Superimposition: Sculpture and Image | Nadia Belerique, Valérie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts.

Superimposition: Sculpture and Image
Nadia Belerique, Valérie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts.

Plug In ICA launches our fall program with a major group exhibition presenting multiple works by eight artists in each of our galleries. Nadia Belerique, Valérie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts are connected in Superimposition: Sculpture and Image as artists who contend with the spatial terms of sculpture while also contemplating the flat surface of images. “ Superimposition” is often used as a technical term in graphics to refer to the layering of photographic images or patterns. It can be as simple as placing a pattern over a shape to give it texture or more complexly creating an illusory effect by joining two photographic images seamlessly as if they were taken simultaneously. The commonality of this effect is exponential. The more acute outcome is that in superimposing one thing over another there is always a concealing of portions of one image or graphic for another that determines its transformative action. It is this characteristic that is overlaid on to the work in this exhibition not as a technique but as a method of approach.

From the figurative to fashion or architecture to sci-fi fantasy, the works presented in this exhibition vary in form and subject. They diversely reference film, performance, architecture, design and social history, yet they are situated together for their reformation of the way objects and images are experienced. There is more than a colliding of sculpture and image in the works in this exhibition, there is a deliberate inversion. Here the act of superimposing moves into three-dimensional space, activating the viewer whose position and movement through the exhibition shifts what is concealed and made visible. Without losing the properties of flatness, the artists expand the plane of an image into spatial terms to be viewed as objects from multiple perspectives. Conversely and concurrently, many of the works collapse three-dimensional space into flat representational images while retaining an object-like quality.

In Kelly Lycan’s Save, the graphic depiction of a word swells into its environmental shape as she stacks carpet cut-outs of the individual letters S, A, V, E into a bench. She also presents two works from a larger serial project I Walked Into a Moment that transpose photographs of gallery walls onto other gallery walls. Nadia Belerique compositionally delineates space between objects that look like flat surfaces and photographic images, creating an opposition as well as setting the stage for the objects to build their own narrative. For her work in Superimposition she places a free-standing outline of a figure that seems genderless until positioned in opposition to two other crouching abstract forms. Valérie Blass in High-up, Dignitary, Panjandrum, High Muckamuck imposes the photographic image of two bodies on to free standing forms giving shape to sculptural objects that appear to be both interconnected supports and flayed pieces. One piece from her Vices series, Vices – épater is also included for its transformation of a photograph into a three-dimensional form that makes it plausible to reach into the photograph and take the object it represents. Kristin Nelson composes and distils architectural models in A Model For Living into flat patterned porcelain tiles obscuring their spatial girth and function, redefining them as material and design. The telling of a history of a radical sect of medieval nuns is narratively structured by Andrea Roberts into separate sculptural pieces that shape graphic patterns and text. The loss of another contemporary order of sisters is represented by Dominique Rey as a dense collage of images that vanish into one form, creating shape instead of new images. Also presented are several of her collages and an assemblage, each of which merges documentation and debris from her other projects into singular works. Both Ursula Johnson and Ursula Mayer bring the characteristics of fantasies into life through objects. To a more romantic end, Johnson weaves a delicate and intricate jacket for the character of another artist’s extravagant performance. She dresses Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, one of Kent Monkman’s main performance personas as homage in woven birch bark that is opulent in its texture and precision; and Mayer in See you in the Flesh presents sculptural objects from a world she depicts on screens - not as props but as formed from the pictorial and narrative space of her films.

- Curated by Jenifer Papararo

In addition to our opening party as part of Nuit Blanche on Saturday, October 1 and the panel discussion on Sunday, October 2, Plug In ICA will host a series of artist talks, curatorial tours, and a screening. The schedule of associated events is as follows:

Screening of Gonda by Ursula Mayer:Thurs, Oct 13, 7pm
French Guided Tour by Janelle Tougas: Sat, Oct 22, 3pm 
Curatorial Tour by Jenifer Papararo: Sun, Oct 30, 3pm 
Artist Talk by Dominique Rey: Thurs, Oct 27, 7pm
Artist Talk by Kristin Nelson: Thurs, Nov 3, 7pm
Performance by Andrea Roberts: Thurs, Dec 1, 7pm 

These events, as part of Nuit Blanche, are sponsored in part by Downtown Biz - Host it Downtown.

