Life and Playing Homage at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Evan Lee Captures at Presentation House Gallery, Le Mois de la Photo à Montreal and At Play at the Liu Hai Su Museum in Shanghai. Evan Lee has been a sessional faculty member at the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design as well as in the Department of Fine Arts at UBC and is represented by Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto.
Canadian artist Athena Papadopoulos lives and works in London, UK. She works across a variety of mediums including large scale drawing/painting as well as, assemblage/sculpture. Papadopoulos is currently completing her MFA in art practice at Goldsmiths.
Holly Parmley, born 1988 in Belfast UK, moved to Canada at a young age and obtained her BFA in Fine Arts and Art History at the University of British Columbia from 2006-2011. She currently lives in London, United Kingdom and is a 2013 candidate for an MFA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Art. She has shown in Canada and throughout the United Kingdom.
Roula Partheniou's recent work has centered on an exploration of the replica and how the remaking of a familiar object can trigger a shift in perspective and perception. Making use of visual similes, material puns, colour cues, trompe l'oeil and reductive referents, she deconstructs the familiar in an effort to trigger a reconsideration of common forms, knowledge and assumptions. Partheniou is represented by MKG127 and her work can be seen at www.roulapartheniou.com.
Mikolaj Smolinski was born in Lodz, Poland and immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1983 where he became Nick Smolinski. He received his MFA from the University of Alberta in 2003. Nick currently resides and practices in Vancouver BC working with print and other media.