Harvest, Sweep, Gather is a two-person exhibition of work by Gail Bourgeois (Gatineau, PQ) and Riaz Mehmood (Thunder Bay, ON).
We live in a culture of surveillance. New technologies present us with a barrage of imagery to consume and distract, all the while facilitating our capacity to both watch and be watched.
This exhibition presents perspectives on past and present modes of surveillance and conflict. Shadows of cold war paranoia and union-busting initiatives, workplace surveillance, incendiary weapons, Islamophobia and controversial government initiatives such as Bill C-51 can be found in works by two contemporary artists that together, evoke historic and contemporary collective insecurities.
Gatineau-based artist Gail Bourgeois’ Cold War Pieces investigate the climate of fear associated with the cold war period though an evocative lexicon of archival and popular images presented as evidence. This body of work is the result of Bourgeois’ residency at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum in 2014. Pakistani-Canadian artist Riaz Mehmood combines the form of the mechanized drone with the folk form of Pakistani truck art to comment on their impact as a form of invasive technology on both privacy and human rights both in South Asia and around the globe.
Harvest, Sweep, Gather attempts to give form to acts of watching, seeking and collecting of bodies and data, and points to the consequences of these acts on civilians and workers.
This exhibition is curated by Tara Bursey, and will be accompanied by an essay by Siobhan Angus.
Please join us for the public opening reception of Harvest, Sweep, Gather on Friday, May 13th from 7-9 pm. A range of auxiliary programs will support this exhibition and be announced over the course of the Spring season.
Also join us for a free docent tour lead by Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre on Saturday, August 6th at 2 pm.
Gail Bourgeois is a founding member of Powerhouse Gallery (La Centrale, Montréal) and has founded or formed part of a dozen artists’ collectives. In 2013, she was invited artist in residence at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum (catalogue essay by Marcia Lea, 2014). Currently, she is engaged with the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery in the development of new works toward a solo exhibition opening in the summer 2016. Previous solo exhibitions include: Incidental things, Research-in-Art Project Room (catalogue essay by Petra Halkes, 2011) and Particle Factor, IPO Gallery (publication essay by Natasha Mazurka, 2008) both in Ottawa, Ontario. In December 2016, she will present new works for a two-person exhibition at the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario. Gail Bourgeois holds an MFA from Concordia University (Montréal, Québec) and has been shown professionally since 1985. She maintains a studio based drawing practice where themes and methods of working express the tension between academic knowledge and more experimental forms of knowledge based on her interest in collective practices and community engagement. gailbourgeois.ca
Riaz Mehmood is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Pakistan. After obtaining a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar, Riaz went on to complete the Integrated Media program at Ontario College of Art and Design (2005) and an MFA from the University of Windsor (2012). His artistic oeuvre encompasses a range of practices including performance, video, photography and new media. These works have explored a number of issues related to identity, history and media. Riaz has also been involved with a number of artist-run centres and served on the boards of SAVAC and articule. His works have been shown internationally, including the US, Canada, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia. riazmehmood.com