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Can I Kick It?

James Olley, Meet The Flintstones (detail), 2017

Can I Kick It?

Curated by Pete Smith

February 08, 2018 - March 04, 2018

The first musical remixes are often thought of to have come from Jamaican Reggae in the 1960’s. On the B side of these 45 rpm records, another artist created an alternate “version” of the song on side A. This became standard practice in most pop/dance music by 1980, and is now a fundamental part of how we experience popular music. Perhaps the most important component to remix is the spirit of artistic permissiveness. One artist surrenders their work to another, so they might re-invent and re-imagine it into some new, unforeseen configuration.

This exhibition will explore the idea of remix in visual art. Although artists often collaborate with other artists, or appropriate the work of someone else, the permissive surrendering of their work to another for creative re-invention seems unusual, and kind of fun. For this project, I have invited eight artists who I deeply admire: Lyla Rye, Anda Kubis, John Kissick, Jessica Thompson, James Olley, Fastwurms, Wlasenko and Paulette Phillips to choose an artist to partner with. They will trade works with each other, and remix them.

The title for this proposed show is taken from a song by A Tribe Called Quest from 1991. It has a playfully nostalgic character to it’s vernacular, suggesting the permissive surrendering involved in this project. It points to an expression from the 80’s and 90’s (the golden era of Hip Hop sampling, before lawyers figured out new copyright laws) To “kick it” implied starting the song (and the party), dropping the beat, but also ‘kicking it’, implied a sort of hanging out/chilled out camaraderie. All of these implications are touched on with this project.

Artist Biographies
Lyla Rye is a Toronto based installation artist who began her studies in architecture. She studied at the University of Waterloo, York University (BFA 1989), and the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA 1994). She works in installation, video and photography to explore our experience of architectural space. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally including exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Adelaide (Australia), Paris and Berlin. She has work in the public collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, York University, Cadillac Fairview Corporation, The Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. She has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Lyla Rye is partial load faculty member at Sheridan College in the Art and Art History joint program between Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Anda Kubis is a recognized Canadian abstract painter working in expanded digital, material, and traditional oil painting processes. Due to the prominence of colour in her artwork, Kubis conciously considers how the engagement with aesthetics and creativity positively impacts human flourishing and quality of life. With degrees from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and York University, she is invested in crossing her artistic practice with design and architecture, material exploration, and her significant career in teaching. Anda Kubis is the Associate Dean of Outreach and Innovation in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Kubis is represented in Canada by Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto, Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art in Calgary, Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver, in Sweden by Galleri Tapper-Popermajer, and online at Artsy.net. Numerous public and private collections have acquired her work, including RBC, TD Bank, BMO, Cenovus Energy, Aimia, The Westaim Corporation, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Trained as a painter and writer, John Kissick has held numerous academic posts, including Chair of Critical Studies at Penn State University’s School of Visual Arts, Dean of the Faculty of Art at the Ontario College of Art & Design from 2000 to 2003, and for the last nine years, Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. Kissick’s exhibition record includes numerous solo exhibitions in Canada, the USA and Germany, and his work has been included in a number of important survey exhibitions and public collections. A mid-career survey entitled John Kissick: A Nervous Decade, curated by Crystal Mowry, toured Canada from 2010 to 2012 and was accompanied by a major publication. Kissick is also the author of Art: Context and Criticism (1992,) was editor of the Penn State Journal of Contemporary Criticism from 1990 to 1995 and has written numerous catalogue essays and articles for periodicals. Two recent essays: “Elephants in the Room” for Canadian Art Magazine and “Disco and the Death Switch: Tales from Contemporary Abstraction” for Border Crossings were nominated for National Magazine Awards in 2009 and 2010. John Kissick was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts in 2005.

Born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, Jessica Thompson is an Assistant Professor in Hybrid Practice at the University of Waterloo in both the Department of Fine Art and the Stratford Campus. Her practice investigates spatial and social conditions within urban environments through interactive art-works situated at the intersection of sound, performance and mobile technologies. She holds a BFA in Visual Art from York University and MFA in Media Study from SUNY at Buffalo. Before coming to Waterloo, Thompson was Part-time Faculty in the Department of Visual Art at Brock University and an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Media Study at SUNY at Buffalo. Her work has shown in exhibitions, festivals and symposia such as ISEA (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), (in)visible Cities (Winnipeg), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), the Deep Wireless Festival (Toronto), NIME (Oslo), Audible Edifices (Hong Kong), the Trans-X Transmission Art Symposium (Toronto), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), and the The Persistence of Peripateticism: Artists’ Walks (New York). Her projects have appeared in publications such as Canadian Art, c Magazine, Acoustic Territories (Continuum Books) the Leonardo Music Journal, and in art, design and technology blogs such as engadget, Cool Hunting, swissmiss, we-make-money-not-art, Gear Live and Make Magazine.

James Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2008 after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. Since graduating Olley has had a number of solo shows locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), Galerie Weissraum, (Kyoto, Japan); and Groenhazengracht 1, (Leiden, Netherlands). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009). Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago. He is a lecturer in the department of Drawing and Painting at OCAD University.

For over 35 years, FASTWÜRMS, a collaborative art team formed in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, have been durable generators of DIY culture in Toronto and have been able to maintain a diverse and dedicated audience, and a distinct lineage of imitators and followers. They have built a practice that collides the rigour of conceptual art with pagan rituals and popular aesthetics, creating a fresh language of their own where they are alien witches who make films, video, installations, performances and teach at the University of Guelph, Ontario. With a sobering humor and a love of their community they have produced large public commissions and participated in the 2006 Sao Paulo Biennial. FASTWÜRMS have produced solo projects in Toronto’s many Queen Street West galleries and spaces, including Paul Petro Contemporary Art, X Space, the Gladstone Hotel, the late ZsaZsa Gallery, as well as internationally, including Southern Exposure Gallery (San Francisco), Osaka 90 (Osaka, Japan), Canadian Cultural Centre (Rome), Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), Ideal Copy Office (Kyoto, Japan), and in La IV Bienalle de Poesia Visual (Zapata Subway Station, Mexico City).

Paulette Phillips’ work deals with the relationship between viewer and subject, focusing on witnessing, looking and reflection. Consistent in her work is an interest in the way psychological content is embedded in the physical world. Over the past thirty years she has worked in visual art, film and theatre and for the past 15 years has primarily focused on sculpture and film installation showing her work primarily in the UK, France and Germany. Her work is in a number of public collections including the National Gallery Canada, Oakville Galleries, the Museum of Modern of Modern Art and Frac, Haute-Normandie and in corporate and private collections including Gluskin Sheff + Associates and BMO Bank of Montreal. Her work is represented by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London, and Diaz Contemporary, Toronto. Paulette teaches time-based and contemporary art practices at OCAD University.

