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Catalogue Excerpts

Below are selected main essays from MSVUArt catalogues.

The Anaconda in the Chandelier: George Steeves and the Politics of Public Expression
The Anaconda in the Chandelier: George Steeves and the Politics of Public Expression Panel Discussion featuring George Steeves, Christine Overall and Peter Schwenger Moderated by Ingrid Jenkner, Director of MSVU Art Gallery On the occasion of the exhibition, George Steeves Photographs Held at MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia Monday, March 12, 2007, 7:30 pm

The Archaeology of Origin
Transnational Visions of Africa in a Borderless Cinema

Increasing trends towards globalization have created a reevalution of the rhetoric of origin as a pure and unadulterated concept as the borders between nations and identities blur with the movement of peoples and economies. I response to circumstances as diverse as migration, exile and slavery, origin has been challenged by transnational forces created by complex journeys that render static concepts of ground zero problematic.

Beneath the Surface
The Nova Scotian artists Nancy Edell, Kim Morgan and Susan Wood share an interest in corporeal experience. In the works selected for Beneath the Surface, the artists present metaphors for the invisible, sometimes pathological processes taking place within the body.

Beyond Words
The art in Beyond Words encourages its viewers to think of written language as something more than a transparent medium of communication. Each work in the exhibition presents print or handwriting in a way that defeats a simple reading response; letterforms, cursive script, and printed pages are transformed into tactile, auditory, enigmatic, even illicit, material. To make sense of these works, the viewer must let go of verbal cues and attend to form and materials.

Blind Stairs
The idea of Blind Stairs began with Janice Gurney, Mary Scott and Arlene Stamp. As Janice explained in a letter, “Arlene, Mary and I feel we are at similar points in our lives as artists. All of us are revisiting our past work and remaking it in some way that alters its original form and content.”

Brenda Pelkey Haunts
In 1975 the Canadian experimental filmmaker and visual artist Joyce Wieland made the feature-length film The Far Shore. It is a work of astonishing beauty in which the Canadian landscape figures as the principal motif in a feminist re-telling of the life of the painter Tom Thomson. Released commercially in 1976, the film embraces melodramatic narrative conventions in a playful, self-reflexive fashion, linking the repressed feminine longing that is the major theme of melodrama with the loversí bodily assimilation into a romanticized landscape.

Brisk Collages & Bricolages
Artistic audits & creative revisions of mainstream media in recent Canadian shorts

The tongue-twisting title of Brisk Collages and Bricolages continues the tradition established by the preceding series, Changing Times, Time Changes (2002) and Placing Spaces, Spacing Places (2003). In each of these film and video programs, series curator Gerda Cammaer highlights an aspect of contemporary media artistsí aesthetic and thematic preoccupations.

Cathy Busby 24/7 at Work
Walk into any drugstore and you become marketingís target. "Empowermint" toothpaste, “High Endurance” body wash, "24/7" deodorant—the packaging language "shops" a set of ideals that the act of buying confirms: I am energized, powerful, effective in the world. The powerful, energetic athleticism advocated by this marketing psychology is but purchase away.

Changing Times, Time Changes
Canadian Experimental Films & Videos of the 1990s

This catalogue documents a series of films and videos programmed by Gerda Cammaer for Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, and screened at the Nova Scotia College of art and Design in March 2002.

Conceptual Art in Canada: The East Coast Story
Conceptual Art in Canada: The East Coast Story Essay by Jayne Wark

Danish Modern: Suzanne Swannie Textil
Suzanne Swannie is a Halifax-based designer and weaver who creates functional textiles, tapestries and large architectural installations for private and public environments. The exhibition catalogue contains essays by Sheila Stevenson, Halifax, and Rachel Gotlieb, Toronto.

Dirt, Detritus & Vermin
Ornament and Grime

In counterpoint to Lucky Rabbit Potteryís decorative installation in the adjacent gallery, Dirt, Detritus and Vermin presents a room resembling an abandoned studio. The artists use the techniques of fine craftsmanship, but they subvert tradition by applying them to degraded materials and subject matter. The overall effect is to parody the immorality attributed to ornament by Adolf Loos in his polemical essay, “Ornament and Crime” (1908).

