2010

How Far? | Todd Redderberg | October 29 to December 3, 2010

In the fall of 2004, I was on a junior high school camping trip to Cypress Hills Provincial Park.  The trip included a nature hike. The gym teacher took my class up to a precipice and told us to follow the road back to the campsite.

I reckoned that if I cut through a stand of trees it would save at least a twenty-minute walk around the dense bush.  With that, I darted into the perimeter and moved swiftly between the conifers.

After 40 minutes of bushwhacking, I was wild with terror that I had not emerged from the other side of the stand. The rhythm of feet matched the beat of my heart. Just as I was about to give into panic, I caught sight of the road I was looking for. Walking out of the tree line carried a euphoric feeling.

How far? Is an installation to replicate this moment of euphoria, as I emerged from the dark forest with a humble appreciation and respect for a space that could have easily swallowed me whole. 

LIVE! Auction Fundraiser + Holiday Party | December 3rd, 2010

TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary is a non-profit artist-run centre dedicated to the development and public presentation of contemporary art. On December 3rd, TRUCK will host the LIVE! Auction Fundraiser + Holiday Party to raise funds for the gallery. The event will showcase works from members of the local art community and items from local businesses.

We are currently seeking donations from local artists and businesses in support of the gallery. Donations can be dropped off at TRUCK Gallery during our regular business hours. We will gratefully accept donations up until Friday November 26th @ 5:00PM.

Mark your calendars for this vital fundraising event! Join us on December 3rd, 2010 to support the gallery and celebrate the holiday season!

Life in the 2 field | Robyn Moody | September 10 to October 7, 2010

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In drawn animation, there are a number of different fields used for different effects. In a #2 field, for example, the drawings are done in an area approximately 2" wide x 1.5" high. A #12 field will be 12" wide x 8" high. In the larger fields, the slight differences between drawings are less detectable, allowing for smoother perceived motion. In a small field - the # 2 field, small differences in successive drawings are amplified when enlarged or projected on a large screen. Lines delineating a room, for example, have a tendency to wave wildly. 

Life in the 2 field is a project that will turn TRUCK's main gallery into a living drawing. The space will be delineated with black cord connected to motors at the room's junctions. Simple mechanical cams and levers will be used to initiate waves in the cords, animating the "drawing" of the room. The space will be intensely lit to make the physical nature of the walls of the room disappear.

Battleship Down | Randy Niessen | August 5 to September 29, 2010

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Randy Niessen’s site specific installations are formal explorations created through a hybrid of painting, print media, and sculpture. These installations play with the tension between art and environment, materials and space, as well as reality and illusion. In the abstract of a sinking ship, Battleship Down is an explosive scene of geometric shapes and colour. Fire, water, and light are represented by paint and string erupting around an abstract dreadnought engulfed in its own environment.

Transcending Here | Miruna Dragan & Noxious Sector | July 9 to August 5, 2010

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The artists in Transcending Here offer alternative interpretations of what it means to be in the world.

Miruna Dragan’s The Fertile Void, is an on-going series of actions on golf courses – a context rich with numerous political and environmental implications – upon which the artist’s work poetically responds. Dragan will bring her two most recent installments in the series,The Fertile Void V: The Cloud of Unknowing and The Fertile Void VI: The Cloud of Forgetting inside the gallery this summer, which is based upon the anonymous 14th century Christian mystical text called The Cloud of Unknowing that proposes one should spiritually reside on a plane between two strata: “the cloud of unknowing” above, forever obscuring an understanding of God, and “the cloud of forgetting” below, elevating believers above the finite and terrestrial.  

Noxious Sector brings their “formalized forum for informal inquiry” to Calgary, with Magnetically Inclined. This project is an exploration of the relationship between cognition and high-powered rare-earth magnets, based upon the neuropsychologist Dr. Michael Persinger’s apparatus, the “god helmet”. Taking artistic liberties with both his method and context, Magnetically Inclined seeks imaginative social application of magnetic stimulation for creative, humorous, and speculative inquiry.


