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.
Lorna Brown is a visual artist, writer, educator and editor, exhibiting her work internationally since 1984. Brown was the Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004 and is a founding member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of artists, architects and curators presenting projects that consider the varying conditions of public places and public life. She has taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University. Brown received an honorary degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2015), the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1996) and the Canada Council Paris Studio Award (2000). Her work is in the collections of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the Surrey Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank.
Director/Curator of Artspeak 1999–2004.
October 19–November 23, 2002
Female Victoria filmmaker seeks female singer/songwriters ages approximately 17–25 to be featured in art film. No experience necessary.
From this ad placed in a Victoria entertainment weekly, Althea Thauberger auditioned many young women performing original compositions. A group of eight were then recorded individually in a professional recording studio setting and later filmed on 16mm, lip-synching, at a variety of ‘natural’ settings in and around Victoria. The locations in some way epitomize romanticized west-coast motifs, and the lush glade, the rugged clifftop and the bountiful garden assert themselves as characters in the piece. The series of performances are screened on digital video, in a looped sequence.
Songstress combines references to the screen test and music video and grafts them to the long history of conflating the feminine with nature. The overdetermined form of the folk ballad and the high production values of the work are at odds with one another and with the extremely personal and emotive expression of the young songwriters. The struggle evident in the performances is echoed in the ambiguity of the viewer; both caught between the authenticity of emotional turmoil and the more comfortable and familiar simulations and cliches of pop culture forms.
CANDIE TANAKA, ALTHEA THAUBERGER, KATHY SLADE
December 14, 2002
Artspeak Gallery is pleased to present << Rewind: a launching event of two new audio releases. Please join us for mid-afternoon cocktails, some CD listening stations and general holiday cheer.
1. Candie Tanaka – “No sound is dissonant which tells of life” – CD Bookwork
In this audio project, Candie Tanaka has layered, manipulated and digitally edited ‘real world’ sounds from an urban environment into discrete soundtracks. These soundtracks are then inserted as unexplained artworks into the voice messaging systems of individuals and a range of cultural institutions. The CD contains both the out-going recorded message of the recipients and the soundtrack messages left behind. Bookwork graphics: Jen Eby.
2. Althea Thauberger – Songstress / Kathy Slade – Songs for Girls – CD Bookwork
The CD contains the soundtrack from the exhibition Songstress by Althea Thauberger; the bookwork features portraits of the singer/songwriters and their handwritten lyric sheets. Kathy Slade’s text, Songs for Girls, critically investigates the trope of the west-coast chanteuse and the conflation of femininity and ‘nature’.
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Althea Thauberger
Writers: Kathy Slade, Althea Thauberger
Year published: 2002
Binding: Staple Bound
Features: Audio CD, 10 colour images
Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 0.8 cm
Weight: 65 g
Price: $4 CDN
Female Victoria filmmaker seeks female singer/songwriters ages approximately 17 – 25 to be featured in art film. No experience necessary.
From this ad placed in a Victoria entertainment weekly, Thauberger auditioned young women performing original compositions. A group of eight were recorded individually in a professional recording studio setting and later filmed on 16mm, lip-synching, at a variety of ‘natural’ settings in and around Victoria. The locations in some way epitomize romanticized west-coast motifs, and the lush glade, the rugged clifftop and the bountiful garden assert themselves as characters in the piece. The series of performances were screened at Artspeak on digital video in a looped sequence.
The CD contains the soundtrack from the exhibition Songstress by Althea Thauberger. The bookwork features portraits of the singer/songwriters and their handwritten lyric sheets. Kathy Slade’s text, “Songs for Girls,” critically investigates the trope of the west-coast chanteuse and the conflation of femininity and ‘nature’.