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The Lobby Gallery is a place of contemporary and political documentary work housed in the lobby of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. The gallery’s mandate is to foster alternative and artistic forms of dissemination of research through critical artistic expression, enabling a space for creative dialogue about global issues. It also seeks to build communication among students, faculty, researchers and the Vancouver public through the exhibition of innovative, engaging and responsible art work.

2014 Schedule

Past Exhibits

 

Spiritual Ecologies and New Cosmologies Convergence

The four-day Spiritual Ecologies and New Cosmologies Convergence included stories, a documentary, a panel discussion, and a new Lobby Gallery exhibition.

Spiritual ecology, art and shamanism were discussed at the Convergence Art Exhibit Opening on September 23rd, 2014.

See more details on the Convergence here and a poster here.

Photo credit: Florin Breuer
 

 

Seeing All Sides? A Visual Invitation to Consider and Re-consider Local Environmental Issues and Efforts 

How much do you notice urban green spaces? Are eco-friendly transportation options as friendly as we think? What are some impacts of “fashionable food”? Vancouver’s emerging digital artist and photographer, Andrew  Sammons, presents a series of themed photographs that capture local environmental concerns and efforts. Exploring both bright and dark sides of our environmental choices, the exhibit is meant to encourage constructive dialogue about the aspiring “greenest city in the world” and its surroundings. “Seeing All Sides” opened on September 16th, 2014 in the Liu Lobby Gallery and remains on display in the Liu lounge. Partial proceeds will support the Environmental Youth Alliance, a local non-profit youth  organization working in the fields of urban environment and environmental health. Andrew Sammons is a digital artist and photographer. www.sammons.ca
Find more details posted here.

  

 

 

Opening of THE DIRT MUSEUM Exhibition

Exhibition runs until September 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, May 22nd, 12:30pm ― 2pm, details here

with artists     Omer Aijazi   عمر اعجازئ     Jon Beasley-Murray   
Sarah Fessenden    Stephanie Fung    Mascha Gugganig    Bryn Letham   
Nicola Levell    Tal Nitsán    Julia Ostertag    Ofira Roll   
Melanie Schambach    Sarah Wen    Clayton Whitt    and    Afuwa

Download the poster here. Download the catalogue here.

 

 


 

 

 




Hawaiʻi beyond the Wave, Hawaiʻi beyond the Postcard

March 5th – May 2nd 2014
Photo exhibit by Mascha Gugganig
Opening reception: March 5th, 4:30pm – 8pm, details here.

The Hawaiian Islands have been defined as space of timeless romanticism where every attempt to explain my research the notion of ‘paradise’ remains almost indelible. Visitors are invited to 15 months fieldwork on the island of Kaua‘i where the presence of several biotech companies has provoked increasing awareness over land use, food production, genetic engineering, and Hawaiian [food] sovereignty. This art installation is a traveling exhibition that so far has toured to Chicago and Vienna, and after Vancouver will be traveling to Bhutan. Visitors are invited to reflect on the displayed issues by writing postcards that will be sent to the next location, Bhutan. The postcards will become part of the exhibition, which will arrive ‘back home’ to the island in 2015. Postcards thus become messengers on an issue that creates imperative lines of exchange across the globe. These lines can be followed at http://hawaiibeyond.wordpress.com/

 

Familiar Icons

Portraits of diaspora by Afuwa
January 13 - February 28 2014
Opening reception: January 21st, 4pm - 6:45pm, details here

Familiar Icons intertwines themes of diaspora and relationships, using the notion of the icon, the sacred artefact, as a carrier and signifier of these relationships. As Afuwa’s family, which put down roots in South America in the early 20th century, expands from Guyana and Suriname to England to Hong Kong to Canada (and back again), she examines the bonds that connect them and hold precious; how they pass on these artefacts of their history, and how their new locations change how that preciousness is understood.

