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Artspeak

Mina Totino

Mina Totino lives and works in Vancouver. In 1982 she received a diploma in art from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited at Belkin Gallery, Vancouver; Charles H Scott Gallery, Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Oboro Gallery, Montreal; Diaz Contemporary, Toronto; Galerie Likofabrik, Berlin; and the Latvian Center of Contemporary Art, Riga.

Exhibitions

  • As Far As I Can See

    EMMELINE DE MOOIJ, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANDREA HELLER, MINA TOTINO, UNTIL WE HAVE A HELICOPTER, DANIEL G. WONG
    November 17–January 12, 2013

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Bringing together six international and Canadian artists, As Far as I Can See contemplates a theme of running away from home. The exhibition investigates the metaphorical space of running away—the lost, explorers and wanderers, and meandering thoughts and dreams—and the physical act of escape—traversing other worlds, ghostly creatures, the dark forest, and the unknown. The exhibition presents both a voyage provoked by the imagination and the beacon that brings us home.

    Among the works included is Cloud Studies by Mina Totino (Vancouver), an ongoing series of Polaroid photographs of clouds taken since 1997. Marked with a date, time and occasional anecdotes, the Polaroids reference both the idle pursuit of cloud watching and the transcendent nature of the sky. As a sobering counterpart to Totino’s clouds, Michael Dumontier (Winnipeg) presents a series of foil-stamped books in which the sky is grounded by uniformity and repetition. While no photograph is alike in Cloud Studies, Dumontier presents a scenario in which the intangible sky suddenly feels defined and decisive.

    In her 2011 work Hello Trouble, Emmeline de Mooij (Amsterdam) subtly points to the dark and foreboding aspect of fleeing. Composed of plastic, burlap, mud and fabric, the work insinuates a welcoming of the ominous, underlining the possibility that despite the potential for danger, running away breaks us from the confines of the ordinary. The desire to explore the uncharted extends to Daniel G. Wong’s (Lethbridge) work, Are You Wild Are You Free (2012). Wong’s practice is an exploration of wonder, mystery, and poetry in everyday living. He embarks on adventures to immediate and faraway surroundings, wandering to encounter the mundane and remarkable. Wong produces meditations on his findings, questions, and discoveries in the form of zines, posters, and blogs, and his work in this exhibition is generated from recent excursions in Iceland.

    Inspired by the memories of her childhood, Andrea Heller (Paris/Zurich) creates a sombre universe populated by creatures and shadows. The playful aura in her work is juxtaposed with suggestions of gloom and abyss. Heller’s work examines the forest as hiding place, incorporating elements of mischief, cheerfulness, and humour. This excursion to the edge of the woods is met with Beacon For The Moonshined Wanderer (2009) by Vancouver-based collective Until We Have A Helicopter, a work comprised of a collection of antique lanterns suspended by rope. The work hangs from the window of the gallery, acting as the destination and departure point for those that stray and the ones that return.

    Postscript 49: Sheryda Warrener on As Far As I Can See (PDF)

  • Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter in Vancouver

    JOS DE GRUYTER, HARALD THYS
    June 30–July 28, 2007

    Curated by Monika Szewczyk

    The collaborative work of Belgian artists Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter is rooted in a folksy, tragicomic sensibility honed into an experimental dramaturgy. Their video and photographic work use simple, symbolic sets, including the paradigmatic spaces of home, battlefield, urban periphery and community hall. They have engaged a recurring cast of non-professional actors as well as invented or adopted personae spanning the forms of puppets, dummies, plush animals, makeshift robots and rejected toys. These characters continually rehearse power dynamics and emotional entanglements, creating worlds not unlike our own, yet more focused, bizarre and bleak. The artists seek ways to confront marginal, incapacitated, lost and alienated subjects without defining these ‘others’ in sociological terms. In this sense, and especially in their novel use of a ghoulish humour, Thys and de Gruyter broaden the scope of reflection on socially produced behaviour.

