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Thought, outside is composed with an eye to how each artwork thinks the phenomenon of the outside. This concept is variably expressed as the condition of being out-of-doors, beyond a geographic delineation, without legal recognition or unfamiliar with social custom. It is a position that is sometimes articulated in the negative: by that which is not inside. However, the boundary between the inside and outside is rarely fixed or exclusive. Rather, it is relational, durational and transitory.
The exhibition presents lens based artworks by Craig Berggold, Marlene Creates, Kiss & Tell, Roy Kiyooka, Laiwan, Ken Lum and Melinda Mollineaux produced between the 1970s and 90s. The works engage then-emerging frameworks of multiplicity, plurality and decentering that make the contingent nature of the outside visible. Their anachronistic encounter draws attention to how artworks continue to think across the conditions of presentation.
Movement across geographic, economic and cultural boundaries is explored in Kiyooka’s photographs of discarded work gloves at Expo ’70 Osaka, StoneDGloves (1970); Lum’s performance along the periphery of the Trans-Canada highway, Entertainment for Surrey (1978); and Berggold’s documents of immigrant farming and union organizing in the Fraser Valley, A Time to Change (1984).
The social inscription of the out-of-doors is closely observed in Creates’ documents of her solitary journey in Sleeping Places, Newfoundland 1982 (1982); Laiwan’s reflections on a contested ruin in African Notes Part 1 & 2 (1982); and Mollineaux’s pinhole exposures, Cadboro Bay: Index to an Incomplete History (1998/2020).
The ideological processes that censor permission and prohibition are contested in Drawing the Line (1990), Kiss & Tell’s expansive installation on the representation of lesbian sexuality.
To accompany the exhibition curator Amy Kazymerchyk also recorded conversations with the artists Craig Berggold, Laiwan, Melinda Mollineaux and Susan Stewart, which can be listened to here.
Thought, outside is curated by Amy Kazymerchyk, a candidate for the MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her exhibition is presented with support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Special thanks to Maria Hindmarch, Simon Fraser University Special Collections, Surrey Art Gallery and Tom Thomson Art Gallery.