Scott Massey

Scott Massey is a photo-based artist living in Vancouver. He completed a BFA (photography) at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003 and has a background in furniture making and design. His work has been exhibited locally at Gallery 83 (2003) and at the Canadian Museum of Craft and Design (2000).


  • Spill 03: Paysages incertain

    December 4–January 22, 2005

    Montréal artist Isabelle Hayeur completes the Spill series with Spill 03: Paysages incertains. Hayeur’s photographs and video work appear to be documents of sublime landscapes, when in fact they are digital manipulations that reiterate the constant interference that human activity enacts upon rural and wilderness terrain. The result are disturbing possible worlds fabricated by blending different sites into a single territory. Hayeur’s subtle interventions destabilize familiar viewpoints and call into question the viewer’s notions of aesthetic satisfaction and the state of the landscape.

    Hayeur’s photographs hover in a state of ambiguity: far from romanticizing ‘pristine’ environments, she calls upon the viewer to question notions of aesthetic satisfaction while examining the impact of western development models on the environment. The unknown, or unknowable, places she fabricates by combining aspects of different sites into a single zone, draws attention to the non-places that surround us. Between critique and disturbance, Hayeur creates a unique attraction, difficult to name or qualify.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Spill 02: Meniscus

    October 23–November 27, 2004

    The second exhibition in the Spill series, Meniscus, features four artists working with the residual mass and indivisible remainder of everyday life through strategies of repetition and reenactment. Exploring the permeability of materials, spaces and systems of containment, these artists make tangible the impulse to shore up the arbitrary boundaries between spaces and concepts, and conscious and unconscious behaviours. In addition, Ana Rewakowicz will inhabit an inflatable latex room (cast from her home in Montréal) during the opening of Meniscus. Rewakowicz is travelling across Canada with her room.

    Luis Jacob gives character to the shapeless community of isolated individuals consuming waves of spam advertising that arrive at their computer terminals. Just Do It! transposes the litany of failed transformations promised by products marketed through the internet into ‘worldly’ architecture.

    Kelly Mark uses her own ‘will to order’ to investigate potential moments of individuation that leak out of the repetitive, obsessive tasks of the day to day. I Really Should is a recorded list of one thousand things the artist really should do. From eating more fibre or taking more chances to cleaning the litter box, this verbal collection of one thousand things permeates the gallery’s architecture.

    Corin Sworn examines how contemporary popular culture showcases models of the private sphere rendering them as symptoms of an ideal interiority. Sworn begins with Lissitzky’s 1926 design of a room to display Russian art. Inverting Lissitzky’s model of an interior intentionally designed as a public stage set, Sworn investigates models of interiority prepared to receive the viewers imaginings of a private living space.

    Kara Uzelman explores the urge for accumulation in performance and sculpture. In a hotel room all the furniture is in a heap, cast-off clothing in her bedroom is sewn together in a lump, in a park all the dogs are corralled into a camera viewfinder. Interested in piling and purging, Uzelman has worked with an entire garage sale, purchasing and inhabiting the remnants of a stranger’s discarded physical existence.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Spill 01: Collapse

    September 11–October 16, 2004

    Vancouver artist Scott Massey opens Artspeak’s Spill series with Spill 01: Collapse. Questioning order and control, Massey’s work takes on the illusionary boundaries between man and the landscape. His work explores the uneasy relationship between culture and nature, such as photographic images of artificial light illuminating a nocturnal landscape and sculptural investigations into the effects of man-made light on the processes of shedding and growth. His photographs, sculptures and interventions observe this mutual overflow as various forms of control collapse and cultural classification systems are revealed to be unstable.

    The works in Collapse engage with aspects of the landscape that display evidence of reciprocity between culture and nature. A series of ten photographs document signs in a northern Canadian dump that indicate how to separate your garbage. This imposed system of order can be seen as a false construct as the items left at the dump are uncontained and ultimately break down into the surrounding wilderness. The work ironically shows the rudimentary classification systems against a background of seemingly uninhabited landscape. In addition to the photographs, Massey’s sculptural work reveals how artificial illumination affects natural processes. In the centre of the gallery, Massey’s circular installation of grass grows toward the lamp at the sculpture’s heart, the blades of grass leaning phototropically toward the light. Here, synthetic illumination becomes a controlled stand-in for the sun. In Collapse, Massey’s social portrait questions the separations we place between the urban environment and the perceived unsettled landscape beyond.

    The Spill series has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council and The City of Vancouver.

  • Souvenir: A Road Show

    June 7–July 19, 2003

    Margaret Lawther routinely travels by car each summer between Vancouver and Montreal. Begun in 2001, this exhibition consists of large-scale colour photographs, depicting views of the Trans-Canada, the world’s longest national highway. In counterpoint to the mythified and romantic Canadian landscape for which this country is known, these images, arranged in diptychs, triptychs and singly, embrace a flat and acerbic approach to the idea of the scenic viewpoint. Lawther’s photographs resist the idea of a Canada comprised of spectacular natural beauty and inspirational perspectives; these points of interest are more likely to be skid marks and eroded shoulders than waterfalls or waving grain. Lawther interrupts the landscape series with still life images of car wrecks found in scrap yards, continuing the history of photography¹s fascination with the land and with death.

    In combination they elaborate on the paradox of the road trip; the experience of the disjunctive relationship between time, space and immense distances traveled while sheathed in an automobile.

    Postscript 09: Scott Massey on Souvenir: A Road Show (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Esoterica: A Three Day Publications Event

    January 27–January 29, 2005

    Book Sale – Thursday, January 27, Friday, January 28 and Saturday January 29, 12-5pm

    All Artspeak publications will be 20% off the listed price and 40% off for gallery members. During these three days the gallery will be transformed into a space to sit quietly and sip coffee, read and look at pictures.

    Reading | Jeff Derksen – Friday, January 28, 8pm

    Vancouver poet and cultural critic reads new work

    Book Launch | Spilled – Saturday, January 29, 2pm

    Artists: Isabelle Hayeur, Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Scott Massey, Ana Rewakowicz, Corin Sworn and Kara Uzelman

    Authors: Colleen Brown and Philip Kevin Paul

    Designed by Jen Eby



  • Spilled

    Spilled front
    Spilled spine
    Spilled back

    Title: Spilled
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artists: Isabelle Hayeur, Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Scott Massey, Ana Rewakowicz, Corin Sworn, Kara Uzelman
    Writers: Colleen Brown, Philip Kevin Paul
    Editor: Artspeak
    Design: Jen Eby
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2004
    Pages: 38pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 15 colour images
    Dimensions: 16 x 21 x 1 cm
    Weight: 103 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-50-0
    Price: $5 CDN

    Spilled was published on the occasion of the exhibition series Spill. The series includes three exhibitions (Collapse: Scott Massey; Meniscus: Luis Jacob, Kelly Mark, Corin Sworn, Kara Uzelman; Paysages incertains: Isabelle Hayeur), an intervention (Travelling with My Inflatable Room: Ana Rewakowicz). The texts in Spilled are framed by two overarching propositions. The first is the understanding of spill as breached physical containment, and the second is the disclosure of information or emotion.

    In his essay, “The Sweetly Neglected,” Philip Kevin Paul approaches the split between man and nature from a non-European perspective, revealing boundaries that shift through cultural naming within his Saanich experience on Vancouver Island. Colleen Brown’s essay “Poring In, Pouring Over” considers the portals used by the viewer to find their way into the works in Spilled tackling the abstraction found between the slippery definition of binaries.

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