Earth Skins: Three Decades of Drawing by Susan Wood
For thirty years, Susan Wood has carried on a studio practice rooted in the principles of observational drawing. Atlantic Canadian audiences are probably most familiar with her recent work: elegant and elegiac drawings of decaying flowers, dead birds and insects created over the past dozen years or so.

Elegies and Effigies
This exhibition focuses on Nova Scotian artists who share a preoccupation with trace imagery, detritus and elegiac themes.

Frances Dorsey: Saigon

Frances Dorsey Saigon Stories

Free Sample
KELLY MARK: Part of the reason I started samplesize.ca was I really felt that most artists Ė Iíll even go so far as to say most ĎCanadianí artists Ė havenít really taken advantage of the webís potential for dissemination. Iíve had my own personal website for several years now and I canít even imagine being a working artist without it.

For Example (Butler, Clark Espinal, Gerken)
For Example (Butler, Clark Espinal, Gerken) is the third instalment in a series curated by Micah Lexier specially for the MSVU Art Gallery mezzanine space. In keeping with the idea of the sample, each installation includes works by three artists in three separate, identical vitrines, highlighting the potential for individuality within a context of uniformity.

George Steeves: 1979-1993
Preface from the catalogue published to accompany the exhibition, George Steeves: 1979-1993, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa

George Steeves Photographs
In addition to his mastery of historical techniques and his exquisite printing, the Haligonian photographer George Steeves is known for an iconography "shot through with grotesque sexuality, reverence for emotional pain, and chilly black humour.

Glynis Humphrey Breathing Under Water
Glynis Humphrey explores surface as a site of seduction, desire and repulsion, as a foil or masquerade, and as a facade on which we project the other. Allowing her video camera to rove at close range over the bodyís opulent flesh, sumptuous fabrics, and lavish foods, her compelling video installations over the last decade have disavowed the distanced objectifying gaze that produces the monstrous feminine as other.

Harbour Photographs by Scott Conarroe
The ten prints in the Harbour (2004-2005) series were photographed by Scott Conarroe, who initially studied in Vancouver, while he was a graduate student in Halifax. They depict mixed-use and transitional sites, such as a parking lot, an auto dealership and a marina, located within sight of the Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts. With deliberate irony, this young artist has selected precisely the urban landscapes that would be avoided by photographers seeking scenic material, and he has done so while living in a region renowned for its picturesque scenery.

Jim Shirley Returns
The Art of James R. Shirley

I was born I New York City. I grew up during a time that was one of the most culturally fertile periods of my life. The Harlem Renaissance was just coming to a close. There was a surge of expression and a sense of creative discovery everywhere. The community life that I recall was robust and exuberant at every turn. I can still remember the music of everyday life.

Leonard Paul Drawings
In ancient times the Kwedeches and the Miíkmaq were friends. This changed when two young sons of the respective chieftains quarrelled, and one killed the other. Many battles ensued, which the Miíkmaq usually won because there were more of them.

Lily Markiewicz Promise II
The artist was born in post-war Germany and completed her education in England. She lives in London and teaches at several post-secondary institutions, including the Kent institute of Art and Design. She works in performance, film, video, and in the spatialized format known as installation art. Her installations typically incorporate video, photography and, in the case of Promise II, recorded sound. Her work has been exhibited since the late 1980s in Europe and the United Kingdom and, less frequently, in Canada.

Lisette Model: A Performance in Photograpy
In1901 amidst the sunset decades of the Hapsburg dynasty, the woman who would later be known as Lisette Model was born into an upper-class Viennese family. Christened Elise Stern, she was to become one of the 20th centuryís most influential photographers. There would not be the slightest indication that this was to be the case for more than thirty years.

