Ménagerie; Abbas Akhavan and Marina Roy

Exhibition from April 21st until May 10th 2009

Abbas Akhavan
Marina Roy

Residency from April 4th until April 24th 2009
Exhibition from April 21st until May 10th 2009
SWARM / Opening April 21st, 6 – 9 PM
Artist talk April 23rd, 6H30 PM
At DAÏMÕN’s StudiÕ and at AXENÉO7, 80, Hanson St., Gatineau.

This event is part of BC Scene / www.bcscene.ca

Marina Roy and Abbas Akhavan will make a residency and an exhibition at Daïmõn and AXENÉO7 and will present their individual and collaborative works.The residency of Marina Roy will be occupied with researching and creating new video and sound work on human-animal distinction. For Abbas Akhavan the residency will be spent researching, making, and installing a series of work that deal with property and domesticity.  The collaborative show is still in the making – the work will most likely be an installation contingent on the site and will deal with our shared interest and research into domesticity and nature.

Much of the current work of Marina Roy has reflected on human-animal distinctions as it relates to art and psychoanalysis. Human “progress,” culminating at the mid-19th century (up to the present), has meant that the animal becomes progressively “spectral,” to the point of extinction, the post-animal condition. How have we distinguished ourselves from the animal world since we crossed the great divide during the Paleolithic era, and why has it resulted in conquest, destruction, and separation from “nature” rather than adapting “better” ways of living within it? Through art and technology, humans have perpetuated themselves into an “immortal” sphere via mimesis, representation, and mechanical/digital reproduction. In our establishment of a system of taboos and transgressions (laws regulating violence and sexuality), rationalizing our drives and repressing libido, creating simulacral worlds in the realm of the phantasmatic or otherwise, humans have somehow convinced themselves of the necessity to dominate all spheres of life, and in so doing, conquer death.

Marina Roy is a Vancouver based artist working across a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, animation, video-performance and writing. Roy has exhibited work across Canada, as well as in Europe and the U.S. She is assistant professor of visual arts at the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory, UBC since 2002. The ideas investigated in her artwork and writing stem from her ongoing research in such areas as psychoanalysis, gender, animal studies, and biopolitics. In 2001 she published the book sign after the x ______ , published by Arsenal Pulp Press and Artspeak.

During the past few years the majority of the work and research of Abbas Akhavan has been dealing with the domestic sphere and how it can act as a microcosm of the greater society and/or nation. He is interested in how the family, especially the war stricken ones, can learn to re-enact the violence and traumas of nationalism and war within the walls of the house. This re-enactment of abuse inverts the house or ‘hos’, which is the root for host, hostel, hospital and hospitable into a house or ‘hos’ that is closer to hostile, hostility, and hostage (1)  – a systemic violence that is inherited from the nation state and practiced within the family lineage – parents against parents, parents against children, children against children, children against pets…and so on..
1-Scarry, Elaine.  The Body In Pain. Oxford; New York; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Abbas Akhavan has been living in Canada for since 1991. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University and received his Masters of Fine Arts in 2006 at the University of British Columbia. His artistic practice covers a variety of mediums including drawing, sculpture/installation, video, performance, and site-specific ephemeral works. His latest visual works are informed by food and conviviality. In recent projects he has taken to feeding his audiences cannibal cakes, insulating gallery walls with cotton candy, painting with Ketchup, and drinking large quantities of Gin. He currently resides in Vancouver B.C., and teaches at Emily Carr University and at the University of British Columbia.  His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

DAÏMÕN and AXENÉO7 thank its members, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Service des arts, de la culture et des lettres de la Ville de Gatineau, BC Scene and VIVO Media Arts Centre.

Marie-Hélène Leblanc, artistic director

DAÏMÕN, media art and photography
78, Hanson St. (Hull area)
Gatineau (Quebec) J8Y 3M5
819.770.8525 ext. 302