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20180208 20180304 America/Toronto Can I Kick It? The first musical remixes are often thought of to have come from Jamaican Reggae in the 1960’s. On the B side of these 45 rpm records, another artist created an alternate “version” of the song on side A. This became standard practice in most pop/dance music by 1980, and is now a fundamental part of how we experience popular music. Perhaps the most important component to remix is the spirit of artistic permissiveness. One artist surrenders their work to another, so they might re-invent and re-imagine it into some new, unforeseen configuration. This exhibition will explore the idea of remix in visual art. Although artists often collaborate with other artists, or appropriate the work of someone else, the permissive surrendering of their work to another for creative re-invention seems unusual, and kind of fun. For this project, I have invited eight artists who I deeply admire: Lyla Rye, Anda Kubis, John Kissick, Jessica Thompson, James Olley, Fastwurms, Wlasenko and Paulette Phillips to choose an artist to partner with. They will trade works with each other, and remix them. The title for this proposed show is taken from a song by A Tribe Called Quest from 1991. It has a playfully nostalgic character to it’s vernacular, suggesting the permissive surrendering involved in this project. It points to an expression from the 80’s and 90’s (the golden era of Hip Hop sampling, before lawyers figured out new copyright laws) To “kick it” implied starting the song (and the party), dropping the beat, but also ‘kicking it’, implied a sort of hanging out/chilled out camaraderie. All of these implications are touched on with this project. <strong>Artist Biographies</strong> Lyla Rye is a Toronto based installation artist who began her studies in architecture. She studied at the University of Waterloo, York University (BFA 1989), and the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA 1994). She works in installation, video and photography to explore our experience of architectural space. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally including exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Adelaide (Australia), Paris and Berlin. She has work in the public collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, York University, Cadillac Fairview Corporation, The Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. She has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Lyla Rye is partial load faculty member at Sheridan College in the Art and Art History joint program between Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Anda Kubis is a recognized Canadian abstract painter working in expanded digital, material, and traditional oil painting processes. Due to the prominence of colour in her artwork, Kubis conciously considers how the engagement with aesthetics and creativity positively impacts human flourishing and quality of life. With degrees from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and York University, she is invested in crossing her artistic practice with design and architecture, material exploration, and her significant career in teaching. Anda Kubis is the Associate Dean of Outreach and Innovation in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Kubis is represented in Canada by Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto, Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art in Calgary, Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver, in Sweden by Galleri Tapper-Popermajer, and online at Artsy.net. Numerous public and private collections have acquired her work, including RBC, TD Bank, BMO, Cenovus Energy, Aimia, The Westaim Corporation, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Trained as a painter and writer, John Kissick has held numerous academic posts, including Chair of Critical Studies at Penn State University’s School of Visual Arts, Dean of the Faculty of Art at the Ontario College of Art & Design from 2000 to 2003, and for the last nine years, Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. Kissick’s exhibition record includes numerous solo exhibitions in Canada, the USA and Germany, and his work has been included in a number of important survey exhibitions and public collections. A mid-career survey entitled John Kissick: A Nervous Decade, curated by Crystal Mowry, toured Canada from 2010 to 2012 and was accompanied by a major publication. Kissick is also the author of Art: Context and Criticism (1992,) was editor of the Penn State Journal of Contemporary Criticism from 1990 to 1995 and has written numerous catalogue essays and articles for periodicals. Two recent essays: “Elephants in the Room” for Canadian Art Magazine and “Disco and the Death Switch: Tales from Contemporary Abstraction” for Border Crossings were nominated for National Magazine Awards in 2009 and 2010. John Kissick was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts in 2005. Born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, Jessica Thompson is an Assistant Professor in Hybrid Practice at the University of Waterloo in both the Department of Fine Art and the Stratford Campus. Her practice investigates spatial and social conditions within urban environments through interactive art-works situated at the intersection of sound, performance and mobile technologies. She holds a BFA in Visual Art from York University and MFA in Media Study from SUNY at Buffalo. Before coming to Waterloo, Thompson was Part-time Faculty in the Department of Visual Art at Brock University and an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Media Study at SUNY at Buffalo. Her work has shown in exhibitions, festivals and symposia such as ISEA (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), (in)visible Cities (Winnipeg), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), the Deep Wireless Festival (Toronto), NIME (Oslo), Audible Edifices (Hong Kong), the Trans-X Transmission Art Symposium (Toronto), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), and the The Persistence of Peripateticism: Artists’ Walks (New York). Her projects have appeared in publications such as Canadian Art, c Magazine, Acoustic Territories (Continuum Books) the Leonardo Music Journal, and in art, design and technology blogs such as engadget, Cool Hunting, swissmiss, we-make-money-not-art, Gear Live and Make Magazine. James Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2008 after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. Since graduating Olley has had a number of solo shows locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), Galerie Weissraum, (Kyoto, Japan); and Groenhazengracht 1, (Leiden, Netherlands). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009). Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago. He is a lecturer in the department of Drawing and Painting at OCAD University. For over 35 years, FASTWÜRMS, a collaborative art team formed in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, have been durable generators of DIY culture in Toronto and have been able to maintain a diverse and dedicated audience, and a distinct lineage of imitators and followers. They have built a practice that collides the rigour of conceptual art with pagan rituals and popular aesthetics, creating a fresh language of their own where they are alien witches who make films, video, installations, performances and teach at the University of Guelph, Ontario. With a sobering humor and a love of their community they have produced large public commissions and participated in the 2006 Sao Paulo Biennial. FASTWÜRMS have produced solo projects in Toronto’s many Queen Street West galleries and spaces, including Paul Petro Contemporary Art, X Space, the Gladstone Hotel, the late ZsaZsa Gallery, as well as internationally, including Southern Exposure Gallery (San Francisco), Osaka 90 (Osaka, Japan), Canadian Cultural Centre (Rome), Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), Ideal Copy Office (Kyoto, Japan), and in La IV Bienalle de Poesia Visual (Zapata Subway Station, Mexico City). Paulette Phillips’ work deals with the relationship between viewer and subject, focusing on witnessing, looking and reflection. Consistent in her work is an interest in the way psychological content is embedded in the physical world. Over the past thirty years she has worked in visual art, film and theatre and for the past 15 years has primarily focused on sculpture and film installation showing her work primarily in the UK, France and Germany. Her work is in a number of public collections including the National Gallery Canada, Oakville Galleries, the Museum of Modern of Modern Art and Frac, Haute-Normandie and in corporate and private collections including Gluskin Sheff + Associates and BMO Bank of Montreal. Her work is represented by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London, and Diaz Contemporary, Toronto. Paulette teaches time-based and contemporary art practices at OCAD University. The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Queen Street, Oshawa, ON, Canada The Robert McLaughlin Gallery communications@rmg.on.ca