Andrea Roberts


Andrea Roberts, CRISIS CANON
Site-specific intervention; sandblasting; sound score
Featuring performers: Doreen Girard, Sarah Jo Kirsch, Bret Parenteau, and Zohreh Gervais.

For STAGES, Andrea Roberts intervenes on to industrial waste left behind on the long abandoned British-American Cement Plant in Rosser. In the mid 1900s, the company used the site to test the strength of its cement by pile driving columns of concrete into the ground. The test site formed several interlocking circles of pillars that today, amongst the overgrowth of trees, seem oddly reminiscent of an ancient ruin. On a massive cement block made on the land to test the ground’s stability, Roberts sandblasts a poetic and sorrowfully text that draws from a mistranslated version of Lorem Ipsum written by the Roman rhetorician Cicero in the 1st century BCE. The Latin language version has long been used as a nonsensical placeholder by typesetters and graphic designers. Like a ghostly trace, Roberts’ Crisis Canon reinvests meaning into a long-forgotten rhetoric and vacant site. On September 7th, they will also use the site for a sound and visual performance featuring the vocals of Sarah Jo Kirsch and Zohreh Gervais, and the sound work of Bret Parenteau and Doreen Girard.

Roberts is a well-respected Winnipeg-based artist whose work is detailed in its execution and research. Roberts’ work blends abstraction with a narrative underlay linking material to subjects that amplify processes of labour. The artist situates their concerns within “everyday experiences of technology, labour, identity and trauma within capitalism.” Their work often inverses the function of common materials, using patterns, sounds or video to accentuate the position of the body, annunciating the way human’s conform our movement in relation to objects, place and technology.  Andrea Roberts has exhibited in group and solo exhibition nationally and internationally, including TRUCK Gallery, Calgary; Film Pop, Montreal; The Auxiliary/MAW, Middlesbrough, UK; The University of Oakland, Detroit; SomArts, San Francisco as well as participated in the exhibition Superimposition at Plug In ICA. A former member of numerous DIY punk and noise bands including Kursk, Wolbachia and Hoover Death, Roberts has been performing as VOR, a solo experimental electronic project, since 2015. Roberts is a recipient of the Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, a recent nominee for the RBC On the Rise Award. Roberts holds an MFA in Sculpture from California College of the Arts (2014), a BFA Hons in Sculpture from the University of Manitoba (2011) and was recently artist in residence at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation and Miami’s Art Center South Florida.

Location: British-American Cement Plant (Sturgeon Road, RM of Rosser)
Hours: 24 hours
Additional information: British-American Cement Plant is located on Sturgeon Road between Park Royale Way and Prairie Dog Trail in the RM of Rosser. It is a 25 min drive from downtown Winnipeg. Exact coordinates are 49°57’04.7″N x 97°16’35.6″W. The pathway is not paved. No washroom access.

Image caption: Andrea Roberts CRISIS CANON

Images by Karen Asher