Video Archive

Stages Speaker Series: Abbas Akhavan, May 25th, 2017

On May 25th, 2017 Plug In ICA presented an artist talk by Abbas Akhavan who is the 6th speaker as part of our 2017 Stages Speaker Series.

Akhavan’s practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video, sculpture and performance. The direction of Akhavan’s research has been deeply influenced by the specificity of the sites where he works: the architectures that house them, the economies that surround them, and the people that frequent them. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in his practice. More recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces and species just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.

Abass Akhavan is the recipient of Kunstpreis Berlin (2012), TFVA finalist prize (2012), The Abraaj Group Art Prize (2014), the Sobey Art Award (2015), and the Fellbach Triennial Award (2016). His recent solo exhibitions include, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2017); SALT Galata, Istanbul (2017); David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF), London (2017); FLORA, Bogota (2016); Mercer Union, Toronto (2015) and Delfina Foundation, London (2012). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016); Wellcome Collection, London (2016); Beirut Art Centre, Beirut, (2015); Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2014) and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011).

This artist talk with Abbas Akhavan is part of Stages Speaker Series, which is offered in anticipation of Stages: Drawing the Curtain, a constellation of temporary public artworks to be launched in August 2017. This large-scale public art project asks artists to locate a site within the city of Winnipeg from which to contemplate the stage - its function as a platform; its meaning as a point of attention; and its physical design. Directed by their individual interests and material preferences, the artists will build sculptural ‘stages’ ranging in shape and form, connected as platforms for audiences to occupy, physically engage with and contemplate.

In keeping with the drive of Stages to bring art beyond our walls, all talks for Stages Speaker Series will be held at an off-site location. This presentation will be held at the former Globe Cinema, 3rd floor, Portage Place Shopping Centre, 393 Portage Ave, Winnipeg.

*Artists for Stages: Drawing the Curtain include: Abbas Akhavan (Toronto), Pablo Bronstein (London, UK), Erica Eyres (Glasgow, Scotland), Kara Hamilton (Toronto), Federico Herrero (San José, Costa Rica), Toril Johannessen (Tromsø, Norway), Divya Mehra (Winnipeg), Krista Belle Stewart (Vancouver) and Ron Tran (Vancouver).

**Previous talks from Stages Speaker Series are now online at plugin.org/videos

Stages Speaker Series and Stages: Drawing the Curtain are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts through its New Chapter Program. With the support of The Winnipeg Foundation and key sponsors Susan Glass and Arni Thorsteinson.

Our community partners include Winnipeg Tourism, Alliance Française Manitoba, Urbanink, Cityplace Mall (Triovest), Portage Place Shopping Centre and Fillip, CKUW, Alt Hotel, and Alpha Masonry.

Respondent Series Performance | Psychic Materials by Casey Mecija | Thursday, April 20, 2017

As part of our Respondent Series, on Thursday, April 20, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in collaboration with The Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies (U of W), and Queer People of Color (QPOC) presented Psychic Materials, a performance by scholar, musician and performance artist, Casey Mecija.

For her presentation at Plug In ICA, Mecija drew on her background as a musician in the orchestral pop band Ohbijou and recent solo projects. She performed amidst Patrick Cruz’s immersive installation Titig Kayumanggi (Brown Gaze) that was on exhibition at Plug In ICA. Mecija and Cruz are linked by a mutual concern with the diasporic experience of migration from the Philippines. Mecija’s performance was sonically informed by her recent solo album Psychic Materials and used a mash up of video and GIF art, performance, and sound to meditate on “the queer dynamics of diaspora”.

Finding space within aesthetic practice to visualize what she refers to as “queer feelings, Filipina subjectivity and diasporic longing”, Psychic Materials puts forward two propositions: “What is the psychic life of music? What is the soundtrack to diasporic experience?”

Casey Mecija is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in music and film. From 2004 to 2014, Mecija was a writer and singer for the Canadian orchestral pop band, Ohbijou and in 2016 she released her first solo album, Psychic Materials. Casey was awarded the WIFT-T Award (Women in Film and Television) at the 2013 Reel Asian Film Festival for her short film “My Father, Francis” which screened at Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, Toronto; Mixed Shorts: Local Heroes, Toronto; and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Mecija is actively involved in queer and Filipina organizing. She is currently completing a PhD at The University of Toronto, where she researches art, media and cultural studies as they relate to queer diaspora.

