Eastern Bloc

Exhibits 2013 - 2014

16 January – 12 February 2014

Vernissage: 16 January , 6pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm - 5pm


The practice of drawing and its inherent representational quality boasts a robust heritage as a subject of scholarly and artistic investigation. Drawings are objects that are consumed, circulated, and invested with social, political, and economic value. Although these stakes have been widely examined in the past, such examinations have primarily been organized around traditional definitions of drawing that involve two-dimensional supports such as paper or canvas. Eastern Bloc has now curated a group exhibit, TrailMix, that will expand upon these investigations by attending to the practice of drawing in contemporary society and confronting it to technologically innovative processes and the use of digital media.

The three works included in the exhibit mobilize platforms and practices that are typically relegated to the realm of the digital (web servers, Google Maps, online interactions, hacking) and situate them in dialogue with more conventional, non-digital media and artistic strategies (found objects, chalk, screen-printing). Through a series of accumulations, combinations, and repetitions, a memory network spanning multiple dimensions is created, capable of revelatory experience and ambiguity through loss. Identities, impressions, and gestures are not only retranscribed and conserved through the artist’s use of digital tools; they are rendered abstract, they are distorted, they find themselves in perpetual transformation between past and present, ad infinitum. The mechanism thus observed within the works becomes representative of a fluid process with an inherent incertitude.

The artist’s subjectivity unfurls in a widened spatiotemporal environment, encountering that of the spectator, who is thus intrinsically invested in the creative act. The artist is absent, but, by intervening on and in the gallery space, his presence is felt through the co-creating experience of the spectator. This triggers a heightened experience, a site-specific hyper-encounter and, ultimately, a physical record of a shifting collective experience.

19 September - 16 October 2013
*~._.:*jEnNiFeR X JeNniFeR*:.~

Vernissage: 19 September, 6pm
Gallery open: Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm - 5pm
Moderated discussion with artists: 21 September, 4pm - 6pm

Jennifer Chan / Jennifer Cherniack

*~._.:*jEnNiFeR X JeNniFeR*:.~ is an exhibit featuring the recent work of emerging Canadian artists Jennifer Chan and Jennifer Cherniack. Chan and Cherniack’s bodies of work illustrate a recent trend in digital culture: a limitless appreciation of the early 90’s, a time when communications media were radically reinvented and modern society completely transformed by the Internet.

While this Post-Internet enthusiasm suggests a wistful reinterpretation of the decade of the dial-up modem (think early Photoshop effects, neon colours, chrome and glitter), the works of Chan and Cherniack delve deeper into the cultural tropes that fueled the early days of the Web. The works presented in the exhibit confront the viewer with the mechanisms behind image production on the Internet. The kind of corporate branding (think Google), self-promotion (think “selfie”), high school socializing (think Instagram) and low-grade melodrama (think celebrity memes) that we’ve become impervious to, cycle through the work of Chan and Cherniack.

On the surface, their work reproduces the aesthetics of pop culture and those of advertising; yet, their video, performance, textile and text-based projects manufacture a careful critique of heteronormative online communication strategies and the larger implications of gendre representation on the Web. From the early days of instant messaging (ex: ICQ) to contemporary webcam-based chat sites (ex: Chatroulette), our online socializing is mitigated by a mass-marketed teenage fantasy – a life comprised of dating, shopping, partying – all in an effort to attract the opposite sex. While the teenage girl demographic – in the form of the avid consumer – represents a significant portion of the marketing power of the Internet, rarely is the young female portrayed as a content-producer.

The exhibit *~._.:*jEnNiFeR X JeNniFeR*:.~ does not attempt to reconcile the issue of biased gendre representation on (and through) the Web; rather, through the works of Chan and Cherniack, the exhibit attempts to navigate through the thick haze of our commodified social interactions online and uncover strategies to challenge the capitalist structures colonizing our intimate and private lives.