Biographies:

Nadia Belerique is an installation artist who lives and works in Toronto. Unusual photographic practices combine with sculptural works in Belerique’s installations, pushing perception and questioning the performance of images in contemporary cultural production. Often referencing the body through form, or function, Belerique’s work provokes awareness of ones specific point of view, and movement through space. Belerique received her BFA from York University, Toronto and her MFA from the University of Guelph. Recent solo exhibitions include Bed Island, Have You Seen This Man, and (In Order of Appearance) at Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. She has been included in numerous group shows including are you experienced?, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario; Blue Times, Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna; What you call a space is really nothing but a vast plane, Diaz Contemporary, Toronto; The Mouth Holds the Tounge, The Power Plant, Toronto; and —-, Tomorrow Gallery, New York. Belerique’s work is also included in the 2016 Montreal Biennale and 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. She is represented by Daniel Faria Gallery.

Valérie Blass is a Montreal-based artist whose captivating sculptural assemblages investigate form, figure, invisibility and transparency. Her vast body of work frequently engages the medium of sculpture and image production directly, and often uses familiar tropes or art historical references, which she then makes strange through re-representation. Blass often uses industrial or commonplace materials to explore tensions between materiality, the body, and context. She holds an MFA in visual and media Arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. Her solo exhibitions include To only ever say one thing forever the same thing, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver; Parisian Laundry Projects @ The Hole NYC, New York; and Valérie Blass at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal; Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary; and Galeri Manâ, Istanbul, Turkey. Her work was also included in Mashup: the Birth of Modern Culture, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Stranger!, Cleveland MOCA, Cleveland, Ohio; HA HA: BUSINESS!, Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles, Oh, Canada—Contemporary Art from North North America, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts; and Traces of Life, Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, Germany. Blass is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.

Ursula Johnson is an interdisciplinary artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She frequently works in performance and installation, where she incorporates traditional indigenous material cultural techniques and durational performance of repetitive tasks. Her works mimic certain traditional elements, but never exactly. Making forms that don’t quite work, for example, Johnson explores tensions between artist and viewer, as well as, making and presentation. Johnson holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and studied theatre at the University College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Her solo exhibition Mikwite’tmn is currently touring across Canada and has been shown at Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, Cornerbrook, Newfoundland; Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Kenderline Art Galleries/ College Art Galleries, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Saint Mary’s Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Recent group exhibitions include Fifth World, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; Memory Keepers, Urban Shaman Art Gallery, Winnipeg; and Making Otherwise: Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art at Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, Ontario; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario. Johnson was a Salt Spring National Art Prize finalist and was long listed for the Sobey Art Award in both 2015 and 2014. Kelly Lycan is an installation and photo-based artist who resides in Vancouver. Her work re-purposes and re-contextualizes objects and images to investigate strategies of display and cycles of value. Lycan studied still photography at Ryerson Polytechnical University, Toronto; received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax; and holds an MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbra and Los Angeles. Her recent solo exhibitions include Little Glow, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; Underglow, Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver; Autobiography for No One, Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby; Bronze Tinfoil Ball, OR Gallery, Vancouver; White Hot, Gallery TPW, Toronto; and Save Now, CSA Gallery, Vancouver. Lycan was an active member of the artist collective Instant Coffee from 2005 to 2015 and together they have participated in frequent national and international exhibitions. Some of Lycan’s recent exhibitions with Instant Coffee include Magic Hour, Nikkei Art Gallery, Burnaby; Pink Noise, Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops; Bunker Project, Incheon Art Gallery, Incheon, South Korea; Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little, Western Front, Vancouver; and Disco Fallout Shelter at Subvision Hamburg, Germany and Toronto Sculpture Garden. She is a 2016 recipient of Vancouver’s VIVA award.

