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Colleen Brown

Colleen Brown, born in Guelph, Ontario, slowly moved west and is now living in Vancouver. In an earlier rendition of herself Colleen received her B.A. Psyc. and a diploma in Electrophysiology. Later, she received a B.F.A. from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited in British Columbia and Quebec.

Exhibitions

  • Spill 03: Paysages incertain

    ISABELLE HAYEUR
    December 4–January 22, 2005

    Montréal artist Isabelle Hayeur completes the Spill series with Spill 03: Paysages incertains. Hayeur’s photographs and video work appear to be documents of sublime landscapes, when in fact they are digital manipulations that reiterate the constant interference that human activity enacts upon rural and wilderness terrain. The result are disturbing possible worlds fabricated by blending different sites into a single territory. Hayeur’s subtle interventions destabilize familiar viewpoints and call into question the viewer’s notions of aesthetic satisfaction and the state of the landscape.

    Hayeur’s photographs hover in a state of ambiguity: far from romanticizing ‘pristine’ environments, she calls upon the viewer to question notions of aesthetic satisfaction while examining the impact of western development models on the environment. The unknown, or unknowable, places she fabricates by combining aspects of different sites into a single zone, draws attention to the non-places that surround us. Between critique and disturbance, Hayeur creates a unique attraction, difficult to name or qualify.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Spill 02: Meniscus

    LUIS JACOB, KELLY MARK, CORIN SWORN, KARA UZELMAN
    October 23–November 27, 2004

    The second exhibition in the Spill series, Meniscus, features four artists working with the residual mass and indivisible remainder of everyday life through strategies of repetition and reenactment. Exploring the permeability of materials, spaces and systems of containment, these artists make tangible the impulse to shore up the arbitrary boundaries between spaces and concepts, and conscious and unconscious behaviours. In addition, Ana Rewakowicz will inhabit an inflatable latex room (cast from her home in Montréal) during the opening of Meniscus. Rewakowicz is travelling across Canada with her room.

    Luis Jacob gives character to the shapeless community of isolated individuals consuming waves of spam advertising that arrive at their computer terminals. Just Do It! transposes the litany of failed transformations promised by products marketed through the internet into ‘worldly’ architecture.

    Kelly Mark uses her own ‘will to order’ to investigate potential moments of individuation that leak out of the repetitive, obsessive tasks of the day to day. I Really Should is a recorded list of one thousand things the artist really should do. From eating more fibre or taking more chances to cleaning the litter box, this verbal collection of one thousand things permeates the gallery’s architecture.

    Corin Sworn examines how contemporary popular culture showcases models of the private sphere rendering them as symptoms of an ideal interiority. Sworn begins with Lissitzky’s 1926 design of a room to display Russian art. Inverting Lissitzky’s model of an interior intentionally designed as a public stage set, Sworn investigates models of interiority prepared to receive the viewers imaginings of a private living space.

    Kara Uzelman explores the urge for accumulation in performance and sculpture. In a hotel room all the furniture is in a heap, cast-off clothing in her bedroom is sewn together in a lump, in a park all the dogs are corralled into a camera viewfinder. Interested in piling and purging, Uzelman has worked with an entire garage sale, purchasing and inhabiting the remnants of a stranger’s discarded physical existence.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Spill 01: Collapse

    SCOTT MASSEY
    September 11–October 16, 2004

    Vancouver artist Scott Massey opens Artspeak’s Spill series with Spill 01: Collapse. Questioning order and control, Massey’s work takes on the illusionary boundaries between man and the landscape. His work explores the uneasy relationship between culture and nature, such as photographic images of artificial light illuminating a nocturnal landscape and sculptural investigations into the effects of man-made light on the processes of shedding and growth. His photographs, sculptures and interventions observe this mutual overflow as various forms of control collapse and cultural classification systems are revealed to be unstable.

    The works in Collapse engage with aspects of the landscape that display evidence of reciprocity between culture and nature. A series of ten photographs document signs in a northern Canadian dump that indicate how to separate your garbage. This imposed system of order can be seen as a false construct as the items left at the dump are uncontained and ultimately break down into the surrounding wilderness. The work ironically shows the rudimentary classification systems against a background of seemingly uninhabited landscape. In addition to the photographs, Massey’s sculptural work reveals how artificial illumination affects natural processes. In the centre of the gallery, Massey’s circular installation of grass grows toward the lamp at the sculpture’s heart, the blades of grass leaning phototropically toward the light. Here, synthetic illumination becomes a controlled stand-in for the sun. In Collapse, Massey’s social portrait questions the separations we place between the urban environment and the perceived unsettled landscape beyond.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Expect Delays

    DIANE BORSATO, COLLEEN BROWN, RACHEL ECHENBERG, KIRSTEN FORKERT, JOHN MARRIOTT, NORMA, CHRISTY THOMPSON, SARAH WHITE
    April 1–May 30, 2003

    Curated by Kathleen Ritter

    The city of Vancouver is characterized by its constantly shifting infrastructure and accelerated development. Pedestrian routes change, pristine parks are developed long before people inhabit them, up-scale residential developments are placed on the periphery of red-light districts that are awaiting gentrification, and buildings are constructed further into the inlets and waterways that divide the city’s regions. Alongside this, one notes that the codes of behaviour in social and urban space in this city are much more restricted and surveilled than in other locales. The ranges of acceptable activities in public space are limited. Private security initiatives (Gastown security guards, Vancouver’s Downtown Ambassadors) are employed to patrol the streets and act as the ‘eyes and ears’ for the police. And unlike other cities, there are few urban spaces where groups of people can gather, protest or create a public forum. In light of these characteristics, artists face a challenge to create work in the streets of Vancouver that successfully negotiates the regulation of public space and yet, not go unnoticed or be too easily dismissed. These challenges, however, create an opportunity for work to hold greater meaning and significance in a city where these issues continue to be relevant.

