Abbas Akhavan, Geoffrey Farmer, Rochelle Goldberg, Kapwani Kiwanga, Duane Linklater

September 18–October 23, 2021

The unseeable – that which cannot be seen visually – is a boundary familiar to those in the physical and life sciences whose business is articulating a reality beyond human vision. Our shared condition in a global pandemic, altered by an invisible virus, has made the determinal yet widely ignored structures of our world articulated now more than ever. Our shared social, political, financial and historical realities are made glaringly present – their edges, fault lines and fissures highlighted, refusing to be ignored. What we once glossed over, took for granted in our numerous privileges, that which was unconsciously and consciously unobserved has been overwhelmingly made present. It is hard to imagine that which has been made visible can be unseen.

The recent works of Abbas Akhavan, Geoffrey Farmer, Rochelle Goldberg, Kapwani Kiwanga and Duane Linklater negotiate the limits of visible knowledge, not through the absence of the visual, but in their articulation of that which is not. The majority of the works were completed in recent months amidst shifting life situations and focused studio time facilitated by our new logistical restrictions and are the impetus for the exhibition.

Abbas Akhavan’s most current series of subtle, poetic studio experiments utilize pigments and linen, exploiting their unique material particularities. For curtain, 2021, the artist references a Viennese theatre curtain, its undulating folds rendered flat in bold waves of pigment delicately applied to linen and hung directly on the gallery wall. While the familiar red curtain is designed to conceal what occurs behind it, then reveal activity in its absence, Akhavan focuses on that which is meant to remain "invisible", the curtain itself. Its suggestive mimesis leaves nothing but the gallery wall behind. In eighth square, 2021, a grid sequence is cut into pigmented linen but hung vertically from a single point, breaking down the modernist grid suggestion. The work invokes a chess strategy where a pawn reaches the "eighth rank" of the chess board to selectively become a queen, a queer reference for the artist.

Central to the exhibition is Geoffrey Farmer’s My Genealogy, 2021, an immense acid etched brass sculpture. It exists as a sequenced façade of realistic representations of wood planks, which on first encounter resembles both a minimalist installation and a floating dock. Referring to his own subjective “family tree,” a close relative’s lumber truck accident is the catalyst for both personal and familial distress and for this works formal origins of multiple planks of wood, deriving from a historical photograph of the accident scene. The title and work also refer to the use of the term Genealogy in Foucauldian philosophy, a historical technique of questioning commonly assumed philosophical or social beliefs such as “sexuality” or the role of influential power in presumed historical truths. The planks that form the sculpture have their own history as well, clearly bearing their material experience through welds, holes, water stains and a patina of time, articulating only in part their past lives.

Rochelle Goldberg’s sculpture, installation and wall work continues to ask how we can extrapolate beyond the assumed boundaries between living entities and objects. Goldberg’s notion of ‘intraction’ represents an in-between space, where the boundary between one entity and another is destabilized and where the remains of encounters between multiple material and conceptual realities are articulated. The work here, completed between her studio in Berlin and on site at the gallery, continues to summon historical, ecological, religious and poetic subjects. Deconstructing a bouquet of lily flowers, she interleaved sheets of paper between the plant material as it simultaneously dried and rotted, leaving shadows and plant material itself affixed onto the paper. The work, then treated with shellac and graphite, further articulates this temporal process. Her sculptures, concrete casts of an early commercially available doll, a repeating form in her work, and those of hands grasping rocks in motion confound presumptions of our own knowledge of material processes and symbolic history.

Kapwani Kiwanga’s works speak both to architecture as a controlling device for the human body and to the mediation of vision and knowledge itself. Kiwanga’s practice is formed in research, focusing on forgotten or ignored histories which she translates into in her installations, film, sculpture and videos. While seemingly in direct conversation with minimalist and phenomenological discussions in contemporary art history, these works refuse and complicate an easy reading both through their installation in relation to gallery architecture and through the use of black, white and blue shade cloth. Used globally on plants and fields to control light, temperatures and air flow, this agricultural textile allows non-native plants to be grown in foreign soils and climates, a colonial practice used for centuries. Allowing vision to pass through, but be mediated, these works articulate numerous political and personal underlying filters. A subject’s visibility is not neutral, nor is the viewer or the viewers gaze, all are consistently facilitated by external structures and histories. Despite this, our vision and its potential persists.

Duane Linklater’s textile works in relation simultaneously articulate and withhold knowledge. The dyed, stained and painted canvases formally engage recent Western abstraction, painting and art history, yet their accrual of traditional Indigenous materials such as sumac, charcoal and cochineal dye, stake claim to another value system and language entirely. Linklater expands on his work with Cree syllabics (a visual Indigenous writing system), drawing them on the surface of the paintings here. The symbols themselves transform into lines suggestive of mapping, the language of formal abstraction or another symbolic communication altogether. The deep, dark areas that provide the ground for these marks can be read simultaneously as shadows of a figurative head in portraiture, as nonfigurative experiment or the result of a process whose context we do not have access to. It is through these multiple layers of material and cultural translations Linklater addresses knowledge lost and gained.

