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Beginning with the Seventies

Lorna Brown
200+ full-colour
298 x 248mm
Spring 2020

Looking at the relationship between art, archives and activism, this publication begins with the 1970s, an era when social movements —the fight for LGBTQ+, Indigenous and women’s rights, environmentalism, anti‑racism, health care advocacy and calls for housing reform—started to coalesce into models of self-organization that overlapped with the production of art and culture.

Noting the resurgence of art practice involved with social activism and an increasing interest in the 1970s from younger producers, the Belkin Art Gallery connected with diverse archives and activist networks to bring forward these histories, to commission new works of art and writing and to provide a space for discussion and debate. Beginning with the Seventies brings contemporary art practices into active dialogue with the past, interweaving archive with artwork, poetry, prose and critical investigation.

Over seventy prominent artists and writers, and works from 1969 to 2019, are featured in the series of four exhibitions. GLUT is concerned with language, depictions of the woman reader as an artistic genre and the potential of reading as performed resistance. Circling around the embodied archive, Radial Change explores the elusive histories of Helen Goodwin’s choreography and her influence on the international interdisciplinary art scene of the 1970s. Collective Acts taps into the generative potential of archival research by artists experimenting with collective organizing and cooperative production. Finally, bringing together research, material, media, testimony and ceremony, Hexsa’a̱m: To Be Here Always challenges the concept that the practices of First Peoples are simply part of a past heritage by bringing forward the ways that art and culture can activate new realities.

Including work by: Siku Allooloo, Eleanor Antin, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Alexandra Bischoff, Anthea Black and Shamina Chherawala, Dana Claxton, Allyson Clay, Jo Cook and the Vancouver Women’s Bookstore, Judith Copithorne, Kate Craig, Darryll Dawson Jr., Michael de Courcy, Christine D’Onofrio, Gathie Falk, Martha Fleming and Lyne Lapointe, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Helen Goodwin, Jamelie Hassan, Colleen Heslin, Carole Itter, Corita Kent, Alison Knowles, Germaine Koh, Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society (LIDS) with Anthea Black, Nicole Burisch and Wednesday Lupypciw, Laiwan, Jaymyn La Vallee, Sara Leydon, Adeline Lorenzetto, Walter Marchetti, Kelly Mark, Divya Mehra, Marianne Nicolson, Mary Peters, Adrian Piper, Kristina Lee Podesva, Anne Ramsden, ReMatriate Collective, Diane Roberts, Lisa Robertson, Rosa María Robles, Rhoda Rosenfeld, Evelyn Roth, Salish Weavers Guild, Carolee Schneemann, Kathy Slade, Evann Siebens, Sara Siestreem, Heather Kai Smith, Juliana Speier, Anabel Stewart, Atsuko Tanaka, Nabidu Taylor, Althea Thauberger, Kamala Todd, William Wasden Jr., Joyce Wieland, Tania Willard, Lindsey Mae Willie, Cornelia Wyngaarden, Jin-me Yoon and Elizabeth Zvonar.

  1. Lorna Brown

    is associate director/curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and a visual artist, writer, editor and educator. She has exhibited her work internationally since 1984. Brown was the director/curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004 and is a founding member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of artists, architects and curators presenting projects that consider the varying conditions of public places and public life. She has taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University. Notable recent curatorial projects include Spill (2019), To refuse / To wait / To sleep (2017), Institutions by Artists (2012) and Digital Natives (2011). Brown received an honorary degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2015), the Canada Council Paris Studio Award (2000) and the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1996). Her work is held in the collections of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver; the BC Arts Council, Victoria; the Surrey Art Gallery; and the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa.

Co-published with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver Canada.

  1. Beginning with the Seventies
    $55 $44

    Beginning with the Seventies feels like an album for the ages. Hardbound in tactile Cialinen and stamped with gold foil, the book brings together a distinct era and the present, within and without.

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