BEATRICE’S CENTRE FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS, OR, HOW I LEARNED THAT MY MOTHER WAS RIGHT ABOUT MAKING ART IN A PRAIRIE TOWN DURING THE RISE AND FALL OF GRUNGE MUSIC
Curatorial Project at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Toronto
Featuring Jo-Anne Balcaen, Daniel Barrow and Evan Tapper
September 26-November 22, 2008
Download and read the Essay, BCSA.
Barrow, Tapper & Balcaen: Picture of a School-Art exhibition from Canadian Art on Vimeo.
An interview with Canadian Art’s Leah Sandals about the exhibition
“For nearly a decade, my mother, Beatrice, has tried to lure me back home with newspaper clippings of people ‘making it’ in the arts in Winnipeg. It hasn’t worked, but it has given me an abandonment complex, and kept me curious about the prairies as an arts hub.”
-Jennifer Cherniack, Exhibition Curator
Beatrice’s Centre for Student Affairs examines a small group of artists who graduated from the University of Manitoba in the early nineties as a microcosm for art school and art making. A research-based project that is part stalking, part talking and lots of third-hand information, Beatrice’s Centre for Student Affairs gets to the bottom of the art community experience. It speaks to everything we learned, both inside and outside of the classroom. Curator Cherniack tries to unravel the yarn and peel away at the stories therein.
The shared experiences of these artists, and the artworks they have created since graduating around 1994, have common threads – whether a result of their education, generation, by chance, or simply by a figment of the curator’s imagination. Their works are shameless, no-holds barred narratives telling stories about stories, about gossip, about drama, about relationships.
Jo-Anne Balcaen’s videos, audio works and conceptual installations speak to the commercialization of desire through popular culture, with her most recent works relating her experiences as a fan of a rock band who carries her excitement a little too far, while Daniel Barrow tells tragic, beautiful stories of lonely isolated outcasts. Evan Tapper’s raw and embarrassing first-person narratives are hilariously sorrowful, and beautifully DIY – encapsulating the humanity and contradiction of the prairie experience.