To space to place by Tarin Hughes

To Space to Place

Amalie Atkins (Saskatchewan, CA), Jason DeHaan (Alberta, CA), Melanie Ender (Vienna, AT), Agnes Hamvas (Vienna, AT), Divya Mehra (Manitoba, CA), Mindy Yan Miller (Saskatchewan, CA), Stephanie Patsula (British Columbia, CA), Eva Maria Schartmüller (Vienna, AT), Astrid Sodomka (Vienna, AT)

Presented by AKA artist-run and Schleifmühlgasse 12-14


Pictures of the exhibition

Photocredits by Marcus Zobl


Text and curated by Tarin Hughes

In a geographically unlikely partnership, initiated by Regina-based artist Zachari Logan, AKA artist-run and Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 have developed an exchange project connecting Austrian and Canadian artists working in a variety of mediums.  Through an ongoing dialogue, curators Denise Parizek and Tarin Hughes have connected two exhibitions and adjunct programming around the land, water and geographic space. The slow moving rivers, the Wein/Danube in Vienna and the South Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, are the main geographical similarities shared between the cities.  The idea of the slow but purposeful rivers finds resonance in the contemplative nature of the works included in the exchange.

The first exhibition, curated by Hughes, is comprised of artists who consider metaphorical and physical spaces within their individual practices; including natural, industrial, cultural, mythic, aesthetic and theoretical space.  Artists included from Canada are connected to the prairie region of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, while the Austrian artists mainly based in Vienna.  Collectively their works share an open-ended narrative while embedding meaning within deliberate selections of subject matter, medium and material.

Amalie Atkins’ Listening to the Past/Listening to the Future sets two women, twins, in an icy, prairie landscape grounded in the reality of familial knowledge while suggesting a magical mythology.  Similarly, Stephanie Patsula’s photographs position the body within the land (in fields, mountain ranges and coastal regions) in performative acts, mirroring its surroundings.  While Eva Maria Schartmüller inserts a cut body into a cut quarried landscape, layering aggressive human acts.  Mindy Yan Miller lulls the viewer with texture and pattern showcasing cut cattle hides as trophy-cum-canvas; pairing the wild west with

Hinting at a historical industrial form while likening the stone to a sentient body, Melanie Ender suspends granite cobblestones, wrapped and knotted in an elaborate constellation; positioned in pairs the stones hang in a balance dependent on their shared weight.  Jason de Haan’s Future Age continues the tendency towards discovery, combining a static gold ring with a growing tree; an unknowable, intangible space where time, nature and the will of the bough are ours to surrender. Agnes Hamvas’ prints expand on the artist’s exploration of repetition, touching on the laws of time and space through an ethereal, unending moonlight sky.

Divya Mehra takes up cultural, metaphorical space working through diasporic consciousness and social inequities with frankness and humour, exposing our collective commonalities.  In her video Gold, Astrid Sodomka considers homogeneity and repetitious, hypnotic movement; through her frame the artist transforms the material and our aesthetic space.

Together the artists and works deliver a contemplative, paced narrative wandering through a multitude of potential readings.

AKA artist-run, Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 and the artists would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, Creative Saskatchewan, Bundeskanzleramt Osterreich, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, SaskLotteries and Wien Kultur.

About the artists

Amalie Atkins earned a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2001 and has shown her work in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including: Oh, Canada, a landmark survey of Canadian art at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, Mass. 2012); Dreamland: Textiles and the Canadian Landscape at the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto, 2012); and Mind the Gap! at the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina, 2010).  In 2012 Atkins was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award representing the Prairies and the North. In 2013, she participated in an artist residency at Open Space in Victoria, BC, where she worked on elements of the touring exhibition “we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical” co-organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the MacKenzie Art Gallery.  Amalie Atkins lives and works in Saskatoon.

Jason de Haan (1981) is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist. He received an MFA (Sculpture) from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax (2014); Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (2014); Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2014); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2012) and Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro (2012). Group exhibitions include Scrap Metal, Toronto (2014); Bond House Projects, London (2013); Oakville Galleries (2012); Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2011); MOLAF, Bergen (2011); Art Gallery of Alberta (2010) and Galleri Kling & Bang, Reykjavik (2009). de Haan has participated in the Arctic Circle 2012 residency, “The Soiree Retreat” thematic residency, Banff Centre (2011) and is a founding member of the Corbin Union Residency in Corbin, BC, a ghost town in the East Kootenays, Canada. Upcoming exhibitions include MASS MoCA, North Adams in 2016. de Haan has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, representing the Prairies and the North. His work has been reviewed in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Canadian Art Magazine, Art in America and Art Forum. He is represented in Canada by Clint Roenisch Gallery.

