Spirit Gum

May 30 to August 8, 2015
Opening:  May 29, 7pm

Katie Web 01

Mike Bourscheid, Claude Cahun, Gilbert & George, Jack Harman, Carole Itter, Katie Lyle, Elizabeth Milton, Shana Moulton, Frank Ney, Skawennati, Krista Belle Stewart, and Luo Zhijian

Spirit Gum is a kind of glue used to adhere costume to skin. This compound of alcohol (spirit) and resin (gum), suggests a double reading. By way of this sticky substance, objects are not only adhered to bodies, but also inspirited with character. In the exhibition Spirit Gum, this merging of costume and wearer is activated through newly created and existing artworks, alongside works from the permanent collection. Performing through a range of media, artists enact the self, as it begins to resemble another.

Spirit Gum is invisible, and with it the contrast between adornment and body can disappear too. Through this process, a self is rendered as truth or a part of a very good lie. Herein identity itself can be both revealed and disguised. Dressing becomes a personal act of display, and a means to create a public narrative. At Swy-a-lana lagoon, a former Nanaimo mayor is fixed in his favourite role, in bronze he dons a Jolly Roger hat and pirate costume. This figure reminds us that disguise and costume are a part of a communal performance, and when caught in the act, visitors too enter its behavioral composition.  

This exhibition marks another transformation, as the first show since Nanaimo Art Gallery's two locations have merged into one.

Curated by Jesse Birch and Kara Hansen
Kara Hansen's curatorial internship at Nanaimo Art Gallery is funded by an Early Career Development grant through the British Columbia Arts Council.

Image: Katie Lyle, The Writer and The Reader (2014), Oil on canvas, 12"x16"

Film Screening and Popcorn
Tuesday June 16 at 7pm, Art Lab
Free admission
Join us in Art Lab for a free screening of The World of Gilbert and George (1981). Directed by Gilbert & George, this film arranges the artists' sources of inspiration. From church spires to city streets, and from alcoholism to tea drinking, the artists share a unique perspective on their visual vocabulary. Please be advised that given the film's suggestive content, it is not suitable for minors.

Free Interpretive Tour
Friday July 3 at 2pm
Join us for a free tour and lively interpretive experience of the exhibition Spirit Gum. The tour will be lead by performance diva Norma Rocher and will include chocolate and song. Norma Rocher is a part of artist Elizabeth Milton's video installation Soap Opera with Chocolates (2015) shown in Nanaimo Art Gallery's exhibition Spirit Gum on from May 30 until August 8, 2015.

Spirit Gum Cabaret: Live Music and Magic!
Saturday July 4 at 8:30pm
MGM Restaurant, 240 Nicol St.
Gallery $10/ Door $12
The Spirit Gum cabaret is an exciting evening of live performances for all ages. Presented as part of the exhibition Spirit Gum the cabaret features music by Red Hot Icicles Burning on Fire (Vancouver), Starlight 75 (Ladysmith), and a magical performance by Travis the Magician (Vancouver). Costumes are encouraged.

Tickets available at Nanaimo Art Gallery, Fascinating Rhythm, The Vault Cafe



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