Loitering Shadows and The Spectre and the Sphere Etienne Zack and Jesse Jones

September 18 - November 9 2008

Two solo exhibitions
Curated by Séamus Kealy

Exhibition Statement

Etienne Zack: Loitering Shadows

In the Blackwood Gallery, a survey of paintings by Montreal artist Etienne Zack is on view. Ranging in several different styles over the artist's past six years of painting, with a concentration on recent works, this group of nine paintings represents some of the most radical and curious pictures Zack has produced. Known for his wild palette and crunching of form, history and realities within the picture plane, Zack has developed a body of work known throughout North America and Europe. This survey speaks strongly to recent trends in contemporary painting; depicting some strategies and forms younger painters are taking in the decades following painting's decadent rebirth in the 1980s.

Jesse Jones: The Spectre and the Sphere

Earlier this year, Jesse Jones completed the extraordinary 16mm film The Spectre and the Sphere, which uses the theme of the Communist Internationale and text from Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto as its script. The twelve-minute film, commissioned by Project Arts Centre, Dublin, is presented in an ominous, evocative installation, where the nostalgic sound of the Theremin plays both during the film and in its other-worldly interval. Shot in the historic Vooruit theatre in Ghent, Belgium (where the Internationale was composed), the film simultaneously conjures up cultural and political histories as a means of reflecting upon contemporary political imaginings. This installation plays in the e|gallery.

Artists' Biographies

Etienne Zack is a graduate from Emily Carr Institute in 2000 with a diploma in Fine Arts and attended Concordia University between 1996 and 1997. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions including Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway; Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England; Marina-Miranda, Madrid, Spain; Artcore Gallery, Toronto; Equinox Gallery, Vancouver; Art45, Montréal; survey exhibition at the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. His work has also been included in: East International 2004, Norwich, England; Nicole Klagsbrun, New York, United States; Projektraum Viktor Bucher, Vienna, Austria and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver; The Quebec Triennial in 2008. Etienne Zack was the winner of the RBC Painting Competition in 2005 and the Pierre-Ayot prize in 2008.

Jesse Jones is a Dublin-based artist, with a BA in Fine Art (Sculpture) from NCAD (2002) and an MA in Visual Arts Practices from IADT (2005). Jones’s practice focuses on the embedded political and social history within everyday life. She is interested in the moments when this hidden history comes to the surface, such as the demonstration or strike, and in moments of convergence. Seeing popular culture as an expression of this collective narrative of history, her work often adopts elements such as the B movie or pop music as a site of shared memory. Jones also uses the process of restaging a sense of history within contemporary contexts. By reinterpreting these artefacts, Jones scrambles their initial cultural reference and meaning. Can a drive in cinema become a site for films that had been blacklisted in the 50’s? Can a social housing project become the site for a symphonic suite? Or a pedestrian bridge the stage for an opera?

Recent exhibitions (in 2008) include The Spectre and the Sphere, (solo show), Project Arts Centre, Dublin; 2:MOVE, Belfast Exposed, Belfast; Art In The Life World, Ballymun, Dublin. Previous projects include 12 Angry Films (2006), a public art project, in which Jones worked with an elective community of participants contacted through community networks, trade unions and activist groups. The project consisted of 9-month collaborative process of film screenings, drama workshops and film making, which resulted in a temporary drive in cinema and radio station located in Dublin’s docklands.

Etienne Zack: Blackwood
Jesse Jones: e|gallery

Generously suppored by the Canada Council for the Arts and Student Housing and Residence Life.