Ashes Withyman

The work of Ashes Withyman (lives/works: Montreal) is a hybrid practice of sculpture, performance, installation, and sound, blurring the line between artwork and everyday life in a purposefully illusive and self-reflective manner. For dOCUMENTA (13), Withyman lived in a field at the edge of the exhibition grounds for more than a year, from early 2011 through to the close of the exhibition. For this work, titled A place – near the buried canal, he erected and occupied a small domicile, built guest quarters and other outbuildings, and made a path for the exhibition’s visitors to pass through. At La Loge, Brussels in 2015, Withyman produced a series of six installations for his exhibition A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus. Each installation displayed a collection of sculptural instruments, which imitated sounds produced by wind, water, animals, and humans. He wrote musical compositions for the instruments, following sunrise to sunset, and invited musicians to play the instruments as they wished throughout the exhibition. These projects exemplify the multi-faceted approaches Withyman uses to create site- and event-specific installations and performances that move in, out of, and through institutional space and time.

Withyman has had solo exhibitions at the Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2017); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2017, 2013); Stroom den Haag, The Hague, and La Loge, Brussels (2015); La Criée - Centre d'art contemporain, Rennes (2014); Glasgow Sculpture Studios (2014); Vancouver Art Gallery (2013); Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin (2009); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2008); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2008). He has been included in numerous international group exhibitions, including at Live Arts Week VI, Xing, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (2017); Les Ateliers de Rennes, Biennale d'art contemporain (2014); Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin (2014, 2010); Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2014); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2013); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010, 2009); Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009); and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2009).