This artist talk is presented as part of Plug In ICA’s Respondent Series, which invites professionals from diverse fields to respond to the themes and subjects addressed in our exhibitions.
Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at plugin.org/support or by contacting Angela Forget: angela@plugin.org

Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth: Patrick Cruz, Titig Kayumanggi (Brown Gaze)" and Ray Fenwick "A Greenhouse. Egvening"

On Wednesday, May 17th from 4:30-6pm, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art will presented a short screening and panel discussion with the participants of our second session of Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth program (IIY).

For this screening IIY participants Tiago Batista, Christian Demanoy, Augustine Chipalata, Gideon Kitsa and Hera Nalam presented a short interpretive video they created in collaboration with Plug In ICA, Just TV and the Broadway Neighbourhood Center. The resulting video is a visual reflection of the youth’s collective and individual experience of the two exhibitions currently on display at Plug In ICA: Patrick Cruz’s “Titig Kayumanggi (Brown Gaze)” and Ray Fenwick’s “A Greenhouse. Evening”. For this session of the program, participants had the opportunity to see the work as it was being installed, and speak directly with both artists about their process and ideas. The event commenced with a casual reception from 4:30-5:30, followed by a screening and panel discussion with IIY participants moderated by Sarah Nesbitt.

Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth is designed for youth ages 16 to 24. The program reverses a pre-existing interpretive model used within arts institutions that often produce short videos as educational devices. These often include interviews with artists or curators, images of artworks and installation shots; they often reference artists’ biographies, previous artworks, and at times, glimpse into artists’ studios. These videos are usually presented online or within the gallery or museum in close proximity to the artworks, and tend to place an emphasis on the artist’s and institution’s intention over the experience of the viewer.

The “Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth” program inversely begins with the youth’s experience of the artwork, challenging conventional models of art interpretation by overturning basic roles of authority and authorship.

The next session begins August 16th, 2017. To apply to the IIY program, or for more information about this and other education programs, please contact Sarah Nesbitt at sarah@plugin.org. For general information please contact: info@plugin.org or call 1.204.942.1043.

This program is sponsored in part by Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance. We thank Just TV for their dedicated and expert partnership.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. You make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at plugin.org/support or by contacting Angela Forget: angela@plugin.org

Related exhibits: 
Ray Fenwick: A Greenhouse. Evening.
Patrick Cruz: Titig Kayumanggi (Brown Gaze)

The Unmanageable Artist, A Respondent talk by Howie Chen, March 16, 2017

On Thursday, March 16th, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented a respondent talk with New York based artist, writer, educator and curator, Howie Chen. Chen’s background in economics conjoins with a visual acuity resulting in a unique critical perspective towards the production and dissemination of art. For this talk, Chen took up managerial technologies in Western democratic societies as they have been shaped by increased demand for autonomy and a creative life. As a template for self-sufficiency, the ‘unmanageable’ artist now faces a critical crisis of contradictions and precarity. Using managerialism as a backdrop, he examined current dissonance within art discourse and its relation to the rise of neoliberalism and reactionary politics today.

As a respondent, Chen’s poetic, critical and interdisciplinary methodology resonates with Keefer’s treatment of class, interest in the visual language of marketing, exploitation of public trust, and abstracted circulation of information addressed in her solo exhibition, FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL currently on display at Plug In.

Howie Chen is a New York–based curator engaged in collaborative art production and research. His curatorial and institutional work experience includes the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1 (New York). He is a founder of Dispatch, a NYC curatorial production office and JEQU, a research project to assess how sociological and cultural economic approaches to art world debates can augment artistic critique. In 2003, with artist Mika Tajima, he formed New Humans, a moniker for collaborations with musicians, artists and designers that was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and has more recently undertaken projects at SFMOMA (San Francisco) and South London Gallery. Writings include IRL (Primary Information) and Transformers (Badlands Unlimited). Chen was recently The Jane Farver Memorial curator in residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP).

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Investors Group and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Artist Talk with Jeneen Frei Njootli, Saturday, April 1, 2017

On Saturday, April 1, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented an artist talk by Jeneen Frei Njootli. As an emerging interdisciplinary artist Frei Njootli is known for her performative sound pieces, sparse sculptural forms, community engagement and material sensitivity.

For this talk, Frei Njootli introduced us to her practice and her forthcoming project for LandMarks2017. She spoke to the consumption of the northern landscape, Indigenous bodies and their labour in visual culture as an ongoing set of problematics and politics that her work engages with. 

