Public reception with Roger Bywater

Friday, February 27
Pop-up shop & reception, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Storefront, 224 20th Street West

Publisher Roger Bywater is the focus of the latest event in the Museums 3.0 program series. Through his imprints, Bywater Bros. and Smoke Room, Bywater publishes artists’ books and editions by prominent national and international artists. He will be introducing his latest releases at The Storefront at 7 p.m., with a reception to follow. This free event is open to the public.

Roger Bywater holds an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, as well as a diploma in sculpture from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver. Bywater has extensive experience as a curator, dealer, and publisher. During his eight years as director/curator at Art Metropole, Bywater edited numerous publications, while operating its Little Cockroach Press Series, and organizing exhibitions by Hans-Peter Feldmann, Martin Creed, Rodney Graham, and other artists. In 2001, Bywater established the Goodwater Gallery in Toronto with John Goodwin. During a four-year span, this private gallery functioned as a project room to present solo exhibitions by emerging and established artists, who created work specifically for the gallery. Bywater continues to work independently with artists on a project-to-project basis through his imprint, Bywater Bros. Editions, which publishes artists’ books and editions from various artists working in Canada, the United States, and Europe.Eddie O’Keefe - Young Ideas


In conversation: Meeka Walsh and Robert Enright

Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 1 p.m.

The gallery presents an informal conversation with editor Meeka Walsh and writer Robert Enright. Through their distinguished and ongoing work with Border Crossings magazine, the duo reflect on the role the publication has played in situating regional and national art within an international context.

Border Crossings magazine is one of the key platforms for the investigation of contemporary Canadian and international art and culture. Founded in 1977 by Robert Enright, this quarterly magazine is published in Winnipeg, and is responsible for bringing international attention to art production on the Prairies.


Meeka Walsh is an award-winning critic, writer, and curator who has been the editor of Border Crossings magazine since 1993. She has given papers and contributed catalogue essays in New York, Canada, England, and Mexico. Her short fiction has been published in a number of anthologies, including The Oxford Anthology of Canadian Women Writers. Walsh received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards in 2003 and in 2007 was given the RCA Gold Medal for her contribution to the arts.


Robert Enright holds the University Research Chair in Art Theory and Criticism at the University of Guelph and is the senior contributing editor for Border Crossings magazine. He has published more than 200 interviews with leading Canadian, American, and European artists. For his writing in Border Crossings, he has received 15 nominations at the National and Western Magazine Awards, winning four gold and two silver awards. Enright has also contributed interviews, essays and introductions to over 60 books and catalogues. In 2005 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and in 2012 received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


About the Project

The Border Crossings Study Centre was developed by the magazine as a unique, mobile archive of the magazine’s 32-year publishing history, and includes copies of each of the magazines to date. It is housed in a portable hybrid storage/reading unit designed by architects Neil Minuk (DIN), and Karen Shanski and Eduardo Aquino (spmb). The archive is made up of the magazines themselves and, where issues were no longer available, handmade facsimiles were produced by Canadian photographer Elaine Stocki. It provides a welcoming social space for readers to look at individual issues, refer to the extensive Index, and talk about the material in the 127 issues of the magazine.

Sympathetic Magic, installation view

Artist talks with Raymond Boisjoly and Marianne Nicolson

Saturday, September 13 at 1 p.m.

The program connects two concurrent exhibitions, Sympathetic Magic, curated by Troy Gronsdahl, and Convoluted Beauty: In the Company of Emily Carr, curated by Lisa Baldissera. The curators will introduce the exhibitions followed by presentations from exhibiting artists Marianne Nicolson and Raymond Boisjoly.

Raymond Boisjoly (born in Langley, British Columbia, 1981) is an artist of Haida and Québécois descent, living and working in Vancouver. He completed his undergraduate studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and holds an MFA from University of British Columbia. Boisjoly’s practice engages with issues of aboriginality, language as cultural practice, and the experiential aspects of materiality. He has presented work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the United States including exhibitions at Simon Fraser University, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, and The Contemporary Art Gallery, all in Vancouver; The Power Plant, Toronto; Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa; Platform centre for photographic and digital arts, Winnipeg; and Western Bridge, Seattle. Boisjoly is participating in SITE Santa Fe, and La Biennale de Montréal. This fall, Boisjoly will serve as Lead Faculty for “In Kind” Negotiations, a thematic residency at the Banff Centre.

Marianne Nicolson (‘Tayagila’ogwa) (born in Comox, British Columbia, 1969) is an artist of Scottish and Dzwada’enuxw First Nations descent. The Dzwada’enuxw people are a member tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Nicolson’s artistic training encompasses traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture as well as Western European-based art practices. Her work engages with issues of Aboriginal histories, politics, and language, arising from a passionate involvement in cultural revitalization and sustainability. Nicolson completed a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, in 1996, followed by studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, where she received an MFA (1999), a Master’s in Linguistics and Anthropology (2005), and a PhD in Linguistics, Anthropology, and History (2013). Nicolson has exhibited paintings, photographs, and installation works locally, nationally, and internationally. Recent exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) and the nationally touring group exhibition Beat Nation, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery (2012). Her solo shows and installations include The Return of Abundance (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2007) and The House of Ghosts (Vancouver Art Gallery, 2008).

Barry Schwabsky, Keynote Lecture

Barry Schwabsky, Keynote Lecture

Barry Schwabsky is a writer and editor based in New York. He is the art critic for The Nation and his essays have appeared in Flash Art, Artforum, London Review of Books, and Art in America. His books include The Widening Circle: Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art, Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, and several volumes of poetry, the most recent being Book Left Open in the Rain.

Schwabsky was a keynote lecturer and panelist for Call of the Wild, a series of artists’ talks and a round-table discussion that took place on September 28, 2013 in conjunction with the exhibition Rewilding Modernity. This lively conversation with local, national, and international art professionals reflected on the complexities and contradictions around the histories of modernism, to explore its current manifestations and future possibilities. Call of the Wild was presented in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Art and Art History, MFA in Writing, and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity.


Download the audio recording of Schwabsky’s keynote lecture here.

Memory Islands

by Richard Fun (8:45 minutes, 2002)
Wednesday, October 12, Mendel Art Gallery Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Songs of Experience Film Series 2011

In Islands, Richard Fung offers a winning deconstruction of John Huston’s Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, filmed in Tobago in 1956. The artist’s Uncle Clive is an extra, playing a Japanese soldier, though he doesn’t look Japanese, nor has he ever seen anyone from Japan. No matter. In a clever series of intertitles and reframings, Fung turns the background of Huston’s film into the foreground, offers details of his uncle’s life, and recounts the swap of 12,000 acres of Trinidad for 50 US warships. Here the movies appear as an extension of war, as the usual romantic veils are brought down over the bloodied imperial reach. As background turns into foreground, nocturnal animals appear in daylight, and the unheard stories of history’s supporting cast can at last assert themselves.

A Moth in Spring
by Yu Gu (26 minutes, 2009)
Wednesday, October 12, Mendel Art Gallery Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Songs of Experience Film Series 2011

A Moth in Spring (teaser) from Yu Gu on Vimeo.


A Moth in Spring might have been named: embrace your failure. Yu Gu returns to her hometown of Chongqing, China, where she grew up, to shoot a dramatic movie. Word leaks, the neighbours talk, and soon the authorities arrive to shut down the whole dream. In a stunning parallel narrative, the filmmaker is forced to return to her parents’ dissident roots. She weaves a powerful generational duet that talks about art and the student movement in 1989. Instead of a dramatic turn, this lyrical hybrid, leaking accidents and unforeseen moments, opens its crushed heart to every unguarded face in the room, the looks of stunned disappointment, tearful departures, family admonitions. The continuity of political repression and the failure of the planned document, which appears in script writing intertitles, provides the means for an embrace of what is actually happening, a generosity rare in the cinema. 

The filmmaker recounts:

In the four months of living in Chongqing, there were times I felt like an alien from outer space. Leaving the cradle of Hollywood, a sense of reality set in. Unlike Beijing or Shanghai, Chongqing has no pre-existing infrastructure for filmmaking. There was no casting service, no film labs and no real equipment houses. My cinematographer, Adam, and I had to think of other alternatives fast. Then I realized that I wanted to make something closer to a documentary. Not in the sense of using a cinema verité camera style or purposeful jump cuts. Instead, I wanted to document the free spirit that still glimmered in this art school despite the perpetual tearing down of the old city, despite the onset of unbridled materialism, despite the government’s insidious indoctrination. I wanted to make a story that paid respect to my family history, one of survival of dreams despite repression. I imagined, too, that this story was not uncommon among people around the world. I discarded casting options from entertainment agencies and instead asked friends and acquaintances to act in my film.

La Jetée
by Chris Marker (28 minutes, 1962)
Wednesday, October 12, Mendel Art Gallery Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Songs of Experience Film Series 2011

La Jetée is a science fiction tour-de-force by Chris Marker, cinema’s most mysterious filmmaker. If he had made only this movie, he would still be considered one of cinema’s most prized talents. There is a sharply drawn story narrated almost exclusively in photographs; only one shot appears in motion. Conjuring entire worlds with a few well-placed shadows and an incisive montage, Marker takes the viewer on a deeply engaging trek into a future dystopia, riding inside the mind of a time traveller, whose intergenerational love story leads him fatefully towards a dizzying climax in the Orly airport.
- Mike Hoolbloom

The Dubai in Me

The Dubai In Me

by Christian Von Borries (83 minutes, 2010) 
Wednesday, September 14, Broadway Theatre, 7 p.m.
Songs of Experience Film Series 2011

A rigorous and relentless self-examination underscores this cine-essay on the marketplace projection of Dubai. Offering Second Life avatars and Michael Jackson moonwalks as political choreography precursors, the filmmaker shows a hyper-capitalized feudalism. In his hands, Dubai is both a state and a state of mind. It appears behind the camera in terms of gear choices and tripod height, and in front of it as a migratory global underclass of workers who are forever busy offstage. Between the weightless simulations of a city scrubbed clean of its inhabitants — where there is nothing left but the commodification of space — are panoramic postcard views of trucks filled with shit, or hijabbed tourists clutching their shopping dreams. Every picture is framed, and every frame is announced, remarked upon, unpacked. All the money that dreams can buy might be found here, in the 12-hour days of the servers, their passports confiscated, their plane fares recharged at rates that would bring smiles to any loan shark. Like every utopia, the poor will be made to pay for this promised land of new Islamic capitalisms. As the filmmaker remarks, occasionally, between the sustained views of a world that is already a picture, “Global identities laundered here … for those who can afford it.”
- Mike Hoolbloom

Exhibition Tour

Free exhibition tour every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meet in the lobby. No registration required.

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Location & Hours

950 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regular Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Free admission