A curator and writer based in San Francisco, where she is Curator and Head of Programs at the CCA Wattis Institute. Nguyen was formerly Director/Curator of Artspeak from 2011-2016. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals nationally and internationally, with recent texts in catalogues published by Pied-à-Terre (San Francisco), Gluck 50/Mousse (Milan), and the Herning Museum of Art (Denmark). Nguyen is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing.
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.
EMMELINE DE MOOIJ, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANDREA HELLER, MINA TOTINO, UNTIL WE HAVE A HELICOPTER, DANIEL G. WONG
November 17–January 12, 2013
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)
December 1, 2012
Artist Mina Totino will discuss her work in the exhibition As Far As I Can See at Artspeak.