 


DIY

Works by: My Name is Scot
Sept.26th to Dec.13th, 2013
Opening reception: Wednesday, October 16th, 2013. 4-6pm

Part manifesto and part how-to manual, DIY is a series of linked video works that combine old fashioned recipes, the latest cultural theories, guerilla gardening tactics, situationist performance antics, wiki-wisdom and homespun logic to promote global biodiversity and local food sovereignty. Both a meditation on cultural and corporeal survival and a crash course in sustainable living, DIY gives you everything you need to start disentangling yourself from the corporate food chain and learning how to grow, sow and share in the place where you live.

mynameisscot.blogspot.com

 

 

Drowning Pakistan: Humanitarian Assistance in a Troubled Space

Exhibit by Omer Aijazi
June 12th to September 9th, 2013
Opening Reception: June 12th, 2013, 4-6pm, details here

First cup of tea you become an acquaintance
Second cup of tea you become a friend
Third cup of tea you become family

In Pakistan, tea or ‘chai’ is offered as a gesture of hospitality, human dignity and hope.

The Pakistan 2010 monsoon floods were cited by the United Nations as the largest humanitarian crisis in living memory. The environmental catastrophe affected 20 million people and highlighted the calm, accretive violence of slow, raging waters. Set in post-flood Pakistan, this visual testimony embraces the unsettling effects of community knowledge and challenges the privilege of social interventionism. Juxtaposing photographs with text, the installation grapples with notions of counter-narratives and ‘voice’ even where and when words are not actually spoken. 

 

 

Annunciation

Exhibit by David Gooderham
January 14th to June 1st, 2013
Opening Night: February 12th, 2013, 4:30pm, details here

Gooderham's paintings reach into the otherwise inexpressible nature of war. He engages both with the difficulty of image making - the sufficiency of visual language to express complexities - and challenges the gulf of perception and comprehension that impairs or anaesthetizes public engagement. This work is part of a series started in 2002 in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, which looks in particular at the destruction of cities by air war. 

http://www.davidgooderham.com/blog/paintings/new-work/

 

 

 

Writing in Community

From Nov.7th, 2012
Opening Night: November 7th, 2012, 7pm, details here
 
Thursdays Writing Collective, a free program for writers on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, will launch an exhibition of the group's published anthologies, collaborative projects, photos and videos, including a 20-minute digital film project. At the opening on November 7th, Thursdays Writing Collective director Elee Kraljii Gardiner will lead a two-hour live social writing encounter themed on the issues of social justice and accessibility. This laughter-filled, interactive event is for anyone curious about the intersection of creativity and public policy. We’ll share off-the-cuff responses to fast writing prompts and invite participants and visitors to leave their textual responses on display at the Lobby Gallery as an artifact of the community created through this writing encounter. The Collective, running since 2008, is comprised of activists, academics, slam poets, novelists and storytellers and includes 150 writers who explore issues of self-determination through their work. 

www.thursdayswritingcollective.ca

 

 


eat ART gBikes

From October 3rd, 2012
Opening Night: October 3rd, 2012, 6pm, details here

A gBike is a pedal-powered creation capable of generating electricity. These range anywhere from bicycles retrofitted with hub motors to metal sculptures designed to house one. The goal of gBikes, as with all other eatART projects, is to promote energy awareness and educate the public on the environmental impact of its use. Currently gBikes is working on BikeCar, a 4-person mobile energy platform.

www.eatart.org

 

 

Things With Wings

July 28th - September 21st, 2012
Sculptural Installation by Charmaine Lurch

Charmaine's  current environmental work is an installation that invites viewers to immerse themselves in a landscape where nature’s champion pollinators, bees, come to life through a display of large-scale sculptured wire.  Visitors to the display are more than observers; they can also be participants in this interactive installation and leave with an enhanced understanding of the importance of biodiversity, as it relates to the survival of the bee.  The sculptures explore the human - nature relationship when light is added and human and bee intricate shadows dance to interact with the space. These wire relief sculptures are inspired by specific native bees.

