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Contemporary Art Gallery

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

Admission always free
12 Dec 20·10:00 AMuntil12:00 PM

Publication Launch

Althea Thauberger: The State of the Situation

Online via Zoom

A cover of Althea Thauberger's book, titled The State of the Situation. It is black and has various quotes written in white.

In partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Southern Alberta Art Gallery, CAG is pleased to host an online launch for Althea Thauberger’s new publication, The State of the Situation. Please join us over Zoom for a conversation with the artist and all four contributors to the publication: Jan-Erik Lundström, Melanie O’Brian, Kimberly Phillips and Zarmeene Shah.

Through photography, film, video and performance, Althea Thauberger’s art practice is primarily concerned with the collaborative possibilities of the social documentary form. Her recent projects involve an extended engagement with the sites of their production in order to trace broader social and ideological histories. These sites include the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; the former Rikard Benčić Factory in Rijeka, Croatia; the image holdings of the former National Film Board Still Image Division, now at the National Gallery of Canada; and the Capri Cinema in Saddar, Karachi, Pakistan. Her screenings and exhibitions include the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2019); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2018); Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver (2018); the inaugural Karachi Biennale (2017); the 2012 Liverpool Biennale; the 17th Biennale of Sydney; La musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Manifesta 7 (2008); The Berkeley Art Museum (2007); BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht (2007), among many others. Thauberger is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.


Jan-Erik Lundstrom is a curator, critic and historian of contemporary art and visual culture. He is the former director of the Sami Center of Contemporary Art, Kárášjohka, Norway; Bildmuseet, Umeå and of Fotografiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden. He is the chairman of the Paletten Art journal and of Skogen Art Space, and the former chairman of the Centre for Photography in Stockholm.. Among his curatorial projects are Show Colour: Resist, Stand Up, Advocate, Fall Back Spring Forward; Surviving the Future; The Map: Critical Cartographies; Politics of Place; Carlos Capelán: Only You and Society Must Be Defended (1st Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art). He was the chief curator of Berlin Photography Festival and the artistic director of the 3rd Bucharest Biennale. He is the author and editor of many books, including Thinking Photography—Using Photography, Contemporary Sami Art and Design, Britta Marakatt-Labba: Embroidered Stories, Nordic Landscapes, Ursula Biemann: Mission Reports, and Irving Penn: Photographs, and he has published in journals such as Afterimage, Afterall, EIKON, European Photography, Glänta, Kunstpluss, and Tema Celeste. Lundström has contributed to major publications such as Horizons: Towards a Global Africa, The Oxford Companion to the Photograph and The History of European Photography of the 20th Century. Lundström has been a guest lecturer at Alvar Aalto University, Helsinki, Konstfackskolan and the Royal Art Academy, Stockholm, Malmö Art Academy, HISK, Antwerpen/Gent, Tarttu Art Academy, Estonia, Universidad de los Ándes, Bogotá, and Oslo Art Academy, among others.

Melanie O’Brian is a curator and writer living on the unceded territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwəta Nations. She has organized exhibitions and offsite projects nationally and internationally that include the work of artists such as Richard Ibghy/Marilou Lemmens, Marianne Nicolson, Walid Raad, Hito Steyerl, and Althea Thauberger. She was Director/Curator of Simon Fraser University Galleries in Vancouver (2012-2020), Curator/Head of Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto (2011-2012), Director/Curator at Artspeak in Vancouver (2004-2011), and Assistant Curator at Vancouver Art Gallery (2001-2004). She is the editor of $5 Handshake: Art on Treaty 8 Territory (SFU Galleries, 2018), Omer Fast: 5,000 Feet is the Best (Henie Onstad Kunstsenter/The Power Plant/Sternberg, 2012) with Milena Hoegsberg; Stan Douglas: Entertainment (The Power Plant, 2011); Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism (Artspeak/Fillip, 2010) with Jeff Khonsary; Vancouver Art and Economies (Arsenal Pulp Press/Artspeak, 2007), and has written for catalogues and magazines including Fillip , The Exhibitionist , Yishu and C . She occasionally teaches at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Emily Carr University.

Kimberly Phillips is Director of SFU Galleries at Simon Fraser University. Over the past 15 years, in her roles as gallery director, curator, and teacher based on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səl̓ílwəta /Selilwitulh peoples, she has worked to amplify the voices of underacknowledged artists and practitioners, ethically vision and build organizational capacity, and create meaningful and unexpected ways for contemporary artists and their publics to find one another. From 2017-2020 she held the position of Curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, overseeing the gallery’s exhibitions, publications and artist residencies. Previous to this she served as Director/Curator of Access Gallery (2013-2017), a Vancouver artist-run centre committed to emergent and experimental practices. Phillips holds a PhD in art history from the University of British Columbia (2007), where she was an Izaak Walton Killam Doctoral Fellow.

Zarmeene Shah is an academic, and an independent curator and writer currently based in Karachi, Pakistan. Focusing on global contemporary art with specialist knowledge of the Global South, Shah’s research-based practice investigates ideas of power and control, geography and territory, rights and access. With an MA in Critical & Curatorial Studies from Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010, Shah became one of Pakistan’s first professionally qualified curators. She has curated and been involved in the production of several notable and often large-scale exhibitions of contemporary art institutionally and independently, including The Rising Tide: New Directions in Art From Pakistan (2010), the 4th Cairo Video Festival (2011), the politically focused Parrhesia I & II shows (2011 & 2015), the Karachi Biennale (2017), Althea Thauberger’s Pagal Pagal Pagal Pagal Filmy Dunya (2017), and Madiha Aijaz’s Memorial for the Lost Pages at CAG Vancouver (2020). She has been Consultant for South Asian Art for CCA Derry-Londonderry (Northern Ireland), Assistant Director/Curator at the Mohatta Palace Museum (Karachi), and Curator-at-Large of the inaugural Karachi Biennale (KB17).

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