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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
1 Sep 15

Marie Lorenz

Tidal Derive

The artist Marie Lorenz stands in a river pulling a wooden boat to drag it into the river. The tide is low and only the calves of the artist are soaked in the water.

Marie Lorenz, Tidal Dérive. Courtesy the artist

Over the past two years Marie Lorenz has participated in residencies at the Burrard Marina Field House towards the development of a new Pacific-based series of projects through the construction and launch of a handmade boat from driftwood found along Vancouver’s coast line. The boat has since travelled to Northern California where Lorenz completed tidal derives in San Francisco with Southern Exposure and most recently along the Russian River with Look Up Gallery in Guerneville, California.

This September the project will culminate in a multi-day derive with the driftboat along the Fraser River (Hope to Richmond) and between the Southern Gulf Islands inviting participants to boat with her along the route. Studying tidal charts of the area, Lorenz uses tides and currents to direct and drift the boat. This simple act of journeying along the contemporary ecosystem and industrialized commercial port of Fraser offers a different and unfamiliar experience of space for city residents who travel over these bodies of water daily. This is coupled with the experience and movement of floating, being controlled by natural forces, adding a specific presence to one’s own observation: the viewer maintains an awareness of their own balance and form as they absorb the details of their surroundings, creating something new out of something familiar.

Since 2002, Marie Lorenz has been exploring the waterways of New York City in boats that she designs and builds. Lorenz’s work combines psycho-geographic explorations with highly crafted, material forms to explore the intertidal zone. She envisions a city harbour as a giant centrifuge, spinning things in the tide and redistributing them around its shore. It reorganizes things that we value and represents us with things that were thrown away. The tide examines the nature of each object with its own incomprehensible order. Making a boat from driftwood is a way to gather and record evidence in collaboration with the tide.

###Biography Marie Lorenz was born in Twentynine Palms, California and grew up traveling with her military family. Lorenz has received grants from Artists Space, the Harpo Foundation and the Alice Kimball English Travel Fellowship. In 2008 she was awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize for the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, CA, to MoMA PS1, in New York City. She has completed solo projects at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England and Artpace in San Antonio, Texas. Her ongoing project The Tide and Current Taxi ( is an exploration of the coastline in New York City. This fall she will be a resident at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas.