Jack Lindsay, Troops landing at Kitsilano Beach during war games exercises, photo circa 1942 [Artspeak, Vancouver BC, Oct 20-Nov 24]
On the Beach: Don Coltman
(Steffens-Colmer Ltd.), Kristan Horton,
Jack Lindsay, Taras Polataiko
Vancouver BC Oct 20Nov 24, 2008
On the Beach combines work by contemporary artists Kristan Horton and Taras Polataiko with World War II-era photographs from the Vancouver City Archives by Don Coltman and Jack Lindsay. Taking as their theme Nevil Shutes 1957 novel On the Beach, the exhibit explores notions of catastrophe, unseen ends and the kinds of preparation and duress leading up to an unknown fate.
The novel and subsequent 1959 film are set in Australia, where the final remaining global citizens have survived the effects of an atomic war which will soon reach them. The exhibit has a similar apocalyptic atmosphere of impending doom. Jack Lindsays photos of World War II invasion drills once held in Kitsilano are in stark contrast with Don Coltmans images of leisure activities on the same Vancouver beaches.
A banner by Kristan Horton, a Toronto-based artist, entitled Repeating Half-Frame, takes the form and language of comic books to present text that appears to terminate before final revelation. Taras Polataiko, a Vancouver based artist born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, explores similar ideas of political history and memory in his photograph 100 Days to Demobilization. Based on the artist's army experience, where he witnessed soldiers writing the number of service days left in the butter spread on their breakfast bread, the work reflects an unseen end.
Kristan Horton studied at Guelph University and the Ontario College of Art and Design. His work has been shown internationally, including at Glassbox (Paris), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), and Inter Communications Center (Tokyo). Taras Polataiko studied at Stroganov Museum of Fine and Industrial Arts, Moscow and the University of Saskatchewan, and has exhibited widely, including at the Musée dArt Contemporain de Montréal, the 25th Sao Paulo Bienale, Soros International Centre for Contemporary Art in Kiev, Warsaws Centre for Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York.