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This for That

Jayce Salloum, Cathy Busby... This for That

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Garry Neill Kennedy, Cathy Busby, Jayce Salloum, Mishka Henner, Emily Davidson, Tiffany Wollman

This for That presents work by local, national, and international artists who position art as a means of building awareness around the social, economic, and political effects of historical injustices and international conflict. The work is mostly print-based, but also includes photography, video, and sculpture. Each piece responds to historical instances of conflict or systemic modes of injustice. We are pleased to present work by recent Governor General Award recipient Jayce Salloum, along with past recipient Garry Neill Kennedy.

Austerity Rules is a newly commissioned print series between Emily Davidson and Malaspina Printmakers, which includes twelve rules that make obvious the neo-liberal ideology behind government austerity measures. She seeks to refine the concepts behind austerity into twelve simple phrases that are simultaneously dyadic—in that they explain how austerity operates, and uncomfortable, in that they make the viewer aware of the power of this ideology. Visually, she plays on the “no-name” brand Helvetica text and black-on-yellow packaging that Loblaws introduced in 1978 and reintroduced in 2009 during times of austerity.

Tiffany Wollman’s work is directly inspired by the oil industry’s use of water and the long-term environmental impacts that contaminated water has on the people who rely on it for consumption. Penetration via Pipe mimics a cross-section of a pipeline spewing liquid, but instead of oil or water, Wollman has draped colourful sheets of solid house paint. Wollman collected the paints from colleagues who were about to discard the materials, and glossed the sheets of paint to give them a liquid sheen.

Garry Neill Kennedy’s print, Quid Pro Quo, which in common usage means “this for that,” renders the phrase in black Chisel typeface flanked by vertical bands of red, yellow, and blue. According to Kennedy, the colours refer to Canadian citizen Maher Arar’s description of the prison attire he wore, the bruises he suffered, and the instruments of torment used upon him after he was detained at Kennedy airport in New York in 2002, and then deported to his native Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured for the better part of a year.

In the sixth century, a thousand Buddhist monks lived in and around the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. Buddhism and Islam coexisted harmoniously until the ninth century. The Buddhas of Bamian, two world-famous sandstone statues, survived more than a millennium before being dynamited by the Taliban in 2001, who sought to eradicate all trace of any religion other than their own. Respectively 38 meters and 55 meters tall, the statues formerly stood in huge niches that protected them from erosion. Fresco covered passages in and around the statues led to caves adapted for prayers and ceremonies, and the ceilings were covered in friezes and stucco.

Jayce Salloum visited Bamiyan in 2008 and developed a body of work that has been presented in many international exhibitions. This is the first time that his work from Bamiyan has been shown locally. An expanded component of the original installation is presented in this exhibition. The video shows the footprints that were made by the Taliban who threw their shoes throughout the caves.

Budget Cuts by Cathy Busby is based off of a billboard that she installed outside of AKA Artist-Run Centre in Saskatoon in 2012. Located in the heart of downtown Saskatoon, the billboard displays every Aboriginal organization across the country that has faced cut backs from the federal government since Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized in 2008. The billboard included the Native Women’s Association, Sisters in Spirit, and the Assembly of First Nations. Busby, a non-aboriginal artist, created the billboard to create dialogue around the apology.

Mishka Henner’s bookwork Fifty-One US Military Outposts includes photographs and locations of overt and covert military outposts used by the United States in 51 countries across the world. His use of satellite technology can be compared to other artists depicting military technologies, such as Harun Farocki, Trevor Paglen, and Omer Fast. But one difference is that all of the technologies and data used by Henner are already available in the public domain—they are out there, waiting to be seen and mobilized. His work asks us to think not only about the visual manifestations of this data, but how it is put to different uses.

Curated by Justin Muir

Cathy Busby is a Canadian artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has a PhD in Communication from Concordia University and was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University. Her academic experience in media studies at Concordia, combined with her studio degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, has led to an interdisciplinary artistic career that critically addresses the politics of local sites as they relate to human rights. She has been exhibiting her work internationally over the past 20 years.

Emily Davidson graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 2009. She was trained in printmaking and began working in graphic design under the collaborative moniker ALL CAPS Design. She completed the Type@Condensed program in 2012 at Cooper Union in New York. In 2013, she presented a body of print based work entitled Art After Capitalism at Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery under an imagined group called the Inner City Artists’ Commune. Her exhibition Agitate Educate Organise was presented at the Khyber Centre for the Arts in 2013.

Mishka Henner lives and works in Manchester, England. His work often appropriates image-rich technologies, such as Google Earth, Google Street View, and YouTube, and uses print-on-demand as a means to bypass traditional publishing models. His works are held at the Tate, Centre Pompidou, Portland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Garry Neill Kennedy is an artist and educator based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied at the Ontario College of Art, University of Buffalo, and Ohio University. While maintaining his own practice as an artist, he led the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) into its position as an internationally recognized centre during his tenure. Kennedy’s artwork is largely conceptual and includes a variety of media, although he is well known for his text-based paintings.

A photographer and video artist, Jayce Salloum is known for installation works that sensitively investigate historical, social, and cultural contexts of place. The grandson of Syrian- Lebanese immigrants, Salloum studied in the United States and began his artistic career in 1975. Evolving what now epitomizes nomadic practice, Salloum has lived and worked in several Canadian and US cities, but for the last two decades has been based in Vancouver. The central themes played out in his work include questions of exile, ethnic representation, and notions of identity. His work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Museum of Modern Art, and Centre Pompidou, among other institutions.

Tiffany Wollman is an artist based in Calgary, Alberta. She graduated from the Painting Program at the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2013. Her work has been exhibited at AVALANCHE! Institute of Contemporary Art in Calgary. Wollman was selected as the Alberta Winner for the BMO Financial Group’s 1stArt! Student Invitational Competition in 2013. As a result, her work was showcased along with the other Canadian winners at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto.