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JEN AITKEN | KALOUNE
SATURDAY 25 MARCH  – SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY 24 MARCH, 6:00-8:00PM
ARTIST TALK: FRIDAY 31 MARCH, 6:00pm

ARYEN HOEKSTRA | The Flicker
(in partnership with the Images Festival)
WEDNESDAY 12 APRIL – SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY 14 APRIL, 5:00-8:00PM 
SCREENING: SATURDAY15 APRIL, 5:00PM AT CINECYCLE

JEN AITKEN | KALOUNE

For her exhibition Kaloune, Jen Aitken presents a new series of wall-mounted sculptures. Over the last several years, Aitken has developed a restricted geometric vocabulary that draws from her everyday built environment but resists any definitive references. Her sculptures are independent idiosyncratic objects, yet they accumulate meaning together through their shared visual lexicon. In a continuous search for new possibilities within her limited set of shapes, Aitken now shifts her focus from solid volume to negative space. She has imagined cutting up and unfolding the forms of her recent cast concrete work to create a number of open planar structures.

Kaloune shows Aitken’s attempt to unfasten the surface of concrete from its inherent mass. Adding paper pulp and other ingredients to her cement mixture, she has pressed thin layers of material into molds made of wood, plastic, foam, and cardboard. The resulting forms are not standard “positive” casts, but muted translations of her ad hoc molds. They are partial fragmented containers made inside and around other containers—“negative” forms for which there are no corresponding positives. Kaloune evokes a sense of sustained ambiguity, and invites our focus to drift continuously between space and material, two and three dimensions, object and installation, and between stillness and motion.

JEN AITKEN received her MFA in 2014 from the University of Guelph, and her BFA in 2010 from Emily Carr University. In May 2016, she presented her first solo show at Battat Contemporary in Montreal, which was accompanied by a publication of her studio drawings. She created a site-specific solo exhibition at Centre Clark in September 2016 and has recently participated in group shows at Forest City Gallery in London, Ontario, Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, and Kamloops Art Gallery in British Columbia. Aitken is a Toronto-based artist and is represented by Battat Contemporary.

Jen Aitken gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

 

ARYEN HOEKSTRA | The Flicker

This exhibition is co-presented in partnership with the Images Festival. For more information visit imagesfestival.com

Two hatted figures hid their faces and plugged their ears. The concussive return of the white frame was too much to bear. But me, I’m no more object now than when the lights first dimmed. The Flicker had made-me-over in its own image, but that image was merely dormant before I queued up. It was a revealing. A peeling back of skin and stage and screen, denuding the projection until it hardened under the brightness of its own flashing light. With this crystalline, glinting bit the theatre’s subsurface was violently drilled, coughing up an inky oil that lubricated the seat covers. I slid down a row or two. As my eyes readjusted, I noticed that the ground beneath me was full of holes though nobody else seemed to care.

Is to be like The Flicker to be like a porous planet? An arterial network of entries and exits carrying blobs of black from below to above. The Black Lagoon as if it was the Creature itself. Its force hidden under rocky cover, accruing capital as it flowed upward. Gaseous exhalations wafted up and down the aisles of the theatre. As above, so below. I thought, in its excess, that it might spill out into the lobby where the concession and posters are kept, carrying popped and un-popped kernels along with it. A slip-n-slide back out to the street, and daylight, and the city, but that too had been drilled. An over-handled planet with no place left to stand, but the seats remained full. Bodies pointed at backs of bodies. The floor had always been sticky, but now it was black. Total darkness, only its theory before my eyes, like right before the credits roll.

ARYEN HOEKSTRA is an artist and writer based in Toronto, ON. Recent solo exhibitions include Celestial bodies at 8-11 and Choreography for Screen at Mercer Union (both Toronto, ON). Other recent exhibition venues include Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto, ON); the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB); Gallery 44 (Toronto, ON); Forest City Gallery (London, ON); Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON); Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga, ON). He has contributed writing for YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Susan Hobbs, COOPER COLE, and Daniel Faria Gallery. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Border Crossings, and Magenta Magazine. From 2014 – 2016 Hoekstra served as the Director of G Gallery. He is currently a contributing editor at Towards.info, and runs the independent project space Franz Kaka in Toronto, ON.

Aryen Hoekstra would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.