INFINITE CUBE: grand reopening of the Hiber National Gallery | Week 6 of 12
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Vicki Van Chau
Gallery Director: Eric Heitmann
Head Curator: Caitlind Brown
Gallery Architect: Wayne Garrett
“Welcome esteemed guests to Hiber National Gallery! We are so pleased to finally have you inside the building for this Grand Reopening. It’s been a long time coming, and we couldn’t have done it without many of the folks in this room. Before we disperse across this sizeable space, it’s my pleasure to share some insight into the 6 solo shows in our opening exhibition, INFINITE CUBE. To help me in this endeavor, I’d like to welcome Principal Architect with WPG, Wayne Garrett – the creative mind responsible for this fabulous space.
“Infinite Cube” references both the myth of neutrality in ‘the white cube,’ and the seemingly endless unfolding of digital space in the internet era: imagine a cube, deconstructing itself without end. In a time where virtual reality, fake news, and skillful renderings are almost inseparable from their true counterparts, how can we determine what is “real” and what is imaginary? And why do we care? Here at Hiber National Gallery, we embrace the potential for uncanny scales, geographies, chronologies, and perceptual altercations. The artworks you will experience today vary in origin, expression, and design, transcending the need for unification, codified only by a shared interest in space, time, and it’s rapid expansion, contraction, or distraction.
The first exhibition you’ll encounter, on the second floor of Hiber National, is Big Bang Birth, from Chicago-based artist Michelle Murphy. An explosive entry-point to INFINITE CUBE, this visceral display of camp and circumstance highlights radical beginnings through critical tipping points: 10 weeks. Orgasm. Growl. Expulsion. Exaltation. Confetti. BIG……… BANG.
On the third floor, Fifteen Moments by Damian Espinosa, invites you to engage with a series of 15 vignettes from the artist’s life in Shanghai, casually composed for Chinese social media platform, WeChat. Impulsively collected and fastidiously edited, these digitized peepholes arrive and disappear aggressively – like fever dreams – dizzying and addictive. Infinite cubes in digital space.
Above: a selection of short vignettes from Damian Espinosa’s 15 Moments
Accessed via the third floor galleries, the Heitmann Theatre is home to a performance work directed by Calgary filmmaker Vicki Van Chau, conceived in collaboration with the Calgary Chinese Orchestra. 72 musicians transcend the usual planes of geographic existence to co-instrumentalize Off to the Races, a new arrangement of the classic Erhu song, Horse Race. If you find their performance compelling, you can access a short documentary further detailing the making of this performance on The Hibernation Project social media later tonight.
The fourth floor features Toronto-based artist Chris Foster, with Structural Constructions of Structures for Deconstruction & Reconstruction. An architectural exploration of uncertain scale, the artist uses Quotidien materials, light, shadow, and landmarks to flatter, problematize, and amend erections of the Anthropocene, through ambiguously live manipulations.
The fifth floor of Hiber National invites a new perspective on exhausted interpretations of virtual and online gallery spaces, ubiquitous in today’s viral environment. Montreal-based artist Brandon A. Dalmer invites you to enter the Tomb of the Brutal King, wherein five mysterious relics hold the key to the thin barrier that binds the realms. Are you a bad enough dude to rip them from the hands of invading demons?? Experience the demo.
On the rooftop of Hiber National – along with a spectacular view – you’ll find Kew R. Gardens, where you can experience Portal by Calgary-based artist Luba Diduch. The artist extends a trans-spatial invitation to traverse the mysterious ether of digital space via your mobile device. Follow the code as it transports you to her private site of exhibition; from there, follow your ears.
This evening, our glass-ceilinged rooftop restaurant Le Café will be open until 10 pm (the crème brulee is to die for). As a special treat for our VIP guests and sponsors, WPG Principal Architect Wayne Garrett will be demonstrating live spatial-conjuring and interior ornamentation techniques – to be experienced alongside dessert.
Thank you for joining us. In a few short minutes, you’ll be invited to engage with our gallery receptionist – who happens to share my name. She will direct you to different exhibitions in the gallery. In the meantime, we are honoured to share a few words from our civic sponsors, and a brief address from our unnecessary colonial counterparts.
Thank you, and good evening.”
~ Hiber National Gallery Head Curator, Caitlind Brown
Piece name: Illustrious Visionary
Artist: Antonio de Toledo (or Tony Toleehdo)
Medium: digital collage