The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak – Curated by Paul Wong

The Long Time is a major exhibition of 21st century art by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak in photography, video and installation. The exhibition includes …bump in the night (Vancouver), Becoming…, The Miniatures series of video objects and the premiere of Before I wake…, the trilogy that has been in progress since 2000. The final segment Entranced (2012) has been commissioned by On Main and completes this epic journey to the other side.

This exhibition curated by Paul Wong features the work of long-time collaborators Steele + Tomczak who have produced an extraordinary body of work investigating aspects of the self for over 30 years. The two are recipients of the 2005 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, and have received honorary doctorates from UBC Okanagan and Steele from OCAD University for their significant contributions to contemporary life, art and politics.

Central to this exhibition is the long awaited before I wake… trilogy. This multi-screen installation brings together for first time the three video components “We’re Getting Younger All The Time”, “Practicing Death” and “Entranced”. This monumental love story searches for the fountain of youth, surrenders to the idea of eternal sleep and crosses the threshold of the hereafter. It is poignant, chilling and deeply personal.

…bump in the night (Vancouver) is a series of life-size photo-text panels featuring students from the Native Education College. Previous versions include Caen (France), Berlin, Barrie and Toronto (Ontario). This site-specific project will be presented in partnership with InTransitBC (Canada Line) at Broadway-City Hall Station and in the storefront windows at 1965 Main Street.

Becoming…, started during an artist residency at VIVO Media Arts Centre in 2006. This series of urban architectural studies juxtaposes the nouveau with the retro. Vancouver, the city of glass, is presented alongside studies of Berlin, Toronto and Montreal.

The Miniatures is an ongoing series of small-scale video frames of loops, 1 to 1.5 minutes in length that play silently on small digital frames. Each combines scenes from the natural world with political slogans – Make Love Not War, Blood, Stand Up, Power, Free Speech and May 68. The Vancouver exhibition will include the new miniature “Extraordinary Rendition”.

The 80-page full-colour book will include essays by Felix Vogel, Jim Drobnick and Jennifer Fisher, Michael Turner and Paul Wong. Published by On Main, edited by Paul Wong and available September 6, 2012 (ISBN: 978-0-9694777-5-4).

This project is produced by On Main. The exhibition and parallel events are co-presented by VIVO Media Arts Centre. The VIVO Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive will feature a special selection of Steele+Tomczak’s 20th century work including publications, ephemera and early video works. This collaboration kicks off SWARM 2012 the annual festival produced by PAARC (Pacific Association of Artists Run Centres).
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, Rick Erickson, and VIVO Media Arts Centre.

Vancouver Exhibition:
Sept 7–29, 2012, Wed-Sat 12-6pm
1965 Main St, Vancouver, BC

Free Special Events:

Sept 6, 7-10pm public opening as part of SWARM 2012
Sept 6, 10-1am Video Bar+SWARM afterparty
Sept 8, 3-3:30pm and 7-7:30pm: Artist and Curator’s Tours
Sept 8, 8-10pm: “In Camera” talk with Lisa Steele, Kim Tomczak, Michael Turner and Paul Wong
Sept. 26, 7-9pm: “No Reading After The Internet” with Michael Turner

For further information please contact