Call Ampersand Response, Dumontier, Lexiar

Plug In ICA Summer Institute: two events the week of July 16 to 22

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s Summer Institute is pleased to present two events this week by artists and curators. All events are free. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday July 19th, 7 pm: Curator talk  

Aoife MacNamara is Programme Director for Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London. Originally trained in sculpture at Limerick School of Art in Ireland, Aoife returned to Canada in the early 1990s where she taught at Concordia University while active in a number of artists run centres, including as Artistic Director at Gallery 101 in Ottawa. As an artist and curator, she works largely on collective projects and has shown in Ireland, the UK and Canada including the Ottawa Art Gallery, La Mois de la Photo de Montréal, Limerick City Art Gallery, Letterkenny Art Gallery, The Lighthouse: Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and the City, MoDA:The Museum of Design and Domestic Architecture and the Walter Phillips Gallery. Aoife has published reviews, articles and catalogue essays for a range of institutions and galleries including Ottawa Art Gallery, Parachute, CIRCA and Art Monthly, and contributed essays to a range of publications including Anthony Kiendl’s edited collection, Informal Architectures: Space and Contemporary Cultures (2008). Between 2005-2008 she was Director of the AHRC-funded Spaces Buildings Make Research Group at Middlesex University during which time she contributed to a series of symposia including; Speculative Practices: Art, Architecture and Curating (Tate Britain, 2004); Informal Architectures (Banff and Tate Modern) and most recently, Spaces of History/History of Space: Emerging Approaches to the Study of the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley, 2010. Recent work includes contributions to Spaces Buildings Make: A Laboratory for Critical Spatial Practice at the London Festival of Architecture/National Theatre in 2008 and the photographic project On This Site (2012), developed as part of her PhD theses at the University of Ulster. She is currently working on Botany, a series that explores the potential of painted botantical subjects as theoretical objects that invite considerations about history, death, erasure and grief in the context of climate change and lost habitats.

Plug In ICA’s Artist Lecture Series is generously supported by BMO Financial Group.

Friday July 20th, 5 to 7 pm: Call Ampersand Response: Michael Dumontier and Micah Lexier Book Launch

Call Ampersand Response is a collaborative artwork made of images exchanged via email. Over a period of several months, Michael Dumontier and Micah Lexier sustained an image-based correspondence by sending each other scans of book covers, found objects, drawings and illustrations belonging to each artist’s respective collection. The project is based on the idea that their collections speak of their shared artistic affinities while informing their practices. Two rules dictated their conduct: each image was to function as a “call” seeking a “response” from the other artist, and the dialogue was to end when an image recalling the project’s opening image emerged, thereby constituting a narrative loop. Their conversation gave rise to a bookwork co-edited by Nieves and Artext(e).

Call Ampersand Response
196 pp. (including covers), 196 b&w illus., 25.5 x 19.5 cm.

As a special offer at this launch, the book will be on sale for $20. Following the launch, the book will be sold at the Plug In ICA Art Book Shop for $40.

Michael Dumontier (b. 1974) is a Winnipeg-based artist who works primarily in drawing and collage. He is a founding member of The Royal Art Lodge (1997–2008), and has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally. His distinct, minimalist style often features visual puns and references from how-to manuals and vintage children’s educational books, accompanied by witty, melancholic text. Beyond his individual practice, Dumontier has worked collaboratively with fellow Royal Art Lodge member Neil Farber with whom he has held weekly drawing sessions for over fifteen years, and with Micah Lexier. He is represented in Toronto by MKG127 and by Paul + Wendy Projects, and in Montreal by Galerie Division.

Micah Lexier (b. 1960) is a Toronto-based conceptual artist and curator. His work embraces notions of identity and its representation through a variety of media including sculpture, photography, drawing, printmaking and installation works. Lexier’s work has been shown at a number of institutions, including Printed Matter (2007), the National Gallery of Canada Library (2004), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (1998), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (1993), among others. He is represented in Toronto by Birch Libralato, in Calgary by TrépanierBaer, and in Berlin by Gitte Weise Galerie.

The artists will be in attendance, along with Artext(e) Director Sylvie Gilbert.

Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute is generously supported by RBC Emerging Artist Project and a grant from the Winnipeg Foundation and Francofonds.