we are not alone: New Work in Collaborative Fiction
Dates: May 17 to June 18, 2008
Artists: Jo Cook (Mayne Island), Emily Gooden (Victoria), Susan Hawkins (London, UK), Leanne Johnson (Vancouver), mynameisscot (Vancouver), and Wesley Mulvin (Mayne Island)
Curator: Jo Cook
Opening: Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m.
Artists' talk: Sunday, May 18, 2 p.m.
we are not alone: New Work in Collaorative Fiction was a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to installation that was evocative rather than instructive. Six artists, Emily Goodden, Susan Hawkins, leannej, Wesley Mulvin, my name is scot, and Frances Zorn created a space to accommodate shifting relationships between diverse works where the non-linear, non-unified nature of experience was acknowledged. Whether as a fragment or a fully-formed story, narrative was inherent in the configuration of sculpture, music, text, and still and moving images the artists presented.
Many of us believe the possibility of multiple universes must be taken seriously and while this idea disturbs certain long-held beliefs in theoretical physics’ solutions to the mysteries of existence, physics is unreliable at best when processes like quantum effects throw a great deal to chance. The artists in this exhibition worked inside gaps in the knowledge systems of physics, history, and musicology. Materials from disparate times and locations were displayed as though these things exist synchronically, across time, and ahistorically, outside of time. During the process of installation, fugitive stories were developed with over-lapping polyphonic plots that slid out of one story to land abruptly in the middle of another.
Our best thoughts begin as incoherent blips that rest uneasily in categories; inspiration is elliptical, part transparency, part mystery. Inside we are not alone, the characters and multiple narratives invented around historical (albeit dubious) events set the question, “Is anybody out there?” to wander in a landscape of the imagination. Ursula Le Guin writes, Fiction is not only allusion, but collusion, and in this exhibition it will be possible to collude to such an extent that your extended antennae will itch. Jo Cook, 2008
Jo Cook is a visual artist, curator, writer and publisher involved with all aspects of artist-run culture. Cook adapts multiple personalities as a modus operandi, an experimental framework with which to merge with her fictionalised characters’ projects in the “real” world. She is the founder and CEO of Perro Verlag Books by Artists.
Emily Goodden was appointed Minister of Casual Living in 2004 where she was responsible for curating over 40 exhibitions. In 2007 she participated in The Most Curitorial Biennial at Apex Art in New York City as well as WorkBench at Open Space in Victoria. Her book, Pop Trash Sell, volume 1 in the Hell Passport Project, is forthcoming from Perro Verlag. Emily also plays music, usually cello & drums, and is now expanding her repertoire to include the trumpet.
Susan Hawkins is a composer and sound artist currently based in Brisbane. She has been working on a number of different projects in theatre, contemporary dance and live performance as one half of imaginationandmymother. She has performed at the Tate Britain (UK), Copenhagen (KØBENHAVN - RAMT AF BYEN, Denmark), the Torino Contemporeana (Italy), the 13th Festival for Young Theatre in Europe, (Germany), and the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).
leannej is a text based artist. Her work has been shown in galleries, on the web, and has appeared in books and magazines. She published her first book, Weathering Systems with Artspeak Gallery in 2001. She has been nominated for three Western magazine awards for writing and in 2002 she won a Western Magazine Award for her Flow Chart column in FRONT Magazine. She is the Managing Editor of FRONT Magazine.
my name is scot is a Vancouver based artist who has exhibited across Canada, including the solo exhibitions: Bottom/Top (Ace Art, Winnipeg, 2000), Private Parts 1&2 (Alternator Gallery, Kelowna, 2001), Kill Me (Struts Gallery, N.B. 2003), and Fastbackwards (Gallery 42, Vancouver, 2006). His International exhibitions include shows in the United States, Norway, Bulgaria and Czech republic and most recently, the exhibition Vancouver Insight ( King’s Lynn Arts Centre, U.K. July 2007). His texts have been published in Front Magazine, the Capilano Review and danDelion.
Wesley Mulvin is a sculptor who builds castles and other archetypal structures with welded steel, wood, and paper. He has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at Access Artist Run Centre, Vancouver, the Ministry of Casual Living,Victoria, The Brampton Indie Arts Festival, Brampton, Ontario, and Third Space Gallery,Saint John, NB. In 2006 he participated in A Sense of Fear, a collaborative arts festival in the Czech Republic. In 2008 he was in Tallinn, Estonia for an artist’s residency at Esti Kunstnike Liit.
Frances Zorn was born in San Fransisco in 1906 nine months after the earthquake. She studied Paleontology at Stanford where she met her life partner Maude Johnson. The two women were living and working in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 when they became involved in a number of extraterrestrial occurrences and their disappearance in August 1947 has never been solved. A number of Zorn’s manuscripts on extraterrestrial communication have recently been discovered.