Isabelle Pauwels

25 November–22 Decem­ber 2006

Geoffrey Farmer

Isabelle Pauwels is a promi­nent mem­ber of a younger gen­er­a­tion of Van­cou­ver artists com­ing to inter­na­tional atten­tion. Her con­cep­tu­ally based prac­tice fre­quently tests the lim­its of exist­ing for­mal struc­tures and gauges the stakes of var­i­ous social trans­ac­tions enclosed in these for­mats. In past works, Pauwels has engaged the con­di­tions of video, archi­tec­ture, typo­graph­i­cal con­ven­tions, pro­pri­etary sym­bols and build­ing codes in order to jar the viewer’s cus­tom­ary recep­tion of these — and point to their addi­tional per­for­ma­tive implications.

In this exhi­bi­tion, Isabelle Pauwels divides, refor­mats, and inter­leaves sev­eral exist­ing nar­ra­tive struc­tures through­out the space of the gallery. A reverse chronol­ogy of pop­u­lar enter­tain­ment that begins with real­ity tele­vi­sion, spans pre-commercial license era tele­vi­sion of the 1920’s and 30’s, and ends with the­atre, will con­verge in the form of Pauwels’ More or Less Square: A Book in Three Parts. Pauwels will con­struct the book itself as the prod­uct of an assem­bly line in the gallery. The exhibition’s addi­tional sound and video com­po­nents will be dis­trib­uted through­out the instal­la­tion and pre­sented on a mon­i­tor, a micro­phone stand, and as a large video pro­jec­tion. These devices are plot­ted delib­er­ately within the gallery to ques­tion what geo­graph­i­cal, occu­pa­tional and prime­time economies are at stake in pro­duc­ing assem­bly line narratives.

CJ Press: Essay by Clint Burnham

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