Heather Passmore

Heather Passmore is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the University of British Columbia. Her work has been exhibited in Vancouver and nationally, including a solo show at the Odd Gallery, Dawson City, Yukon and at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, and she has published essays and articles locally.


  • Banlieusard

    June 11–July 16, 2005

    The work of Jamie Hilder and Heather Passmore collectively examines memory, transience and physical movement, both habitual and occasional. Approaching individual travel through situationist references and archival material, Hilder and Passmore’s works mark histories of movement in urban space and the habits resulting from and reflecting such environments. The exhibition title, Banlieusard, connotes the commuter. Artists such as Van Gogh and Monet who were working in Paris at the end of the 19th century, were enormously interested in the suburbs, or banlieu, and sought to represent the modern spaces between city and country. The traveller between these spaces is a flaneur of sorts, as posited by Hilder’s personal travels and Passmore’s appropriated ones.

    Jamie Hilder’s large wall drawing depicts his movements through the urban environment over the course of a year. It is a document of the performance of daily life and highlights its banality. Loosely modeled after the map included in Internationale Situationniste No.1 (published in 1958), Hilder’s drawing marks paths traveled based on frequency, darker lines indicating habitual movement. The spectacle of urban/suburban daily life is reinacted and mapped by Hilder as a caricature of the concept of poetic movement and the psychogeographical experiments of the situationists.

    Heather Passmore works with found archives and collections. In contrast to Hilder’s personal travels, Passmore appropriates another’s personal images of travel. Her Travel Shots, a slide projection piece, chronicles an individual’s international travels, generic photographic slides largely taken from the inside of a car of the sights and landscapes beyond. The slides have degraded over time and offer a strained window onto the world, a vision slowly being lost. Paralleling human aging and loss of sight, the images in Travel Shots reveal memories and vision to be as unstable, fleeting and delicate as the medium that seeks to capture them.

  • Emergency Measures

    October 18–November 22, 2003

    This interdisciplinary exhibition is comprised of three diverse approaches to concepts of emergency and public safety. Dick Averns’ Seats of Power is a performative work, in which the Armchair Terrorist delivers tracts, monologues, and mime at ‘seats of power’ around the city while uniformed in his business suit/armchair sculpture. While not in performative use, the sculpted Seat of Power, featuring pin-striped upholstery, will be displayed in the gallery.

    Andreas Kahre’s viewing booth reveals glimpses of both the theoretical emergency of the street outside the gallery and the exhibition within. Interleaving video, audio and text data streams glide across a display panel, while an interactive component gives the viewer an illusion of control. Images that float across surfaces, calming sounds and reassuring texts are balanced at the point of collapsing one into the other. Taking a skeptical position to both ’emergency’ and ‘measure’, Kahre both provides and comments upon the palliative effects of media and technology.

    Carlos Vela-Martinez’ sculptural work plays with the inherent irony of the fire extinguisher—as a safety implement and explosively charged device. Multiple constructions made of fire extinguishers, supported by steel armatures, are arranged in the gallery: they emphasize the paradox of devices that “signify the largely unspoken tension of the emergencies we fear—the tension of living in a sustained state of safety. These tools of vigilance are talismans of ‘preparedness’ and summon up the slow urgencies of contemporary life.”

    Savage Media is a Vancouver-based society and producer of interdisciplinary and environmental art. Their creation and co-production of Emergency Measures has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Hamber Foundation and the B.C. Gaming Commission.

    Postscript 11: Heather Passmore on Emergency Measures (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Performance

    October 18–November 21, 2003

    Artspeak is pleased to host performances by Dick Averns, The Armchair Terrorist on two separate dates in conjunction with the exhibition Emergency Measures running at the gallery from October 18 to November 22, 2003.


  • Banlieusard

    Banlieusard front
    Banlieusard spine
    Banlieusard back

    Title: Banlieusard
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Jamie Hilder, Heather Passmore
    Writers: Anne Lesley Selcer
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Jan Dvorak, Betty Beck
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Generation Printing, Vancouver
    Year published: 2005
    Pages: 32pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: Printed double-sided, Foldout paper jacket
    Dimensions: 13 x 13.5 x 1 cm
    Weight: 100 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-52-7
    Price: $5 CDN

    Framing individual experience, the publication Banlieusard approaches the liminal territory of the commuter or traveler. Artists Jamie Hilder and Heather Passmore and author Anne Lesley Selcer map subjective knowledge and a history of movement in urban and suburban space. Together in this publication, the works reconsider the spectacle of daily life, memory, the real, and the problematics of aesthetics through nostalgized strategies to offer a strained window into quotidian vision.

    The format of the publication takes its queue from mapping, both the road map and serialized image collecting, to reflect an experience that is textual and palpable. As Hilder’s work reconsiders (and aestheticizes) Situationist mapping methods, the publication ultimately turns the maps into objects. Passmore’s work presents the distant geography of a solitary roadtripper while Selcer’s text inhabits the potential narrative and reimbues the images with subjective observations.

    The sightseer’s practice (collecting sights which have already been seen), suggests that memory is always a recollection. His work murmurs softly, “technology designs history.”
    -Anne Lesley Selcer

    Banlieusard is published on the occasion of an Artspeak exhibition of the same name that included work by Jamie Hilder and Heather Passmore (June 11 and July 16, 2005).

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