FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2017 was a visually stunning week-long public art project and cultural event kicking off the fall season. From September 4th to September 10th, 2017, ten contemporary Canadian artists spectacularly transformed the Georgia Street façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2017 was the third edition of this exciting annual public art extravaganza, joining the ranks of such internationally renowned arts festivals as VIVID in Sydney and NuitBlanche in Toronto. Each year, the Burrard Arts Foundation commissions new artworks by a wide range of talented artists from British Columbia. Boldly combining new and traditional media in conjunction with the cutting-edge digital technology known as projection mapping, local artists create ephemeral artworks that vividly respond to Vancouver’s vibrant city center and urban landscape through a plethora of styles and approaches.
FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2017 presented ten strikingly innovative site-specific artworks which were projected directly onto the Georgia Street façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s iconic architecture. With it's biggest lineup yet, FAÇADE FESTIVAL 2017, showcased artists Diyan Achjadi, Fiona Ackerman, Scott Billings, Annie Briard, Shawn Hunt, James Nizam, Luke Ramsey, Evann Siebens, Ben Skinner, and Paul Wong.
Projections will took place from 7:30 PM to midnight between September 4th and September 10th. Works by two different artists were premiered each night from September 4th to 8th, while on September 9th, the public had the chance to discover all of the featured artists’ works. The Grand Finale event took place on the evening of September 10th, kicking off at 7:30pm with a special projection-mapping presentation titled Contradistinction by Go2 Productions.
Contradistinction used contrasting 3D graphics, precisely-mapped manipulations, and depth illusions to transform the Vancouver Art Gallery into a playground of light and kaleidoscopic movements. Playing with the building’s structural outline, Go2's team of constraint-breakers pushed the limits of digital art, technology and soundscape for a mind-melting spectacle of cross-genre artistic expression. An encore of all artists’ works throughout the final evening were shown as well.
Originally from Montreal, Fiona Ackerman is a painter living and working in Vancouver, BC. Since receiving a BFA from ECIUD in 2002, she her painting practice has been explorative in style, a balance between loose, expressionist painting and precise, meticulous editing and composing. Inspired by Michael Foucault’s concept of Heterotopian space, she sees the canvas as a kind of mirror, where a reflection of the subject, and a complete inversion can co-exist. She exhibits her recent work exploring artist’ studios, and artificial gardens in across Canada and in Germany.
Original score for Over the Garden Wall, was written and recorded by Sophie Trudeau
Diyan Achjadi’s practice examines historical prints and surface ornamentation, tracing narratives of cross-cultural imaginings, influences and contaminations, retranslating and reinterpreting them through drawing, printmaking and animation. Achjadi holds a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and a MFA from Concordia University in Montreal. She has exhibited widely at galleries and film festivals nationally and internationally. Born in Jakarta, Achjadi is of West-Javanese-Indonesian and English-Canadian descent; she grew up moving between Jakarta, Hong Kong, London, and Washington DC. She is now based in Vancouver, where she is an Associate Professor at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Scott Billings is a visual artist, engineer, and educator based in Vancouver. His sculptures and video installations have been described as existing somewhere between cinema and automata. Centering on issues of animality, mobility, and spectatorship, his practice examines the mimetic relationship between the physicality of the apparatus and the cinematic language of movement it articulates. In what ways does the apparatus itself reveal both the mechanisms of causality and its own dormant animal quality? Billings addresses this question under the pretext of the technological conundrum, often transposing one space into another through a preoccupation with precise geometric logic. Billings holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia, a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Billings is represented by WAAP (Will Aballe Art Projects ).
Annie Briard’s practice challenges visual perception through video, photography and installation. Her inspiration is drawn from strange encounters with the visible and a desire to survey these with others.
Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions across Canada and group shows, events and festivals internationally, including at Back Gallery Project, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Capture Photography Festival , VIVO (Vancouver), Joyce Yahouda Gallery (Montreal), Three Shadows Photography Centre (Beijing), the Lincoln Film Centre New York, Matadero Madrid, and the Switzerland Architecture Museum (Basel), among others. Regularly, Annie produces while in residency, which has spanned the Maritimes, Spain, New York, the Banff Centre, and her projects have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Art Council. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, and a Master's from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she currently teaches. Briard is represented by Back Gallery Project in Vancouver.