Melanie Ender (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and University of Applied Arts Vienna) lives and works in Vienna, Austria.  Her practice is concerned with the perception and reconstruction of experienced spatial structures.  Recent solo exhibitions include “LUDO”, Galerie artunited, Wien (2014) and R.umlicher Rekonstruktivismus oder die Instabilit.t des Raumes, Offspace Spenglerei, Wien (2013).  Selected group projects include “on behalf in the midst of the group”, Kunstraum SUPER, Wien (2014), “Skulpturinstitut”, an der Hülben 3, ehem. Galerie Grita Insam, Wien (2013), and “no more luggage”, Cistern Galleries, Tophane-I Amire Culture and Arts Center, Istanbul.  Since 2011 she has collaborated as part of the curatorial team of Fotogalerie Wien.

Agnes Hamvas lives and works as an artist, designer, and stage designer in Austria, Hungaria, Kroatia and Serbia.  Her practice concentrates on performance, installation and photography taking up the philosophical theories of Heidegger and Baudelaire.  Her subject matter focuses on repetition, touching on the laws of time and space.  Recent and past exhibitions include “Zeitgeist”, Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, Wien, “Colateral Orbit”, Allegranomad Gallery, Bucuresti, and “Cell”, Galeria Sestava, Slowenia.  Her recent curatorial collaboration with Astrid Sodomka “INBETWEEN” was shown at Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, Wien.

Divya Mehra (MFA Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.) Mehra’s research-fuelled practice often explores marginalization, otherness and the construct of diversity. Through appropriating, editing and reassembling a variety of literary, comedic and musical sources, she creates an acerbic dialogue on the commandeering, consumption and construction of race and identity politics. Often foregrounding the ongoing struggle with her personal diasporic identity and cultural expectations, she calls into question our unexamined beliefs. Mehra’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions and screenings across North America and overseas, most notably with Creative Time, MoMA PS1, MTV, and The Queens Museum of Art (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Artspeak (Vancouver), Georgia Scherman Projects, and The Images Festival (Toronto), The Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). In 2014, Mehra was long listed for the Sobey Art Award, and received the Manitoba Arts Council Major Arts Grant, Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant and the Manitoba Arts Council New York residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York. Mehra is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects and currently divides her time between Winnipeg, Delhi, and New York.

Mindy Yan Miller’s artistic practice is rooted in fibre traditions and frequently uses masses of potent materials such as used clothing, human hair, or Coke cans. Her installations address themes of labour, identity, loss and commodification. She has exhibited in Canada, Europe and United States and currently lives in Saskatoon, SK. She holds an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and since 1990 she has taught art as a sessional instructor at Concordia University in Montreal.

Stephanie Patsula earned her BFA from Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC.  Her work is influenced by post-minimal approaches and process-based art making, Patsula works with found and constructed objects and explores the relationship to the space in which they are made and displayed.   Group exhibitions include the Kamloops Art Gallery’s “Luminocity”, “Earthly” at Two Rivers Gallery (Prince George, BC), and “Being North” at SAGA (Salmon Arm, BC).  Her recent solo exhibition “Vessel” was shown at the Kamloops Art Gallery.  Originally from Edmonton, AB Patsula currently lives and works in Kamloops, BC.

Astrid Sodomka (University of Applied Arts, Vienna and Wiener Kunstschule) lives and works in Vienna, Austria.  Repetition and variation are both, strategies and subjects of her work. Repetition, structural and psychological, can be found everywhere in daily routines (generation to generation, family, breakfast, education, work, reproduction, communication, relationships). Her process begins with studying every day life and its language using détournement as artistic strategy.  Recent exhibitions include “Part is fame [art as game]”, Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 and Platforma Spatiul, Bukarest, “All In”, Krinzinger Projekte, “Space Affaires“, Raumaffären, MUSA and “Meta Mart“, Künstlerhaus, Wien.

Eva Maria Schartmüller is a self-taught artist based in Schlögelgasse, Wiener Neustadt and Vienna, Austria.  Her practice focuses on conceptual installation which includes video, sound and performance and takes up socio-political and sociocultural thematics. Recent exhibitions include “Plasticity”, Museumsquartier Combinat, Vienna.  “WK1”, Studio Reger, Wiener Neustadt, and “Stein+Himmel”, Ausstellungskirche St. Peter/Sperr, Winer Neustadt.

 About Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 & AKA’s partnership

Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 is a fusion of artists and simultaneously represents on one hand  the name of the exhibition space and on the other hand the address where it is situated. 
Alternating artists and curators from all over Europe furthermore from around the world, shape the program, contextualize and discuss the viewpoint of the art space, of the art, of the art market, more over of the society.

 An accumulation of divergent resources is generated by the bias of co-operations, which can be used alternately by the gallery.  AKA is committed to exploring emerging practices that speak to, reflect and encourage dialogue in our culturally diverse community.  Acting as a centre for critical discourse, experimental risk-taking, and as a promoter of artistic self-determination. We foster discussion, build connections between artists, their community and a national audience, and we support emerging practices in all media produced by a diversity of voices.

Together AKA and Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 are paying artists at rates according to the Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) 2015 schedule.  While this is inclusive of the regular mandate and activities of AKA, including this model in an international exchange speaks to supporting and promoting the professional payment of artists both nationally and internationally.  Like professionals in other fields, artists should be paid for their work and share equitably in profits.