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Horses for Courses

UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition

Erin Coates, Leanne Coughlin, Babak Golkar, Peter Mintchev, Daria Tavoularis, and Rahel Wachs.

16 September—02 October 2005

Opening Reception: 15 September at 8:00 p.m.

While the idiom derives from racetrack lingo (referring to the suitability of different horses for different courses), Horses for Courses points to the diverse practices of the Master of Fine Arts graduates presented in this exhibition. This is an excellent opportunity to view the work of six emerging artists who work in the mediums of video, sculpture, performance and drawing.

Erin Coates’ artwork focuses on structures that mediate the urban experience: telecommunications, transit networks, street furniture and signage, architectural forms, and surveillance systems. Her work articulates alternative modes of seeing and framing urban space. It brings into view what is within the visual periphery, the ‘blind spot’ of the familiar, and what is overseen by urban design.

Using the domestic interior as a site of inquiry, Leanne Coughlin’s digital videos explore how contemporary anxieties are reflected in the home. Exposing the constructed nature of the family environment through collaged images of televisions and computers, mannequins and their mechanical pets, the home and its inhabitants are reconfigured in physical, social and psychological terms. Incorporating the viewer as voyeur, the videos’ uncanny narratives explore themes of alienation and desire in our ‘culture of the copy.’

Through his performances, Babak Golkar has been examining the role of art in terms of its public reception as well as the relationship between an object of art and the institution. Drawing on historical figures in art such as Joseph Beuys, Golkar has been exploring and treating art as performative offerings in which he offers the object of art to the viewers as take-a-ways. These offerings could take the form of an object such as a rose or food items, and gestures such as a quotation, a smile, or simple apology written on a banner or poster.

Peter Mintchev’s work often consists of aesthetic gestures that aim to reconsolidate the way memory and hope become integrated within political ideology. His recent work has been focused on the period of transition experienced in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mintchev’s work is ambivalently positioned between personal contemplation and critical commentary.

In the work of Daria Tavoularis, form and material come from different directions, separate elements converging at a concise moment. Her work documents nature and it movement through artificial worlds, and the shifts that occur in changing architectural spaces.

The artwork of Rahel Wachs often consists of elaborate collages, where contemporary conflicts often become reduced to entrapping visual puzzles. Both textual and tactile, Wachs’ work superimposes historical references and the spectacle of today’s politics. Her latest work is based on the insertion of “Intelligent Design Theory” into the biology curriculum of some public schools in the United States.

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