• Melvin Moti

    Melvin Moti (b. 1977) is a Rotterdam based artist who works primarily in film, as well as with sound and book works. His work has been shown widely in Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Galleria T293, Napoli; and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work has also been shown at the Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Baltic Triennial; and Witte de With, Rotterdam, among others.

  • Althea Thauberger

    Althea Thauberger is an artist based in Vancouver. Her internationally produced and exhibited work typically involves collaboration with a group or community that result in performances, films, videos, audio recordings, and books. Thauberger gravitates towards social enclaves—groups of people who exist or develop in some form of seclusion and are often perpetuated by social controls—that are both coercive and voluntary. Her work provides constraints for her subjects to work within which may echo the ones they live within. These may be structural imperatives or conventions of particular film or photographic media, allegory, seriality, or other containers. Thauberger’s performances have involved diverse groups including young Canadian female singer/songwriters, U.S. military wives, Canadian tree planters, Vancouver-based reserve soldiers, and male youth in the German civil service. These amateur performers express concepts of self-definition, alienation, and community through their stories.

    Thauberger’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at Manifesta 7, Trento, Itlay; the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2008; Vancouver Art Gallery, 2008; BAK, Utrecht, 2007; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2006; Kunstverein Wolfsburg, 2006; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, 2006; Singapore History Museum, 2006; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, 2005; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, 2005; Berkeley Art Museum, 2005; Insite, San Diego/Tijuana, 2005; White Columns, New York, 2004; and Seattle Art Museum, 2004. In 2008 she will be traveling to the Canadian Forces Base in Kandahar, Afghanistan to work on a collaborative photograph with military members there. She has upcoming projects with BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands, the Gaungzhou Triennial, China and Artspeak in Vancouver.

  • Melanie O’Brian

    Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.


No Show

September 8–October 13, 2007

Melvin’s Moti’s film practice finds a focus in the reconstructions of memories, whether reenacting the perambulating descriptions of surrealist sleep experiments or narrating the content and emotion of absent pictures. Moti’s 2004 No Show is a 24-minute film based on a guided tour given at the Hermitage Museum during the Second World War. Until 1944, the museum removed its collection of paintings and other artworks for safe-keeping, and its galleries were bare save for empty frames hanging on the walls. In 1943 a guide showed a group of soldiers through the vacant rooms, describing from memory the paintings in the Hermitage’s collection including works by Rembrandt and Fra Angelico. Moti presents this historic tour aurally, while the camera is trained on an empty gallery, a backdrop for the imagined works. Speaking to both individual and collective memory, particularly in the face of chaos and adversity, Moti’s film is a beautiful, spare work that evokes a complex subjective response. The film is accompanied by a small artist book of the same name that provides further research insights into the reconstructed event.

This exhibition has specifically been supported by the Vancouver Foundation and the Ramada Downtown Vancouver.

Postscript 31: Althea Thauberger on No Show (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Artist Talk

    September 8, 2007

    Artist MELVIN MOTI will discuss his exhibition No Show at Artspeak.


  • Retrospect

    Retro backRetro spineRetro front

    Title: Retrospect
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artists: Melvin Moti, Kerry Tribe, Don Coltman, Kristan Horton, Jack Lindsay, Taras Polataiko
    Writers: Melvin Moti, Susan Sontag, Juan A. Gaitán, Kathleen Ritter, Colin Browne, Althea Thauberger
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Courtenay Webber, The Future
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Hemlock Printers, Vancouver
    Year published: 2008
    Pages: 122pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 9 colour images, 3 b&w images
    Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 1.2 cm
    Weight: 148 g
    ISBN: 978-0-921394-59-4
    Price: $6 CDN

    Retrospect is an examination of the role of memory and imagination in the consideration of disaster. Memory, like history, is subjective and unfixed; the records of both are dynamically unstable, constantly shifting and informed by the present. Imagination—in this case the imagination of disaster—reflects anxiety and unsettles the present. In its representation, disaster is imagined both retrospectively and prospectively, as a memory and as a fear. However, it has been argued that imagining future catastrophes is impossible in that we can only circle back to what is known; we model these cataclysms on what has already occurred. In this way, disaster is always represented in hindsight, even in the sci-fi realms of the future.

    Retrospect brings together visual reproductions of the work in three Artspeak exhibitions held in 2007, two new texts by artist Melvin Moti and art historian/curator Juan A. Gaitán, as well as a reprinted Susan Sontag essay to address the themes of memory, reenactment and disaster. The images are from exhibitions of work by Melvin Moti, Kerry Tribe, and On the Beach (Don Coltman, Kristan Horton, Jack Lindsay and Taras Polataiko). The publication also includes reprinted Postscript texts for the above exhibitions. Postscript authors are Colin Browne, Kathleen Ritter and Althea Thauberger.

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