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, 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, Ian Wallace, Nicole Wermers, Ashes Withyman, and others

Unexplained Parade
February 9–May 11, 2019

We began by questioning our acceptance of the standards, schedules and structures of contemporary art exhibitions, and invited each of the twenty-one gallery artists to name another artist, past or present, of significance to their current work and thinking. It was our plan to bring works by each of these artists together to open our new space with an exhibition that would develop over the course of almost four months. A slow roll forward in unison.

As the exhibition progresses, the work of more than forty-two artists will appear and disappear, scheduled and unscheduled, extending beyond the gallery in writing, and as performances and screenings at other cultural sites in the city. Some works will be present for a short period. Trisha Brown’s dance, Accumulation (1971), will be performed only on the opening weekend, while we anticipate that other works will remain for long periods as the work around them changes. These cycles will not be determined before the works are experienced physically in the space, when the artists and gallery will react and develop the exhibition, unfolding together.

What will happen along the way is as yet unknown, so we ask you to stay with us and pay close attention over the coming months as we announce how and when these works will appear. We invite you to consider and experience each new arrangement, to learn from unfamiliar practices, and to discover surprising relations between works old, known, or new.

Unexplained Parade is the inaugural exhibition of Catriona Jeffries at 950 East Cordova in Vancouver, Canada. Formerly a purpose-built workshop for Pilkington Metal Marine, the building is located in an industrial zone adjacent to the Port of Vancouver, the largest working export port in North America. Prior to the 1880s, this area was the proximal coastline of Burrard Inlet, a place where land sat between numerous creeks emptying into the Pacific inlet, occupied by the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh. For Catriona Jeffries, the significant renovation of this site, led by Patkau Architects, establishes a space for the next chapter of our twenty-five-year history, centering the representation of artists as a critical and collaborative practice.

February 9, 2019

Always a question, the concept of progress: what direction is progress? A mythological state or object, progress is a concept of the future as a process of the present. Whatever progress might be, it is also a commodity that I walk and sleep with, a kind of tangible, like marbles in a boot.

The marble, progress, withdrawn from the boot, zooms to cabbage proportions in selection as do other separated signals that perform concept recognition. The neighbouring marbles of progress may be liberty and technology, context or history. Perhaps the marbles are nouns—static recognition models that freeze the flow and flexibility of words. Perhaps these words are riveted to spatial entities, assuming shape in the matrix of compressed and expanding attention; these states are denoted by perception, their substance a peripheral membrane only.

The play with contextuality, disjointed and random-seeming paradoxes, provides spatial gaps as building blocks. Words and images move across the papering of reality’s façade, sliding over the shallow space of representation’s symbols. Objects demand their own space, structured environment, ideas of substance, or densities of material relationships. Context becomes a tangible that tears like candyfloss and easily ruptures like melting ice.

—Excerpts from Jerry Pethick’s Le Dot: Transition in Progress, 1986

March 9, 2019

eins zwei
eins zwei drei vier fünf sechs sieben acht neun zehn elf zwölf dreizehn veirzehn fünfzehn sechzehn siebzehn achtzehn neunzehn zwanzig einundzwanzig zweiundzwanzig drieundzwanzig vierundzwanzig fünfundzwanzig sechsundzwanzig siebenundzwanzig achtundzwanzig neuenundzwanzig dreissig einunddreissig zweiunddreissig dreiunddreissig vierunddreissig fünfunddreissig sechsunddreissig siebenunddreissig achtunddreissig neununddreissig vierzig einundvierzig zweiundvierzig dreiundvierzig
eins zwei drei

—Hanne Darboven, 1971

Language as material is opaque. In this sense, words become sequences of letters rather than meanings, syntax becomes a condition of iconographic density, the “nearness of points” in the topological sense, rather than a chain of meanings which complete a thought. Reading opaque language involves a direct perceptual recognition of the body, the physicality, the format of the iconography. Conventional language is transparent. The reader does not see the iconography of transparent language, there is no delay between the recognition of the word and the chain of meanings and associations it brings. Meanings which do not involve a delay are meanings which are taken for granted. Opacity, involving delay, brings both instability and openness to the meaning.

—Ian Wallace, 1969

I migrated from the word to the visible, from the idea to the thing. … From one point of view, making art is a way of testing the positions one might take relative to the world, and the people and things found in the world. The materials, the images, the operations, the forms of address, they all come from an inventory of possibilities and I’m conscious of my choices. By now I have an enhanced ability to make things, but a diminished need for those things to speak symbolically or profoundly.

—Liz Magor, 2017