Trevor Mahovsky

  • Rebecca Belmore

    The centerpiece of this midcareer survey of Rebecca Belmore’s work was Fountain, 2005, a video installation she created for the Canadian pavilion at the Fifty-first Venice Biennale. Known for the intensity and physicality of her performance work, Belmore is also a talented sculptor with a restrained aesthetic rooted in Arte Povera and process traditions. In the ambitious Fountain, a video of Belmore struggling in the ocean off Iona Beach just south of Vancouver is projected onto a sixteen-foot-wide waterfall running along the back wall of the darkened gallery. In the video, the Anishinabe (First

  • Rachel Harrison and Scott Lyall

    Near the center of Rachel Harrison and Scott Lyall’s recent sprawling collaborative exhibition “When Hangover Becomes Form” sat a large shipping container in which Harrison’s work had been transported to the gallery. Opened, this erstwhile horn of plenty had disgorged its contents into the gallery: A cardboard box in the crate indicated that it had contained, among other works, something called VOMIT SPIRE. Throughout the space, elements culled from earlier Harrison assemblages, including nine tumescent, paint-slathered abstract sculptures recycled from her 2003 Venice Biennale contribution

  • Wang Du

    A cartoon in three-dimensional form, Paris-based Chinese expatriate Wang Du’s recent exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery took the form of a misshapen array of bellicose and lascivious golems cultivated from Chinese military propaganda, Internet porn, and the Western print media. Titled “Parade,” it was timely and well placed, the port of Vancouver being a gateway to Asia that, like North America as a whole, confronts the rising economic behemoth of China with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety.

    Du uses polyester resin and acrylic to flesh out his pop-cultural sources and often introduces

  • Ian Wallace

    Three decades after Daniel Buren’s “The Function of the Studio” (1971) exemplified a critique within Conceptual art of this archetypal lone-artist’s sanctuary, Charles H. Scott Gallery presented “In the Studio,” a survey of work by Ian Wallace dating from 1970 to 2005. Employing aspects of allegory, documentation, and performance informed by a lineage extending from Courbet to Nauman, Wallace likewise questions the mythology of the studio yet reaffirms its validity as a space for thinking, writing, and making.

    The works in the show ranged from footage of Wallace’s performance At Work, 1983—in

  • “2048 KM”

    Spartan in spite of its hedonistic references, “2048 KM” was a modest show featuring Vancouver and Los Angeles–based artists indebted to Ed Ruscha. The selections were positioned within a contemporary discourse on ideas of the city and the self, constructed through music, film, tourism, and art. Alongside work by Ruscha himself, curator Melanie O’Brian included Kathy Slade, Ron Terada, and Robert Arndt from Vancouver, and Mungo Thomson, Euan Macdonald, Anne Walsh, and Kerry Tribe from Los Angeles. “2048 KM,” referencing Ruscha’s penchant for car trips, is the distance between LA’s Chateau Marmont,

  • Kelly Mark

    As public sculptures step down from their pedestals, they struggle to establish a rapport with the person on the street. Most cities are inhabited by a few loitering bronzes, listlessly shaking hands, tipping hats, or sitting at metal boards awaiting chess partners. As visual gags, these ersatz comrades suggest activities for, while reiterating the intended function of, communal zones of rest and transit. “Private Conversations with Public Statuary,” 2003–2004, a series of videos by Kelly Mark (the first three of which were shown here), takes up this offer of sculptural amity and documents the

  • Damian Moppett

    Since the late ’70s countless Canadian schoolchildren have drifted off during in-class screenings of National Film Board historical vignettes, those humdrum dramas populated by blacksmiths, traders, and voyageurs in spirit-gum beards. Damian Moppett’s installation 1815/1962, 2003, made up of a video in which a nineteenth-century trapper played by the artist fabricates a bizarre animal trap in the Canadian West Coast rainforest; two maquettes on a plinth; and a large photographic poster, recalls these low-key meditations on pioneer pragmatism and self-reliance. This is familiar territory for