www.charmainelurch.ca

Opening Night: July 27th, 2012, 6pm, details here

 

 

The Labour of Altered Landscapes

May 22nd - July 20th, 2012
Photo exhibit by Tucker Sharon

This work seeks to augment the iconography of deforestation by examining the way that labour regimes intersect with processes of forest domestication and devastation in the Peruvian Amazon. In particular, the work that Hugh Raffles (2002) and Richard White (1995) have done linking work and labour to the craft of place-making is mobilized to question what kinds of labor practices are fed and engendered by the diversion of ecological processes into commodity flows. The resulting images, therefore, deal less with the scarred landscapes that typify the iconography of Amazonian deforestation. Instead they show the work of day laborers and arrendatarios planting cacao plantations or the stevedores and heavy machinery that load and unload illegal timber destined for export.

www.tuckersharon.info



Waterscapes Reframed

March 15 2012 - May 18 2012. 
Photos by Gu Xiong. Assorted Films Presented by Gu Xiong, Chris Lee, Jennifer Jihye Chun.

Waterscapes Reframed explores the human displacement and environmental devastation associated with the Three Gorges Dam, which stretches over two kilometers across the Yangzi River. The world’s largest power plant and arguably the largest public works project in history, the Three Gorges Dam has already submerged over 100 towns and displaced 1.3 million people, and projected figures estimate that as many as 6 million people will have been relocated over the next 10 to 15 years. How do we understand the vast social, economic, political and ecological transformations associated with the dam? What role does art, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations between artists and researchers, play in advancing such understandings? This exhibit will feature the work of artist Gu Xiong and research collaborators Chris Lee and Jennifer Jihye Chun in re-imagining the spaces and experiences of global migration along the world’s major waterways.

For more information, please visit the Waterscapes blog: http://blogs.ubc.ca/waterscapes/about-2/

Opening: March 15, 4:00pm, click for event listing

Artist talk with Gu Xiong: March 26, 12:00pm, click for event listing

Two Documentaries -- “Last Train Home” and “Waking the Green Tiger”: April 5, 4:00pm, click for event listing



Move It All Up

February 22 2012 - March 12 2012
Exhibition by Tal Nitsan

Butterflies and witches are two images that many organizations and individuals in the women's movement in Guatemala identify with. They use these symbols to reflect their hopes for a better future and advocate for change. This exhibition is a collection of material objects created by different women's organizations, as well as images from various events organized by the movement, which Tal collected during her doctoral fieldwork in Guatemala. Bringing these images together attempts to unpack the symbolic ways through which women in Guatemala represent their everyday struggles.

Opening: February 28, 5:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

MAHAL

From January 21st, 2012.
Curated by Patrick Cruz and Chaya Go

In his essay, Ang Pag-lbig, Filipino revolutionary, Emilio Jacinto, writes that love is the promise of liberation and joy for a people in suffering. The tagalog word 'MAHAL' translates into 'LOVE'. It refers to that which is dear, but also means expensive. Perhaps Jacinto's promise of fulfilment is also a costly one. MAHAL is an artistic exploration of the desires which carry the Filipina/o across borders.

Opening: 2pm, January 21st, 2012.

 

 

Sumaxs Affect

January 10th-20th, 2012. 
Collaborative Work

The mural is part of Jennifer Wolowic’s PhD Dissertation at the University of British Columbia. As a visual anthropologist, she collaborated with sumaxs (the Sma'algyx translation for young people) in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and created thousands of images of First Nations youth and their families. As a community project, the mural publicly displays the pictures to affect emotions and make them meaningful for the friends, families, and individuals who are connected to the images. Twenty year old Kyle Wesley, Adiks Sim Gibuu, who lives in Prince Rupert, designed the mural. He is from the house Kwaxsuu in the Nisga’a village of Gingolx and created the design under the mentorship of his grandparents Jack and Rose Temple.

