Monika Kin Gagnon


  • Waterspeak

    May 21–June 17, 2000

    Waterspeak, a new installation work, blends video and film footage of waterfalls and the winter rapids of Capilano River to address issues of environmental degradation and differing cultural constructions of nature. Merging with the water, the characters Man and Woman overlap and dissolve in a quiet, insistent discussion about listening and speaking, The multiple moving images of natural phenomena are heightened through their scale and saturated colour. A rich and complex audio track samples water sounds and throat-singing with music by Russell Wallace, a composer who has collaborated with Claxton over the past decade. The seductive qualities of recorded voice, the familiarity of video and film, and the contemplative space of the gallery combine in an investigation of the sacred in art and the place these concerns might be given within the ‘artspeak’ of visual arts practice.

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    April, Raymonde; Bertrand, Monique; Evergon; Gagnon, Charles; Paquet, Claire; Paquet, Suzanne; Readman, Sylvie; Saharuni, Randy; Simon, Cheryl; Vaillancourt, Francois. “Incidences; Projets Photographiques”. Dazibao, Quebec, 1992.

    Arden Roy; Derksen, Jeff; Leisen, Donna; Wharton, Calvin; Douglas, Stan; Ferguson, Deanna; Culley. Peter; Leydon, Sara; MacLeod, Kathryn; Munday, Doug; Rimmer,Cate; Watson, Scott; Nichols, Miriam. “Behind the Sign”. Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, 1988.

    Augaitis, Daina; Bailey, Cameron; Gagnon, Monika Kin; Gogarty, Amy; Phillip, Marlene Nourbese; Ruebsaat, Norbert; Sawchuk, Kim; Todd, Loretta; Weiss,Rachel. eds. Bart, Rene; Augaitis, Daina; Bailey, Cameron; Gagnon, Monika Kin; Gogarty, Amy; Phillip, Marlene Nourbese; Ruebsaat, Norbert; Sawchuk, Kim; Todd, Loretta; Weiss,Rachel. “Territories of Difference”. Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 1993.

    Balser, Micheal; Deschamps, Lea; Dowler, Kevin; Dyke, Victor; Gagnon, Angele; Landon, Paul; Mullington, Chris; Pearson, Sue; Schacter, R.N.; Thompson, Rob; Hagel, Ray; Sutherland, Shawn; White, Bill; Benoit, Claude Phillippe; Nigro, Richard; Robertson, Clive; Wonnacott, Justin. “Time and Distance”. SAW Video, Ottawa, 1988.

    Banning, Kass; Berard, Serge; Burstyn, Varda; Dorland, Micheal; Durand, Guy Sioui; Ferguson, Bruce W.; Fry, Jacqueline; Fry, Philip; Gagnon, Monika Kin; Grenville, Bruce; Klepac, Walter; Laing, Carol; Lamoureux, Johanne; Monk, Philip; Nemiroff, Diana; Payant, Diana; Randolph, Jeanne; Ross, Christine; Saint-Pierre, Marcel; Sawchuk, Kim; Todd, Loretta; Town, Elke; Townsend-Gault, Charlotte; Tuer, Dot; Wood, William editors:; Bradley, Jessica; Johnstone, Lesley; Banning, Kass; Berard, Serge; Burstyn, Varda; Dorland, Micheal; Durand, Guy Sioui; Ferguson, Bruce W.; Fry, Jacqueline; Fry, Philip; Gagnon, Monika Kin; Grenville, Bruce; Klepac, Walter; Laing, Carol; Lamoureux, Johanne; Monk, Philip; Nemiroff, Diana; Payant, Diana; Randolph, Jeanne; Ross, Christine; Saint-Pierre, Marcel; Sawchuk, Kim; Todd, Loretta; Town, Elke; Townsend-Gault, Charlotte; Tuer, Dot; Wood, William. “SightLines”. Artextes edtions, QC, 1994.

    Beam, Carl; Boyer, Bob; Cardinal-Schubert, Joane; Cisneros, Domingo; Houle, Robert; MacDonald, Mike; Noganosh, Ron; Poitras, Jane Ash; Poitras, Edward; Sioui, Pierre; Holmes, Willard; Hill, Tom; Duffek, Karen. “Beyond History”. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, 1989.

