NEIGHBOURS – Marina Roy and Abbas Akhavan

Opening OCTOBER 17, 8 PM, Artist Talk OCTOBER 21, 8 PM

This October 17th, VIVO Media Arts Centre will premier new works by Marina Roy and Abbas Akhavan. For most Vancouverites, the transformation of domestic space and its discontents are a fact of life. But for Roy and Akhavan some of the radical changes and debates in this city over housing have proved inspirational and activating. Since 2000 they have worked together as friends and collaborators. Although the two have very different visual styles they share an interest in domestic life, urban space, and the ever changing relationship between humans and the natural world.

2 years in the making, Apartment by Marina Roy is an expansive animation loosely inspired by Georges Perec’s 1978 novel La Vie Mode D’emploi, in which the author takes us through each room of an apartment building in Paris, following the pattern of the knight’s move in chess. Roy, like Perec uses this structure to weave together intersecting images of indulgence and dreaming, chaos, illness, and transgression. Wild plants and animals take over the slowly deteriorating rooms as the residents, and indeed the whole space, seem to succumb to a mysterious virus.

Born in Tehran, Iran, and residing in Canada for the last thirteen years, Abbas Akhavan is fascinated by the ways domestic objects can suggest violent acts or become tools for exerting power. After many hours of assisting in the animation of Apartment, Akhavan developed a sculpture that physicalizes the two artists shared interest in the metaphoric significance of plant life. His piece simultaneously protects the gallery and Roy’s work and confronts visitors with a challenge. Akhavan’s aesthetic economy may contrast visually with Roy’s lush visual style, but his piece also speaks of the multifaceted domestic realm.

Curated by Joni Murphy and Kika Thorne. OCTOBER 17 – NOVEMBER 5 2008 | TUES – SAT NOON – 6PM.

This exhibition is generously supported by friends, volunteers, the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Government of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver, the UBC Hampton Fund Research Grant, JWMHP.