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Contemporary Art Gallery

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

Admission always free
14 Jan 05until6 Mar 05

Christopher Williams

For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons sur la Société Industrielle

B.C. Binning and Alvin Balkind Galleries

A photograph of a pyramid-like stack of un-shucked corns. Above the corns there is a Kodak color bar.

The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present the North American debut of For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons sur la Société Industrielle, a new body of work by internationally respected Los Angeles artist Christopher Williams. Williams is strongly associated with a group of Vancouver artists known for the development of Photo Conceptualism. Like them, his approach comes out of the history of conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s, which used language and photography to address issues related to painting and sculpture. Williams has self-consciously adopted the production values of fine art or "straight" photography into a practice that explores sculptural ideas using photography and installation.

Dix-Huit Leçons is a focused selection of photographs made using dye transfer and platinum printing techniques, processes that are rapidly becoming extinct. Williams has said that his use of such disappearing technology "is not nostalgic, or an argument against digital media per se, but an attempt to understand these processes at the moment of their disappearance." He cites three disparate historical moments as his starting point: the development of colour photography for commercial applications in the United States, the European reception of Pop Art and a body of work by Raoul Hausmann, one of the founding members of Dada Berlin, during his stay in Ibiza in the mid-1930s. Through a canny selection of subject matter, Williams allows us to see these events as part of the transformation of industrial production from a perspective that encompasses global economic and social trends.

Guest Curated by Claudia Beck


Christopher Williams lives and works in Los Angeles. He has an extensive international exhibition history with forthcoming exhibitions at Museu Serralves, Portugal and Vienna Secession (2005) and recent solo exhibitions Wako Works of Art, Tokyo; Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; David Zwirner, New York; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; and Galerie Kienzle & Gmeiner, Berlin. Texts on his work have been featured in ARTFORUM, Art in America, Camera Austria International, and The New York Times. Williams is the Director of the Department of Cinema, Museum of Modern Art, Syros, Greece.