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The Portfolio Series

Through the lens of contemporary and local artists’ practices, each curated portfolio

investigates specific topics in Vancouver’s current socio-economic and cultural situation

in relation to the city’s history and projected future. Within the framework of a curatorial

essay, each portfolio addresses one of the following themes:


Part I. Socio-Economics and The Creative Class


Curator: Bopha Chhay
Artists: Alex Grunenfelder & Angela Henderson, Jamie Hilder and Sydney Hart


While Vancouver proudly ranks amongst the world’s most livable cities, it also witnesses growing economic disparities amongst its inhabitants. Low-income residents are being displaced as a consequence or gentrifying neighbourhoods and home ownership is but a pipe dream for a generation that has entered the labour market in a Post-Fordist economy. The first portfolio grouping considers the positioning of artists within Vancouver’s “creative class”.


Part II. The Legacy of Photo-Conceptualism


Curator: Tarah Hogue
Artists: Guadalupe Martinez, Emilio Rojas & Igor Santizo, David Semeniuk and Sarah Shamash


The Vancouver School emerged as an artistic movement in the 1980s, and anchored photo-conceptualism at the heart of Vancouver’s artistic identity. This movement established a strong conceptual and critical character for the city’s artistic production. Thirty years later, are emerging artists still working within this field of practice? What is the trace of photo-conceptualism’s legacy on today’s artistic production? The second portfolio grouping will investigate current trends and innovations that characterize the work of a young generation of artists in Vancouver, and how their work dialogues with the city’s artistic heritage.



Part III. Acts of Spatial Decolonization


Curator: Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte
Artists: Andrea Creamer, Gabrielle Hill, and Charlene Vickers


The third portfolio series investigates notions of “land claims” as they relate to the particular historical, geographic and socio-economic contexts of Vancouver. Land claims can be understood as legal declarations of desired control over areas of property and, in an urban environment, are intertwined with claims on participation in the city’s life, transformation and definition. In Vancouver, land claims materialize through the competing interests of various user-groups and use-values. The fact that Vancouver is located on unceded Coast Salish Territory problematizes settler claims to land ownership, yet the city’s development continues to grow exponentially; fundamental claims for the recognition of ancestral territorial rights oppose claims for development and investment. Growing class divisions, the regulation of public space and recurrent processes of marginalization exacerbate tensions, as to, in Henri Lefebvre’s words, the right to the city; claims for visibility and for sustained existence are commonplace. The artists included in this portfolio series address these issues critically, reflecting on notions of land ownership, access and use in the context of Vancouver.

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