café for contemporary art

ID in NV Industrial Design in North Vancouver

Posted in exhibitions by tyler057 on October 8, 2010

 

Image Courtesy Mark Teasdale

 

This exhibition is up for just a few more days. Comes down on October 14. Catch it while you can!

An industrial design exhibition curated by Adrian Boston,  ID in NV: Industrial Design in North Vancouver celebrates recent, innovative work by five North Vancouver firms Arc’teryx, Cove Bikes, Kelvin.23, Bull Monkey/G3 and Rayne Longboards. While offering a platform for the acknowledgment of interesting stuff going on in our midst the exhibition implicitly gives rise to questions about how communities negotiate living identities in the context of constantly emerging material culture.

The Press Release:

Curator provokes community to consider the collection and exhibition of contemporary cultural objects

Does the North Vancouver Museum and Archives own a Cove Bikes SHOCKER DH prototype? Or an early model Kelvin.23? Or any recently, locally designed objects of the North Shore? If so, how effectively are they empowered to make the local community aware of such a fact? The current exhibition at the Café for Contemporary Art, ID in NV: Industrial Design in North Vancouver, curated by Adrian Boston, features and celebrates a selection of objects recently designed on the North Shore. The exhibition provokes and facilitates an ongoing conversation about how we go about constituting and negotiating our collective memory. One of the central questions apparent in the exhibition surrounds the relationship between design and place. Ours is an increasingly virtual world that, on the surface seems to have lost its need for a notion of place. However, some local designers, while finding markets both at home and abroad, are designing specifically out of their experiences of this place. Considering these objects, this exhibition has us looking for answers to questions our community needs to ask itself; What do these objects mean about who we are? How do they reflect our current needs as a culture? Are we even a we? And how do these objects feature in the idea of that we? Is there actually ID in NV? And if there is, is it something to be NV’d, shared, questioned or what.

With the recent development of condos, a hotel and more to come in the Eastern Quarter of Lower Lonsdale, a great though long decayed monument to a particular aspect of local history, shipbuilding, has been lost. We are now left, with more than simply the task of completing the site’s redevelopment. We face huge questions around how this ever changing community (especially as its demographic shifts with an increasing wave of new residents from near and far) will go about giving form to collective memory while leaving space for present and future developments in the notion of who we are.

What can we bring together and celebrate collectively? How can different aspects of the community come together to learn about how one another’s local presence came to be and what contributions they might have to offer? Under what frameworks can old and new relationships be negotiated and allowed to prosper? What is our place in an increasingly global and virtual world?

Culminating in this current exhibition, over the past year and a half the Café for Contemporary Art has been very seriously engaged with these sorts of questions. Our second exhibition The Sinixt Don’t Make Totem Poles Either: Public, Art, Memory, set a Canadian case of genocide as the backdrop to an examination of how a new generation of British Columbian artists, self-aware as inheritors of a colonial history, shift their posture vis-à-vis the landscape to which their identity is expected (Group of Seven, Emily Carr) to be anchored. With Seung-Young Kim’s Self-Portrait, we were introduced to a post-colonial Korean who through artistic projects has sought to constitute a new notion self. Kim’s has been a very personal journey whereby he has not only sought to bridge the tricky waters of the relationship between Korea and its former colonizer, Japan, but in an increasingly transnational world has found himself swimming against strong tides of racial prejudice to actualize a colour-blind approach to personal and social relationships. Exiled and non-exiled Persian cultural voices, that sense a loss of modernity from a perhaps unexpected angle, were the focus of the Nowruz Arts Festival and the exhibition of Mansouri Moslem’s The Final Word: A Film about Shamlou. Their loss is one of a historically rich and relatively free arts scene, characterized not by its reverence for Islam, but rather by its secular celebration and examination of the human experience. With Adrian Buitenhuis’ exhibitions of Woodfibre and Highway 99 we have watched a young local film-maker/artist contemplate memory and loss in the very specific context the Howe Sound region in transition. And with VERSITILE a photo exhibit that coincided with the opening of the Pinnacle Hotel, artist Marie Berg reminded the community of what the place looked like not so long ago.

All of this was prefaced by We Love You Comrade Navin! an exhibition of the Navin Party. Navin Rawanchaikul and Tyler Russell’s ongoing collaboration, that, in an increasingly transnational and virtual world, looks at the diminishing role of State names and narratives in the constitution of human identities.

ID in NV and its preceding exhibition history are particularly relevant as this community looks to re-envision the function of Lower Lonsdale’s Eastern Quarter, and in particular what has come to be known as the National Maritime Centre site. With visioning sessions and a flurry of proposals on the horizon, it is hoped that the past will be honoured and the present and future empowered, as one of Canada’s last sections of publicly owned, high-profile harborfront is slated for re-development. We are the inheritors of a rich, complex and contested history with a future cultural and material possibility not shared by many others. It is with these facts front of mind that we must move forward, and discover for ourselves whether or not there really is ID in NV and if it is something we can share through conversations with the rest of the world.