    Bob, Dempsey; Point Bolton, Rena; Bowley, Janis; Claxton, Dana; Congdon, Daniel; Currelly, Judith; Davis, Fred; Diesing, Freda; Dikeakos, Christos; Edington, Clare Gomez; Graham, Rodney; Haraldsson, Arni ; Harris, Walter; Heit (Ya’Ya), Chuck; Hogg, Lucy; Johnston, Byron; Ki-ke-in (Ron Hamilton); Lawrence, Donald; Lee, J. J.; Longman, Mary; Mackenzie, Landon; MacLeod, Myfanwy; Madill, Kevin; Marshall, Teresa; Mollineaux, Melinda; Mootoo, Shani with Kathy High; Mowatt, Ken ; Oberlander, Wendy ; Patrick, Chester; Point, Susan A.; Radul, Judy; Rivet, Rick James; Rorick, Isabel; Sparrow, Debra and Robyn; Takashima, Yoko; Totino, Mina; Wherry, Cathi Charles; Yoon, Jin-Me; Youds, Robert; Yuen, Sharyn A. Cur.Arnold, Grant; Cur.Gagnon, Monika Kin; Cur.Jensen, Doreen. “Topographies; Aspects of Recent BC Art”. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, 1997.

    Bob, Sam; Pechawis, Archer; Maracle, Dennis; Sidlar, Jimmy; Kane, Margo; Longboy, Zachery; Maracle, Lee; Humber, Marie; Maskegon-Iskwew, Ahasiw K.; Lawrenchuk, Micheal; Hawke, Tom E.; Claxton, Dana; Thrush, Michelle; Frazier, Annie. Cur.Alteen, Glenn; Cur. Maracle, Dennis. “First Nations Performance Series”. Grunt Gallery, Vancouver, 1992.

    Bontogon, Eric; Butler,Margot Leigh; Chang, Ana; Edelstein, Susan; Holman, Shaira; Jones, Amy; Jones, Lizard; Mollineaux, Melinda; Naylor, Margaret; Sui, River; Tsang, Henry; Vaasjo, Anne; weaving, jil p.; Gage, Darlene; Larson, Jacqueline; Gagnon, Monika Kin; Edmunds, Sandra. “Out of Place”. Association for Noncommercial Culture, Vancouver, 1993.

    Kane, Margo; Gilbert, Sylvie; Cardinal-Schubert, Joane. “Memories Springing; Waters Singing”. Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 1992.

    Longboy, Zachary; Fabo, Andy; Beharry, Shauna. “The Glade”. AKA Artist Run Centre; Saskatoon, SK, 1996.

    Luna, James; Gilbert, Sylvie; Sakamoto, Kerri. “James Luna”. Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 1992.

    Man, Alfred Young, Ph.D; Cur. Bailey, Jann. “North American Indian Art:; It’s a Question of Integrity”. Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, 1998.

    Mootoo, Shani; Gagnon, Monika Kin. “Photocopies & Videotapes”. Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 1994.

    Wong, Paul; Gilbert, Sylvie; Lai, Larissa. “Chinaman’s Peak: Walking the Mountain”. Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 1992.

    Yoon, Jin-me; Radul, Judy; Kang, Hyun Yi; Gagnon, Monika Kin. “Between Departure and Arrival”. Western Front, Vancouver, 1998.

  • Racing thru Space

    June 25–July 23, 1994

    An exhibition organized in conjunction with the Writing thru Race Writers’ Conference.

  • Erin O’Brien / Sheila Ayearst

    November 20–December 19, 1993

  • Let’s Play Doctor

    April 24–May 22, 1993

  • Taste, chewing, swallowing and speech

    March 20–April 17, 1993

    “Individuals, realizing the impact of tongue-eating on their lives and communities, are coming forward with their stories. One such individual is Lillian E., a thirty-year-old dietician currently residing in Port Coquitlam with her husband, a linguist. Her story is poignant and typical. Born on a continent other than North American to two adults with their own histories of displacement, Lillian left home at age six to seek the better life in Canada. End of story? On the contrary, only the beginning of a disorienting, pathless journey in a strange land of no-promise. Along the way, Lillian E. fed on her tongue in order to survive the harrowing ride. You may say, she killed three birds with one stone; one, it lightened her load (she carried a lot of baggage); two, it provided her with necessary nutrients and countless calories (tongue is very rich); and three, it left a gap, a cavity where she thought she could plant somethig useful. She was too young to really appreciate the meanings and consequences of her actions”

    —Ana Chang, excerpted from Report: Tasting the Cost of Uprooting, from her exhibition taste, chewing, swallowing and speech.