'Now you ask me how you can destroy this pure awareness and feeling of your own being. Perhaps you think that if it were destroyed all other hindrances would also be destroyed; and if you think that, you are correct' – from ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’[1] 

TRUCK goes supernatural: ‘Transcending Here’ creates a dialogue between the skeptic and the sorcerer, suggesting that ‘what is sacred is ungraspable’ (and, perhaps, beautiful and a tad irreverent).[2]

Miruna Dragan's 'The Fertile Void' presents two video works from her 'Cloud of Unknowing' series. The name is taken from an anonymous 14th century Christian text (that has inspired everyone from Aldous Huxley to The Gorillaz) that posits an approach to spiritual life by suggesting people live in an interstitial space between the unknowable (God, heaven) and the known (the trappings of earthly, more humanly concerns). Though the book shares tropes with other Christian texts (‘The Rule of St. Benedict, Thomas a Kempis's 'The Imitation of Christ') that encourage ‘a complete absence of self assertion’ (thereby making it easier to penetrate God’s ‘cloud of unknowing’), it’s more ponderously philosophical than prescriptive, a utopian approach to spiritual fulfillment.[3]

This utopian ideal reflects Dragan's decision to film on golf courses (everywhere from Romania to the Banff Springs Golf Club), perhaps the most perfect of manufactured landscapes – pristine and beautiful, yet wholly constructed and sterile, imposing a fictional landscape onto an already existing one. Dragan's cloud (composed of hexagonal balloons) drifts over the bright, coolly manicured greens like a milky, bubbly mass, the two entities effectively creating their own cosmology. As Dragan says, it’s 'irreverent yet spiritual, reinvigorating that sterilization by putting some magic back into it.’

For a more brain-buzzing approach to the unseen, The Noxious Sector Arts Collective (Ted Hiebert and Doug Jarvis) present ‘Magnetically Inclined.’ The Collective's work takes a cue from Dr. Michael Persinger's 'god helmet,' a contraption that (so the doctor believed) allowed one to gain greater cognitive ability from magnetic powers within the earth by placing strong magnets around the head and ‘attaching’ oneself to their surroundings. (Though Persinger suggests a strong blast to the temporal lobes, the collective has opted on lower-intensity magnets over a longer duration.)

Magnetism has held an interest for dabblers in esoteric magic for centuries, where it was believed that ‘there was a universal magnetism (or “fluid”) circulating in the substance of the nerves which made the human body analogous with a magnet.’[4] By attaching themselves to urban environments, the Collective explores a closer communion with both their bodies and surroundings, while providing a critical look at pseudoscience in its various iterations.

Not without a hint of danger, however. As Hiebert comments, after the collective’s recent Calgary trip: ‘It might be partly due to the environment, the magnets, or the festivities that inevitably occur when visiting places… (but) I still have a bit of a headache from last weekend.”

 

BRYN EVANS

[1] Progoff, Ira. ‘The Cloud of Unknowing.’ New York: The Julian Press Inc., 1969.

[2] Bataille, Georges. ‘The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism.’ New York: Verso, 2006.

[3] Radice, Betty, editor. ‘Early Christian Writings.’ London: Penguin Books, 1987.

[4] Nataf, André. ‘Les maitres de l’occultisme.’ Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1991.

Clothesline | Beth Pederson | June 4 to July 29, 2010

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While much of Beth Pederson’s artistic practice is about discovering beauty in the familiar, it is also a study of illusion that pushes the boundaries of still life painting. Interested in discovering why some objects are perceived as being beautiful while others are not, Pederson offers the viewer the opportunity to reevaluate their ideas concerning beauty and what has influenced such ideas with her new installation piece, Clothesline.

Last Day | Ben Jacques, Nicole Sanches, and Chris Joynt | May 27 to June 24, 2010

Kiss your friends. Make a toast. Call your Mom. Tell the truth. Confess your love. Cut your hair. Smoke a joint. Forgive your Dad. Take a shot. Bake a pie. Paint a picture. Take a dive. Start a fire. Dance a dance. Buy a boat. Watch the sky. Hold your kids. Feed your pets. Run the block. Watch the clock. Make a fist. Look at art. Slap your knee. Take the blame. Wipe your eyes. Write a song. Bide your time. Laugh aloud. Look around. Pinch yourself. Piss yourself. Raise your hands. Make demands. Think about the world that was–

This show operates on the curatorial premise that the artists will create new works for this show based upon the assumption that the world will be ending the day after the opening.

