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Main Space/Parkade/U-Hall

Runs from September 5, 1997 to October 4, 1997

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Tongue is a group exhibition exploring language, its structure of meaning and the way that they are manifested or displaced through memory and translation. The seven artists in the exhibition incorporate languages other than English in their work to articulate notions of identity, cultural difference, and personal history. A variety of media is represented including video, installation, photography, and painting.


Laiwan is an artist and writer recognized for her interdisciplinary practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia.

In 1983 she founded the OR Gallery at 1729 Franklin Street in Vancouver. She was artist-in-residence / programmer during its first year. In 1988 she initiated the First Vancouver Lesbian Film Festival in collaboration with the Lesbian Network, the Vancouver East Cinema, the Pacific Cinematheque and the National Film Board of Canada. This four day event was a celebrated public success for the community.

Laiwan continues to exhibit in various group and solo shows, curates projects in the US, Canada and Zimbabwe, and is an activist in gay and feminist community organizing. Published in journals and in collections such as Swallowing Clouds: An Anthology of Chinese-Canadian Poetry; Facing History: Portraits from Vancouver, and, DAMP: Contemporary Vancouver Media Art; Laiwan also writes about art. Recently she examined hauntology in the work of Ed Pien for Canadian Art Magazine.

Ruth Cuthand

Ruth Cuthand was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and grew up in various communities throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. With her Plains Cree heritage, Ms. Cuthand’s aboriginal culture and memories of her childhood experiences are often the inspiration for her work. Through her work she explores the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger. Ms. Cuthand graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1990, Cuthand had the first solo show of her career at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Currently living in Saskatoon, Ms. Cuthand is Artist in Residence at AIDS Saskatoon.


Miloslav Dlouhy

Antonia Hirsch

Antonia Hirsch was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and has been based in Vancouver since 1995. Determined by a conceptual imperative, Antonia Hirsch’s projects encompass a variety of media, including installation and lens-based artworks. A significant focus of her practice addresses systems of measurement, as well as other systems of representation, and explores how these function as interfaces between personal experience and a shared, social reality. Her work is exhibited internationally and also resides in Canadian public collections such as that of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank.

Denis Lessard

Denis Lessard lives and works in Montreal. Since 1982, it has its performance and visual creations in Canada, the United States, France and the Netherlands. He holds an MA in art history from the University of Montreal (1985). He also works as an art critic, translator, guest curator and teacher in art history. His interdisciplinary practice has addressed issues such as the collection of male identity, spirituality and the relationship between literature, music and visual arts. Since 1987, he has completed several residencies in Canada and the Netherlands, where he created projects related to memory, history and community of the towns and places he explores. He is currently preparing a certificate in archives at the School of Library and Information Science from the University of Montreal.

Elizabeth MacKenzie

Elizabeth MacKenzie is an artist who’s lived and worked in a number of Canadian cities including Toronto, Saskatoon, Edmonton and, for the past 12 years, Vancouver. Studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto many, many years ago and received her MFA from the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) in 1993. MacKenzies projects have been characterized by an interest in representations of maternal ambivalence, notions of the parasite, interrogations of portraiture and the representation of ambiguous identities. Mackenzie is a sessional instuctor at Emily Carr University (Vancouver) and have developed numerous participatory drawing projects for adults and children. Maintaining an ongoing commitment to collaboration, writing and teaching.

Arlene Stamp

Arlene trained initially in mathematics, teaching high school math in London, Ontario for four years. She returned to school in the late 1970s for her art training in Calgary, before moving to Toronto in the early 1980s. During her twelve years in Toronto, she produced four major bodies of work, carried out two public art commissions, and developed a reputation for her conceptual, often collaborative installations. In Toronto, her work is represented by the Wynick/Tuck Gallery. She moved west again in 1995, and currently resides and works in Calgary. Her work is represented in Calgary by the Trépanier Baer Gallery.