Unseeable opens Saturday, September 18, 11–5

We welcome visitors on Saturday 11–5
Gallery office hours Tuesday–Friday 9–5
Wheelchair entrance available

950 East Cordova Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6A 1M6 Canada

+1 604 736 1554

Catriona Jeffries Owner, Director
Peter Gazendam Director
Sol Hashemi Visuals and Archive
Toby Froschauer Head Preparator and Exhibitions Manager
Asia Jong Administration and Research
Paul Dhaliwal Finance
Rachel Topham Photography Documentation
Scott Ponik Design
Alex Mahan Web Development

Exhibition History

Charmian Johnson
May 29–July 3, 2021

Ian Wallace
In the Museum
April 10–May 22, 2021

Damian Moppett
February 13–March 27, 2021

Liz Magor
December 5, 2020–January 30, 2021

Duane Linklater
October 24–November 21, 2020

Elizabeth McIntosh
Mom or Mother
September 12–October 10, 2020

Valérie Blass
La poudre aux yeux: Of smoke in mirrors
May 23–June 27, 2020

Ashes Withyman
Some kind of doctor receiving thunder
February 8–March 14, 2020

Abbas Akhavan
They asked the fox, “Who is your witness?”
He said, “My tail.”

November 23, 2019–January 18, 2020

Christina Mackie
September 21–November 2, 2019

Rochelle Goldberg
May 25–July 20, 2019

Abbas Akhavan, Valérie Blass, Raymond Boisjoly, Rebecca Brewer, Trisha Brown and Trisha Brown Dance Company, Chris Burden, Raven Chacon, Geoffrey Farmer, Hanne Darboven, Marcel Duchamp, Julia Feyrer, Alex Frost, Cynthia Girard-Renard, Rochelle Goldberg, Dan Graham, Brian Jungen, On Kawara, Janice Kerbel, Christine Sun Kim, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christina Mackie, Myfanwy MacLeod, Liz Magor, Elizabeth McIntosh, Damian Moppett, Stephen Murray, Kate Newby, Jerry Pethick, Eileen Quinlan, Judy Radul, Aurie Ramirez, Rob Renpenning, Marina Roy, Kevin Schmidt, Nick Sikkuark, Michael Snow, Ron Terada, Calder Tsuyuki Tomlinson, Ian Wallace, Nicole Wermers, and Ashes Withyman

Unexplained Parade
February 9–May 11, 2019

Judy Radul
Words No Pictures Pictures No Words
May 11–June 16, 2018

Julia Feyrer
Background Actors
March 16–April 21, 2018

Rebecca Brewer, Rochelle Goldberg, Charmian Johnson, Christina Mackie
January 26–March 3, 2018

Elizabeth McIntosh
November 17–December 22, 2017

Ron Terada
September 15–October 28, 2017

Elizabeth McIntosh, Monique Mouton, Silke Otto-Knapp
May 26–July 8, 2017

Ian Wallace
Street Floor Table Page Wall Canvas, 1969–2017
March 31–May 13, 2017

Ashes Withyman
March 10–18, 2017

Geoffrey Farmer
The Big Kitchen
January 14–February 25, 2017

Rebecca Brewer
The Holding Sky
November 12–December 17, 2016

Raymond Boisjoly
September 16–October 29, 2016

Damian Moppett
May 6–June 25, 2016

Liz Magor
March 5–April 23, 2016

Brian Jungen
January 22–February 27, 2016

Valérie Blass
To only ever say one thing forever the same thing
November 21, 2015–January 9, 2016

Janice Kerbel
September 12–October 24, 2015

Liz Magor, Jerry Pethick, Ron Tran
A view believed to be yours
May 15–June 27, 2015

Myfanwy MacLeod
March 21–May 2, 2015

Ian Wallace
The Construction Site
January 17–February 28, 2015

Duane Linklater
But the sun is up and you're going?
November 15–December 20, 2014

Ron Terada
September 19–October 25, 2014

Jerry Pethick
Where sidewalks leap upon the table: works on paper 1966–2000
May 24–June 28, 2014

Rebecca Brewer
The Written Face
March 29–May 10, 2014

Geoffrey Farmer
The Grass and the Banana go for a walk
February 8-March 15, 2014

Gareth Moore
Household Temple Yard
November 26, 2013–January 11, 2014

Damian Moppett
September 20–November 2, 2013

Brian Jungen, Duane Linklater
Modest Livelihood
June 7–July 20, 2013

Andrea Büttner, Joëlle de La Casinière, Gareth Moore
April 26–June 1, 2013

Raymond Boisjoly
March 1–April 13, 2013

Liz Magor
I is being This
November 16–December 22, 2012

Christina Mackie, Jerry Pethick
Bigger than a book, wilder than a tree
September 14–October 27, 2012

