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Pardon Me!
Andrew Dadson, Clément de Gaulejac, Jana Leo, Hadley + Maxwell, Mathew Sawyer, Ron Tran, Shizuka Yokomizo
November 24 to January 22, 2006

Curator: Cate Rimmer (3rd in the series, The Banal)

Thursday November 24 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Preceded by a tour of the exhibition with curator Cate Rimmer and artists Ron Tran and Andrew Dadson at 6pm.

Thursday January 12, 2006 at 6 PM
Scott Toguri McFarlane
Inspired by the exhibition Pardon Me which pulls together artists’ performative interventions in the everyday lives of others, writer and editor Scott Toguri McFarlane considers how it is that the everyday disappears into the bump of night - a night haunted by desires for another – every day.

Shizuka Yokomizo, Stranger No. 18, 2000
Andrew Dadson, Roof Gap, 2005

The exhibition Pardon Me features the work of artists who actively intervene, through a variety of performative strategies, into the everyday lives and activities of others. In these works, the boundaries between private and public, distance and proximity are collapsed. While several of the works are made in collaboration with their subjects, others proceed through a more furtive and clandestine approach.

Spanish artist Jana Leo creates moments of intimacy with strangers. In her Love Letters Project, she paired people she met on the street with writers who were stationed in her studio; the writers composed letters for the strangers to their loved ones, expressing things they were unable to express on their own.

Breaking the conventions of neutrality between anonymous strangers is at the heart of London-based Shizuka Yokomizo’s photographic works. In her Strangers series, Yokomizo left a letter for residents in ground floor apartments asking if she could photograph them through their window. If they agreed, they were to pose in any way they chose at the time indicated in the letter. No other communication took place between the photographer and the resident.

In their ongoing Decor Project, Vancouver artists Hadley + Maxwell collaborate with members of the arts community, such as a curator or gallery Board member, performing a temporary redecoration or installation in their subject’s home based on information they have been provided.

Andrew Dadson’s interventions, likewise residentially-based, are performed without the prior knowledge of the occupant. For his projection Roof Gap, Dadson jumped from roof to roof, while in another work, Neighbour’s Trailer, he moved a trailer an imperceptible distance each day until it was no longer parked in front of the owner’s house.

British artist Mathew Sawyer engages in subterfuge activities such as putting notes with song lyrics into the pockets of strangers, or removing letters from apartment mail boxes, adding a postscript to the contents, resealing and returning them.

Whether tidying the belongings of sunbathers gone for a swim or washing art gallery windows in Milan, Clément de Gaulejac commits sly transgressions dissembled as honest services. He then recounts his interventions, called Crimes of Good, in narrative form, employing drawings, posters, sculpture and performance for the exhibition Pardon Me.

Vancouver artist Ron Tran likewise explores public space but makes a direct connection, however fleeting, with strangers. In his video Eating with Strangers, Tran mimics fellow fast-food diners until they notice his actions, while Walking Strangers Home documents a project in which he approached strangers at night offering to walk them to their destination.

Pardon Me is the last of a series of exhibitions originated for the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery by visiting Curator in Residence Cate Rimmer. Collectively titled The Banal, each exhibition examines, from a different vantage, representations and modifications to the mundane within contemporary art practice. The previous exhibitions were Weather (2004) and Think Big (2002). A catalogue is forthcoming.

Top image: Hadley + Maxwell, Decor Project, 2002