Alvin Balkind Gallery
The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work by Shannon Oksanen. In Summerland, Oksanen remakes the waterskiing scene from the 1965 film Viva Las Vegas. Her 35mm film is a combination of visual estimations that represent a moment in America when a shift in consciousness was occurring. The film continues her interest in showmanship sports following in the line of works such as Spins (2002) and Vanishing Point (2001) that focus on figure skating and surfboarding, using them to capture a time period, and more specifically the ideals of an era as it is being lost or defined. Here Oksanen uses water skiing, saturated colours, costume, choreography, and music to set back time, calling to mind an era and defining it stylistically. She will also present a new painting and drawing series that brings together her interest in portraiture, celebrity and nostalgia. For this new body of work, Oksanen chooses Elvis Presley as her subject, adding unabashedly to the seemingly endless assemblages of images of this pop king.
Shannon Oksanen is originally from Vancouver, where she continues to reside; she acquired a BA from the University of British Columbia in 1993. Since the mid-nineties she has participated in exhibitions across Canada as well as internationally, including solo shows at VTO Gallery, London; Or Gallery, Vancouver; and Tracey Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver. Oksanen participated in Baja to Vancouver, a touring exhibition of West Coast artists, coordinated by the Seattle Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Wattis Art Institute (2003). Since, she has participated in group exhibitions at Kelowna Art Gallery (2003); Passogen Gallery, Linköping, Sweden (2004); Gallery 303, New York (2005); and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2007). Oksanen is represented by Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver.