Michael Drebert is a Vancouver based artist. He graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and his work has been included in exhibitions at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Western Front Gallery, Lobby Gallery and Blanket Gallery, among others.
Jeremy Todd is an interdisciplinary artist living in Vancouver who curates, teaches and writes on a regular basis. His work often considers the formation of cultural memory and its socio-political effects. He was the Director/Curator of the Helen Pitt Gallery ARC (2003-05) and acted as the interim Director/Curator of the Richmond Art Gallery in 2007. He is currently working on a second feature- length, experimental digital film (featuring performances by Margaret Dragu, Natasha McHardy, Eric Metcalfe and Arthur Tashian) and maintains an ongoing image/text project at www.notsentletters.blogspot.com.
Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.
March 7–March 14, 2008
Michael Drebert’s practice investigates quotidian actions and objects through subtle gestures of hope and sabotage. Potentiality figures strongly in his work: “An answer is not found before something is made. It isn’t even found once something is supposedly finished. The answer to a situation is to begin. I am interested… in the radical potential of performative gestures as an agent for cultural investigation and positive change… identifying unorthodox solutions to seemingly unsolvable issues, such as injustice, hopelessness and dismal democratic standards.”
Through Drebert’s process, an identification of his subject often points to a consideration of phenomenological existence. This occurs in both his undertakings with objects as well as his so-called actions. For example, in Candle a manufactured candle is melted down, the wick frayed, and then both components recast in a mold of its original form. The wick is embedded in the body and can no longer be lit: the object becomes something new through the process of its own making.
In early March, Artspeak will publicly disseminate a poster for Drebert’s new work Available Light. The poster states that between the dates of March 7 and March 14, the artist will use the available light in Vancouver to try to start a fire. Following an earlier project in which Drebert offered to “take you to Hope and back,” Available Light functions as a catalyst, one that has positive as well as potentially dangerous aspects. As the exact location, time and scope of the fire the artist will attempt to produce will be unknown, the gesture takes on both a romantic and saboteur-like feel, rife with associations. The potential destruction in Drebert’s gesture is as strong as the potential of hope.
This performative poster project will take place between March 7–March 14, 2008 in various locations around Vancouver.