Café for Contemporary Art, a 2010 Krups Kup of Excellence finalist and home to the North Shore’s only Clover makes room for art by providing the community with tasty homemade, soups, sandwiches and baked goods and exquisite coffee roasted by Vince Piccolo’s 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters.

We Are Open:

Weekdays: 7am-7pm

Weekends: 8am-7pm

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Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal – Public Meeting May 16, 3pm

Posted in Uncategorized by tyler057 on May 12, 2009
Scott August & Steven Hubert, Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal, 2009

Scott August & Steven Hubert, Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal, 2009

This Saturday (May 16) at 3pm in conjunction with our current exhibition Scott August and Steve Hubert will host a public meeting to discuss their proposal for a new public art installation in Pinnacle Square, a quasi-public space adjacent to the cafe. They propose that an oversized zero and a 25ft cowboy in cut-offs and oven mitts be installed in this little square in the middle of Lower Lonsdale.  Should be fun.  So far lots of people have expressed strong feelings both for and against.  If you are interested in vibrant discussions about public art, this will definitely be worth attending.
A press release sent out by greatroadsideattractions@gmail.com, an email address known to be affiliated with Scott August’s public installation practice argues that if the installation is permitted it would be a departure from typical memorialisations of settler history and open up space for broader understandings and imaginings of the geography they might one day be installed on.
Passerby Views Public Art Proposal Billboard in Pinnacle Square

Passerby Views Public Art Proposal Billboard in Pinnacle Square

People communicating with the cafe have offered all sorts of angles.   The comments range from “You guys are radical this is awesome!” “I have a degree in Art History, I get what you are doing.  This is absolutely great!” “So is this just a conceptual work or do they actually want to put these things up?” and “Vancouver needs to loosen up, you know, Andy Warhol once came here and said, people here don’t buy art because they’re too busy looking at the mountains” to “so how far is the proposal along?  Did you apply to the city?…  I just wanna let you know I’m not too keen, this is going to block my water view… you know you’ve upset lots of people in the building here, we felt pretty blindsided by this proposal”  and red faced not so subtle threats to send the lawyers.  Some question how a cowboy might be relevant to North Vancouver, why not a whale, a lumberjack or a ship builder people ask, or, why his face and not mine.  Another said, “maybe in Castlegar, but a cowboy here?  No way!  This is an upscale neighbourhood!”
For me, I’m just thankful for the conversation and think the proposal has been a magnificent addition to the overall exhibition.  In no more than proposal form these works have opened a window to the sensation of disorienting interventions in a claimed cultural space and sparked hope for an urban environment with a sense of humour.
Totem pole next to the Credit Union building, Edgewood, BC, 2005 Photo: Jutta Ploessner Source: http://www.firstnations.eu/invasion/sinixt.htm

Totem pole next to the Credit Union building, Edgewood, BC, 2005 Photo: Jutta Ploessner; http://www.firstnations.eu/invasion/sinixt.htm

In some ways and for some people I guess the proposal can act as a kind of clandestine cognate to the the Sinixt’s totem pole, which was erected by BC Hydro in the late 1960s as a memorial to an extinct race.  This was some 10 years after the Sinixt had been declared extinct, and the Columbia River Treaty had been signed, and a massive portion of Sinixt traditional territory had been flooded out with damns.  Among the many problems with that public art commission were the facts that the Sinixt weren’t extinct and that they, like most Salishan peoples including those who once lived in what is now known as Stanley Park, never made totem poles anyway.   It just didn’t/doesn’t make sense.

Considering the way in which much of our art (public or otherwise) continues to inform our understanding of the territory we live on (here in BC, but probably elsewhere too), it makes sense to grasp for other possibilities.  And rather than just going ahead and confidently offering an alternative set of narratives it is probably worthwhile to welcome broader questions about our concepts of time and the constitution of memory. Perhaps signs like Scott’s and Steve’s are in order.  In their abstraction, absurdity and bold humour  they have already proven to act as a play on the orientation of the cultural tables.  Who knows, in the long run they might actually be able to help crack open some space for broader understandings and imaginings of the territories they engage with.  Who knows…

The Sinixt Don’t Make Totem Poles Either: Public, Art, Memory

Posted in Uncategorized by tyler057 on May 7, 2009

Tonight we open our second exhibition! If you have a chance come on out!

Where: 140 East Esplanade, North Van.
When: May 7th, 6-9pm
What: An array of works by Scott August, Steven Hubert and Marilyn James that may come together to percolate discussions about memory, our relationships to the landscapes we inhabit, the role of public art, how diverse communities relate to one another and so on…

ps: We now serve Flat Whites and we are featuring Ethiopian single origin coffee this month…