 


Dispossession  

From November 15th, 2011
Work by Greg Masuda

Dispossession is a very large  (26" x 113" wide) photocomposite that tells a story of the history of discriminatory displacement of communities on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, beginning with the colonization of First Nations, then the internment of Japanese Canadians, and finally with the gentrification of the present Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

Opening: November 15, 4:00pm-6:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

Our Home |&| Native Land: (re)considering Canada’s roots and contemporary reality  

From September 15, 2011
Curated by Jessica Rosinski

www.ourhome-and-nativeland.ca/

What can emerge when the second line of the Canadian national anthem, “Our home and native land”, is critiqued by indigenous and non-indigenous allies/artists alike?

Canada is facing increasing pressure, both internationally and domestically, to respond to indigenous struggles for self-determination. Internationally, Canada has been criticized for its failure to fully accept and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In refusing this new international norm, Canadian discourses around truth and reconciliation appear contradictory. Within Canada, indigenous activists are questioning the state’s claim to exclusive jurisdiction and state sovereignty, given that this settler state was built on top of the lives and territories of indigenous peoples. Within these debates are settler Canadians (non-indigenous peoples), who by virtue of their positions of privilege can and often do choose to ignore the complicated reality of their country. Through art, this collaborative public intervention is intended to ignite conversations around land, solidarity, and historical amnesia in Canada.    

Opening: September 15, 5:00pm-8:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

Ab/Ob-jection: Encountering Youth and the City  

From July 5, 2011
Curated by Stephanie Skourtes

Ab/Ob-jection, featuring work from local Vancouver photographers, offers viewers a critical, counter-conventional, portrait of urban, working-class, ‘girl’ culture. The exhibition is the visual extension of a larger UBC ethnographic research project, exploring how working-class ‘out of school’ female youth living at the margins of the post-industrial city in 21st century Canada express and experience social and spatially organized—and often enforced—exclusion. Ab/Ob-jection takes the form of a figurative, non-representational documentary photography exhibit showcasing, through visual imagery and text, the spatial imaginary of Vancouver that working class girls move in and through as they shape their culture(s).

This alternative photographic representation (alternative to the traditional voyeuristic gaze of the documentary form and the new voyeurism of “reality” media) consciously considers ways of symbolizing (and thus revealing for public inspection) existing social constraints. In this way the exhibit itself is a transformative visual depiction conducive to transformative political praxis. The photographs and images in this unique exhibition have been collaboratively generated by young, female photographers who live, work, struggle, and create at the urban fringes of Vancouver.

Opening: July 5, 4:00pm-7:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

Photography in a State of Exception: Documents of Contemporary War  

From May 9  to July 3, 2011.
Panel and opening reception: May 9th, 2011. 4pm
Work by Allen Ball


Canada is at war. Its role, particularly in the enduring Middle Eastern conflicts, remains ambiguous, to say the least…is Canada peacekeeping, peacemaking or peacebuilding?

This project engages with the concrete problems associated with the representations of global conflict in our image-saturated contemporary context. Moreover, it specifically addresses the question of how an artist can represent their experience of modern warfare? Exactly what is the relationship between the concept of spectacle, in respect to war and everyday life? How does the spectacle of the sufferings of others affect us? And, can the numbing effect of the photographic and cinematic culture of modern war be countered and resisted? 

Opening: May 9, 4:00pm-7:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

Mexico in Alaska  

From March 31 to May 4, 2011
Panel and opening reception: March 31st, 2011. 5pm
Curated by Sara Kormanisky

The images presented are postcards produced for a restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska called “Mexico in Alaska”. They show images from Mexico (of the Chichen Itza archaeological site, primarily) superimposed against images of Alaska (mountains, or tundra). Alaska, and “the north” more generally, and Latin America, and Mexico specifically, have powerful imaginaries associated with them, and interesting things happen when they are brought together through migration movement. Sara's dissertation research is about the historical and ongoing connections between Alaska and Mexico (i.e. labour migration from Mexico to Alaska) and how and why those connections have been obscured or ignored. When the South moves into the North, it can make us think about both “Alaska” and “Mexico” in different ways. 

