Once a season, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts FUSE night combining art, music and lots of mingling. Every event is unique in its curation and performances, and captures the tone of the gallery’s various exhibitions. For spring ’15, the theme was The Noise of Silence, a night curated by David Pay, the artistic director of Music on Main and produced by Media Lab. It was a night that was inspired by the idea of listening. It was an exploration of sound, with performances having themes of isolation and reputation in the music.
FUSE is also a great time to check out the exhibits that are housed on the four floors of the gallery. The Noise of Silence featured the Cezanne and the Modern exhibit in the last weeks of its run at the gallery. There were some new exhibits as well, like the projection room on the top floor, which was a huge draw for crowds, eager to snap a selfie before the projections changed. Other popular exhibits at the event were The Poetics of Space and The Material Future, which combined the architecture of Herzog and de Meuron and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The event focused on the notion of quietness, the space that a lack of sound creates. It was not an easy task to remain still and silent, especially in a crowd that can be quite raucous after a few visits to the courtroom bar, but it was a fun exercise, in patience and diligence. The performers experimenting with silence were contrasted with the spontaneous combustions of Jocelyn Merlock and James Maxwell, whose performance brought a harmonious balance to the evening. If the packed event on a particularly rainy evening in the city was any indication, FUSE nights are bringing home global themes in contemporary art, and it’s working well.
Check out our video coverage of the night here.
Click here to see some photos and commentary from FUSE X PuSH.
The first FUSE of the year had a decidedly different feel from its fall predecessor. It was a busy night for the Vancouver Art Gallery, with attendance at a high, especially during the performances from PuSH International Performing Arts Festival artists, who turned all corners of the gallery into their stages for performance art. The collections on display included Unscrolled, which features the work of three generations of Chinese artists, with the likes of Ji Yun Fei, Sun Xun, and Zhang Enli adding to the eclectic mix of western and traditionally trained artists.
The night also centred around a selection from Landon Mackenzie’s Wood Chopper and the Monkey. Landon is a Vancouver based painter who’s been creating large scale paintings for the better part of thirty years. His Wood Chopper was used as metaphor, juxtaposed beside the gallery’s longstanding Emily Carr collection. The art on hand was more subdued in colour palette and there were large scale installation pieces and black and white was a consistent theme throughout the night.
Each FUSE night is distinctive in its incorporation of connectivity to the art. There’s always a few elements, that make the whole experience of FUSE more interactive. This time, large geometric domes, called experience spheres were the centre of attention. The spheres were put into place by the PuSH festival and created by Tangible Interaction. If you were brave enough to stick your head into the black dome, there were a number of lights which flashed different colours in quick succession, creating an optical illusion. It’s small concepts like these pieces which lend to the bigger notion of being involved in the art.
Click here for video footage of FUSE x PuSH
The Vancouver Art Gallery will be showing a collection of Cezanne, beginning February 13th. The next FUSE night is scheduled for April 24th.