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Must-Sees This Week: March 13 to 19, 2014

There are lots of great shows opening this week, and other art events happening too. Here are our best bets.

As the book as object, container and idea meets its possible demise in digital reading devices, the exhibition “Dans Cinquante Ans d’Ici” looks at this phenomenon through art. Curated by Rotterdam’s Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and including works by Laurie Kang, Sebastian Schmieg and Silvio Lorusso, and others, it opens March 13 at 6 p.m. at Les Territoires. Elsewhere, “A Problem So Big It Needs Other People” culminates cheyanne turions’s year-long curatorial residency at SBC Gallery, looking at the ways sovereignty manifests as processes of negotiation on the level of the subject. Including art by Tiziana La Melia, Basil AlZeri, Annie MacDonell and others, it opens March 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. On the commercial front, Battat Contemporary‘s “I think of you,” which includes art by Marion Wagschal, Allison Katz, among others, opens March 13 at 6 p.m.; and Art Mûr opens shows of work by David Spriggs, Melvin Charney and Guillaume Lachapelle on March 13 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The world premiere of Stan Douglas‘s new theatrical production Helen Lawrence: Vancouver Confidential takes place March 13 at 8 p.m. at Artsclub’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Co-created with screenwriter Chris Haddock, the “mixed-media spectacle” is set in 1948 Vancouver and aims to illuminate the city’s politics during a time of historic upheaval. (Performances run until April 13.) Elsewhere, Macaulay Fine Art opens Emily Hill‘s exhibition “Air Spill” on March 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Like many notable younger artists, Hill’s process oscillates between textiles and paintings. Her recent paintings are made with dye on readymade wool rugs. A brief performance is also promised.

Emerging practitioners are in the spotlight this week in three different events. The first, a site-specific performance by Bridget Moser, takes place at Mercer Union on March 13 at 7 p.m. The second, “Knife Play,” is an exhibition at Le Gallery featuring new works by Rebecca Fin Simonetti. It opens March 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. And the third, “Fail Again, Fake Better,” is a symposium organized by emerging curators and critics in York University’s graduate art history program (these include Canadian Art’s own interns Alison Cooley and Britt Gallpen). The symposium keynote featuring Iris Häussler takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 13 at Katzman Contemporary, while the rest of it runs March 14 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Goldfarb Centre for the Arts.

Conceptual artist Josh Schwebel, who often works in an interventionist manner, will be presenting work produced during a three-month artist’s residency in Paris, France, at AKA this month. The opening reception is March 14 at 8 p.m., with an artist’s talk slated for March 15 at 1 p.m. According to the gallery, “the subject of this work is partially reflected in its form—it is about the secret, or what cannot be experienced—the collected pieces (slides, video, drawings and print) are also documents of an event that cannot be re-presented.”

New York Times art critic Roberta Smith will lecture on “Criticism in the Expanded Field” during the University of Guelph’s 8th annual Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art. The lecture takes place March 19 at 6 p.m. in the university’s War Memorial Hall, and it will address how Smith became an art critic and her responsibilities as she sees them in the workaday nature of newspaper criticism, among other topics. The same day, the university’s art MFA program will host open studios from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m., offering a chance to see work in progress by Jen Aitken, Maryanne Casasanta, Janine Miedzik and others.

In 2005, Halifax painter and NSCAD professor Alex Livingston began a shift from oil-on-canvas painting to digital explorations of the medium. He now calls his works “hybrid digital paintings.” See the latest results of this practice at Studio 21 Fine Art, which opens an exhibition of Livingston’s art on March 14. Also showing at the gallery are canvases by Gatineau-based artist Jean-François Provost.

Drawing on math, aerial perspectives, and a childhood on the prairies, Winnipeg artist Jeanette Johns creates unexpected landscapes. Find out more in her exhibition at Centre3, which opens March 14 from 7 to 10 p.m.

These picks, published each Thursday, are selected from press material sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of exhibitions, openings and events, visit

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