VANCOUVER, BC.- Griffin Art Projects
presents Allegories of the Present from Sept. 9 to Dec. 11, 2022, a celebration of Stan Douglass work on the occasion of his representation of Canada at the Venice Biennale this year. The exhibition is a concise retrospective, bringing together photographic works from the 1990s to the present. Allegories of the Present highlights how the artist reveals complexities that live just beyond, behind, or beneath the metanarratives of historical accounts.
Allegories of the Present provides a primer on how Stan Douglas addresses social and political turbulence in his work, a major theme of his most recent show at the Venice Biennale, says Lisa Baldissera, the exhibitions curator and director of Griffin Art Projects. Each of the artworks in this exhibition focuses on key sites of rupture within Vancouver and British Columbia. They demonstrate contested histories and sites of resistance, from small-town Ruskin to Hogans Alley. The exhibition traces a narrative that shows how Douglas approaches the fragmented nature of personal and historical stories.
The artworks in the exhibition are drawn from private collections including pieces from the artists own collection as well as those from the Vancouver Art Gallery and Audain Art Museum. This is a rare opportunity to view seminal pieces from Douglass oeuvre in one place.
Highlights include: Pursuit, Fears, Catastrophe: Ruskin, B.C. (1993), a series of chromogenic prints that explore the relationship between image and sound while drawing from the history of a Japanese community in Canada during the 1930s. Ballantyne Pier, 18 June 1935 (2008), which depicts a scene from a dockers strike in Vancouver. Hogans Alley (2014), a photograph of the racially diverse neighbourhood that was once home to a thriving Black community before residents were displaced. And a number of character portraits from Klatsassin (2006), which depicts the events leading up to the Chilcotin War of 1864 that led to the eventual execution of Tsilhqot'in chiefs.
Stan Douglas (b. 1960, Vancouver) is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles. His films and photographs have been included in exhibitions internationally since the early 1980s, including at documenta IX, X and XI (1992, 1997, 2002) and in four previous Biennale Artes (1990, 2001, 2005 and 2019). A survey of his work, Stan Douglas: Mise en scene, toured Europe from 2013 until the end of 2015. From 2014 until 2017 his multimedia theatre production Helen Lawrence was presented in Vancouver, Toronto, Munich, Antwerp, Edinburgh, Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Douglas received the International Centre of Photographys Infinity Award in 2012, the Scotiabank Photography Award in 2013, the Hasselblad Award in 2016, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2019 and the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2021. Between 2004 and 2006 he was a professor at Universität der Künste Berlin and is currently Chair of the Graduate Art Program of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Accompanying the exhibition will be History ReMIX, a series of film screenings, curatorial talks, and panel discussions curated by Dr. Karen Tam, Griffin Art Projects adjunct curator. The series will explore the themes in Douglass practice and the work of Black curators, writers, artists, and filmmakers from across Canada.