5 Art Exhibits to See After Visiting The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

The city’s art scene doesn’t stop at the end of Octopus’ tentacles.

March 22, 2018

By Leah Bjornson

Takashi Murakami—the artist, eccentric and visionary behind the stunning The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg at the Vancouver Art Gallery—has the city excited about art like never before. After breaking attendance records at the Museum of Contemporary Art last year, the intensely colourful (and sometimes frightening) exhibit has ensured a dedicated audience at the VAG this spring.

But the city’s art scene doesn’t stop at the end of Octopus’ tentacles. For those of us want to keep exploring Vancouver’s impressive galleries (or who just don’t want to stand in the long line on a Tuesday night), here are five exhibitions worth checking out.

(Photo: Divya Mehra, The Bitch Blues (where does the Divide begin?))

Beginning with the Seventies: GLUT

When: January 12 – April 8
Where: The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

The artwork in GLUT considers the potential of “reading as performed resistance” and features 13 artists’ work dating from the 1970s. On your visit, be sure to browse the Rereading Room, a reconstruction of the Vancouver Women’s Bookstore as it existed between 1973 to 1996. Kathy Slade’s takeaway posters “I WANT IT ALL I WANT IT NOW” have been particularly popular, so consider snatching up a copy before you leave!

GLUT is part of a larger project, Beginning with the Seventies: Archives, Art and Activism, that began in 2016. If you can’t make it out before April 8, put the series’ next exhibition on your calendar. Beginning with the Seventies: Radial Change opens on Thursday, June 21 and explores the significance of the body and its social meanings.

Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., weekends 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. University of British Columbia, 1825 Main Mall, 604-822-2759. belkin.ubc.ca

(Photo: Julia Feyrer, New Pedestrians. Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver)

Julia Feyrer – Background Actors

When: March 16 – April 21
Where: Catriona Jeffries Gallery

Have you ever been captivated by what’s happening on the edges of a scene, more so than the action itself? This is one of the motivations behind Julia Feyrer’s exhibit, Background Actors, hosted at the impeccable Catriona Jeffries Gallery just east of Main Street on 1st.

Individual works such as Corpse, a dummy roughly cast from the artist’s own body, and a kinetic Device for Sensing Habitable Zones occupy various corners of the space. Together, the sculptures, films and other creations are meant to inspire attendees to question their “anthropocentric worldview” and consider their relationship with nonhuman entities. Consider this your science fiction fix for the week.

Tuesday-Saturday 11a.m. – 5 p.m. 274 East 1st Ave., 604-736-1554. catrionajeffries.com 

(Photo: Ho Tam, excerpt from Guys at the Fair)

Ho Tam: Cover to Cover

When: April 6 – May 27
Where: Richmond Art Gallery

This aptly named exhibit takes visitors on a journey through Canadian multimedia artist Ho Tam’s recent book works, displaying pages and images on the gallery walls in a cascading and organic collage. Presented at the Richmond Art Gallery, Cover to Cover aims to inspire self-awareness and raise questions about how identities are constructed.

Tam explains, “The books are about how I, as an artist, insert myself into the world.” If you’re interested in his work, you can meet Tam at the exhibition’s opening reception on Saturday, April 7. Or, keep your eyes peeled on your daily commute for his other works, Barbershops and Guys at the Fair, which are being displayed at Lansdowne and Waterfront station, respectively.

Weekdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 180-7700 Minoru Gate, 604-247-8300. richmondartgallery.org

 

(Photo: Joi T. Arcand, Northern Pawn, South Vietnam – North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Courtesy the artist and Saskatchewan Arts Board Permanent Collection)

The Blue Hour

When: April 6 – June 24
Where: The Contemporary Art Gallery

Kicking off this year’s Capture Photography Festival, this exhibit brings together work by five Canadian and international artists: Joi T. Arcand, Kapwani Kiwanga, Colin Miner, Grace Ndiritu and Kara Uzelman. The Blue Hour refers to the window of twilight at dawn and dusk when “the linearity of time appears to momentarily halt,” and the exhibition encourages attendees to consider the endurance and ephemerality of the photographic image.

Four notable pieces come from Arcand’s series Here on Future Earth (2009), in which she manipulates images of small-town Saskatchewan streetscapes, replacing the English signage with Cree syllabics. You can catch the artwork at any of the gallery’s presentation spaces, including the CAG’s exterior façade and three off-site locations downtown.

Tuesday-Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. 555 Nelson St., 604-681-2700. contemporaryartgallery.ca

(Photo: Aaron Leon)

BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

When: June 7 – January 13
Where: Bill Reid Gallery

Skin acts as the canvas in this one-of-a-kind exhibition, which shines a spotlight on the historic art of indigenous tattooing. Prior to the 1885 Potlatch ban, this practice was integral to Northwest Indigenous ceremony and social rank. Today, indigenous artists are reclaiming the tattooing and piercing, not only as an artform, but as a way of healing and promoting a sense of belonging.

Five artists on the forefront of this movement will tell the story of indigenous tattooing within their region, exploring the history, symbolism and cultural significance of the craft. The show runs until early 2019, so you have plenty of time to plan your visit.

Gallery hours TBD. 639 Hornby St., 604-682-3455. billreidgallery.ca

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