|THE OPENING is all about delving into the fascinating, quirky and wonderful visual arts in Vancouver. Each week we’ll feature an artist, cover an exhibition, discuss a lecture and everything else in-between to delve deep into who and what makes art happen!|
Text-based art got its start with the conceptual artists of the 1960s, and has metamorphosed into countless new forms since. Emerging artists today may count among their list of influences Yoko Ono’s directional works, or Ed Ruscha’s evocative paintings of poem fragments layered over LA sunsets. Black & Yellow group exhibition Text Text Type showcases new works that draw from this history of text, language, and writing in visual mediums. I met with curator Allison Mander-Wionzek, and contributing artists Jacquelyn Ross and Anna-Marie Repstock to discuss their fascination with the written word, as well as Black & Yellow’s recent move to the MAKe space in the wake of the Waldorf Hotel’s highly controversial closure.
What was your motivation behind curating a text-based show?
Allison Mander: I think my initial interest in putting this show together came together through a conversation with Kyla Mallett and some of her colleagues at the Capilano Review. They were, at the time, hosting an event at the Waldorf Hotel and wanted to use our space to do a reading for the most recent issue of the Capilano review, which was all about text-based work. So I figured it would be more interesting to put on a show in relation to their reading, as opposed to simply having them in the space while another show was happening. Because Black & Yellow is more interested in working with emerging artists instead of more established artists like Kyla, I asked her for some suggestions and she put me in touch with Liz Knox, who is one of the artists in the show. After talking to Liz, I started to look at different text-based works and how they were incorporating language. I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight some younger people and what they were doing in a different way.
Jacquelyn Ross: It’s also interesting in relation to the conceptual art show at the VAG, which is all text-based work from the sixties.
I was wondering about what was so alluring about a text-based practice and what drives your interest behind it.
Anna-Marie Repstock: Especially considering painting – it is something that is considered outside of language, and purely visual, so it is all the more interesting to me to play with that idea and find out what happens when you put language into painting, and I actually see language as abstract as paint when it is manipulated. When there is colour, form, composition, it has all the same formal abstractions that painting already has. Language and painting are not necessarily opposed, even though historically it kind of played out that way. Conceptual art was always kind of down on painting. …READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY>>>