    Their exhibition at Artspeak will include three video works and a photographic series. The exhibition centres on Thys and de Gruyter’s newest and most ambitious narrative film entitled Ten Weyngaert [In the Vineyard]. Adopting the name and setting of a Brussels Community Center that was built as a utopian space (but is now frequented by troubled people and remains isolated from the city’s public life), the action of Ten Weyngaert is transposed into a world ruled by a spider where robots act as intermediaries between the minute monarch and a motley cast of dysfunctional archetypes. The human cast, as is often the case with the artists’ work, is comprised of family members, friends and non-professional actors—all familiar people placed in a radically non-familiar situation. The unfolding action becomes an allegory of human behaviour under social and psychological ‘pressure.’ Accompanying the film, the exhibition will include a series of recent scene studies in the guise of black and white photographic works. The photographs were conceived independently, but comprise a crucial component of the film’s presentation, as it is here that Thys and de Gruyter introduce many of the characters that we meet in Ten Weyngaert. The exhibition also includes the mime-performance video Le Cercle N.1: The Chair in which a white man switches into a black man, then back again and so on. Artspeak’s publications area will be activated through a monitor screening of an early work, The Experiment, as well as a bibliography/library as a means to further engage with the work of Thys and de Gruyter.

    HARALD THYS and JOS DE GRUYTER live and work in Brussels and have been working together since the mid-1980s. Their work has been widely exhibited throughout Europe including solo and duo exhibitions at Aliceday, Brussels; MUHKA, Antwerp; SMP, Marseille; Galerie Carlier/Gebauer, Berlin; and Galerie EOF, Paris. Their work has also been included in exhibitions at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin; Bozar, Brussels; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, among others. The exhibition at Artspeak is their first exhibition in North America.

    Special thanks to Galerie Aliceday for their assistance with this project.

    Postscript 29: Mina Totino on Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter (PDF)

  • Artspeak: 5th Anniversary, Exhibition and Sale

    DONNA LEISEN, DAVID STEELE, DOUG MUNDAY, WORKSITE, LAURA LAMB, ARTISTS'S BOOKWORKS, MARK GRADY, REID SHIER, ROB LINSLEY, LAIWAN, ROBERT SHERIN, SFU STUDENT WORK, PATRONS, STAN DOUGLAS, BRENNA GEORGE, MARK LEWIS, HENRY TSANG, ROY ARDEN, ALLYSON CLAY, KATHERINE KORTIKOW, BEHIND THE SIGN, ANNE RAMSDEN, CORINNE CARLSON, CHRISTINE DAVIS, LAUREL WOODCOCK, AMI RUNAR HARALDSSON, KATHY SLADE, PHILLIP MCCRUM, EDWARD POITRAS, WILL GORLITZ, KELLY WOOD, NANCY SHAW, KEN LUM, LORNA BROWN, ROY KIYOOKA, KEITH HIGGINS, ELLEN RAMSEY, SARA LEYDON, MARTHA TOWNSEND, MINA TOTINO, FRANK GAUDET, LANI MAESTRO, PANYA CLARK
    February 22–March 23, 1991

  • S.I.N.

    MINA TOTINO
    November 24–December 22, 1990

Talks & Events

  • Artist Talk

    MINA TOTINO
    December 1, 2012

    Artist Mina Totino will discuss her work in the exhibition As Far As I Can See at Artspeak.

  • Artspeak: 5th Anniversary, Exhibition and Sale

    DONNA LEISEN, DAVID STEELE, DOUG MUNDAY, WORKSITE, LAURA LAMB, ARTISTS'S BOOKWORKS, MARK GRADY, REID SHIER, ROB LINSLEY, LAIWAN, ROBERT SHERIN, SFU STUDENT WORK, PATRONS, STAN DOUGLAS, BRENNA GEORGE, MARK LEWIS, HENRY TSANG, ROY ARDEN, ALLYSON CLAY, KATHERINE KORTIKOW, BEHIND THE SIGN, ANNE RAMSDEN, CORINNE CARLSON, CHRISTINE DAVIS, LAUREL WOODCOCK, AMI RUNAR HARALDSSON, KATHY SLADE, PHILLIP MCCRUM, EDWARD POITRAS, WILL GORLITZ, KELLY WOOD, NANCY SHAW, KEN LUM, LORNA BROWN, ROY KIYOOKA, KEITH HIGGINS, ELLEN RAMSEY, SARA LEYDON, MARTHA TOWNSEND, MINA TOTINO, FRANK GAUDET, LANI MAESTRO, PANYA CLARK
    February 22–March 23, 1991

  • Talk

    MINA TOTINO
    June 15, 1988

    Writers/Artists/Talks, a joint project of the Kootenay School of Writing and Artspeak Gallery, consists of a series of public talks and exhibitions by writers and artists with the intention to articulate a common theoretical and practical ground for the two disciplines.