Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cornelia Wyngaarden: HEROINES

17 November 2015 through 13 December 2015
Opening reception Tuesday 17 November 2015, 6-9pm
Screening Thursday 19 November 2015, 7pm at the Western Front, 303 E. 8th Avenue

Guest curated by Liz Park

This multi-nodal project celebrates the decades-long contribution of video art pioneer Cornelia Wyngaarden. Her unrelenting commitment to feminism and queer politics often translates to poetic video portraits of female protagonists who defy the male-centric order of their respective milieu. Wyngaarden’s unique voice provides incisive commentary and has been fostering various communities of allies in Vancouver and beyond.

Presented for the first time in over two decades, elements of her past media installation projects The Fragility of Origins (1994) and Apollo’s Kiss/Matricide: An Allegorical Landscape (1991) will be installed at CSA. Initially presented at the UBC Fine Arts Gallery (now the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery), Apollo’s Kiss takes inspiration from Aeschylus’s Oresteia, and in particular, spotlights the fate of the tragic heroine Cassandra, doomed to the gift of prophesy believed by none. The Fragility of Origins was first presented at the Western Front, and featured a five-channel composite of unidentified female bodies in motion, ambiguously torquing as they lay on a sheet of white. Accompanying the installation at CSA is a screening at the Western Front of As a Wife Has a Cow (1985) as a single-channel video that captures the stories told by a female rancher named Keely Moll.

This exhibition is by no means a survey of Wyngaarden’s work, but is a spark that lights up a portion of her activities as an artist. It is also the force that propels a new work in progress by Wyngaarden, a video portrait of a female stevedore. This project will be accompanied by a publication co-edited by Kim Nguyen and Liz Park, to be published in spring 2016 by Artspeak.