Stan Douglas | Artist Talk
Friday, September 27
Off-site location: 136 Artlab, University of Manitoba
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is thrilled to host a talk by internationally acclaimed artist Stan Douglas in conjunction with a solo presentation of Douglas’s epic video installation Luanda-Kinshasa. For this six-hour video, the lens-based artist has imagined a jam session set in the early seventies in a prestigious Manhattan studio, nick-named “The Church.” Columbia Records retrofitted an abandoned church with vaulted ceilings into a studio that from 1948 to 1981 became the site to some of the most celebrated musical recordings of the twentieth century such as Miles Davis’s On the Corner, with a long list of pivotal musicians producing in the studio from Billie Holiday and Thelonious Monk to Aretha Franklin.
Luanda-Kinshasa is a fictional live recording of a seventies jazz-funk band laying down a distinct electro jazz, funk and Afrobeat mix. The seemingly infinite jam session in Luanda-Kinshasa is not just a fictional depiction, it is an exacting construction. It is an inspired feat in sound and image, pushing the limits of both — building a sound that continues to rejuvenate, synced with images that flow naturally.
Stan Douglas has created films and photographs, and more recently theater productions and other multidisciplinary projects that investigate the parameters of their medium. His ongoing inquiry into technology’s role in image making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible. Photography has been a central focus of Douglas’s practice, utilized at first as a means of preparing for his films and eventually as a powerful pictorial tool in its own right. An alumnus of Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver in the early 1980s, Douglas was one of the first artists to be represented by David Zwirner, where he had his first American solo exhibition in 1993. In 2013, a major survey of the artist’s work, Stan Douglas: Photographs 2008–2013, was presented at Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain in Nîmes, France. Other major solo presentations include those held at Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (2015); The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2014); Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2012); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005); Serpentine Gallery, London (2002); Centre Georges Pompidou (1994); and Art Gallery of Ontario, (1987). Recently, Douglas participated in La Biennale di Venezia, 58th International Art Exhibition. Douglas has been the recipient of notable awards, including the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2016); the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013); and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012). He lives and works in Vancouver.