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Artspeak,

Artspeak

  • Robin Arsenault

    Based in Calgary, Robin Arseneault has exhibited in group exhibitions at Edmonton Art Gallery, and has presented solo shows at Neutral Ground, Regina, and Alternator in Kelowna and Struts in Sackville. A graduate of Alberta College of Art and Design, Arseneault has worked as director of Stride Gallery in Calgary and was a recent participant in a Banff Centre Thematic Residency.

  • Lorna Brown

    Lorna Brown is a Vancouver artist, curator and educator. Since 1984 her work has been shown in exhibitions at Dazibao, Montreal; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Gallery 44, Toronto; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; and Artspeak, Vancouver, among others. Her recent independent curatorial projects include Set and Group Search: art in the library. Director/Curator of Artspeak 1999–2004.

  • leannej

    Leannej, is a writer, text based artist and social critic. She uses many of the same approaches to her text as visual artists. It is often the narrative process itself that is the central point or theme of her stories. In FRONT Magazine, leannej constructs “story diagrams” which leads the viewer through a series of conditional outcomes. The story schematic invites her viewers/readers to consider the process of narration: not just how stories are told, but how the viewer/reader constructs their own narratives. Her work appears regularly in FRONT Magazine. Three of her short stories will appear in the Flat Earth Excavation Company: a surrealistic Fiction anthology. She is completing her novel, The Sarah Jefferson Stories.

Exhibitions

  • here you should read (that something is awry)

    ROBIN ARSENAULT
    March 30–May 4, 2002

    Negotiating the theatricality of installation art, Robin Arseneault’s first exhibition in Vancouver presents an environment that suggests an empty stage set. Working with the architecture of the gallery, objects or props are connected with pulley systems and movable mechanisms; both the props and the machinery made of such improbable materials as watercolours on tracing paper and ice-blue mohair ‘rain’.

    Three-dimensional stuffed ’emotions’ and weighty ‘Menacing Gray Clouds’ that may be raised and lowered use absurdity to deflect and sublimate the commonplace catastrophes of embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. Arseneault embraces the over-used symbols of emotional pain, making them moveable, playful and almost endearing—the sleight-of-hand technique of displacement. Repeated images, emotional props, lost objects and the shadows they cast imply a repertoire of scripted performances, familiar improvisations and re-enactments.

    Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Hotel in Vancouver for this exhibition. (www.victorian-hotel.com / 1-877-681-6369)

    Postscript 01: Kathy Slade on here you should read (that something is awry) (PDF)

Publications

Long-Range Forecast: Variable

LRF front
LRF spine
LRF back

Title: Long-Range Forecast: Variable
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Robin Arsenault
Writers: leannej, Lorna Brown
Editor: Viola Funk
Design: Kathleen Ritter
Publisher: Artspeak
Year published: 2002
Cover: Paperback
Binding: 5 panel foldout with 2 pullout posters
Process: Offset
Features: 5 b&w images, 5 colour images
Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 1.5 cm
Weight: 106 g
ISBN: 0-921394-40-3
Price: $5 CDN

Long-Range Forecast: Variable is published to extend the exhibition here you should read (that something is awry), which took place at Artspeak in the spring of 2002. Robin Arseneault’s first exhibition in Vancouver negotiated the theatricality of installation art, presenting an environment that suggested an empty stage set. Working with the architecture of the gallery, objects or props were connected with pulley systems and movable mechanisms; both the props and the machinery made of such improbable materials as watercolours on tracing paper and ice-blue mohair ‘rain’. Three-dimensional stuffed ’emotions’ and fabric ‘Menacing Gray Clouds’ that may be raised and lowered used absurdity to deflect and sublimate the commonplace catastrophes of embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. Arseneault embraces the over-used symbols of emotional pain, making them moveable, playful and almost endearing – the sleight-of-hand technique of displacement. Repeated images, emotional props, lost objects and the shadows they cast imply a repertoire of scripted performances, familiar improvisations and re-enactments.

Paired with photographic documentation of the exhibition is leannej’s Weathering Systems, a flow chart narrative that unfolds in poster format. Working with improbability, the gap between action and consequence, and other indictments of narrative form, leannej’s work hovers between writing and conceptual art practice. Her previous work includes many contributions to FRONT Magazine, where she is Managing Editor, and Maybe it’s just a phase, a series of tear sheet texts included in the group show Sift: The Reading Room, an exhibition of writers working with visual culture at Artspeak in 2001. As an extension of that exhibition, she collaborated with Jeremy Turner on a contribution to Sifted: The Read Room, an electronic publication of computer based artworks. This publication brings together Robin Arseneault and leannej’s shared interests in semiotics and metaphors of prediction and probability.

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