    Expect Delays is a series of off-site projects organized by Artspeak that take place in locations throughout the city of Vancouver in April and May of 2003. Eight artists from across Canada have been invited to create public infiltration works that use modest engagements in daily life to critically investigate the social conventions, pedestrian movement and regulation of public space. Using strategies of humour, unpredictability and gestures of generosity, these artists propose alternative ways to view the city and negotiate public space. Rooted in the tradition of intervention/performance/infiltration-based practice, Expect Delays is intended to expand our definitions of public art as not simply the act of situating art in public spaces, but the process by which art and ideas enter public consciousness.

    Expect Delays is supported by The Canada Council for the Arts through the Inter Arts Program and the British Columbia Arts Council. Community partners for Expect Delays include the Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver, the Fine Arts and Music Division of the Vancouver Public Library, the Roundhouse Community Centre, Video In, Blake’s Bistro and Access Artist Run Centre.

    http://www.expectdelays.com

Talks & Events

  • Esoterica: A Three Day Publications Event

    COLLEEN BROWN, JEFF DERKSEN, JEN EBY, ISABELLE HAYEUR, LUIS JACOB, KELLY MARK, SCOTT MASSEY, ANA REWAKOWICZ, CORIN SWORN, KARA UZELMAN, PHILIP KEVIN PAUL
    January 27–January 29, 2005

    Book Sale – Thursday, January 27, Friday, January 28 and Saturday January 29, 12-5pm

    All Artspeak publications will be 20% off the listed price and 40% off for gallery members. During these three days the gallery will be transformed into a space to sit quietly and sip coffee, read and look at pictures.

    Reading | Jeff Derksen – Friday, January 28, 8pm

    Vancouver poet and cultural critic reads new work

    Book Launch | Spilled – Saturday, January 29, 2pm

    Artists: Isabelle Hayeur, Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Scott Massey, Ana Rewakowicz, Corin Sworn and Kara Uzelman

    Authors: Colleen Brown and Philip Kevin Paul

    Designed by Jen Eby

     

  • Artist Talk/Reception

    DIANE BORSATO, RACHEL ECHENBERG
    May 22, 2003

    Access Gallery is pleased to host the artist talk of Diane Borsato and Rachel Echenberg as they discuss their projects for Expect Delays: Touching 1000 people and Body-house: conversations, respectively. Expect Delays is a series of off-site projects organized by Artspeak and supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

  • Artist Talk/Reception

    SARAH WHITE, NORMA
    May 15, 2003

    Access Gallery is pleased to host the artist talk of Sarah White and the members of Norma as they discuss their projects for Expect DelaysMonologues for public/Private Spaces and Dog Day Afternoon, respectively. Expect Delays is a series of off-site projects organized by Artspeak and supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

  • Artist Talk/Reception

    JOHN MARRIOTT, CHRISTY THOMPSON
    April 17, 2003

    Artspeak is pleased to host the artist talk of John Marriott and Christy Thompson as they discuss their projects for Expect DelaysIncidental Park Zones and You – S is for Short Cut and Good For You, respectively. Expect Delays is a series of off-site projects organized by Artspeak and supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

  • Artist Talk/Reception

    COLLEEN BROWN, KIRSTEN FORKERT
    April 10, 2003

    Artspeak is pleased to host the artist talk of Colleen Brown and Kirsten Forkert as they discuss their projects for Expect DelaysInfill and Public Time, respectively. Expect Delays is a series of off-site projects organized by Artspeak and supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

Publications

  • Spilled

    Spilled front
    Spilled spine
    Spilled back

    Title: Spilled
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artists: Isabelle Hayeur, Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Scott Massey, Ana Rewakowicz, Corin Sworn, Kara Uzelman
    Writers: Colleen Brown, Philip Kevin Paul
    Editor: Artspeak
    Design: Jen Eby
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2004
    Pages: 38pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 15 colour images
    Dimensions: 16 x 21 x 1 cm
    Weight: 103 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-50-0
    Price: $5 CDN

    Spilled was published on the occasion of the exhibition series Spill. The series includes three exhibitions (Collapse: Scott Massey; Meniscus: Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Corin Sworn, Kara Uzelman; Paysages incertains: Isabelle Hayeur), an intervention (Travelling with My Inflatable Room: Ana Rewakowicz). The texts in Spilled are framed by two overarching propositions. The first is the understanding of spill as breached physical containment, and the second is the disclosure of information or emotion.

    In his essay, “The Sweetly Neglected,” Philip Kevin Paul approaches the split between man and nature from a non-European perspective, revealing boundaries that shift through cultural naming within his Saanich experience on Vancouver Island. Colleen Brown’s essay “Poring In, Pouring Over” considers the portals used by the viewer to find their way into the works in Spill tackling the abstraction found between the slippery definition of binaries.