Winter Exhibitions Launch at Esker Foundation
Winter Exhibitions: Neil Campbell and Jeremy Shaw
26 January – 12 May
Neil Campbell and Jeremy Shaw in conversation with Naomi Potter: Saturday 26 January, 1-2pm
In the Project Space:
4 February – 28 April
Artist Talk: Saturday 9 February, 1-2pm
Esker Foundation is proud to present our winter exhibition season featuring exhibitions by Vancouver-based Neil Campbell and Berlin-based Jeremy Shaw, and new work by Calgary-based artist Glenna Cardinal in the Esker Project Space.
Campbell’s practice references artistic movements that range from conceptualism to minimalism, from Op Art and colour field painting to the language of advertising. The works in this exhibition include wall paintings, vinyl print installations, and forms milled from plate steel that gesture toward sculpture. Sensory and sensational, his works are meticulously devised to address and influence the physical and phenomenological aspects of the act of viewing. Campbell’s impulse to interrupt the quotidian experience of viewing ultimately stems from a desire to elicit a physical or somatic response; to shift our experience of looking from a passive act to an embodied and self-reflexive one.
Campbell’s geometric paintings and graphic interventions engage directly with their surrounding architecture and provoke an enhanced awareness of their contextual space. These carefully articulated shapes and patterning were chosen for their ability to transmute the gallery spaces from the familiar and static into the unexpected and active. Campbell’s work invites us to a moment of interface in which we can address the boundaries of perception and consider the body’s relationship with its environment.
At the center of Shaw’s first solo show in Calgary are three para-fictional short films: Quickeners (2014), Liminals(2017), and I Can See Forever (2018), the latter of which is making its Canadian installation premiere. This trilogy of thematically entangled works presents marginalized societies of the future and their engagement in transcendental activities as potential tools towards evolution. Spiritual, subcultural, and scientific systems of belief and their accompanying ideologies crystalize around the abilities and limitations of the human form while Shaw’s amplified use of aural and visual effects aspires to incite similar phenomenological responses from the viewer.
In addition to the three films, Shaw’s series Towards Universal Pattern Recognition presents found archival photos of people in various states of religious, mystical, or technological rapture under custom-machined prismatic acrylic. The resulting kaleidoscopic repetition and distortion of the image explicitly illustrates that the subject is experiencing a phenomenon that is skewing their perception of reality. In applying an optical device most commonly associated with filmic representations of psychedelic experience to documentary recordings of altered states, the works ask one to consider a universality to all transcendental experience: spiritual, hedonistic, technological, and otherwise.
Quantification Trilogy is produced in cooperation with the Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany.
In the Project Space:
Presented in partnership with TRUCK Contemporary Art
Glenna Cardinal continues to explore her bone-deep connection to the reserve land that she grew up on, the land that was her Tsuut’ina Nation grandmothers’ and is now the Southwest Calgary Ring Road. Her work is a response to her displacement and forced colonial identity while seeking comfort in a new place. Cardinal is a Saddle Lake Cree Nation member who continues to reside on her maternal reserve, Tsuut’ina Nation.
Esker Foundation is pleased to work with TRUCK to present Cardinal’s important and timely installation exploring the human impacts of urban development on First Nations land.
6 May – 21 July
Presented in partnership with Untitled Art Society
About Esker Foundation
Esker Foundation is a privately funded contemporary art gallery located in Calgary, Canada. The gallery connects the public to contemporary art through relevant, accessible, and educational exhibitions, programs, and publications. Esker Foundation reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture; creates opportunities for public dialogue; and supports the production of ground-breaking new work, ideas, and research. Founded in 2012 by Jim and Susan Hill, Esker Foundation is a new model for institutional relevance, curatorial focus, and audience engagement.
For a digital companion to the exhibitions, download the free Esker Foundation App at either App Store or Google Play.
Esker Foundation presents an extensive range of free programs for all ages. Developed in response to our exhibitions they are designed to increase accessibility and to encourage participation in contemporary art. Visit www.eskerfoundation.art/program/current to find out more and to register.
4th floor, 1011 9th Avenue SE
Canada, T2G 0H7
Tel: 1 403 930 2490
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm, Friday 11am–8pm
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