Ursula Mayer is an Austrian born, London-based artist working primarily in film. Though heavily based in moving images, Mayer’s work in photography and sculpture are also exceedingly generative. Often addressing posthuman ontologies, gender, and influenced by a vast repertoire of textual and visual material. Mayer’s haunting visual production push the possibilities available within representation, ranging from extremely symbolic in her film practice, to highly formal in her sculptural works. Mayer was born in Austria and exhibits internationally. She currently lives and works in London. She graduated in 1996 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and in 1995 she studied at the Royal College of Art. Mayer completed her MFA at Goldsmiths in 2004. Her work has received critical accolades, including the prestigious Derek Jarman Award 2014 for experimental film and the Otto Mauer Prize in 2007. She has been awarded numerous grants such as the FLAMIN Productions Award, Film London and the International Studio & Curatorial Program, ISCP, New York. Recent multimedia installations have been exhibited as part of Mirror City, Hayward Gallery, London. Her work has travelled extensively to venues including Tyneside Cinema Gallery, Newcastle; Audain Gallery, Vancouver; Tramway, Glasgow; Turner Contemporary, Margate; CCA Glasgow; Ursula-Blickle Stiftung Kraichtal, Germany; Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; SculptureCentre, New York; 21er Haus, Museum Belvedere, Vienna; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; 11th Baltic Triennial, CAC, Vilnius; Tanya Bonakdar gallery, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Lentos, Museum of Modern Art, Linz; TBA21, Vienna; and Kunsthalle, Basel. Upcoming shows include SeMA Bienale, Mediacity Seoul, South Korea; THE NEW HUMAN, Moderna Museet, Stockholm & Malmoe; Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, and solo presentations at TANK, FHNW, Academy of Fine Arts, Basel, and at HOME, Manchester.

Kristin Nelson is an interdisciplinary artist based in Winnipeg whose diverse artistic practice spans textile, performance, video, and sculpture. Forming intentional relationships with invisible or undervalued objects, people or events, Nelson responds with the media appropriate to each specific subject, addressing concerns of labor and the ascription of value in post-industrial, capitalist society. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, and MFA from Concordia University, Montreal. Nelson has received many awards and grants for her work, and recently completed a three month Canada Council International Residency at Artspace in Sydney, Australia. Solo exhibitions of her work include Make Work, Actual Gallery, Winnipeg; Make-Soft, RAW Gallery, Winnipeg; and My Life with Pamela Anderson, aceartinc., Winnipeg. Nelson has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions including Roche, papier, ciseaux, La Maison des Artistes Visuels Francophones, Winnipeg; Ras le Bol!, Skol Centre d’art Actuels, Montreal; Collision 10, Parisian Laundry, Montreal; and Subconcious City, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg. Her work is represented by Lisa Kehler Art + Projects.

Dominique Rey is a multidisciplinary artist based in Winnipeg, Canada whose practice includes video, performance, painting, sculpture, and photography. Using immersive methodologies, Rey’s assemblages, installations and sculptures distil her experiences of working with specific, culturally marginalized subjects and figures. These include groups as disparate as strippers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Selling Venus/Vénus au miroir), and a disappearing order of Nuns (Les Filles de la Croix). Her fascination with the representation of the other plunges inward in her newest works to explore the unconscious other within. Rey holds a BFA from the School of Art, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg; an MFA in photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; and an MFA in new media from the Transart Institute, Donau University Krems, Berlin. Rey’s solo exhibitions include Under the Rose Arch, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie; Erlking, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta; and Selling Venus/Vénus aumiroir at Gallery TPW, Toronto; Alternator Gallery, Kelowna; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; Michael Gibson Gallery, London, Ontario; and Le Centre d’art et de diffusion Clark, Montreal. Her work has also been included in Material Girls, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough and the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; Material Self: Performing the Other Within, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; MAWA: Celebrating 30 years of Women’s Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg; and Attitudes in Latitudes – The Northern Wild explores the Tropics, Art Center/South Florida, Miami Beach. Her art appears in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Province of Manitoba, and the Wedge Collection. Rey is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Canada Council for the Arts International Artist Residency Grant at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. In addition to her art practice, Rey is an assistant professor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. 

Andrea Roberts is a Winnipeg based multimedia artist whose research-based art practice incorporates sound, sculpture, text and installation. Roberts’s work combines materials in unexpected ways, experiments with frequency as socio-political material, and often takes up large-scale texts that are printed, laser cut or otherwise applied to a range of materials. Roberts holds an MFA in sculpture from California College of the Arts, San Francisco and a BFA Honours in sculpture from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, Winnipeg. Roberts’ work has been exhibited internationally in both solo and group exhibitions including recent shows at Oakland University Art Gallery (Detroit), CT International Print Bienalle. (Santiago de Cuba), Send & Receive Festival of Sound Art (Winnipeg) and aceartinc (Winnipeg). A founding member of the feminist artist collective ngtvspc, Roberts also performs as VOR, a solo noise project and was a summer 2016 artist in residence at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation. Roberts is a recipient of a Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Arts Fellowship, Manitoba Arts Council Creation Production Grants, and Winnipeg Arts Council Individual Art Grants.