FOFA’s vernissage opening with three new exhibitions

Contemporary arts take over the Fofa gallery for the 2014 Rentrée

Concordia’s faculty of fine arts has started the year with a bang: the faculty’s FOFA Gallery, located on the ground floor of Concordia’s EV building, held a vernissage Sept. 4 to usher in the new school year and its three newest exhibitions.

Photo by Nathalie Laflamme.

Parallax: Landscapes in Translation, located in the York corridor vitrine, is the collaborative project of Cynthia Hammond, Kelly Thompson and Kathleen Vaughan. The three artists, who all work for the university, used a variety of mediums, from acrylic on canvas to woven fibres, which often represented the departments they are a part of.

“The work is really talking about landscape and the passage of time, and travel, and discovery as you’re walking through spaces,” said Jennifer Dorner, the new FOFA Gallery director. “And it’s really functioning in that way, within the space itself.”

As visitors enter the main room of the gallery, they seem to topple into a completely different world, one of sharp black and whites and thumping bass: the world of Eyelash Wars. The product of the duo Inflatable Deities, also known, individually, as Emily Pelstring and Jessica Mensch, Eyelash Wars is the story of two beauty vendors in a battle for commercial supremacy. The piece is backed by a “warped new-age rap soundtrack,” as described by the FOFA Gallery site. The display is also visible from the Ste-Catherine vitrine.

“It’s a really fun premise,” added Dorner. “It’s very playful, a little bit absurd…They’ve used a really nice range of technology, and performance and painting, and really recreated the space.”

The last exhibit, That innate and ineradicable craving for what is out of the common proves how glad we are to have the natural and tedious course of things interrupted, occupies the Black Box room of the gallery. An interactive work by Jérôme Nadeau, the exhibit is composed of light-sensitive photographic papers on a white table. Visitors are encouraged to don white gloves and move the papers around, causing them to slowly shift in colour. Every hour, a picture of the table is taken and uploaded to the FOFA website, allowing viewers to track the changes in the gallery.

“His idea is that the photographic paper becomes the document of the exhibition experience,” said Dorner. “It’s a beautiful piece, and it’s going to change as the exhibition goes on.”

The vernissage concluded with a musical performance by Inflatable Deities in the main gallery. The current exhibitions will be on display until Oct. 19. The FOFA Gallery is located on the ground floor of the EV Building in the Sir George Williams campus.


There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint

It’s usually easy to wander into a gallery; you can step inside, browse around, and leave as quickly as you entered.

Unfortunately, Gallery X isn’t convenient to meander into. Secluded on the second floor of the Visual Arts building, it goes unseen by most students, despite the affordable coffee shop and art-filled walls.

However if you’re feeling up for the venture, Gallery X’s first show of the year, The Staff Show, started this week, and it’s sure to entertain your eyes after long hours of staring at new class schedules.

“It’s always good to have something broad for the first show of the year. You don’t get a lot of work at the beginning, because people don’t have any ready this early and they usually don’t want to show stuff from last year,” says Amanda Craig, a studio arts student and co-curator of Gallery X. According to Craig, The Staff Show is made up of artwork done by artists who work and run Café X.

“For at least three years, the first show of the season is work by Café X staff. It’s great because students see them on a regular basis, serving coffee, but the show helps give a better idea of who they really are,” says Clinton Glenn, an Art History student who is back for his second year curating Gallery X.

All shows at Gallery X last two weeks, so Glenn and Craig recently called for submissions in preparation for the second show. Submissions are generally accepted at the beginning of the fall and winter semester, but they take art submitted later as well.

“When people submit their work, we look at the content, theme, and medium of what it is, and see if we can pair it up with other submitted works,” explains Glenn. “It’s kind of backwards from normal curating but it works.”

Gallery X also received a modern makeover over the summer. Last year’s teal and red walls, which Glenn describes with some distaste, have been repainted in warm beiges and spicy greens. With perfectly matched furniture that’s comfier than it looks, the space is looking sharp for the upcoming school year.

The Staff Show will have their vernissage on September 11 from 6-8pm. Snacks, drinks, music and fun will be plentiful.

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