Judy Radul
April 27–June 9, 2012

Julia Feyrer
Alternatives and Opportunities
March 2–April 14, 2012

Ian Wallace
January 13–February 18, 2012

Ulla von Brandenburg, Guy de Cointet, Geoffrey Farmer, Janice Kerbel, Daria Martin, Judy Radul
People Things Enter Exit
October 28–December 10, 2011

Ron Terada
September 3–October 8, 2011

Robert Kleyn
Works 1969–1983
May 20–June 25, 2011

Arabella Campbell
March 25–April 30, 2011

Alex Morrison
February 3–March 12, 2011

Brian Jungen
November 19, 2010–January 15, 2011

Kevin Schmidt
September 17–October 23, 2010

Damian Moppett
The Sculptor’s Studio is a Painting
May 21–June 26, 2010

Geoffrey Farmer
The Surgeon and the Photographer
January 29-March 6, 2010

Myfanwy MacLeod
November 6–December 12, 2009

Ian Wallace
Works 1970–1979
September 18–October 24, 2009

Brian Jungen, Rebecca Belmore, Myfanwy MacLeod, Kevin Schmidt, Alex Morrison, Sam Durant, Ron Terada, Geoffrey Farmer, Jin-me Yoon
May 15–June 20, 2009

Christos Dikeakos
March 26–April 25, 2009

Gareth Moore
Uncertain Pilgrimage
January 15–February 14, 2009

Jin-me Yoon
October 30–November 29, 2008

Jerry Pethick
September 12–October 11, 2008

Ron Terada
May 23–June 28, 2008

Germaine Koh
April 11–May 10, 2008

Roy Kiyooka, Damian Moppett, Jerry Pethick, Ian Wallace
Process as Work
February 29–March 29, 2008

Kelly Wood, Monika Grzymala
January 18–February 16, 2008

Alex Morrison
November 23–December 22, 2007

Ian Wallace
October 18–November 17, 2007

Judy Radul
September 7–October 6, 2007

Arabella Campbell
June 8–July 7, 2007

Brian Jungen
April 27–May 26, 2007

Sam Durant
Scenes from the Pilgrim Story: Natural History
March 16–April 14, 2007

Damian Moppett
Progress in Advance of the Fall
January 19–February 24, 2007

Isabelle Pauwels
November 25–December 22, 2006

Geoffrey Farmer
Airliner Open Studio
October 21–November 18, 2006

Kevin Schmidt
September 9–October 7, 2006

Gareth Moore, Jacob Gleeson
St. George Marsh
August 24–September 1, 2006

Christos Dikeakos, Geoffrey Farmer, Arni Haraldsson, Brian Jungen, Roy Kiyooka, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Isabelle Pauwels, Jerry Pethick, Judy Radul, Kevin Schmidt, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace, Jin-me Yoon
274 East 1st
June 3–July 8, 2006

Christos Dikeakos
November 25, 2005–January 16, 2006

Alex Morrison, Isabelle Pauwels, Frances Stark, Johannes Wohnseifer
And to stop you interfering, I shall have to dematerialize you again
October 13–November 19, 2005

Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Alex Morrison, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace, Kelly Wood
Mix with care
July 5–September 24, 2005

Ron Terada
May 20–June 25, 2005

Arabella Campbell, Neil Campbell, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace
Painting After Poverty
April 8–May 14, 2005

Sam Durant
Color Pictures
February 25–March 2, 2005

Germaine Koh
January 14–February 19, 2005

Roy Kiyooka
Open Window on a Slow Train
December 2004

Jin-me Yoon
October 22–November 27, 2004

Myfanwy MacLeod
Don’t Stop Dreaming
September 10–October 16, 2004

Artist Curating Artists:
Damian Moppett curates Allison Hrabluik and Zin Taylor
May 28–June 26, 2004

Geoffrey Farmer
Every Surface In Some Way Decorated, Altered or Changed Forever (Except the Float)
April 7–May 15, 2004

Artist Curating Artists:
Myfanwy MacLeod curates Kyla Mallett
February 11–March 13, 2004

Damian Moppett
October 30–December 6, 2003

Carsten Höller, Cameron Jamie, Jakob Kolding, Myfanwy MacLeod, Kyla Mallett, Valérie Mréjen, Isabelle Pauwels, Raymond Pettibon, Ron Terada, Lawrence Weiner, Erwin Wurm
September 10–October 25, 2003

Iain Baxter, Geoffrey Farmer, Roy Kiyooka, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Ron Terada
I Sell Security
May 29–August 16, 2003

Kelly Wood
Black Plastic
April 11–May 17, 2003

Ian Wallace
February 28–April 5, 2003

Alex Morrison
January 17–February 22, 2003

Allyson Clay
November 29–December 21, 2002

Ron Terada
September 6–October 12, 2002

Germaine Koh, Alex Morrison, N.E. Thing Co., Ron Terada, Ian Wallace
June 8–August 31, 2002