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Artspeak,

Artspeak

Johannes Zits

Exhibitions

  • PaintinggnitniaP

    CHARLES REA
    December 11–January 30, 1999

    PaintinggnitniaP features an installation of new work by Vancouver artist Charles Rea, exploring the social and psychological implications of different institutional interiors. The mirroring and optical aspects in his paintings recall binary systems of vision and perception and the psychological uses of Rorschach images (mirrored ink blots). The institutional interiors he represents are perspectival and suggest spaces of science, knowledge and capitalism. These spaces include, amongst others, hospitals, libraries, schools and banks; spaces traditionally built, controlled and occupied by men. Although, the architectural spaces Rea represents are absent of people, they allude to the presence of a male body.

    PaintinggnitniaP is the last in a series of three exhibitions dealing with architectural space and the body. The work in these solo exhibitions explore domestic and institutional space, revealing aspects of social organization and control found within these genedered systems. A publication discussing the work in this series, with essays by Lucy Hogg and Sharla Sava, will be released on the opening night of this exhibition.

  • Felt Histories

    THECLA SCHIPHORST
    October 24–December 5, 1998

    Felt Histories features a computer interactive sound and video installation by Thecla Schiphorst. The proximity and touch of the viewer directs the interaction of the piece, disturbing the viewer/object relationship that is traditionally experienced in a gallery space. The site of interaction is a door frame, situated at the far end of the gallery. Within the frame, the image of a mature woman waits silently, her back to the gallery visitor. The silence in the room is echoed in the stillness of the image, and can be broken only through the visitor’s interaction at the threshold of the door frame. The door frame serves as an architectural device and reference by which our bodies are measured and contained, while the proximity and touch sensitive surface operates as a boundary and portal between public and private spaces. Schiphorst employs new technologies and architectural devices to critique ideas of embodiment and to examine spaces which have been historically determined as private and feminine.

    Felt Histories is the second in a series of three exhibitions dealing with architectural space and the body. Using computer-based technology and representations of the body, the works in these solo exhibitions will explore domestic and institutional space, revealing aspects of social organization and control found within these gendered systems. A publication discussing these works will be released in December 1998, with essays by Lucy Hogg and Sharla Sava.

  • Appropriate Interiors

    JOHANNES ZITS
    September 11–October 17, 1998

    Artspeak Gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition in a series of shows dealing with the constraints of architectural space and the body. Appropriate Interiors will feature mixed-media paintings by Johannes Zits. Using computer based images as the back-drop for his paintings, Zits combines mediums within a territory normally claimed by female feminist practitioners. Zits questions the domestic sphere from a gay male perspective and imaged into the ‘perfect/happy home’ found in interior design magazines, he inserts nude, male, homosexual couples displayed unabashedly and uncompromisingly in the immaculate interiors of a designer home.

  • Book Ends (west)

    TERENCE ANTHONY, MISHTU BANERJEE, NICK BANTOCK, FRANK BESSELINK, GEORGE BOWERING, JANISSE BROWNING, BRICE CANYON, MÉIRA COOK, JUDITH COPITHORNE, CHARLENE DIEHL-JONES, DIANNA FRID, HIROMI GOTO, JAMELIE HASSAN, JAMILA ISMAIL, PETER JAEGER, ANDREW KLOBUDA, YASMIN LADHA, TIM LANDER, KATY MCKELVEY, ROY MIKI, EARL MILLER, WREFORD MILLER, MARY ANNE MOSER, ERIN MOURÉ, BP NICHOL, ALEXANDRA OLIVER, EMILY PARKE, ED PIEN, IAN RASHID, RENEE RODIN, SONIA SMEE, ERIN SOROS, HO TAM, CAROLE THORPE, BARB TURNER, ALVIN VIEIRA, FRED WAH, VICTORIA WALKER, TIM WESTBURY, STEPHANIE WHITE, JANICE WILLIAMSON, SCOTT WILSON, KIRA WU, JIN-ME YOON, GREG YOUNG-ING, SYLVIA ZIEMANN, JOHANNES ZITS
    November 25–December 17, 1994

    The title fo this show might imply some sort of apocalyptic finale to books as we know them. Or it might signify a pair of upstanding objects gently holding in place volumes of knowledge. And it might refer to some teleological good whereby books, these books, situated here in this artistic space, somehow fulfill their purpose. But above all, to me, this show is about transgressions and conjunctions. All the books here are signs of their makers, the book-producers who created these works in order to resist, to challenge, to demarcate, to influence, to engage with, to complement, and to add to their own often private, often public worlds. What seems most important is the subtitle of this show, something I tacked on a considerable time after the exhibition was in the planning, the phrase: “interesting books from interested people”. In this ironically bland language is a strong sense of connection, a way of addressing the issues of bookness without eliding that which makes the book so “interesting”—its producers and its readers. I should add that part of what makes this so interesting to me is the way the west-ness of this show is located. Often showcased as a largely European, American, or at least “metropolitan” art form, book-works exhibitions tend to draw from various, often elitist, quarters. Virtually all the works in BOOK ENDS (WEST) were produced in Alberta and British Columbia, many of them with regional audiences in mind. This in itself, however, does not remove us from the realm of elitism; although much of the work in the show speaks from places of social/political disenfranchisement, it is well worth noting that much of the work being produced today—through mainstream publishers, the small press scene, and even subversive, alternative means—is itself reflective of how power structures operate and reporduce themselves, often with alrmingly exclusionary results within the academic, literary, and visual art worlds. Keeping this in mind is crucial, particularly in the confusing apce we now inhabit, where such artforms as printing a publishing become increasingly easier and more accessible even as the numbers of those who really have full access are diminishing rapidly.

