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