September 12 – October 31 2009
New Closing Date Saturday October 17
Opening Reception Friday, 11 September, 8pm
The Helen Pitt Gallery Artist Run Centre is pleased to present From the Gathering, a group exhibition of five international artists, all of whom are exhibiting for the first time in Vancouver. Curated by London-based curators Andrew Bonacina and Anne Low, the exhibition examines the invitation in a variety of visual and metaphoric forms; as a poetic mode of engagement between artist, art work and audience. The works brought together in From the Gathering use the visible absence of a protagonist to reflect on a potential for spontaneous intimacy and fleeting social encounters through varying degrees of provocation: without prescribed outcomes, it is the viewers’ subjective response to the works that shape the form engagement might take or the narratives that might emerge.
While some works in the exhibition use recognisable motifs of celebration to evoke a feeling of collectivity amongst otherwise disconnected groups and individuals, others employ a mutable framework that records the imprints of an ever-shifting audience. Haegue Yang’s diverse practice often uses abstract and transient forms to create fleeting portraits of both individuals and places; displayed in From the Gathering her series of nine photographs depicting ‘sitting tables’ – vernacular seating structures found throughout Korea – are a visual testament to the idiosyncratic nature of provisional social space. Continuing Christodoulos Panayiotou’s interest in social constructions and performative gestures, his slide work, If Tomorrow Never Comes (2007), gathers together newspaper images of fireworks displays in the city of Naples from the early 20th century to the present. Used as both a form of celebration and as a communication method by the Camorra, the fireworks embody the fleeting gathering of a public and an illicit form of communication.
Lara Favaretto’s series of questions scrawled on the gallery walls more directly address the viewer as an individual, yet encourages them to reflect on their role within a certain constituency. Aurélien Froment’s series of toy-like objects, based on the gifts produced by German 19th century educationalist Friedrich Frœbel, are arranged in such a way that the viewer is invited to intervene and alter the form of the artwork itself, the objects’ dual character as both ‘gifts’ and pedagogical tools marrying social exchange with enlightenment. Mandla Reuter’s intervention similarly allows for the viewer to test the boundaries of their own agency within the ritualised space of the gallery, casting it – like all the works in the exhibition – as a space for the production of knowledge.
Lara Favaretto (b.1973) is an Italian artist based in Turin. Favaretto has had solo exhibitions at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin (2005) and at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bergamo (2002). Recent group exhibitions include Making Worlds: 52nd Venice Biennale (2009), Biennial of Sydney (2008), Une seconde une année (One Second, One Year), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006).
Christodolous Panyioutou (b. 1978) is a Cypriot artist currently based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2009), Rodeo, Istanbul (2009) and Museum Of Modern Art Oxford, UK (2006). Recent group exhibitions include the 2nd Athens Biennal (2009), Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2008) and Busan Biennial, Korea (2008).
Mandla Reuter (b. 1975, Nqutu, South Africa) currently lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Mezzanin Gallery, Vienna (2009), Kunsthalle Lingen (2009) and Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2008), Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe (2008), Kunsthalle Basel, (2008) and 7th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2008).
Aurélien Froment (b. 1976, Angers, France) currently lives and works in Dublin and Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Gasworks, London (2009), CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2009) and FRAC Champagne-Argenne, Reims (2008). Recent group exhibitions include The Great Transformation, Frankfurter Kunstverein (2008) and Persona, Centre d’art contemporain, Pougues-les-eaux (2008).
Haegue Yang (born 1971, Seoul) lives and works in Seoul and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2009), Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Portikus, Frankfurt and Kunsthalle, Hamburg (all 2008). Recent group exhibitions The Power Plant, Toronto and the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (both 2008). She is currently representing Korea at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Andrew Bonacina is a writer and curator based in London. He is the Exhibitions and Events Organiser at Chisenhale Gallery and as a writer has contributed to magazines frieze, ArtPress, Untitled, Afterall and publications by Phaidon, Taschen and JRP Ringier.
Anne Low is an artist and curator based in London. She is a Contemporary Art Project Editor at Phaidon Press and is currently editing the next volume of Cream. As a writer, she has contributed to C Magazine.