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IGNITION is an annual exhibition that features new work by students currently enrolled in the Studio Arts or Humanities graduate programs at Concordia University. It provides an upandcoming generation of artists with a unique opportunity to present ambitious, interdisciplinary works in the professional context of a gallery with a national and international profile. Graduate students work directly with Gallery staff to produce an exhibition that places an emphasis on critical, innovative, and experimental work, engaging in the exploration and consideration of diverse media and practices.

IGNITION 15
Sanaz Sohrabi, Notes on Seeing Double, 2018. Video still. Courtesy of the artist
Kara Skylling, Wall Drawing (Parallel Planes), 2019. Installation view, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery. Photo: Yasmine Tremblay
Swapnaa Tamhane, Supports for Unnecessary Ornamentation (made by Achim Hirdes, Exhibition Technician at Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach), 2015. As part of the installation BIBLIOTHEK, 2019. Courtesy of the artist
Victor Arroyo, Portrait of a Nation, 2019. Installation view, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery. Photo: Anne-Marie Trépanier
Paule Gilbert, Sans titre, 2019. Performance, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery . Photo: Anne-Marie Trépanier

April 24 – May 25, 2019

Victor Arroyo, Paule Gilbert, Marie-Claude Lepiez, Wan Yi Leung, Kyle Alden Martens, Lauren Pelc-McArthur, Kara Skylling, Sanaz Sohrabi et Swapnaa Tamhane

Projects selected by Nicole Burisch and Michèle Thériault

Wednesday, April 24
Meet the artists, 4:30 pm
Opening, 5:30 pm
Performance by Paule Gilbert, 5:45 pm

Ways of Thinking
Press release

To bar. To cross. To circumscribe. These are terms that might first ring of prohibition, interruption, or restriction. Yet, they also characterize a set of generative processes and concerns shared by the nine artists in IGNITION 15. In their hands, they signal sensibilities departing from a standpoint of tight and intimate proximity, from where to examine the multitude of lines outlining and intersecting an analysis of self, histories, and environments. Installing her work behind the Gallery’s main window, Swapnaa Tamhane examines how display might magnify value or serve as a lens for inquiry. Painting on a joint compound support grafted to the wall, Kara Skylling drafts geometric systems in dialogue with the surrounding architecture. This is painting against the gallery, if against is understood as being in close physical contact with. Kyle Alden Martens’s Soft Players documents a trio—possibly the titular soft players—engaged in a subdued game that’s more of an interface than a competition. Resulting from arrangements made on-line with men, Wan Yi Leung’s videos invite questions into the limits of negotiation and collaboration, public and private, and economies of exchange. Starting with an act of minor iconoclasm, Marie-Claude Lepiez commandeers a scene of Victorian friendship and steers it head-on towards queer punk solidarity. Sanaz Sohrabi adopts anatomy as an analytic method to consider images of bodies in assembly. Through editing and commentary, she makes precise incisions across historical lines leaving the body politic to spill between frames. Paule Gilbert’s on-site performance works within the imaginary space of a projected grid where Gilbert slips into the narrow border between the wall and light to improvise with a set of sculptural objects. Victor Arroyo telescopes fantasies of colonial governance and land disposition under the steady eye of a surveillance camera, accenting its duplicitous capacity to project culpability as much as it keeps watch for it. And addressing the hasty collection and consumption of art through social media, Lauren Pelc-McArthur builds the textures of her paintings up to a noisy physicality and opticality that demands viewing in person and skirts easy capture by the camera.

To bar. To cross. To circumscribe. These are terms that might first ring of prohibition, interruption, or restriction. Yet, they also characterize a set of generative processes and concerns shared by the nine artists in IGNITION 15. In their hands, they signal sensibilities departing from a standpoint of tight and intimate proximity, from where to examine the multitude of lines outlining and intersecting an analysis of self, histories, and environments. Installing her work behind the Gallery’s main window, Swapnaa Tamhane examines how display might magnify value or serve as a lens for inquiry. Painting on a joint compound support grafted to the wall, Kara Skylling drafts geometric systems in dialogue with the surrounding architecture. This is painting against the gallery, if against is understood as being in close physical contact with. Kyle Alden Martens’s Soft Players documents a trio—possibly the titular soft players—engaged in a subdued game that’s more of an interface than a competition. Resulting from arrangements made on-line with men, Wan Yi Leung’s videos invite questions into the limits of negotiation and collaboration, public and private, and economies of exchange. Starting with an act of minor iconoclasm, Marie-Claude Lepiez commandeers a scene of Victorian friendship and steers it head-on towards queer punk solidarity. Sanaz Sohrabi adopts anatomy as an analytic method to consider images of bodies in assembly. Through editing and commentary, she makes precise incisions across historical lines leaving the body politic to spill between frames. Paule Gilbert’s on-site performance works within the imaginary space of a projected grid where Gilbert slips into the narrow border between the wall and light to improvise with a set of sculptural objects. Victor Arroyo telescopes fantasies of colonial governance and land disposition under the steady eye of a surveillance camera, accenting its duplicitous capacity to project culpability as much as it keeps watch for it. And addressing the hasty collection and consumption of art through social media, Lauren Pelc-McArthur builds the textures of her paintings up to a noisy physicality and opticality that demands viewing in person and skirts easy capture by the camera.