Shawn Hunt is a Heiltsuk artist currently based in Vancouver, B.C. His work takes on a complexity of influence from both his training in traditional design, wood and jewelry carving and his engagement with contemporary questions of subversion, preconception and fluid meanings.
Audio by Dean Hunt
James Nizam is a visual artist based in New Westminster, British Columbia. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with upcoming solo exhibitions at REITER Galeries (Berlin) as well as The Butler Institute of American Art (Ohio). Recent exhibitions include; Wilhelm Wagenfeld Stiftung (Bremen), Burrards Art Foundation (Vancouver), Galerie Clement & Schneider (Bonn), Musée Regional de Rimouski (Quebec), The Sharjah Art Museum (U.A.E), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), KIT (Dusselfdorf) and Dazibao (Montreal). He has been featured in publications such as Espace Magazine, Wired Magazine, Canadian Art, Flash Art, Border Crossings, The British Journal of Photography, and Kalimat Magazine. In 2011, he was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent prize for contemporary Canadian art. His work is held in numerous public and private collections and is represented by: Birch Contemporary (Toronto), Gallery Jones (Vancouver) and REITER Galeries (Berlin/ Leipzig)
Sounds performed by the Sun, recorded and produced by UBC astrophysicist Prof. Jaymie Matthews, O.C.
Sound also by Jaymie Matthews
The frequencies of acoustic vibrations of the Sun were shifted into the range of human hearing, then modulated in pitch to match the changing tempo of the sunrise-sunset cycles.
Luke Ramsey co-founded the Islands Fold residency, exhibits internationally and works in public art and freelance illustration. His client list includes The New York Times, The Drake Hotel, Patagonia, The BC Children’s Hospital and more. His collaborative mural with Josh Holinaty won a National Urban Design Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. His book Intelligent Sentient? is published by Drawn & Quarterly, and was nominated for a Doug Wright Award. Luke is currently The City of Victoria's artist in residence for 2017.
Audio by Grossbuster, song title "Siam"
Evann Siebens makes media with movement. She has exhibited her projects at galleries such as Eyebeam and Centre Pompidou, while her documentaries have been screened at MOMA and on PBS. A former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and Bonn Ballet, Evann graduated magna cum laude in film production from New York University. She shot dancers in New York for over 15 years including Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones and Baryshnikov. Now based in Vancouver, Evann has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, NIPAD, Dance Theater Workshop, UNIT/PITT and ACME/UK with Keith Doyle. Recent projects include a screening at the Lincoln Centre Film Society, New York, as part of Dance on Camera’s Experimental Shorts program; MediaArtLab/Urban Screen, Russia; dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton; ISEA2015, Gallery 295, Wil Aballe Art Projects, and Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver. Evann recently won the ID/Identities Istanbul Best Video Prize, and performed ‘Translating the Archive’ at the Western Front, Vancouver. She is represented by Wil Aballe Art Projects (WAAP) in Vancouver.
Music Composition by Scott Morgan, aka loscil
Choreography and performance by James Gnam and Vanessa Goodman
Sound and Camera assistance by Sunshine Frere
Recognition of mural inclusion by Joseph Tisiga
These dances were shot in Vancouver, Canada, on sites that are unceded and the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.
Ben Skinner grew up in Petrolia, a small oil town in Southern Ontario. He graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 2000, and with an MFA in Art & Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. Text is a reoccurring element in many of his works that can range from snowballs in a chain-link fence to neon to candy sprinkles. These short statements often shift between interpretations while winking knowingly at the viewer. Ben has called Vancouver home since 2006. He is represented by Winsor Gallery in Vancouver and Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto
Audio by Ben MacDonald
Paul Wong is a media-maestro making art for site-specific spaces and screens of all sizes. He is an award winning artist and curator who is known for pioneering early visual and media art in Canada, founding several artist-run groups, leading public arts policy, and organizing events, festivals, conferences and public interventions since the 1970's. With a career spanning four decades he has been an instrumental proponent to contemporary art.
Born in Prince Rupert, BC, Canada. Paul has shown and produced projects in North America, Europe and Asia. His works are in many public collections including those of the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Museum of Modern Art (NYC) Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa), Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver) and Audain Art Museum (Whistler). He is the recipient of major awards including The Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Art (2015) and the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts (2016) . Recent public art commissions includes 'Five Octave Range' for the 2017 Vancouver Opera Festival