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.
Director/Curator of Artspeak
April 26–May 25, 1996
Artspeak Gallery is pleased to announce W., a installation work in the gallery space with an internet component by Vancouver artist Lorna Brown.
‘W.’ is a ‘mirror’ work to ‘M.’ from 1990 which was installed at Cathedral Place, using the history and recent controversy about the Woodward’s Building in downtown Vancouver. Brown’s studio has been in this neighborhood for the last ten years and she was, until its recent closure, a Woodward’s hardware department ‘regular’. Its basement food floor was an established hangout for local residents in the middle hours of the day. The building has been described as an anchor to the surrounding businesses, residential hotels, missions and soup kitchens. The neighborhood and its longtime residents are feeling the effect of upscale development in Gastown to the north and the Expo lands to the south.
Over the past six years Brown has been making installation works that combine two sets of ideas: the social history of several Vancouver area buildings under dispute, and the structural use of the initial (I.) in creating a contingent place or temporary identity from which women can safely speak. These works are loosely titled ‘Anomalies’.
“I am interested in investigating further the relationship between the structures of our built environment and the social structures of gender, class and history. The temporary, strategic positioning of the female subject in urban spaces is evident in the title of this body of work”.
This new work refers in part to large scale ‘fictional’ pictures used to revamp and renovate the identities of neighbourhoods in the form of banners, hoardings and the like, a field for the free play of fantasy in the revisioning of the city, the imaginings of various interests or ‘stakeholders’. The work intersects with the use of imaging technology in the construction of identities and takes advantage of technology’s potential to suggest fictional identities while pointing out the illusion.