Eric Metcalfe is a Canadian artist, born 1940 in Vancouver. He has exhibited at the University of British Columbia Fine Arts Gallery in 1967, Victoria Art Gallery in 1968; and was included in the 1970 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition New York Correspondence School, and Morris/Trasov’s Image Bank Postcard Show, in 1971. In 1969 Metcalfe married artist Kate Craig, collaborating together as Dr. Brute and Lady Brute. Metcalfe’s Leopard Reality research led to exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, collaborations with Mr. Peanut and Marcel Dot, General Idea, and Hank Bull, and performance at the 1974 Decca Dance in Los Angeles. Metcalfe also produced and performed in film and video extensively from 1972, in 1973 co-founding the Western Front artists’ centre in Vancouver and from 1978 curating its performance programme. Metcalfe’s recent Attic Project showed at the Kamloops Art Gallery, The Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Charles H. Scott Gallery.
April 24–May 29, 2004
Metcalfe’s long-standing practice in performance, video, installation, ceramics, and sculpture, has consistently drawn from popular culture, including film and television, jazz improvisation, and the graphic novel. In Laura, Metcalfe looks in detail at film noir, a genre of great importance to film and cultural theorists over the past three decades.
Centred around a ‘missing woman’, the Vera Casprey novel Laura of 1942 and the 1944 Otto Preminger film adaptation exemplify the classic motifs of crime fiction and film noir. In this new installation, Metcalfe takes on the role of ‘auteur’, a continuation of his ‘oeuvre’ that includes the 1980 video Steel and Flesh. He collaborates with writer Nancy Shaw, and editor Michael Turner in the voice-over script for the sound track, in which Shaw performs; renowned jazz pianist Paul Plimley and sound artist Peter Courtemanche collaborate on the score. Ceramicist Gillian McMillan and sculptor Rick Ross work with Metcalfe in the design of the set pieces for a remarkable new installation that transforms the gallery space into a sound stage that the viewer can enter. Paring down to a few significant elements the lush opulence of the film noir set, and including vintage lighting, draperies and ‘painting’, Metcalfe investigates the strong influence of this popular genre on both contemporary art practice and his own artistic development. Placed in relation to the on-going film location work in our neighbourhood, the dramatically lit storefront space will reflect back to the street one chapter of the history of Hollywood.
ERIC METCALFE, NANCY SHAW, PAUL PLIMLEY, PETER COURTEMANCHE
May 29, 2004
Artspeak is pleased to host the book launch event for Laura, a parallel publication to Eric Metcalfe’s current exhibition of the same name. The book brings together material from the exhibition in the form of a production archive.
MARK HARRIS, ERIC METCALFE
May 8, 2004
Artspeak is pleased to present film critic Mark Harris as he trains his sights on Eric Metcalfe’s film noir influences in a talk held at the gallery on Saturday, May 8th, 2004 at 12:30 pm.
Between 1978 and 1999, Eric Metcalfe curated over 400 performances at the Western Front. Inspired by this rich history, Eric has produced four works on paper, and generously donated them to assist Artspeak in our fundraising efforts.
Created in October 2003, this suite of four ‘drawings from memory’ are unique records of four important performance works by international artists presented during that period, and combine the graphic strength of Eric’s diverse and prolific practice. The suite includes renderings of Mona Hatoum’s The Negotiating Table of December 1983, Rose English’s November 1983 performance, Holly Newman’s Short in the Dark of October 1998 and the Kipper Kids performance of October 1979.
All works are goache and pencil on paper, 8.25″ x 11.75″, matted, signed and dated.
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Eric Metcalfe
Writers: Eric Metcalfe, Nancy Shaw, Paul Plimley, Peter Courtemanche
Year published: 2004
Binding: Perfect Bound
Features: 96 b&w images, Audio CD
Dimensions: 22 x 17 x 1.2 cm
Weight: 298 g
Price: $6 CDN
Laura, a parallel publication to Eric Metcalfe’s exhibition of the same name, brings together material from the exhibition in the form of a production archive. Nancy Shaw, a writer with interests in architecture, film and literature, contributed a series of fictional letters from the missing Laura. Metcalfe and Rick Ross contributed drawings and plans for set pieces, while Jim Breukelman’s photographs of the installation reveal the realized project. Inspired by the radio plays of the 1940s, a CD is also included in the publication on which Shaw’s letters are integrated into an improvisational score by Paul Plimley with sound design by Peter Courtemanche. Designed by Judith Steedman, Laura communicates the concept and process of the exhibition using the conventions of the film script and storyboard.