Jack Shadbolt: Works from the Collection
Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

Subscribe to our mailing list
Site Search:


  1. ssStillFilm, Uzuolankos 25 c, BW photography, 2009.jpg

    Esther Shalev-Gerz, Still/Film, 2009.
    black-and-white photograph.

  2. sswhite out.jpg

    Esther Shalev-Gerz, WHITE-OUT: Between Telling and Listening (still), 2002. video.

Esther Shalev-Gerz

January 11 - April 14, 2013

Reception: Thursday, January 10, 8 to 10 pm

Works of art in this exhibition are also presented at:
Walter C. Koerner Library
1958 Main Mall, UBC

[+] Symposium and Artist Talk
Benjaminian Themes in the Work of Esther Shalev-Gerz with Esther Shalev-Gerz, Catherine Soussloff and Ian Wallace
Saturday, January 12, 1:30 to 5:30 pm
at the Belkin Art Gallery

To view the Artist’s talk from January 12,
click here

[+] Belkin 101

[+] Concert at the Belkin with UBC Contemporary Players

[+] Dean of Arts Prize for the Best Essay in Visual Literacy

Esther Shalev-Gerz brings together key works by the Paris-based artist in the first solo exhibition of her work to be organized in Canada. First shown at the
Kamloops Art Gallery in the spring of 2012, the exhibition will be presented with additional work by Shalev-Gerz at the Belkin Art Gallery.

For over twenty years, Shalev-Gerz has created installation and photographic work that addresses questions of collective and personal memory, of portraiture’s possibilities within contemporary discourses, the politics of representation, history, place and citizenship. The pieces in this exhibition are emblematic of her work and offer new ways to approach our relationship to these questions.

Among the works to be exhibited is WHITE-OUT: Between Telling and Listening (2002), which presents a portrait of sorts—one comprised of fugitive stories that exist fleetingly between the actual and the fictional, between the imagined and the experienced. Like previous works by Shalev-Gerz, WHITE-OUT explores and discloses the space between telling and listening through a video portrait of Åsa Simma, a woman who is both Sami (the indigenous peoples of Northern Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia) and Swedish.

Perpetuum Mobile (1998-2000) depicts a 10 Franc coin spinning in constant motion so that both sides merge into one, just as Åsa Simma’s dual identity merges in a unified and perpetually evolving sense of self. A study of a currency replaced by the Euro and thus no longer in use, Perpetuum Mobile reflects upon money’s symbolic value and its role among the other economic forces that determine and interconnect national and individual identities.

In Between Listening and Telling: Last Witnesses 1945-2005 (2005), a commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Shalev-Gerz worked with the testimonies of sixty survivors now living in Paris to create a three-channel video installation that shows the same film on each screen, with a seven-second time-lapse between each one.

Shalev-Gerz returns to her childhood house in Vilnius, Lithuania in Still/Film (2009). One series of photographs show the house where she lived until she was eight; the second shows the site of the house from which her mother was forced to flee when she was nine, which Shalev-Gerz discovered by chance in the nearby town of Alytus.

Born in Lithuania, Esther Shalev-Gerz was raised in Israel and has been a resident of Paris since 1984. She is a Professor at Valand School of Fine Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden where she is currently leading an international research project on Trust and the Unfolding Dialogue funded by the Swedish Research Council. Current and recent exhibitions include: a retrospective at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne with a catalogue published by JRP|Ringier (22 September 2012-6 January 2013); an installation of MenschenDinge as part of the group exhibition Newtopia at Kazerne Dossin, Mechelen, Belgium (1 December 2012-31 March 2013); Describing Labor at Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami (5 December 2012-7 April 2013); Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops (2012); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2010); Vilnius Art Academy Gallery, Vilnius (2009); Maritime Museum, Greenwich, (2007); Stiftung Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora, Weimar (2006); Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2002); Historiska Museet, Stockholm (2002).

A hardcover catalogue with essays by Elizabeth Matheson, Fanny Söderbäck and Ian Wallace published by the Kamloops Art Gallery accompanies the exhibition, along with a supplement designed specifically for the exhibition at the Belkin Art Gallery with an essay by Georges Didi-Huberman and preface by Scott Watson.

Esther Shalev-Gerz is co-curated by Charo Neville and Annette Hurtig and organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery, with additional works added at its presentation at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Works from this exhibition are also presented at the UBC Walter C. Koerner Library, 1958 Main Mall, Vancouver.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts and our Belkin Curator’s Forum members.

Please visit again for more information


The following comments have been entered at a kiosk available to visitors to the gallery. Only the 10 most recent comments are shown, see more on the comments page.

Rose Wan from originally from Taiwan. Chinese Canadian at 3:58 pm Sunday, April 14, 2013

I really like the photograph and the cute clock. The photos speak to me more than the video because of the various tones. The various tones and transparent people are like time is in progressing never end.

Kurt Grimm from Earth at 11:42 am Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beautiful profound, particularly the southern most exhibit. I am going to return to view and to listen and soak and likely to weep.

jsjk at 2:33 pm Friday, April 5, 2013

interesting ideas ..moving

Susan Barnes at 1:00 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013

The exhibit about the Sami woman from Sweden moved me deeply. She articulated clearly and simply her unique perspective, and connected me to nature, culture and what it is to be human. A true gift. Thank you.

Akihiro Okumura at 4:16 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

i can not remember about my memory exactly.

Anoymous at 2:55 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

so many projectors! i liked the one that went though to the other side. It used two projectors to make 4 images.

nasrin k. at 1:05 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

good mix of film and static components, you make good use of the space, it is very cinematic and at the same time invites the spatial exploration of the space because you always here a halting voice in the back so you move forward to expole and to understand what it is all about

Randy at 4:42 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A very intricate concept of history explained vibrantly throughout the exhibition!

jim macgugan from ubc at 2:28 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

interesting- a mixture of ideas

Sarah at 10:38 am Thursday, March 7, 2013

So beautiful and touching. I feel as though I'm leaving having made some new friends.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689