Didier Courbot, Jamie Hilder, David Horvitz, Kelly Mark and Carey Young
Curated by Gabrielle Moser
June 23–July 28, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, June 22, 8-11 pm
Didier Courbot, needs (Rome), 1999. Courtesy the artist and Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.
Access Gallery is pleased to present Always Working, a group exhibition that explores the relationship between artistic labour and the politics of everyday life. Featuring works by Didier Courbot (Paris), Jamie Hilder (Vancouver), David Horvitz (New York), Kelly Mark (Toronto) and Carey Young (London), the exhibition examines the excessive and repetitive modes of labour used by artists to activate work as a space for social critique and political action.
For several artists in the exhibition, work involves assuming and then exceeding the role of the everyday labourer, such as Carey Young's video documenting her presentation of free, "how to" advice on public speaking in London's Speakers' Corner, or David Horvitz's offer to stop what he's doing and devote one minute to thinking about you in exchange for one dollar (http://davidhorvitz.com/thinking.html). For others, making artistic labour visible, both in and outside the studio, is a key concern, as in Kelly Mark's artist contracts with Canadian galleries which have been renegotiated so that her work is renumerated according to the hourly minimum wage (always more than the CARFAC-suggested artist fee). Similarly, Didier Courbot's photographic series captures his ongoing interventions meant to fulfill practical urban "needs," such as painting in a crosswalk on a busy street, or installing a birdhouse on a streetlamp. Finally, Jamie Hilder's impersonation of a "downtown ambassador," who provides tourists with an alternative history of the city focused on how it has managed the appearance of poverty, and his subsequent arrest by Vancouver police, suggest that there is something radical about the kind of "work" that art can do.
In tandem with the exhibition, Didier Courbot will conduct a one-month residency in Vancouver where he will create new performance-based works as part of his ongoing "needs" series.
Didier Courbot (Paris, France) works with a range of media—sculpture, video, photography—to document the urban environment with an extraordinary sensitivity, producing subtle interventions that draw attention to the forgotten and discarded. Courbot has been included in exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the Moscow Museum of Art; the 2005 Yokohama Triennale; and Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, among others.
Jamie Hilder (Vancouver, Canada) is an artist and critic whose work engages performance and social critique. His work has appeared in solo exhibitions at Artspeak Gallery and Charles H. Scott Gallery. A recent Fulbright student at Stanford University, Hilder completed his doctoral dissertation on the International Concrete Poetry Movement at the University of British Columbia in 2010. He is presently a post-doctoral researcher at UCLA.
David Horvitz (New York)'s practice spans photography, performance, sculpture, and print media. Recurring interests across these disciplines include attention to strategies of information circulation and the impermanence of digital artifacts. His work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; the New Museum, New York; Galerie West, Holland; and the Wattis Institute, San Francisco.
Kelly Mark (Toronto, Canada) has always had an intense preoccupation with the differing shades of pathos and humour found in everyday life. She has exhibited widely across Canada, and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal; and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK. Mark represented Canada at the Liverpool Biennale in 2006 and the Sydney Biennale in 1998.
Carey Young (London, UK) considers a number of intriguing parallels between the conceptual principles of contemporary art and the new-model paradigms of 21st-century business. In a wide-ranging, multiform practice that encompasses video, photography, and other media, Young has exhibited her work at galleries including the ICA, London; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Hayward Gallery, London; Kunstverein Munich; Mass MOCA, Massachusetts; and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Gabrielle Moser (Toronto, Canada) is a writer and curator. She regularly contributes to Artforum.com, and her writing has appeared in venues including ARTnews, Canadian Art, Fillip, n.paradoxa, and Photography & Culture. She has curated exhibitions for Vtape, Xpace, the Leona Drive Project, and Gallery TPW. She is a PhD candidate in art history and visual culture at York University, where she also teaches.
Carey Young, still from Everything You've Heard is Wrong, 1999. Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
Public Programming and related events:
Panel Discussion: Work is All Over
Saturday, June 23, 3 pm
Join exhibiting artists Didier Courbot and Jamie Hilder, and members of the Lower Mainland Painting Company as they discuss art that engages with the conditions of its own production. What kind of work is contemporary art expected to do in the current political climate? What happens when artists refuse or exceed these expectations? And, how can artistic labour be activated as a space for social critique and political action?
No Reading After the Internet: Hito Steyerl's "Politics of Art"
Wednesday, June 27, 7 pm
In tandem with Always Working, curator Gabrielle Moser co-facilitates a meeting of No Reading After the Internet, an out-loud reading group conceived by cheyanne turions and organized in Vancouver by Alex Muir and VIVO. Focusing on artist Hito Steyerl's 2010 e-flux essay, "Politics of Art," the group will discuss the text's call for an art that examines the politics of its own production. No Reading After the Internet is a monthly opportunity to gather and read a text aloud in hopes that it might provoke theoretical illumination on particular art works, or the broader scape within which such work exists.
Always Working is supported by the Consulate General of France in Vancouver, the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, our members and volunteers. Access is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres.
Shaun Dacey, Director/Curator
Gabrielle Moser, Guest Curator
222 E. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z7