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Michael Turner

Michael Turner is an award-winning author of fiction, criticism, and song. As the Ellen and Warren Tallman Simon Fraser University Writer-in Residence, he curated “to show, to give, to make it be there”: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954-1969 at the SFU Gallery (Burnaby). His most recent work, 8×10, was nominated for the 2010 Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize for Fiction.

Exhibitions

  • The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    JULIA FEYRER
    November 13–January 8, 2011

    Artspeak - Julia Feyrer - The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    Artspeak - Julia Feyrer - The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    Artspeak - Julia Feyrer - The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    Artspeak - Julia Feyrer - The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    Artspeak - Julia Feyrer - The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar

    Julia Feyrer, <em>The Poodle Bar Ornamental Dog</em>

    Referencing experimental film, performance documentation, and filmmaking-as-process, Julia Feyrer’s 16mm film, The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar, was shot on a “film set” the artist constructed in a Vancouver backyard. Modeled on an 1890’s Gastown bar of the same name, Feyrer activated her temporary illegal bar (serving home brewed Frankfurt style apple wine) with performances, readings, and events. These events and their audiences provide the cast and soundtrack for the non-narrative film that is itself an accumulation of improvisations, collaborations, and cinematic visual compositions, placing the historical past as a backdrop to its reinterpreted present.

    Postscript 40: Michael Turner on The Poodle Dog Ornamental Bar (PDF)

  • Territory

    JENNIFER ALLORA AND GUILLERMO CALZADILLA, ROY ARDEN, THE ATLAS GROUP / WALID RAAD, MICHAEL BARNHOLDEN, YAEL BARTANA, CAO FEI, GERMAINE KOH, GONZALO LEBRIJA, SERIPOP, JAYCE SALLOUM, RON TERADA, ANNABEL VAUGHAN, NEIL WEDMAN
    June 10–August 6, 2006

    This exhibition is curated by Melanie O’Brian and Helga Pakasaar, and organized by Artspeak and Presentation House Gallery.

    Please check www.presentationhousegallery.org for more details about Territory.

    Territory is a visual art project concerned with mapping urban experience, civic space and contested terrains. The project includes installations at Artspeak and Presentation House Gallery as well as in public sites around Vancouver, guided walks, lectures, a film series, and publication.

    The works in Territory involve navigating real and imagined territories – geographic, political, economic and social. The exhibition expands on earlier articulations of the notion of derive, or wandering, as a way to investigate urban environments. Cities are understood as essentially unreadable cartographies, fragmented and unstable. This project points to the spatial collisions of urban life, such as those resulting from rapid urban development and increased privitization of public space. The works in Territory reveal how cultural mythologies, both local and global, are scripted into built environments and determine human interactions. The social impact of the often invisible boundaries delineated by political conflict, gentrification, security, and communication systems becomes apparent as the artists call attention to the intersections of psychological, social and physical space.

    Five artworks have been commissioned for the public domain: photographic billboards by Roy Arden, roaming mobile signboards by Ron Terada, soil transplants by Germaine Koh, photographs by Jayce Salloum dispersed through various distribution systems, and silkscreens postered around the city by Seripop. Encountered by chance and through uncanny recognition, these ephemeral works provoke tensions between public and private space. Distinctions between private acts and communal life are seen as porous. These artists temporarily occupy and lay claim to civic terrain and transient street life.

    Presentation House Gallery will be exhibiting the work of five artists that offers poetic interpretations of the conditions that impact global cities. Footage of an industrial port in China’s Pearl River Delta by Puerto-Rican based artists, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, offers a meditation on global economies. Yael Bartana, an Israeli artist living in Amsterdam, manipulates images of street demonstrations by Israeli and Palestinian youth. The documentary material about post-civil war Beirut by the Atlas Group / Walid Raad, working out of New York and Lebanon, questions the representation of urban ruination and political violence. Gonzalo Lebrija, from Guadalajara, Mexico, looks at the potential violence of collective behaviour in street culture. Cao Fei, one of China’s most notable young artists, tracks the daily routines of a milkman in Guangzhou where she lives. Artspeak will present two of her media works that are concerned with urban fantasies and cultural mythologies.

    Territory also involves mapping the city through guided walks from literary, visual art and architectural perspectives that will bring to light some of its hidden narratives. Michael Barnholden will animate the events of two downtown riots, Neil Wedman will interpret the history of sidewalks, and Annabel Vaughan will trace threads of Vancouver’s original urban grid along Carrall Street. The guided walks are on Saturdays at 2pm. Film series at Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street Wednesday, July 19, Thursday, July 20, screenings begin at 7 pm.

