OFFSITE_ONSITE: ongoing installation projects
SHELLEY VANDERBYL / NISRINE BOUKHARI / ALFREDO DE STEFANO / ANNE STEVES (WITH TANGIENE MARTIN O’HARA)
ABIR BOUKHARI / DENISE LAWSON / ANGELA SOMERSET
supported through CVAG Productions + Installation:
THOMAS ELLIOTT / DAVID LAWSON
These installation projects present the work of artists and curators from the Comox Valley, Newfoundland, Sweden, Austria and Mexico. Over the span of time and the space between us, a relational art practice engaged artist to artist to curator to community to self and back again. This aspect of the current OFFSITE_ONSITE convergent program is an extension of the exhibition Under One Sky, 16 June – 4 September.
During the year preceding the current exhibition at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, artists and curators came together in relational practice that supported research, development and production of work for presentation. Over spans of distance and time we became known to one another through written exchanges and recurring virtual and in-person conversations. The artists engaged in explorations, dialogue, and experimentation. The public was engaged in virtual workshops that contributed to research. Onsite project development and installation through collaborations, both in person and over long distances, was undertaken. Invitations were extended and accepted for community partner participation in offsite presentations.
These video, sound and installation projects are visible:
ONSITE_ at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, Courtenay BC Canada, sound + video installations can been experienced on the lower level 6th Street gallery window ( Nisrene Boukhari, Shelley Vanderbyl) and access space and in the Comox Valley Art Gallery Foyer Community Gallery (Alfredo de Stefano).
OFFSITE_ site installations can be seen in the village of Cumberland at Dunsmuir Street and 1st Street / in various locations across western Newfoundland Canada (Anne Steves with Tangiene Martin O’Hara) and at the Courtenay + District Museum and Palaeontology Centre (Alfredo de Stefano).
Learn more about the individual artist residencies and installation projects details:
SHELLEY VANDERBYL lives in the Comox Valley. As an artist, she is an empathic creator. Shelley adeptly combines conceptual and visual elements from a vast range of sources. She sees success as reaching more people with messages of hope.
“Sometimes – people just want to know that others are around.” – Shelley Vanderbyl
NISRINE BOUKHARI is a conceptual artist, lives in Vienna and Stockholm. In her art-based research projects, she uses language to invoke a distinctive mind’s energy on discovering a new terrain of the imagination implicating the body and the mind in an immersive poetic and conceptual experience by using conceptual writing, fragmentation and deconstructed narrative. Her artistic practice emerged from studying the art walking through the body’s mental-driven movement into different aspects. In recent years, she uses the drifting mind as part of her long-term research on the state of Mind-Wandering.
“I want to establish a connection with strangers, with their lives without being there without knowing each other to approach them even without prior knowledge.” – Nisrine Boukhari
ANNE STEVES is a first-generation Welsh/Canadian interdisciplinary artist working in the Village of Cumberland on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and an MFA in Studio Practices from the University of Victoria. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and the UK. Steves has recently participated in the Canadian Craft Biennial residency, the NOVA Young Welsh Artist exhibition and the MAWA Winnipeg artist residency. She has received numerous grants to support her work from both the BC Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.
Anne Steves would like to acknowledge the funding support of the BC Arts Council and the Yosef Wosk Foundation.
ALFREDO DE STEFANO is considered one of the most important contemporary conceptual photographers in Mexico. His passion is the landscape and specifically the desert, a panorama that he has traveled countless times photographing and intervening in it. Among his photographic series are: Of places without a future (1992), Vestiges of Paradise (1996), Replenishing Emptiness (2002) and Brief Chronicle of Light (2006). From 2008 to 2018 he worked on his longest-running project, Storm of Light, which takes place in different deserts of the world.
Recently he is working on three new series in parallel: Black Forest, a visual document about fires and their consequences in the nearby forests where he lives. Dinosaur, a review, and re-interpretation of his photographic archives on paleontological discoveries in which he worked for years, and Constellation, a project of videos of interventions and performance in the desert filmed with a drone.
To his credit there are more than ninety exhibitions, between individual and collective, and his work has been exhibited on five continents, as well as in different capitals of the world: México, Paris, Sao Paulo, New York, Washington, Madrid, Bogotá, Lima, Buenos Aires, London, among other cities. His photographs have appeared in numerous books and magazines and his work is in public and private collections in Mexico and abroad. Since 2008 he is a member of the National System of Creators.
He is the cultural manager and director of the Contemporary Photography Contest in Mexico and Latin America, as well as the Luz del Norte International Photography Festival in Monterrey, N.L.
Jury in international competitions such as Vogue Italia, Verzasca-Foto Festival in Switzerland, Burn- Emerging Photographer Fund, Holland and AI-AP Latin American, New York.
Portfolio reviewer at PHOTON Festival, Valencia, IMAGO Festival, Lisbon, Cali Foto Fest, Colombia. Nominator for the 6×6 Global Talent Program / World Press Photo.
He directs and founded the non-profit organization Luz del Norte Photography, A.C. dedicated to promoting and disseminating the diversity of Mexican and Latin American photography through various platforms
Offsite Collaborating Curator
ABIR BOUKHARI (b. 1973) is a curator from Damascus, Syria, based in Stockholm, Sweden since 2015.
She is the director, curator and co-founder of AllArtNow (www.allartnow.com) that is considered to be the first independent collective space for contemporary art in Syria, founded in Damascus in 2005, but has since the war broke out in 2012 turned into a nomadic space, working from different places. Since 2019, AllArtNow opened a Lab in Stockholm.
Abir’s work can be described as trans-disciplinary curatorial research. Her projects and exhibitions reflect the interest in socio political issues and tackling concepts of memory as a metamorphic entity, identity and the questions of waiting and belonging whilst being in transfer. Throughout her career, Abir has been specifically interested in literature and its relation to art, developing a curatorial practice that has been distinguished by its openness to new media and transdisciplinary practice.
She has worked as an independent curator since 2005, creating exhibitions for institutions and galleries as varied as Taksim Gallery (Istanbul), Videoformes festival (Clermont Ferrand), the Arab Short Festival (Cairo), Les Instants Festival (Marseille) and others.
In Damascus (2005-2012), she run the artistic programme for AllArtNow, and was the artistic director for Living Spaces Festival for Contemporary Arts, the artistic director of Studio (an informal school for contemporary arts in Syria) and the co-founder of Boukhari House for Artist Residencies and the culture center Maktab Creative Zone.
In 2016, she did a curatorial course for professionals, CuratorLab, at Konstfack in Stockholm. She was then awarded a stipend from the Ulla Froberg-Cramers Foundation. She has previously had internships at Tate Modern in London (2006) and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2012). She also has a degree in French Literature from the University of Damascus (1998), as well as special studies in business administration from the American business center and Damascus Chamber of Commerce/Damascus (2003).
Since her move to Stockholm in 2015, she has been doing curatorial work, exploring the effects of displacement, culturally and individually and notions on global “nomadism” in collaboration with a number of arts organisations and institutions in the Nordic region and the MENA region, among them: Botkyrka konsthall/Residence Botkyrka (Sweden), Pori Art Museum (Finland), The World Culture Museum in Göteborg (Sweden), KRÆ syndikatet (Denmark), Sörmland Museum in Nykoping (Sweden), Jönkoping Läns Museum (Sweden), Kultivera in Tranås (Sweden), among many others.
She is currently mentor of the Jiser Residency, an international residence program running in between Spain, Algeria and Tunisia.