Curated by Sarah Adams-Bacon


Making Ends Meet by Sarah Adams-Bacon

                                “Tonight I shall carry it out. Tonight, just as the 14th of November has ended and the 15th of November has begun, it will take place, after which nothing will take place ever again, anywhere. But I’d like to tell you how I came to my decision – although – yes, yes, yes, certainly it’s true – to what end should I tell the story, after all? I have just pointed out that tonight everything will come to an end, and this story too will end, and also every reader of my story.”

          - Christian Morenstern, “The End of the World”, tr. By E.S. Shaffer, in Comparative Criticism, 6  (Cambridge, 1984), 268. 

The framework for this exhibition proposes that the world will end at midnight on May 27, 2010, the night of the Last Day opening reception. This date was found to be as good as any to suit the end of the world, as collected research proved evident that the ability to predict the last day is surprisingly easy to acquire. Some use astronomical evaluation, some environmental data, some deep meditation, some magical chicken eggs, and some stare at the wall for a few seconds until it comes to them. The qualifications to pin such a momentous and finite occasion are impressively varied, and luckily, not very well regulated. Thus, it only made sense that a young emerging curator with no experience or expertise in any area involving geodynamics, astronomy, meteorology, prophetology, or ornithology should choose a date as well.

The artists chosen for this exhibition have been alerted to the calamitous circumstances of this date, and have been asked to produce their final works. The questions that follow are: Will the work be hopeless? Angry? Optimistic? Survivalist? Flippant? Desperate? Reverent? Irreverent? Honest? Vulnerable? Because it remains uncertain if the works will survive the End, will more or less be poured into them?

Of course, as history has consistently shown, the world never quite seems to get to the ending bit. From 13th century Joachim of Fiore to the first of many Jehovah’s Witnesses Doomsday predictions (1874-1999), accuracy within such calculations has proven elusive – delays and reschedules abound. With that in mind, if May 27, 2010 – by some strike of fate unseen – does not wrap up human existence as anticipated, then another “Last Day” exhibition will certainly be penciled in. If nothing else, it will give us more reasons to kiss those we love and forgive those we don’t. Might as well. You never know, right?

“’Postmodernity’ is another kind of ending that does not sound very exciting. Here too we are told of ‘the death of grand narratives’, an end to any possible belief in Truth, History, Progress, Reason or Revolution (still less Revelation). That sounds final enough. And, in its way, it is meant to be liberating. But again there is no sense of a new departure, a new freedom now that the scales of illusion have fallen from our eyes. Instead we are invited to take a purely pragmatic or ironic stance towards the world, to avoid public commitment and devote ourselves to the pursuit of private purposes and private life.”

- Kumar, Krishan. “Apocalypse, Millenium and Utopia Today”. Apocalypse Theory and the Ends of the World, Ed Malcolm Bull. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 1996. 207

Calgary ARTours | Tomas Jonsson, Cat Schick, and Sharon Stevens | April 23 to May 20, 2010

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By inviting the collective public to experience and contribute to a greater shared understanding of Calgary, the artists of ARTours are subverting the idea of the auteur—the one visionary who creates experiences for others—making them akin to collaborative art shamans who create space for a transformative experience shared by a larger group of people. Tomas Jonsson’s Walk Stop, Cat Schick’s Mapping the City, and Sharon Stevens’s OX: A Crash Course on Loving Calgary are projects that have deep roots in arts activism practice, but seek a level of public engagement that goes beyond interventionist strategies and objective methodologies. In doing so, these artists open the gallery space to a wide variety of influences and interpretations, functioning like a real-life, multi-platform game played out around Calgary, bringing the activity from TRUCK out onto the street then and back again, continually adding layers of meaning.