  • Before the Camera

    February 16–March 13, 1993

  • Archival Moments in an Ongoing Set of Power Relations

    October 16–November 14, 1992

    The video installation works with archival historical footage in a poetic haunting of history: three pink marble video monuments to remember buried moments in national and provincial policies (in particular in British Columbia) which continue to shape attitudes today. Although the legislation and policies restricting Asian immigration and taking away the vote from Asian Canadians and First Nations people have been changed — the attitudes remain. These video “dreams” address both the public and the private lives affected by these policies.

  • inter-face

    September 11–October 10, 1992

  • Passion

    December 3–December 24, 1988

  • Behind the Sign

    September 10–October 1, 1988

    “Behind the Sign” an exhibition of collaborations between writers and visual artists, will be shown at Artspeak Gallery from September 10 to October 1, 1988. Over the past eight months, five visual artists and five writers have collaborated in pairs to develop works for this exhibition. The list of participants reveals an impressive array of talent from Vancouver’s visual art and writing communities: Stan Douglas and Deanna Ferguson; Roy Arden and Jeff Derksen; Donna Leisen and Calvin Wharton; Doug Munday and Kathryn MacLeod; Sarah Leydon and Peter Culley.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Scott Watson, Cate Rimmer, and Miriam Nichols.

Talks & Events

  • Questions of Difference, Problems of Unity

    May 23–May 25, 1991

    This workshop will explore some fundamental alliances and differences between political agendas as they come to bear on cultural practices. After considering a number of historical strategies and critiques within the feminist and AIDS activist movements, these ideas will be explored in relation to particular videos and text that have contributed to current debates on race and representation.


  • Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art

    Title: Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art
    Category: Criticism
    Writers: Monika Kin Gagnon
    Design: Roberta Batchelor, Brian Morgan bv
    Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Artspeak, Kamloops Art Gallery
    Year published: 2000
    Pages: 195pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 60 b&w images, 16 colour images
    Dimensions: 23 x 16.5 x 1.5 cm
    Weight: 340 g
    ISBN: 1-55152-092-3
    Price: $22 CDN

    Other Conundrums, published by Artspeak Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery and Arsenal Pulp Press is an extraordinary collection of essays on Canadian artists of colour by Monika Kin Gagnon, one of Canada’s most respected art writers and curators. The essays explore the history of cultural production in this country with an emphasis on race, cultural difference, and cultural hybridity. Using specific artists and exhibitions as a starting-point for Gagnon’s discussions, these essays, and the artists she writes about, are firmly grounded in Canadian cultural events, artistic projects, and theoretical ideas concerning race and culture which have circulated in often disparate contexts for the last decade. The book makes a distinctively Canadian contribution to ongoing dialogues on issues of race and culture that have originated from artists, writers, and theorists from the US and Britain, and provides an important and relevatory context to the work of Canada’s artists of colour.

    Monika’s writings have been published in numerous books, including topographies: aspects of recent B.C art, Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis, and A Leap in the Dark, as well as many artist catalogues and magazines. She has a doctorate in philosophy from Simon Fraser University, and a Masters degree from York University. She currently lives in Montreal and teaches at Concordia University.

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  • RX: Let’s Play Doctor

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    Title: RX: Let’s Play Doctor
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artists: Kim Derko, Susan Kealey, Janine Marchessault
    Writers: Jody Berland, Nancy Shaw
    Editor: Monika Kin Gagnon
    Design: Stan Douglas
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Benwell Atkins
    Year published: 1993
    Pages: 48pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 19 b&w images, 13 colour images
    Dimensions: 22.5 x 15.5 x 0.5 cm
    Weight: 117 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-16-0
    Price: $4 CDN

    Derko, Kealy, and Marchessault address the physical consequences of the medicalization of women’s bodies under patriarchy and pharmaceutical capitalism, as well as its pathological placement of the feminine.

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  • Beauté Convulsive

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    Title: Beauté Convulsive
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Christine Davis
    Writers: Monika Kin Gagnon
    Design: Ambrose Pottie, Christine Davis
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Benwell-Atkins Limited
    Year published: 1989
    Pages: 42 pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 7 b&w images, 13 colour images
    Dimensions: 23 x 17.5 x 0.5 cm
    Weight: 158 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-06-3
    Price: $2 CDN

    Documentation and analysis of Davis’ installation work, which deals with, although not exclusively, the body as ”written” by representation and history, as well as contesting the stability of language.

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