Frei Njootliis an interdisciplinary artist of the Vuntut Gwitchin self-governing Nation, whose home community is in Old Crow, Yukon. Her practice takes a critical approach to the materials she uses, which often reflect her investigations of the history of trade and intercultural exchange with a particular focus on “Bush Theory.” This term defines a way of navigating relationships to colonial power from a knowledge situated in the Arctic. Frei Njootli is co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, a community located primarily on social media dedicated to Indigenous womxn’s self-determination. Her advocacy in this field is evident throughout her practice unfolding in her work as a cultural tattoo practitioner and facilitator of skill sharing workshops.

Jeneen Frei Njootli received her BFA from Emily Carr University, and is currently pursuing her MFA on unceded Musqueam territory at the University of British Columbia. Her work is gaining national recognition with exhibitions at the Macaulay & Co Fine Arts, Vancouver; the Vancouver Art Gallery; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; Art Mur, Montreal; and the Ottawa Art Gallery. In 2016, she won the William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. She is currently featured in the exhibition wnoondwaamin: we hear them at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon where she will have a solo exhibition in September 2017.

This artist talk is presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Payworks and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Stages Speaker Series: Krista Belle Stewart, March 18, 2017

As part of the Stages Speaker Series, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented a screening of Seraphine, Seraphine by Vancouver-based artist, Krista Belle Stewart followed by a discussion (audio here). This event marked the premiere presentation of Stewart’s 2014 film in Winnipeg. Using two channels, Seraphine, Seraphine moves between two temporal moments joined by a central figure, Stewart’s mother, Seraphine Stewart. In this presentationa 1967 docu-drama aired by the CBC conveying the story of the first Indigenous public health nurse in British Columbia is situated alongside excerpts of personal testimonial taken in Vancouver by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2013.

The constructed relationship between the films resonates with Stewart’s practice, which regularly makes precise and meaningful use of archival material and relies on juxtaposition to expose colonial erasure and foreground Indigenous identity. This screening comes at a poignant moment, in the wake of recent public remarks by Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak who spoke lamentingly about the absence of a celebratory attitude towards the “kindly and well-intentioned men and women and their descendants” who worked in residential schools. Stewart often draws from her family’s history to address social and political perspectives that have and continue to conceal the direct suppression of Indigenous cultures.

Krista Belle Stewart is known for her ability to draw out the complexities of archival material that allow for both intimacy, coincidence, and a temporal meeting of histories across time. Working with video, photography, design, ephemera and textiles, Stewart straddles the gaps between personal and institutional histories through transparent mediation. Her work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Mercer Union, Toronto; and the Esker Foundation, Calgary. Stewart holds an MFA from Bard College, New York. She is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation and is currently based in Vancouver, BC.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. You make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter Fund, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs

Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth Interpret Angie Keefer, FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL and Fred Sandback's, A Sampling Of Works

On Wednesday, March 22nd, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented this interpretive video, and panel with the participants of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s inaugural Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth program. 

For this screening Birehanu Bishaw, Vic tor, Brandon McPherson and Tessa Stewart will present a short interpretive video produced by them in collaboration with Plug In ICA, Just TV and the Broadway Neighborhood center. The video is a visual reflection of the youth’s collective and individual experience of the two exhibitions on display at Plug In ICA: Angie Keefer’s FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL and Fred Sandback’s Sampling of Works, as well as aspects of Plug In ICA’s permanent collection and architectural space. 

Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth is designed for youth ages 16 to 24. The program reverses a pre-existing interpretive model used within arts institutions who often produce short videos as educational devices. These videos often include interviews with artists or curators, images of artworks and installation shots; they often reference artists’ biographies, previous artworks, and at times, glimpse into artists’ studios. These videos are usually presented online or within the gallery or museum in close proximity to the artworks, and tend to place an emphasis on the artist’s and institution’s intention over the experience of the viewer. 

The “Interpreting [Interrupting] Youth” program inversely begins with the youth’s experience of the artwork, challenging conventional models of art interpretation by overturning basic roles of authority and authorship. 


Next session begins April 8th, 2017. For more information about this and other education programs, please contact Sarah Nesbitt at sarah@plugin.org. For general information please contact: info@plugin.org or call 1.204.942.1043.

Stages Speaker Series: Kara Hamilton, March 9, 2017

As part of the Stages Speaker Series, Plug In ICA presented an artist talk by Toronto-based, multi-media artist, Kara Hamilton.