    On July 19 at 7 pm, Cao Fei will discuss her artwork, followed by a screening of her film, “Father”.

Talks & Events

  • Speakeasy: Writing and Contemporary Art

    JAMIE HILDER, MICHAEL TURNER
    April 9, 2010

    How does writing, as a practice, inform contemporary art and vice versa? Speakeasy, a semi-annual series of talks and presentations, interrogates Artspeak’s mandate to encourage dialogue between visual art and writing. From text based art, visual poetry, and parallel texts to activities of publication and research, how do writing practices and concerns intersect with contemporary art practices? This multipart series will take place at Artspeak from January to April 2010.

    April 9, 8pm JAMIE HILDER AND MICHAEL TURNER: Talking Conceptual Writing

    The fifth event in the series is a conversation between artist/historian Jamie Hilder and writer/critic Michael Turner that examines “conceptual writing” contextualized within 1960s conceptual art, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, and local Vancouver practices (particularly the relationship between Kootenay School of Writing and Artspeak). Jamie Hilder has his MA in English from Simon Fraser University and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia. His work has been shown in Vancouver at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Artspeak, and the Audain Gallery. Michael Turner is an award-winning author of fiction, criticism, and song. As the Ellen and Warren Tallman Simon Fraser University Writer-in Residence, he curated “to show, to give, to make it be there”: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954-1969 at the SFU Gallery (Burnaby). His most recent work, 8×10, was nominated for the 2010 Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize for Fiction.

    Podcast available here.

  • Territory Book Launch

    ALLORA & CALZADILLA, ROY ARDEN, THE ATLAS GROUP/WALID RAAD, YAEL BARTANA, CAO FEI, GERMAINE KOH, GONZALO LEBRIJA, JAYCE SALLOUM, SERIPOP, RON TERADA
    May 30, 2009

    Artspeak and Presentation House Gallery are pleased to announce the launch of TERRITORY on Saturday, May 30, 7 pm at Presentation House Gallery, 333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver BC.

    This publication documents the Artspeak/Presentation House Gallery co-production TERRITORY, a visual art project concerned with urban experience and civic space that included gallery installations, public projects around the city, walking tours, a boat tour and film screenings.

    Featured Artists:

    Allora & Calzadilla, Roy Arden, The Atlas Group/Walid Raad, Yael Bartana, Cao Fei, Germaine Koh, Gonzalo Lebrija, Jayce Salloum, Seripop, Ron Terada.

    Texts by Michael Barnholden, Germaine Koh, Melanie O’Brian, Helga Pakasaar, Jordan Strom, Michael Turner, Annabel Vaughan and Neil Wedman.

    64 pages, Designed by Studio:Blackwell

    Special launch price: $18, regular price: $22

    Please join us for bubbly, readings, music and famous ham.

    This event is in conjunction with the launch of the Spring 2009 issue of The Capilano Review “Moodyville”, a co-production with Presentation House Gallery.

  • Vancouver Art & Economies Book Launch

    CLINT BURNHAM, RANDY LEE CUTLER, TIM LEE, MELANIE O'BRIAN, SADIRA RODRIGUES, MARINA ROY, SHARLA SAVA, REID SHIER, SHEPHERD STEINER, MICHAEL TURNER
    March 28, 2007

    Wednesday, March 28, 7-9pm

    At the Brickhouse, 730 Main Street

    Please join Artspeak and Arsenal Pulp Press in celebrating the release of Vancouver Art & Economies, edited by Melanie O’Brian, with essays by Clint Burnham, Randy Lee Cutler, Tim Lee, Sadira Rodrigues, Marina Roy, Sharla Sava, Reid Shier, Shepherd Steiner and Michael Turner.

    Vancouver Art & Economies was financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, Arts Now: Legacies Now 2010, the Spirit of BC Arts Fund and the Hamber Foundation.

  • Territory Film Series

    CAO FEI
    July 19–July 20, 2006

    Film series at Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street

    Wednesday, July 19, Thursday, July 20, screenings begin at 7 pm.

    On July 19 at 7 pm, Cao Fei will discuss her artwork, followed by a screening of her film, “Father”.

    Cao Fei (b. 1978 in Guangzhou, China) lives in Guangzhou where she produces films, photography and theatrical works. Her artwork has been included in recent exhibitions on contemporary Chinese art, such as “Between Past and Future: New photography and Video from China” and “Follow Me!:Contemporary Chinese Art at the Threshold of the Millennium” She has participated in major international exhibitions such as the Third Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fifth Shanghai Biennial and is in the forthcoming Sydney Biennale.

  • Vancouver Art & Economies: A Forum

    SHARLA SAVA, CLINT BURNHAM, MARINA ROY, TIM LEE, SADIRA RODRIGUES, RANDY LEE CUTLER, REID SHIER, SHEPHERD STEINER, MICHAEL TURNER
    October 6–November 3, 2005

    Vancouver Art and Economies is a forum for critical dialogue on Vancouver’s contemporary art practices in the face of globalization and a remarkable recent history. Academics, artists, curators and writers will speak at Emily Carr Institute over the course of five evenings in the fall of 2005. The speakers will consider Vancouver art and its institutions over the last two decades in particular, remarking on the economies at work. whether global, institutional or market. Addressing a perceived professionalization of the institution of art, the talks will collectively consider Vancouver’s position within local, national and international art economies. The forum talks will be published in an anthology in 2006.

    Thursday, October 6

    Sharla Sava: The Political Culture of the Counter-Tradition in Vancouver Art

    Clint Burnham: Imperial Art: the Vancouver School in the age of Empire

    Thursday, October 13

    Marina Roy: The Art Star, the Academic, the Author, and the Activist: Art-writing in Vancouver 1990-2005

    Tim Lee: Specific Objects and Social Subjects: Industrial Facture and the Production of Polemics in Vancouver

    Thursday, October 20

    Sadira Rodrigues: Dealing (with) Cultural Diversity: Art and the Economies of Race

    Randy Lee Cutler: Vancouver Singular Plural: Art in an Age of Post-Medium Production

    Thursday, October 27

    Reid Shier: Do Artists Need Artist Run Centres?

    Shepherd Steiner: Beyond the “Ifs” of an “Ifing” Hermeneutic Economy: Examples from an Unsystematizable System 

    Thursday, November 3

    Michael Turner: Who’s Business Is It? Vancouver’s Commercial Galleries and the Production of Art 

Publications

  • Territory

    Territory front
    Territory spine
    Territory back

    Title: Territory
    Category: Catalogue
    Artists: Allora & Calzadilla, Roy Arden, The Atlas Group/Walid Raad, Yael Bartana, Cao Fei, Germaine Koh, Gonzalo Lebrija, Jayce Salloum, Seripop, Ron Terada
    Writers: Michael Barnholden, Germaine Koh, Melanie O’Brian, Helga Pakasaar, Jordan Strom, Michael Turner, Annabel Vaughan, Neil Wedman
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian, Helga Pakasaar
    Design: Studio:Blackwell, Toronto
    Publisher: Artspeak, Presentation House Gallery
    Printer: Generation Printing, Vancouver
    Year published: 2009
    Pages: 64pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 36 colour images
    Dimensions: 25.5 x 20.5 x 0.5 cm
    Weight: 285 g
    ISBN: 978-0-021394-58-7
    Price: $5 CDN

    This publication documents the Artspeak/Presentation House Gallery co-production TERRITORY, a visual art project concerned with urban experience and civic space that included gallery installations, public projects around the city, walking tours, a boat tour and film screenings.

  • Vancouver Art & Economies

    VAN A and E front
    VAN A and E spine
    VAN A and E back

    Title: Vancouver Art & Economies
    Category: Criticism
    Writers: Clint Burnham, Randy Lee Cutler, Tim Lee, Melanie O’Brian, Sadira Rodrigues, Shepherd Steiner, Michael Turner, Sharla Sava, Reid Shier, Marina Roy
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Robin Mitchell
    Publisher: Artspeak, Arsenal Pulp Press
    Year published: 2007
    Pages: 236pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 13 b&w images, 44 colour images
    Dimensions: (Height x Width x Depth) 23 x 15.5 x 2 cm
    Weight: 496 g
    ISBN: 978-1-55152-214-2
    Price: $27.95 CDN

    Since the mid-1980’s, the once marginal city of Vancouver has developed within a globalized economy and become an internationally recognized centre for contemporary visual art. Vancouver’s status is due not only to a thriving worldwide cultural community that has turned to examine the so-called periphery, but to the city’s growth, its artists, expanding institutions, and a strong history of introspection and critical assessment. As a result, Vancouver art is visible and often understood as distinct and definable.This anthology intends to complicate the notion of definability. It offers nine essays to address the organized systems that have affected contemporary art in Vancouver over the last two decades.

    The essays in Vancouver Art & Economies collectively remark, both compatibly and contradictorily, on the economies at work in Vancouver art – its historical, critical, and political engagement; its sites of cultural production; and its theoretical and practical intersection with technology or policy. Considering a selection of conditions, focuses, and resources within the community, Vancouver Art & Economies marks shifting ideologies and perspectives on art, politics, society, and capital in Vancouver.