Artist-run festivals in Vancouver and Calgary, as well as a Guy Maddin–inspired megaproject in Winnipeg, frame the art world’s big fall openings week. Here are our cross-country editor’s picks for period of September 6 to 12.
September 6 at 6 p.m.: Opening for Marion Wagschal at Battat Contemporary, 7245 rue Alexandra, Montreal
Recently retired from a long period of teaching painting at Concordia University, Marion Wagschal is known for compelling figurative works in which the body, quite reasonably, is not always portrayed as stable, and in which issues of decay and aging often come to the forefront. This exhibition steps away from the canvas, looking at a selection of her works on paper from the past 40 years.
September 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.: Opening for Allyson Mitchell at Katharine Mulherin, 1082 Queen Street West, Toronto
Toronto’s Mitchell has won many fans for her fun—and often, actual fun-fur—takes on feminism and queer-theory fundamentals, like the Ladies Sasquatch installation that toured Canadian galleries in 2009. In this exhibition of new work, Mitchell promises to decentralize the canon with a work inspired by comments made about her on ratemyprofessor.com (titled I’m With Problematic), sexually suggestive quilting and more.
September 6: First day for Swarm 2012 at various locations across Vancouver
Artist-run culture takes over downtown Vancouver for the 13th year running in this two-day festival organized by the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres. With 9 events and openings happening on the 6th and 15 on the 7th, there will be plenty to keep busy with. Highlights include the opening of “IRL” at Western Front and “The Long Time” at On Main.
September 7 at 7 p.m.: Opening for “My Winnipeg Project” at Plug In ICA, 460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg
Plug In kicks off a true megaproject this week, launching the first of four consecutive exhibitions that will present works by more than 100 artists from now until March 2013. Taking its name from the Guy Maddin film My Winnipeg, it aims to compile “subjective and conﬂicting impressions of this mid-sized prairie capital, versions in which truth mingles with ﬁction, history, and speculation.” Given that there are so many strong artists in and from the region, the results should be worth viewing, whether truthful or not.
September 8 at 7 p.m.: Opening for the Calgary Biennial of Contemporary Art at Avalanche, 1235 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary
Though the term biennial usually conjures big-name curators and definitive institutional statements, this Calgary event is actually a young, DIY, artist-run affair. Stretching over several newish venues, such as Avalanche!, Haight Gallery and #000000 Gallery, it presents 24 mostly emerging practicioners, including Kris Lindskoog, Miruna Dragan and Justin Waddell, among others.