Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bureau de Change, Walter Phillips Gallery, July 12 - September 28, 2008

As a major centre of artistic research, practice and exchange in Southern Alberta and beyond, The Banff Centre looks back with this immense exhibition featuring highlights from past visiting artists spanning every form of discipline and tradition.

Image credit: Helen Chadwick Piss Flower (9), 1992 (2006) Bronze, cellulose lacquer + 3 APs. Collection of the New Art Centre, Wiltshire, U.K

From Rebecca Belmore’s Ayumee-aawach Oomama-mowan (Speaking to Their Mother) (1991) confronting viewers as they enter the gallery to gems from Dan Graham, Ed Poitras, Helen Chadwick and dozens more, the overarching statement pushes the significance of the works created during artist residencies into the realm and importance of the archive. As a mode of collecting and recording, the archive of a gallery lives in a present state of ideas moving in constant exchange.

Image credit: Micah Lexier, Touch Paper Once (Installation detail), 2008.

Accompanied by Touch Paper Once: Selected Documents from the Walter Phillps Gallery Archives 1976 - 2007, the archival nature of the exhibition is only reinforced by Micah Lexier’s extensive perusal of paper documents pertaining to the business and art of The Banff Centre’s visual art program. From fax cover sheets, inventory lists, photocopies and Polaroids, Touch Paper Once re-engages with the nature of archives as an ongoing paratextual record of institutional memory. As The Banff Centre turns 75, we are reminded of its past accomplishments as an inspiring hub of creation and its continuing presence as a place of connection.

Curated by Sylvie Gilbert and Helga Pakasaar

No comments: