assume vivid astro focus (avaf) | Christophe Hamaide-Pierson and Eli Sudbrack. Members of avaf were born anytime between the 20th and 21st centuries in various parts of the world. avaf has had solo exhibitions at The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway; Centro Contemporaneo La Conservera, Murcia, Spain; MOCA Cleveland; Galerie Hussenot, Paris; Deitch Projects, NYC; galeria Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Hiromi Yoshii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan and Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan, Italy. Recent group exhibitions include: Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, The New Museum, NYC, 2010; Scorpio’s Garden, Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin, 2009; New York Minute, Macro, Rome, 2009; the 28th São Paulo Biennial, In Living Contact, São Paulo, Brazil, 2008; New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930 – 2006, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007 – 2008; Destroy Athens, Athens Biennial, 2007; Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, MCA Chicago, 2007 – 2008; Space for Your Future, MOT, Tokyo, 2007 – 2008. Public Projects include: PS1 Concrete Waves (Art Basel Miami Beach), Miami Beach, 2007; Make It With You: A Slow Dance Club, Frieze Art Fair, London, UK, 2004; antonella varicella arabella ﬁorella, Largo Torre Argentina, Rome, 2008; and an art project with Central Park’s Dance Skaters Association sponsored by The Public Art Fund, New York, USA in conjunction with the 2004 Whitney Biennial. avaf developed a grafﬁti and labyrinth project for The Wynwood Walls, during last year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, and will have a solo exhibition at KadE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands, in 2012. The ﬁrst monograph on avaf’s work is out now worldwide, published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
Natalie Kovacs is an independent curator. Her specialization lies in performative art that explores and expands new media. Kovacs’ practice is inclusive; committed to engaging people with art on every level. Kovacs uses art as a spectrum through which we view life, death and the inﬁnite, often with an environmental perspective. In addition to the wide spectrum of projects she organizes and curates, Kovacs has lectured at the Canadian Film Center and London’s Serpentine Gallery. Kovacs’ projects draw diverse audiences to international critical acclaim. She co-founded Trailervision, one of the ﬁrst video websites, 1997. In 2005, she curated SEED, the ﬁrst interactive cell-phone-driven video project in New York. During the same year, she scored another ﬁrst with Honeymoon in Poland, the marriage of Maria Legault to her beau, Plus One, the ﬁrst online wedding ceremony and the ﬁrst exhibition to be posted as a blog. In 2007, she launched Soundbike at Art Basel Miami Beach. This interactive performance art vehicle explored the acoustic ecology of the city and our relationship to the planet through the bicycle. Kovacs co-founded ARTBUS, a nomadic performance art vehicle that takes curators, collectors and artists on a tour of exhibitions where the journey provides the destination. This launched in London and New York City in 2008. She curated the multimedia exhibition, A New Stance for Tomorrow at Volta New York 2009. Kovacs most recent projects can be found below. Kovac’s work has received international media attention that includes The Art Newspaper, Art forum, Vernissage TV, Daily Beast, Vanity Fair, Woman’s Wire Daily, Interview magazine, Whitewall magazine, Blast magazine and Resonanxe radio. Natalie Kovacs’ originality and inclusivity distinguishes how contemporary ideas are launched, exhibited and expanded. The many facets of her practice are fused through her latest endeavor, Incubator – an innovative cultural Launchpad.
Philip Pocock is a Canadian artist currently based in Berlin. He has led an ‘Open Lab’ developing numerous projects with the ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology in Germany since 1999. For a decade he was a faculty member of the International Center of Photography New York and has been a tenured professor in Germany since 1994. A graduate of the Film School at New York University, his art work and collaborative projects have been widely exhibited, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Walter Phillips Gallery Banff, Oboro Montreal, The Kiasma Helsinki, Nam June Paik Art Center Seoul, The Museum of Modern Art Paris, Venice Biennale, Whitney Museum, and Documenta X, Germany.
Michael Dudeck | Witch Doctor is a trans-disciplinary artist and cultural engineer whose work spans multiple media and forms including performance art, video/ﬁlm, drawing, sculpture, web-projects, publications, text-work and installation. His work centers around the invention of a queer religion and prehistory which radically re-imagines the nature of human origins. This process-based work is called RELIGION, an extensive mythology and cosmogony that is regularly and radically being created and destroyed. The RELIGION project attempts to blur collective knowledge about nature and early human development and present alternate and more inclusive possibilities of origin.
Olivia Fung has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry from the University of Alberta; she has also obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Design with a focus on Architecture from the University of Manitoba. In 2010 she began working on her Masters of Architecture from the University of Manitoba. Olivia worked at Raimond Fung Architects LTD as an Architectural Intern; she also worked as a Design Intern at Giordano Clothing International LTD. in Hong Kong.
Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir graduated from The Icelandic College of Art and Crafts in 1994 and spent two years as a guest student in Germany. She received a BFA in 1997 and a MFA in 1999 from California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. In 1998 she received a Fellowship to attend Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Maine, US. Since 1999 Hekla has exhibited her works actively both nationally and internationally. She has taken on the role of a curator for several exhibitions and given lectures and seminars at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. Hekla is one of the founders of Kling & Bang Gallery and she lives and works in Reykjavík and New York.
Born in 1945, François Pain began his medical studies in 1965 during which he met renowned psychoanalytic theorist Felix Guattari at the Clinique of La Borde, the vanguard of “Institutional Psychotherapy.” François went on to work at the Institute for seven years, during this time his friendship with Felix Guattari grew. The death of Guattari impacted him greatly and thus inﬂuenced his activist and aesthetic practices.
In 1973 Pain ended his Medical studies and left France, where he began his studies in video practices, ﬁlmaking and editing at Videographe in Montreal. In the 70s, François became one of the pioneers of video in France. Supported and produced by the National Institute of Audio Visual, his works, which include documentaries, ﬁction and art, have been released over the years by various French Television Stations: TF1, F2, F3 and Arte.
Some of these works have been featured in ﬁlm festivals in Geneva (Festival of Human Rights), Austria (Graz Festival, documentary), and Cannes (short ﬁction). His artistic achievements were presented at Beaubourg, le Centre Pompidou, Biennale of Nice, Lyon Biennale, Palais de Tokyo, Musée du Jeu de Paume, and in group exhibitions in Rome, Milan and Antwerp. He leads creative workshops (shooting, editing and directing) in various institutions including psychiatric and rehabilitation institutions.
Paul Robles is a Canadian artist based in Winnipeg. Born in the Philippines; he immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of four. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (First Class- Gold Medal) from University of Manitoba and Bachelor of Arts degree (Sociology) from the University of Winnipeg.
Paul Robles has exhibited nationally and internationally including Outpost Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Galerie Keza, Paris, France; Malaspina, Vancouver, BC: The New Gallery, Calgary, AB: Rideau Hall –(Governor General Selected), Ottawa, ON; Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto, ON; as well as Plug In ICA and The Winnipeg Art Gallery.
His work is featured as a CBC ArtSpots; published in Border Crossings Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Walrus, G.Love Magazines; and is a public artist bike rack on Broadway – commissioned by the City of Winnipeg/The Winnipeg Arts Council. In 2011, his work will be showcased as part of the My Winnipeg group travelling exhibition in Paris, France. Robles is represented by The Other Gallery (Toronto, ON) and Galerie Keza (Paris, France).
Marion Scemama is a photographer who started as a photojournalist in one of the most famous French daily newspapers, Liberation. In 1981, she ﬂew to New York and lived in the East Village. Among the East Village artists, she met David Wojnarowicz – a writer, painter, performer, and activist. Most of her work is made in collaboration with this artist (photography and video) who died of AIDS related complications in 1992.
Back in Paris, Marion joined a large company, La Fnac where she curated for ten years. While there she was involved with hundreds of photography shows. Currently, she is working with photographers, where she assists these them throughout their production while helping to establish their artistic identity.
Nicole Shimonek is a visual artist from Winnipeg, Canada. Her work is in sculpture painting, performance, installation and video. Nicole has an MFA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, UK. She exhibits in both visual and media art contexts, most notably she has exhibited at the Everson Museum of Art (NY), Dover Arts Club (UK), Plug-In ICA, Gallery 1C03 and Gallery 111 (Winnipeg). She has performed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Ace Art, University of Winnipeg and Grafﬁti Gallery. Her videos have screened at the Images Film Festival (Toronto), BBC Big Screens Experimental Shorts (UK), Camden Roundhouse (UK), Harbour front Festival (Toronto), Studio 303, Detroit Museum of New Art (USA), Prairie Scene (Ottawa) and Supermarket Art Fair in Sweden.
Emilie St. Hilaire is a French Canadian artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, She has lived in several different cities across North America and enjoys travelling to experience art and culture around the world. Emilie has participated in-group exhibitions in Canada and in the Cayman Islands, where she now lives part-time. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2010 at the University of Manitoba and has accepted admission to Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Master of Applied Arts Program. Emilie regularly uses technology to connect with the people in her life and is interested in how these new interactions and habits can permanently alter our mental landscape.
Yi Zhou has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of China in Shandong Jianzhu. She is currently working on her Masters of Architecture from the University of Manitoba. She has worked in architectural ﬁrms and has experience working with landscape design. She has incorporated her extensive knowledge in Calligraphy and traditional Chinese drawings into her study and practice.