Canadian Art

Ron Terada: Urbanity and Unease

Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver May 23 to Jun 28 2008
Ron Terada  <i>Voight Kampff</i>  2008  Installation view  Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver Ron Terada Voight Kampff 2008 Installation view Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver

Ron Terada <i>Voight Kampff</i> 2008 Installation view Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver

Whether he’s positioning highway-style signage in gallery spaces or organizing an art magazine consisting solely of advertisements, Vancouver artist Ron Terada is known for wryly manipulating symbols of authority. His latest gallery show focuses specifically on symbols of excess and their associated, often phantasmic, imagery.

One work, inspired by Blade Runner’s ultra-urban geisha billboards, is a video projection showing three Caucasian girls in maiko getups consuming (or nearly consuming) pills, cigarettes and alcohol. Seductive yet puzzling, it speaks to the ways urbanites are enticed daily with dynamics of looking and exoticism.

Another work, a neon piece, addresses a different kind of spectacle—that of violent sport. In it, Terada transposes hockey player Todd Bertuzzi’s comment on his fighting habit, “It is what it is,” to the past tense “It was what it was.” After all, Bertuzzi, currently so alive in his aggression, will pass away or weaken sometime, whether by the stick, the sword or good old-fashioned senescence.

Overall, Terada’s work suggests that the landscape, as well as its maps, its indicators and its heroes, are not what they seem to be. And in keeping us uneasy, he keeps his work strong. (274 E 1st Ave, Vancouver BC)

This article was first published online on June 4, 2008.

RELATED STORIES

  • Alan Flint: Look Power

    Printmaker Alan Flint reassesses contemporary processes of communication in “Look Power,” a three-part exhibition of silkscreen works. Sourcing early schoolbooks, police badges and phone directories, Flint both reinforces and diverts original meanings.

  • Maria Lassnig: The Perfect Painter

    Born in 1919, the Austrian painter Maria Lassnig cuts a surprising figure as a leading artist of the 21st century; but on the evidence of a survey exhibition of recent paintings at London’s Serpentine Gallery, the 89-year-old artist just gets stronger and stronger.

  • Full Opening and Event Listings

    Dozens of openings, talks and screenings to take in from coast to coast this week, May 29 to June 4, 2008.

 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Report a problem