Opening: Mar 31, 5:30pm-8:00pm, click to download poster

 

 

Drawing Maps, Telling Stories  

From January 18, 2011
Work by Juliane Okot Bitek

Storytelling, ododo, in northern Uganda is traditionally told after dinner and over a fire. It is a communal exercise as well as a way of passing on culture and lessons to the younger community. Storytelling as a way of life was largely extinguished by the insecurity and displacement of people in northern Uganda during the two-decade war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the government of Uganda. Writing the stories of three women survivors of the LRA is my attempt at a textual ododo, storytelling. This exhibit is part of an exercise in re-examining the maps of northern Uganda and Southern Sudan to include, and reflect on, the significance of these places in the making of these women. 

Opening: Feb.2nd, 7-9pm, click to download poster

 

 

Canada & Africa: Building a New Future 

November 2nd - January 2011  
By the Africa Canada Accountability Coalition

The Africa Canada Accountability Coalition is currently undertaking a policy outreach project to formulate a comprehensive report on Canada's policy options in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

The exhibit explores the divide between sometimes seemingly inaccessible academic policy recommendations and emotionally fueled public advocacy campaigns lacking rigorous research. Visitors are encouraged to critically examine advocacy and aid, and will be engaged through innovative web tools in conjunction with social media to facilitate input on the policy recommendations.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit http://www.acacdrcongo.org/.

 

 

Citizenship without the Nation 

October 29-30 2010 

These images of citizenship were provided as part of conference series, Citizenship from Coast to Coast to Coast. The series aims to spark a conversation about citizenship, to discuss what it means to be a member of a community and of a country, and to examine how notions of citizenship at the city level are related to and diverge from those at the regional and national levels. The first installment of the series - Citizenship without the Nation - was hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues and initiated a collaboration with the Trudeau Foundation that will see sister conferences hosted in Iqaluit in spring 2011 and Halifax the following fall.

The conference series explores four themes: the nation and the city; sovereignty and self-rule; belonging and inclusion; and language. It is premised on the sense that Canada’s debate on citizenship too often occurs at “the centre” with its overly narrow and inward-looking vantage point. In this way, it excludes the country’s peripheries, fails to consider both urban and isolated regions, and does little to connect the many ways that citizenship is experienced and expressed. Participants were drawn from universities, governments, and the community sector, and emphasis was placed on integrating theoretical, practical, and applied perspectives on citizenship, while grounding the “national” conversation in this country’s diverse local and regional contexts. Participants were asked to bring images of citizenship with them to the conference, and these images were displayed in the Lobby Gallery.

 

 

Into Tibet 

September 28 - October 31 2010
By Ryan Gauvin

2009 marked the fiftieth anniversary of China's occupation of Tibet. Over the course of this occupation, more than a million Tibetans have been killed, religious sites have been destroyed, Tibetans are a minority in Lhasa, and the Tibetan way of life has been seriously threatened. The truth of the situation in Tibet is not widely acknowledged however, due in part to restricted media access, and in part to the Western tendency to regard Tibet as an eternal Shangri-La. When protests erupted in Lhasa and spread across the world in March 2008, the world paid attention for a brief moment. Yet within weeks, Tibet had re-assumed its position in Western media as an idyllic land of monks and mountains, in spite of the bleak reality on the ground. 

For more information about the exhibit, please visit http://www.ryangauvin.com/.

 

 

Buddhism and the Global Bazaar at the place of Buddha's Enlightenment

July 12 - August 28 2010
By David Geary, PhD, Department of Anthropology, UBC

On June 26, 2002, the Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya was formally inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As a place of cultural heritage and a monument of “outstanding universal value” this inclusion has reinforced the ancient significance of Bodh Gaya as the place of Buddha's enlightenment. At the same time, this universal status has also led to new contests over the urban landscape and the effects of international conservation and tourism development on the ritual relationship with sacred space and the socio-economic lives of local people. This photographic exhibition will explore through visual media the ways in which the central place of Buddhism intersects with the sacral-economic dimensions of the global bazaar in North India today.

The exhibition at the Liu Institute for Global Issues will encompass 20 images including a short historical overview of Bodh Gaya as well as how these photographs tie into the larger doctoral research project provided by the exhibitor.

 

 

Faith, Fencing & Fate: New Cultural Landscapes of Migration in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
 
April 26 2010 - July 9 2010
By Juanita Sundberg and Michael Hyatt

Gallery Opening April 26 2010

Crossing the southern border of the United States without authorization is now a life-threatening journey. As undocumented migrants travel north, they interact with and transform the landscape in small, yet significant ways through the things they leave behind, from shelters and shrines to quotidian objects. 
 
This collaborative project by Juanita Sundberg, a human geographer at UBC and Michael Hyatt, a social documentary photographer, records and represents these new cultural landscapes of migration in Arizona’s Altar Valley. Whether ephemeral or enduring, the landscapes left behind invite compelling questions about the sensory dimensions of migration, the ways geopolitics, bodies, and desert landscapes meet.
  


 
 

Personalizing the World Health Crisis
 
March 25 2010 - April 22 2010
By Robert Semeniuk
Artist lecture part of tribute to Dr. George Povey, April 9th at 5pm.

 
Fourteen million people die each year from treatable diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrhea, while another two billion are infected. In addition to these main killers are the numerous little known diseases like sleeping sickness, river blindness, rotavirus, and trachoma, all of which shatter families, jolt economies and destabilize security and food supplies. More than one billion people lack access to clean water, and 2.6 billion lack access to sanitation. Yet the amount spent on world health is less than two percent of the global military budget. World health is a human right and the most pressing development issue facing us today.
 
By living among, and forming intimate friendships with the diseased and disenfranchised people whose stories are documented, this project aims to give a voice, hope and dignity to the victims, and humanize the crisis by putting faces and personalities on the overwhelming statistics.
 
http://www.robertsemeniuk.com/worldhealth.html

 

 

Her Name is Beatrice, My Name is Lara: experiences in witnessing, internal displacement and conflict in Northern Uganda after 23 years of war

January 14 2010 - March 25 2010
By Lara Rosenoff, PhD student and Liu Scholar


At certain stages in the 23-year conflict in Northern Uganda, over 1.8 million people, or 90% of the northern population, had been displaced into severely overcrowded and squalid internally displaced person’s (IDP) camps, resulting in “almost 1000 excess deaths every week…” (Ugandan Ministry of Health, 2005). It is also estimated that one in five girls and one in three boys in northern Uganda have been abducted at some point by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group and were forced to be child soldiers. Although a ceasefire between the LRA and the Ugandan Government had been signed in August 2006, it has since run out without producing a peace agreement. The LRA and their infamous leader, Joseph Kony, continue to be active in neighbouring Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Her Name is Beatrice, My Name is Lara: experiences in witnessing, internal displacement and conflict in Northern Uganda after 23 years of war" is a documentary project manifested in several forms. The various forms and means of dissemination examine a documentary’s potentials and pitfalls in critical “witnessing,” while exploring how voices from those living in the centre of conflict can challenge dominant media and humanitarian narratives. Lara Rosenoff returned three times over two years to visit Beatrice in Padibe Internally Displaced Person's Camp in Northern Uganda. The photo and video-based exhibition that Ms. Rosenoff has put together is part of their story and will be featured in the Lobby Gallery at the Liu Institute for Global Issues in 2010.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit http://www.hernameisbeatrice.com/




Lobby Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

For more information, and for submissions, please contact lobbygallery@gmail.com.

 

 

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