Activating the history of set design, architecture, and craft, Hamilton’s work integrates objects of various materials, including brass, marble, and glass. Building prototypes that actively respond to their context, or props that may be potential collaborations, Hamilton’s exhibitions have been described as dioramic in structure, allowing viewers to move through the work, transformed into supporting characters to the objects that lead. Hamilton received her Bachelor in Architecture from the University of British Colombia, and her MFA in sculpture from Yale. She has shown extensively in North America and Europe at venues including Salon 94, New York; EFA Project Space, New York; Kate Werble Gallery, New York; Siegel House, Marfa, Texas; Taut and Tame, Berlin; G Gallery, Toronto; and Tatar Gallery, Toronto. She is represented by Salon 94. Hamilton with Kari Cwynar form the curatorial team of Kunstverein Toronto.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. You are making a difference.

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts New Chapters Fund, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Investors Group and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.  

Stages Speaker Series: Toril Johannessen, March 6, 2017

As part of our Stages Speaker Series, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented an artist talk by Norwegian artist Toril Johannessen. Working in a range of media including photography, text, drawing and installation, Johannessen’s practice borders on the scientific in her research into natural phenomenon from the collection of Icelandic Spar to the colour of the moon’s light. She focuses her research on perception, often building disorienting installations. For her talk, Johannessen presented an introduction to her work, with specific emphasis on Unlearning Optical Illusions (I), (II), & (III].

Toril Johannessen’s practice often engages in methods and source material from the domains of science. Thematically her work spans a wide range of interests, from visual perception to linguistics; impossible energy cycles, alternative methods for time measurement; optical illusions and spatial disorientation. By combining scientific fact and the history of science with her own investigations, she applies a critical and subjective view on the impact of modern science on the production of knowledge. She received her MA from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design. In addition, she spent a year studying at Mountain School of Art, and took part in the artist-in-residence program at WIELS, Brussels. She has exhibited widely, at venues and biennales including dOCUMENTA 13; the Istanbul Biennial; deAppel, Amsterdam; Witte de With, Rotterdam; the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Johannessen is a member of the Flaggfabrikken Centre for Photography and Visual Arts, a Bergen based artist collective.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. You are making a difference.

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts New Chapters Fund, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Investors Group and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.  

Respondent Series Talk (Angie Keefer): Evelyn Forget, Markers of the Middle Class | February 16, 2017

As part of our ongoing Respondent Series, on Thursday, February 16th starting at 7pm, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presented a talk by Evelyn Forget. Forget is an economist, and is the Academic Director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre, as well as a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

For her talk, “Markers of the Middle Class”, Forget responded to the shifting markers of social class provoked in Angie Keefer’s exhibition FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL on display at Plug In ICA between January 20th and March 26th, 2017. Here, Forget presented speculations about whether a perceived decline in the middle class accounts for the rise of populist movements today. She traced the evolution of the middle class and its characteristic attributes from the Netherlands in the 16th century, through the French Revolution to its peak in postwar America. As outlined by economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey, Forget identified a set of bourgeois virtues attributed to the middle class, and also the vices more often seen by outsiders – artists and bohemian critics.

Evelyn Forget is an economist and professor from the Rady School of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Her research attempts to answer the question: “How can we best ensure that everyone has access to the tools and resources they need to live a full life?” She works in the areas of health economics and the history and philosophy of economics. Her public policy work examines the relationships between poverty, inequality, health and social outcomes, and quality of life. Most recently, she recovered and analyzed the data collected during a Guaranteed Annual Income experiment (called Mincome) that was conducted in Manitoba during the 1970s, and is currently involved in the development of a similar experiment to be conducted in Ontario this spring.

Angie Keefer, FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL is generously sponsored by Video Pool and William F. White International Inc., Winnipeg.

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, as well as Investors Group and Wawanesa Insurance for the direct support of our youth programs.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at plugin.org/support or by contacting Angela Forget: angela@plugin.org

For media inquiries please contact: Sarah Nesbitt at sarah@plugin.org or by phone at (204) 942-1043. For general information please contact: info@plugin.org. For media inquiries please contact Sarah Nesbitt: sarah@plugin.org

RELATED PROGRAMS:

Thursday, March 16 | 7:00pm: Respondent Series: Talk by Howie Chen
Friday, March 24 | 7:00pm: Respondent Series (Fred Sandback exhibition): Talk by Edward A. Vazquez

Related exhibit: 
Angie Keefer, FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL