OFFSITE_ONSITE / Ongoing Installation Projects
made visible day and night @ The Comox Valley Art Gallery corner of 6th Street + Duncan Ave. / lower level window spaces
NISRINE BOUKHARI + SHELLEY VANDERBYL + ABIR BOUKHARI with CVAG’s curators
Over the span of time and the space between us, curators and artists from the Comox Valley, Sweden and Austria have undertaken a relational practice that is mounting a collaborative exhibition to be presented June 2021 – September 2021.
Abir, Shelley and Nisrine have known one another for a number of years. Having met in Sweden and worked together in Winnipeg, Manitoba, they have maintained connection and collaboration over times and distances apart. The ongoing dialogue between them informs their practices.
Looking in and looking out – the traces of their creative research, dialogue and curiosity are made visible through vicarious glimpses of ongoing offsite and onsite residency projects.
Installation Glimpses of Offsite_Onsite research + production residency can be seen and heard through the lower side windows of CVAG on 6th Street / day and night.
Virtual Glimpses of Offsite_Onsite research + production residency:
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.
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
Images: Nisrine Boukhari + Alun Macanulty