    But what follows is a series of conjunctions that attempt to show how this exhibition is cumulative and how these texts and their producers come together with purpose and longing in the land to the west. The complete list of texts is available elsewhere—the text below is roughly comparable to a selectively random stroll through the show.

    and I being with Alvin Vieira and Wing’s Book of Names, a formal book after all, with pages, binding, and text—a difference, though, in that the pages are of seaweed; the binding, a basket; and the text, single-word name-histories of one branch of the artist’s family tree

    but how is Patron(age) any different except as a technological telling of the self, an inscription of Andrew Klobuda’s own name caught and replayed in the act of consumer tallying and seeing Kira Wu retell her own image through the telling images of magazined others, imposed and exposed in the 10 Most Beautiful Women or looking at Wreford Miller so carefully handtying his Lyrics for Janisse and how does that move into and over Bikertrucker, scripted and drawn by the hands of Janisse Browning and Terence Anthony

    though convention is subverted when Mary Anne Moser boxes a site-specific outdoor art event in theGraceland Art Rodeo, where the pages can be artifacts, memories, or pieces of glass

    and glass is where Carole Thorpe is at with handblown pieces sitting around and on top of Vibernum

    however, there’s also the book-installation pieces by Sylvia Ziemann, pushing us further from the text, but are these miniatures then not-text, meta-text, or a radically altered text

    or are other miniatures, these ones by Roy Miki, single-line poems that become their own books, somehow more texty than minimalism

    and what about th unreadabil;ity of Dépaysé from Renee Rodin, unreadable,m that is, without borrowing a microfich reader

    but then there’s also an unreadability to the books of disOrientation chapbooks, a project I co-produce with Nicole Markotic, whose Tracking the Game is present here along with other disObooks, the challange here to find new ways to hold these books together, ways to complement the writing with the presentation of the book

    although sometimes books are read as unread in Peter Jeager’s bolted-down reading of Kierkegaard

    but then we see Brice Canyon and his triad of books, all perfect bound and pushing into and away from the conventions of arist-books

    or a glance at the commercially-popular Griffin & Sabine produced by Nick Bantock and the question arises as to what makes a book “work”, that is, sell, in a bookstore and how does this work in our minds as bookmakeers, bookreaders

    yet from the other end, produced by Barb Turner as an alternative to the run-of-the-mill public school assignments, is Gates to the Unknown, whose pages reconfigure our ways of reading books

    and then there’s Randall Thomas who Abandoned Texts all over Calgary to see which ones would find their way home, all in the name of re-covering books from other publishings

    though sometimes returns (read: distribution) comes in different ways as in the postcard project of Jin-Me Yoon’s Souvenirs of the Self and Hiromi Goto’s Tea, whereby the only suitable means of reading seems to be to stamp them and move them along to a friend

    however, sometimes publishing is a means away from distribution and more of the process, as in the case with the three-envelope piece, a paper byproduct of a travelling writing workshop led by Robert Kroetsch, Aritha van Herk, and Fred Wah through the badlands of Alberta

    or the ongoing wiritngs of Vancouver street poet Tim Lander, whose Ballad of Ronnie Walker is only one of countless works self-published by him and many others

    and of course there are others still, working in basements and studios and offices and printshops and just about everyplace else, and some of their works are here but many more are not, and there is still so much yet to produce though the means are often a luxury and the book just a means of production and yet

    book ends (west)

    ~an exhibition of intersting-looking books from interested people~

    In November/94, the Vancouver artist-run centre Artspeak will be hosting “book ends (west)”, or what I’m calling ” an exhibition of interesting-looking books from interesting people”. As curator, my intent is to look for work produced, for the most part, in western Canada. I want to emphasize that I’m not necessarily looking for work produced by established artists, or even by people who consider themselves artists. What I am looking for are books of any kind—literary, visual, playful, whatever—which challenge the very idea of “bookness”, produced by anyone who has an interest in the question of making books. Work included in this exhibition may be books produced in multiples or as unique pieces. They may be made from paper, wood, or any other material you can imagine. But most importantly are the producers of the bookworks themselves: to reiterate, I’m hoping to receive work from a range of people, from established artists and writers to those who have never considered themselves to be creati e producers of any kind. Of particular, but not exclusive, interest for this exhibition are “bookproducers” who consider themselves disenfranchised from general cultural/artistic circles.

    Please submit work or queries to me c/o English Department, University of Calgary […]

    All accepted work will be reutrned after the exhibition.

    Deadline for submissions is Nov. 1, 1994

Talks & Events

  • Cocktail Party/Catalogue Launch

    JOHANNES ZITS, THECLA SCHIPHORST, CHARLES REA, LUCY HOGG, SHARLA SAVA
    December 18, 1998

    Cocktail Party and Catalogue Launch for publication “Altered Visions”.

Publications

  • Altered Visions

    Title: Altered Visions
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Charles Rea, Thecla Schiphorst, Johannes Zits
    Writers: Lucy Hogg, Sharla Sava
    Editor: Jacqueline Larson
    Design: Roberta Batchelor
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Imprimerie Dufferin Press
    Year published: 1998
    Pages: 64pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 19 b&w images, 10 colour images
    Dimensions: 20 x 22 x 0.6 cm
    Weight: 220 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-31-4
    Price: $4 CDN

    Features three essays examining the relationship of the body to domestic and institutional space in the solo exhibitions of Charles Rea, Thecla Schiphorst and Johannes Zits. The catalogue includes full colour images of each installation as well as the artists’ working notes and sketches prior to making the work.