Thursday, September 7, 2017

Swarm 18

Tonight is the first night of Swarm 18, a two-night opening of Vancouver artist-run centres' 2017-2018 seasons. In past years I might have written "a two-night opening of Vancouver artist-run centres' 2017-2018 exhibition seasons," but exhibitions are only an aspect of artist-run culture these days, so it is not so much exhibitions that are opening but the doors behind which they are mounted.

There are three Swarm events tonight (in addition to an opening at the Belkin). The one I will visit  is LOVE AND ROCKETS at VIVO Media Arts.

Here is the press release:

Join us for the opening of Curator-in-Residence Derrick Chang’s Love and Rockets in conjunction with SWARM 2017.
Elizabeth Milton (Vancouver), Jennifer Remenchik (Los Angeles) and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Edinburgh)
With recordings of music and spoken word by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg). Music videos by Cara Mumford (Métis / Chippewa Cree) and Amos Scott (Tlicho/ Dene)
Love and Rockets* is an exploration of longing and everyday feelings that provide an outlet for tensions and power dynamics that exist within interpersonal relationships. As a trope, the overwrought emotion of love is normally associated with cinematic melodrama that often results in an excessive display of feelings from both the actors and the viewers. Within the dynamics of music, film and video, an intimate relationship emerges that crosses between the individual and the screen. L&R represents a crucial understanding of how these ideals are transmitted from the screen to reality and back again and conversely reified through slippages in fiction and autobiographical narrative. The artists in the L&R screening series confront the way in which we control the inner monologue that tells us, “Don’t get so emotional,” and minimizes what are important issues such as respect, freedom, dignity and power that accompany tensions within relationships, broken affairs and emotional recovery. As some of the artists in the screening state, their work often reflects on states of tragi-comic emergence, emotional growth and medicines for acceptance, connection, intimacy and love.
Elizabeth Milton is a performance and media artist based in Vancouver. She holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University. Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada and Europe and developed through residencies at Skaftfell Centre for Visual Art, Iceland, Access Gallery and the Banff Centre. Her recent performances, exhibitions and screenings have taken place at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the grunt gallery (Vancouver) and Altes Finanzamt (Berlin, Germany). She instructs courses in Studio Art at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and Langara College in Vancouver, BC.
Jennifer Remenchik received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. Her works have been exhibited in a number of institutions and galleries including Industry Lab, Boston, MA; HILDE, Los Angeles, CA; BEEFHAUS, Dallas, TX; and the Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX, among others. Recently, she completed residencies at the Performing Arts Forum in St. Erme, France, Toni Areal in Zurich, Switzerland, the Banff Centre in Alberta, CA, and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Remenchik lives and works in Los Angeles.
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is an artist and diarist. His artistic gestures in sound, video and text contemplate the history of song and the gender of voices, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken or screamed. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors and sirens.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist, musician, poet and writer, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the boundaries between story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form, in the Walrus, Arc Poetry Magazine, Geist, and C Magazine. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost will be published by House of Anansi Press in Spring 2017.
DERRICK CHANG is a curator and writer, whose research critically examines the nature of ethics and politics in artistic practice. His current research and writing extends this examination to consider the personal and its formal associations in the context of diverse archeologies of love as mixed subcultures of feeling and emotion.

*Love and Rockets is a homage to the 80s alternative comic, of the same name, by the Hernandez brothers. L&R is an ongoing series chronicling the lives of a diverse cast of Latinx characters whose identity and community exist as part of mainstream conversations, not as an aside. Through the visual language of sci-fi, magic realist and punk rock influences, their storyboards give us insight into narratives that illustrate dynamic scenes of relationships that both flourish and spiral out of control.

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