Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's hours
12 pm - 6 pm
14 Sep 12until11 Nov 12

Children's Films

Presented by Gareth Moore with Ulla Von Brandenburg, Keren Cytter, Geoffrey Farmer, Julia Feyrer, Harrell Fletcher, Mike Marshall, and Sylvain Sailly

CAG Façade and offsite

A child, wearing a mask and dipping a brush into an ink bottle, sits in front of an open book with photos of statues. A print hangs on the wall in the background. The entire image has a magenta hue.

Image credit: Geoffrey Farmer, The Drawer (still), 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

The Contemporary Art Gallery has worked with Vancouver artist Gareth Moore to co-commission a project comprising seven new films and a series of related posters.

For Children’s Films, Moore approached a number of international artists to produce short films for children, each person free to focus on any particular topic, shaping the content and form of their respective piece. Artists invited consist of some from Europe as well as other Vancouver based practitioners familiar to our local audiences. Moore then collated the two to five minute pieces into one longer work, providing it with open and closing credits, each section acting as a discrete but interconnected episode. One point of reference for this project alongside the artist’s own fascination with the formats of popular children’s television is Children’s Tapes (1974) by American artist Terry Fox.

By focusing on children, Moore seeks to engage visitors in a very different way to the conventional gallery goer, purposely taking work out into the city and challenging perceived conventions of whom the audience might be and where art may be apprehended. Distinctions are blurred between exhibition display and more usual educational activities. Furthermore his resort to a collaborative method of production questions the role of the artist as singular author, a more generous and outgoing approach that chimes with the underlying ethos of the gallery.

The exhibition format developed for Children’s Films deliberately moved between children’s cinema, pedagogical film and wandering circus. Akin to the early days of cinema with travelling magic lantern shows, weekly screenings of the 16mm films will take place in different locations throughout the city of Vancouver such as community centres, schools and a tent in open parkland, places including the Roundhouse, Trout Lake, Emery Barnes Park and the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre amongst others. The place and time will be announced via posters in our windows as well those fly-posted throughout Vancouver, in addition to the internet via the project’s own website and that of the gallery.

With an audience comprising exclusively children — adults are only allowed if essential to accompany a child — Moore subverts, with charm and characteristic humour, not just the usual form of communication and presentation of exhibitions in an institution but also the notional audience itself. He debunks the idea that museums and galleries are merely places for adults, bypassing the conventional mediation with which children engage in contemporary art and involving them on their own terms while investing the work with a clear and significant social dynamic.

Moore’s work has long conflated performance, documentation, installation, and sculpture, as well as everyday activities normally considered peripheral to contemporary visual art, projects often involving communities external to the typical sphere of interest. As such this newly commissioned body of work is consistent with his broader practice: notional spaces and groups outside of the usual art audience become the key ingredient and participant.

Children’s Films highlights Moore’s enduring interests in ideas around museology, display, social engagement, and economic exchange. By using materials collected from his previous travels to create new objects that he will take with him on future journeys — or in this case the network of shared ideas within his broader artistic community and friendships — Moore’s inventions create a continuously evolving story of his pilgrimage where past narratives can be manipulated and transformed into new tales of exploration and ingenuity.

This expanded version of Children’s Films is presented by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. The project is commissioned with Bielefelder Kunstverein, Germany; IPS, Birmingham and the Whitstable Biennale. Venues in collaboration with Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

The exhibition was generously supported by The Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts.


Gareth Moore was born in Matsqui, British Columbia. He currently lives and works in Kassel, Germany. Solo exhibitions include Children’s Films, Bielefelder Kunstverein (2011); Passengers 1.9: Gareth Moore, CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2008); As a Wild Boar Passes Water, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2008). He has also participated in the group exhibitions: Elements of Chance, La Biennale de Montréal (2011); It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010); Right Right Now Now, Arthur BoskampStiung M.1, Hohenlockstedt, Germany (2010); The Chained Lady, the Microscope and the Southern Fish, SOFA Gallery, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (2010); Nothing to Declare, The Power Plant, Toronto (2009); Every Version Belongs to the Myth, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009). Currently he is exhibiting in dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany and has been nominated for the Sobey Art Award 2012. Moore is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.