TOM THOMSON CENTENNIAL SWIM – PAUL WALDE
March 7– May 31
Paul Walde – – Tom Thomson Centennial Swim
Gallery A – Curated by Arin Fay
On July 8th 2017, Paul Walde swam the length of Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on the 100th Anniversary of Canadian Painter Tom Thomson’s death. The swim, a site-specific and temporally specific event, was used as an opportunity for exploring and understanding this landscape and history through performative experience. The duration of the piece was determined by the length of the lake (3kms) and the artist’s ability to navigate it. The swim was accompanied by a series of interconnected events: a brass band with a mandolin soloist performing a new long form music composition by Walde, three synchronized swimming routines a various points along the route, and a flotilla of canoes carrying the band. The work primarily exists in two forms, that of the event itself and an audio/video work based on the footage of the event. Touchstones Nelson will be the first gallery to premiere the video and score as an installation.
Photo credit: Paul Walde, Tom Thomson Centennial Swim, photo by Andrew Wright, 2017, image courtesy of the artist
JJ Levine – Alone Time
June 13 – September 6, 2020
JJ Levine – Alone Time – Gallery B
Curated by Arin Fay
Alone Time is a series of photomontages that push corporeal gender presentation into the realm of the uncanny. Artifice meets naturalism in this project, which is made up of brightly colored, seamlessly stitched together, composite photographs of fictional couples sharing quotidian intimacies; upon closer examination, these “couples” prove to comprise a single model – appearing as both the man and the woman in the frame. These constructed moments and relationships call into question our perception of reality and the assumptions we make regarding gender and identity.
By demonstrating an individual’s capacity to engagingly and believably embody two polarized genders, my project questions the mainstream depiction of binary gender roles. I hope for my photographs to blur the boundaries between masculinity and femininity, reality and fiction. By staging the same model twice in each photograph, Alone Time resists giving any stable clues about the subjects’ real-life gender identity or expression. This conceptual decision to double the gender presentation of a single body challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or consistent.
Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple. As well, through the technical aspects of my work, I challenge representational tropes. While the individual photographs are shot on film, scanned, layered, and digitally collaged to create the final illusion of “two people,” no aspect of the subjects’ genders are digitally altered – the images are successful because they are visually convincing without manipulation of the subjects’ gender traits through means other than makeup, hair, prosthetics, costume, and pose. This choice further emphasizes the notion that gender is malleable. Alone Time is intended to be visually confusing and amusing, thought provoking, and challenging to the boundaries of the photographic medium.
Composite medium-format, colour film photography
JJ Levine is a Montreal-based queer and trans artist working in intimate portraiture. Levine holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from Concordia University. Mostly known for his series’ Queer Portraits, Alone Time, and Switch. Levine has been honoured with several awards and received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. His work has been exhibited at galleries and art festivals across Canada, the United States, and Europe. As well, Levine has guest lectured for Communications and Fine Arts courses at Concordia University and Ottawa U and has been published in the academic journal, Photography and Culture (UK). His work has also been featured in art magazines and newspapers internationally, including CV Photo (Canada), Slate magazine (US), and The Guardian Observer (UK and US). In 2015, Levine self-published two artist books: Queer Portraits: 2006- 2015 and Switch. Levine’s artistic practice balances a radical agenda with a strong formal aesthetic.
June 13 – August 16
THROWN : (a group ceramic exhibition) – Samantha Dickie, John Kuroc, Shary Boyle, Jody Greenman-Barber, Sergio Raffo, Robin Dupont, Rory MacDonald (Gallery A)
Curated by Arin Fay
‘THROWN’ is a group ceramic exhibition. It includes a diverse cross-section of artists from across the country who offer distinct and exemplary approaches to the ceramic medium and methodology — from traditional craft to abstraction and installation. The artists involved are: Samantha Dickie (Victoria, BC); John Kuroc (Rankin Inlet, NU); Shary Boyle (Toronto, Ontario); Jody Greenman-Barber (Regina, Sask.); Sergio Raffo (Kaslo, BC); Robin Dupont (Winlaw, BC) and Rory MacDonald (Halifax, Nova Scotia). We have written a Canada Council grant to support a residency for this exhibition and have partnered with both Selkirk College, Nelson BC and Medalta, Medicine Hat, Alberta for this project.
This group exhibition is inspired by and follows the very successful medium-centric group textile exhibition that Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History mounted, and Arin Fay curated, in 2018 entitled ‘Lost Thread’ which included six artists from across the country (three from the Kootenays): Philip Hare; Bettina Matzkuhn; Amanda McCavour; Sylvie Roussel-Janssens; Wendy Toogood; Anna Torma; Matthew Varey; Angelika Werth and Robin Wiltse (see attached catalog). This exhibition also included a residency partnership with Selkirk Collage in Nelson, BC who supported catalog design and publication. These types of medium-centric group exhibitions create the opportunity for a rare and particularly fertile form of mentorship amongst the participating artists that allows for the elevation of the art form, but also mentorship between the artists and the resident community that benefits from this synergy as well.