Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Geometry of Knowing Exhibition - in four parts

Simon Fraser University
Academic Quadrangle 3004
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6

Audain Gallery
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B 1H4

Geometry of Knowing is a group exhibition that investigates approaches to the acquisition of knowledge in the full mind-body-spirit sense of intelligence. Organized in four parts and presented across two galleries located in a post-secondary pedagogical institution, the project investigates the way in which artists engage tactics of fieldwork, embodiment and materiality in a manner that reveals or instigates processes of knowing. In this moment of increasing standardization and specialization regarding how people learn, art is a space for innovative thinking and experimentation outside given frameworks. 

Many works in the exhibition engage hybrid forms of fieldwork, borrowing methodologies and tools from anthropology, hunting, marine navigation, chemistry, herbology and horticulture. For example, Kika Thorne's new sculptural work, The Question of a Hunch, extends her ongoing interests in geometry, the visible spectrum and magnetism as a field upon which to project questions regarding chemical composition and its political ramifications. 

Knowing through embodiment calls into play the geometry of sense perception, communication and collaboration between artists and physical enactments. For example, Carole Itter's 1979 photographic series, "Euclid," documents musician Al Neil tracing Euclidean geometric theorems in the sand in North Vancouver. These images were projected as part of a collaborative live performance with Neil on piano, used on Neil's Boot & Fog album cover, as well as existing as photographic works in their own right. 

Manipulating materials, forms and images is a fundamental aspect of artistic production and transfigures how we experience, interpret and know the world. Camille Henrot's 2011 video, The Strife of Love in a Dream, for example, composes a visual atlas of strategies to conquer anxiety and fear through mythology, medicine, religion, art, ritual and tourism.

At SFU Galleries, we understand the university as a site of knowledge production, dissemination and acquisition. Its architecture is spatial and social, formalizing communal inquiry, contemplation, critique and invention. Situated in this architecture, the exhibition imagines the open geometry of the gallery as a context to re-examine how the visual and material languages of contemporary art generate experiential, emotional, physical, environmental and intuitive intelligence. Geometry of Knowing explores emerging and reclaimed forms of knowledge as tools to frame how artists consider ways of witnessing, being with, querying and generating.

The exhibition includes work by over 30 Canadian and international artists across the first three parts, including works from the SFU Art Collection. The fourth component is constituted as an SFU School for Contemporary Arts visual arts course in which students respond to the exhibition's theme through archival research.

Curated by Amy Kazymerchyk and Melanie O'Brian. Supported by a Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Field Notes Book inspired by The Nature of Nature Workshop

Inspired by the words of participants at our The Nature of Nature Workshop, November 2014, we have completed an artist's book addressing regeneration through seed, root and sprout imagery created by camera-less chemical processes. 
Field Notes - three panel artists' book - completed 2015

Click here to view the images and manuscript in the codex iteration.

In developing the series Natural History, our photographic
research led us through botanical taxonomy, intuition,
chemistry, mythology, history, and personal narratives. This
process of aggregating information inspired an examination
of the nature of collecting knowledge. How do the processes
and practices of knowing occur and change over time? What
is lost, and what is reclaimed? How does wisdom evolve? Is
knowledge a collective endeavor or a solitary path?

The Stella Collective exhibition at the Ukrainian Institute of
Modern Art, The Nature of a Collective, gave us an opportunity
to explore these questions. In November 2014, we invited
guests to a botanically themed workshop to observe plants,
consider the process of regeneration, and respond in quick,
collaborative writing exercises. With the assistance of writer,
Anja Notanja Seiger, participants elaborated upon the forces
found within the plant world and our connections to
these forces.

We framed the collective wisdom cultivated in these
exercises with photographic images made in response
to the workshop writing. These volumes are an exercise in
regeneration – sowing seeds and watching how they grow –
connecting the many paths of how we come to know.