Mike MacDonald Digital Garden

Moral Fibre
As a coeducational university that emphasizes the education of women, Mount Saint Vincent makes a point of acquiring works by women artists for its permanent collection of visual art. The current holdings include significant examples of contemporary textile-based art, some of which are on view in Moral Fibre.

Orientally Yours
As artists of Asian descent working and living in Canada, Karen Tam and Jihee Min create work that focuses on the social and personal manifestations of Orientalism. Oriental Ornamental brings together Tamís Pagoda Pads: Opium Den and Minís Once Upon Camellia Blossoms. In these interactive installations, the artists redeploy Asian stereotypes in ways that provoke questions about identity, place and constructed notions of Asian-ness.

Placing Spaces, Spacing Places
Canadian Experimental Films & Videos since 1990

Spacing Places is the sequel to Changing Times, the film and video series presented by MSVU Art Gallery in Spring 2002. Whereas Changing Times concentrated on time as a theme and formal component in contemporary film and video, Spacing Places invites audiences to navigate screen space.

Prospect 15: Anne Macmillan
Catalogue Excerpt

Queer Commodity
What do you buy the queer who has everything? Rainbow teddybears with giant erections? Dildo kits with six different flavors of lube? Or for the particularly well-to-do, a south-seas cruise where what cruises is a lot more than the Love Boat? Yes, honeys, we are a target market.

Racing the Cultural Interface:
African Diasporic Identities in the Digital Age

This catalogue documents an exhibition focused on some of the most thought-provoking tendencies in recent media art-the practices of black artists who consciously imbue screen space with their diasporic sense of “elsewhere”.

Reunion: Drawings by Elizabeth MacKenzie
Reunion: Drawings by Elizabeth Mackenzie with poetry by Kathy Mac

Roots & Shoots
This exhibition draws out tendencies that circulate among certain visual artists of Halifax Regional Municipality and its environs. Its generative process, inspired by Jan Allenís Connected at Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, 2005), relies on the informal networks through which artists connect with one another. From a curatorís perspective these networks might be compared to plant rhizomes which spread partly at soil level but also, more intriguingly, below ground. Thus the process of reciprocal selection modeled in Connected has been repeated in Roots and Shoots. Its purpose is to draw out patterns of artistic affiliation (and rifts) that would not otherwise be apparent to an institutional curator.

Susan Feindel: See Below
Insonified Subjects

See Below is Susan Feindelís first painting project to have been conceived as a spatially coherent and fully staged (with sound and lighting) approximation of the ocean floor environment depicted in her paintings. As a theatrical evocation of a still mysterious place, See Below reflects the artistís continuing interest in rendering visible that which cannot be observed by the unaided eye.

Documents three exhibitions Figuring in the Figure, In Here Out There and Elegies and Effigies, organized by Nova Scotian university art galleries on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Visual Arts Nova Scotia.

Work Work Work
Visual artists are constantly in dialogue with vernacular practices. Work Work Work offers a glimpse of the dialogue as it looked ten to fifteen years ago, in the wake of Conceptual Artís radical deskilling and amateurization of the professional artist.

Memories in Rag
Catalogue Essay

Bridget Moser's Grammar
An extract from Sarah Hollenbergís catalogue essay, “Bridget Moserís Grammar.”

Robert Tombs: Index Graphic Design
Catalogue essay by Ingrid Jenkner

An Intimate Distance
Catalogue Essay by Ingrid Jenkner

Hairstories Transcriptions
In 2000, Andrea Ward donated the remaining 33 panels of Hairstories to the Mount Saint Vincent University Collection. Hairstories was included in the 2015 exhibition An Intimate Distance. The catalogue documenting An Intimate Distance contains transcriptions of the texts from all 41 Hairstories panels.

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Biography and Artist Statement Cecil Day

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Statement and Artist Biography Michael Fernandes

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Statement and Artist Biography Karen Langlois

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Biography and Artist Statement Onni Nordman

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Biography and Artist Statement MJSakurai

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Biography and Artist Statement George Steeves

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity
Artist Biography and Artist Statement Anna Torma

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