Esker Foundation : 444, 1011 9th Ave SE , Calgary, Alberta
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Wafaa Bilal: 168:01
Curated by Srimoyee Mitra
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor, ON
168:01 is a major solo exhibition of new and recent work by Iraqi-born, New York-based artist Wafaa Bilal. An Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bilal is internationally renowned for work which speaks to the impact of international politics on individual lives.
In 168:01, Bilal constructed a makeshift library filled with empty white books, symbolizing the cultural heritage destroyed by occupying forces in Iraq. Throughout the exhibition, the white books will be replaced with visitor donations from a wish list compiled by The College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, whose library was looted and destroyed in 2003. The donated books will then be sent to the University to help rebuild their library. Details on how to donate or purchase books for this project are available at eskerfoundation.com
Accompanying the library is The Ashes Series. Working from photojournalists’ photos, Bilal recreated the catastrophic scenes in dioramas, but without human traces. Into each he placed 21 grams of human ashes, said to be the weight of the soul, and then photographed them. Haunting, ephemeral and eerily beautiful, these photos are poignant reminders that though war may be transient its weighty effects are permanent.
The Guardian reports on Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01
Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens: Real failure needs no excuse
Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens work at the intersection of visual and performance art. Consisting of a series of actions filmed in an empty office building in Glasgow, Real failure needs no excuse is a video investigating the transgressive potential of non-productive action and its relation to labour, work, and the imagination.
Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens live and work in Montreal and Durham-Sud, Canada.
Etienne Zack: Those lacking imagination take refuge in reality
Zack‘s painting and collage works are complex considerations of architecture, institutional power, redacted history, and the use of text as idea, form, and structure. Suggestively painted documents and books are stacked, slotted together, and carved into letter-like forms to create walls and floors where shadowy rooms take hold: in Those lacking imagination take refuge in reality, Zack paints the ultimate Panopticon.
Born in Montreal, Etienne Zack lives and works in Los Angeles. His work is in the collections of major institutions and museums, and can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the world.
In 2005, Zack was the winner of the prestigious RBC Painting Competition.
In the Project Space
April 11–July 17
Kyle Beal: A Chicken in Every Pot or How to Cook Your Own Goose
A Chicken in Every Pot or How to Cook Your Own Goose is a humorous look at some of Calgary’s local histories and contemporary development in and around the neighbourhoods of Inglewood, Ramsay, and the Stampede Park. Utilizing the structure and aesthetics of a midway carnival game to both relate to, and comment on, a century of immigration to the city, economic growth, changing social mores, and contemporary values, A Chicken in Every Pot or How to Cook Your Own Goose asks if you can’t beat the house, can you really build your own?
Kyle Beal (born in Calgary, 1978) is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary (2001) and holds an MFA from the University of Victoria (2004). He has exhibited throughout Canada in solo and group shows, and his works can be found in a number of private and corporate collections.