In Memoriam by University of Alberta Students


April 17 – 18
Opening Reception: April 17, 2015 7PM
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton

In Memoriam: A living wake for the future of contemporary art.

This exhibition features work from students of Jesse Sherburne and Ali Nickerson’s University of Alberta Intermedia Courses. The work is focused on the contemporary practices of intermedia, Socially Engaged Art, Institution Critique and Relational Aesthetics.

In Memoriam is a latin term that loosely translates as “in the memory of”. With the recent severe cuts and changes we are seeing to the budgets of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, CARFAC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research, The Canada Council for the Arts and foremost Post-Secondary Education budgets, these students, like their practicing instructors, face an uncertain future. With budget cuts comes pressure to be safe, complicit and deny the criticality that so much drives the creation of contemporary art. Creative critical practice is brave enough and necessary as it asks the questions we are so often afraid to address. Without creatives we would undeniably be living in a very controlled and problematic world filled with inequality, segregation and hegemonic controls on our ability to raise our voices in protest. With these budget cuts comes the pressure to silence work that truly asks the challenging questions. Unlike many other more formal mediums, Intermedia manifests in multiple forms engaging audiences in partipatory experiential learning experiences. With the potential loss of the medium in some educational institutions and funding agencies we must ask, is this the death of criticality and do we resign ourselves to the complicity of formalism…or do we work with our emerging artists to fight against these potential walled in experiences and unite in attempts to step outside the confines of a conservative mode of expression.

It has now become an act of rebellion within itself to choose, despite the immense economic and social pressure against it, to be a contemporary creative.

This exhibit has been made possible with the support of Stacey Cann and The Harcourt House Artist Run Centre. It is with this opportunity that these students can exhibit their challenging, professional and critical works in a setting without restrictive confines. This exhibition has been created to suggest that we must all support the next generation of emergent creatives, who are talented and brave enough to ask big questions and step beyond medium specificity to create socially engage artwork that can generate dialogues with the public about who and why we are.

Bring a candle…something very important may be close to disappearing.