Current Exhibition & Events

Shujuan Liu: Chinese Flower and Bird Paintings / ARTLAB 
February 19-27, 2019
Closing Reception: Wednesday, February 27 from 4:00-5:00pm.


The Artlab gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by visiting professor Shujuan Liu.

Shujuan Liu, is an associate professor of the School of Fine Arts and Design of Pan Tianshou, Ningbo University, China. She is now a visiting professor of Department of Visual Arts, Western University, Canada. Shujuan started to learn painting when she was 10 years old. She graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of Northeast Normal University, China and she has been teaching paintings in many years. She was also a visiting scholar in Capital Normal University, China in 2007. Her works of traditional Chinese paintings have been published in professional art journals for many times. Her works of fine brushwork characters have won honorary prizes in the International Chinese Grand Prix at Beijing. Her painting works were also exhibited in China and in Japan as well. Recently, her painting work Shuoguo Piaoxiang, won the first prize of London Chinese Community painting competition in London, Ontario, Canada 2019.

Forms of Narrative: An Exploration of Story in Text and Image / COHEN COMMONS
February 27 - March 14, 2019
Reading + Reception: Wednesday, February 27 from 5:00-7:00pm

Join us Wednesday, February 27 from 5-7pm in the Cohen Commons for a series of student readings and the opening reception for "Forms of Narrative: An Exploration of Story in Text and Image." This will be followed by keynote speaker Jaclyn Bruneau's presentation entitled "Parafiction and the Ethics of the Hoax," which begins at 6:00pm. This event is co-hosted by the Department of Visual Arts and the Department of English and Writing Studies, it's free and open to the public. 


"Forms of Narrative: An Exploration of Story in Text and Image"
Nino Ricci

Narrative informs almost every field of human endeavour, from literature and the visual arts to history, law, medicine, business, and the sciences. Everywhere we look we see story: in video games, in car ads, in lab experiments, in patient histories. ‘Forms of Narrative' explores, in image and text, the primacy of story and our reliance on it for the making of meaning.


"Parafiction and the Ethics of the Hoax"
Jaclyn Bruneau 

The parodist is a detectable fake whose apparent inauthenticity is key to the audience's understanding of the parodic gesture as such. By contrast, the parafictional work almost completely—if not utterly—passes as something natural, quietly entering the stream of life in order to wager its critique, with no promise that viewers will eventually uncover its masquerade. As art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty writes, “with varying degrees of success, for various durations, and for various purposes, these fictions are experienced as fact."

Considering the maximalist qualities of today’s public discourse and personae, parody has become weakened as a mode of critique, since what is extreme can scarcely be exaggerated to any effect. It’s precisely at this impasse that parafiction becomes a provocative mode of critique and, at times, actual disruption. But perhaps it’s not quite clean. As Lambert-Beatty notes: “One of the disturbing things about the parafictional is the split between the trap-laying artist and the specifically unwitting viewer, who thinks she is involved in one kind of experience while actually participating in another.” In this presentation, Jaclyn Bruneau will take stock of a number of parafictional works of contemporary art and film, considering the relationship between the ethical quandaries of deception and the unparalleled, and often beguiling, impact of works that hinge on their undetectability as fiction.


Jaclyn Bruneau is a writer, editor and organizer based in Toronto. She's the Editor of C Magazine and on the Board of Directors at Images Festival.

In 2018, she participated in the Oberhausen Seminar in conjunction with LUX (London) and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (New York) and in the 31st Images Festival Research Forum (Toronto). In 2017, she participated in Fan Wu’s Close Workshops series—on the writing of grief and mourning—supported by Art Metropole, which will culminate in an anthology published this year. Thanks to the BC Arts Council, she spent 2017 at work on a survey of contemporary cultural criticism. In 2016, she was a resident at The Banff Centre's Critical Art Writing Ensemble II and in 2015, was awarded the Editorial Residency at Canadian Art. She has held positions at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival and New Forms Festival and has given talks on exhibitions and projects by more than a dozen artists.

Together with Jacquelyn Ross (Blank Cheque Press), she started DAMN REENA, a handful of persons assembled to interrogate collectivity and collaboration, and produce writing-based works as a group. She is underway on an inconspicuous, year-long, Kijiji publishing project with Natasha Chaykowski and Untitled Art Society called please teach me how to swim.

Lastly, she takes on independent substantive editing projects of varying lengths in the genres of art writing, criticism, non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Send a note through the contact form to inquire about these services.

selsun blue / ARTLAB
January 31 - February 14, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 31 from 5-7pm

Matt W. Brown, Kate Carder-Thompson, Jerome Conquy,
Sepideh Tajalizadeh, Yas Nikpour, George Kubresli,
Ramolen Laruan, Johnathan Onyschuk, Lydia Santia, Zhizi Wang


The exhibition "selsun blue" features work by current MFA students in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University. Stemming from a shared interested in the problematics of communicating with clarity, these works question the implications of our capacity to both transmit and receive information.

A mondegreen is simply the mishearing or misinterpretation of a lyric. This linguistic term was coined by Sylvia Wright in her 1954 essay, "The Death of Lady Mondegreen." In this text, Wright describes how her mother would often read to her as a child from the book Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, a compilation of popular songs from the eighteenth century, complied by Bishop Thomas Percy. Her favorite verse:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

She recalls discovering years later that the line she had always remembered as "And Lady Mondegreen," was actually, "And laid him on the green." This misunderstanding shifts the lyrics context, positioning the narrative around a singular protagonist, the Earl of Moray alone. As misinterpretations, mondegreens point towards a misalignment between auditory perception and translation[1], but often times the thing we think we hear is in some way related to our own desires; a Freudian slip, a Rorschach test. In these instances, the authors intended meaning becomes disrupted, but a more personal or unexpected one might be formed. This error in translation opens up a space were miscommunication might become a field of potentiality, pointing towards new and unexpected connotations. Further, it questions the ways in which information is transmitted, whereby the politics and efficacy of these models themselves might become part of the conversation.

Each artists explores these ideas through a number of variable avenues that might be positioned within three subtexts: "speaking to yourself," "speaking to others" and "speaking for others." "Speaking to yourself" becomes about the dialogues and mantras we repeat internally, about psychological alcoves and unconscious propositions, as well as the problematics of remembering. "Speaking to others" might include the immaterial pursuit of s&#;ances, spiritual endeavors, and the encompassing world of social media and digital landscapes. Or it might be materially driven, as in object-oriented ontology. While "speaking for others" questions the power dynamics between those who have agency and those that are subject to censorship, misrepresentation, and propaganda.

[1] Konnikova, Maria. "Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy." In The New Yorker, December 10, 2014 <>


Inherent Vice / COHEN COMMONS
January 31 - February 14, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 31 from 5-7pm

Inherent vice is a term used in art conservation to describe the tendency in an object or material to deteriorate or self-destruct because of poor intrinsic characteristics, such as weak or unstable materials. Conservators must constantly work against inherent vice in order to rectify the effects of past damage while also preventing future deterioration. But, as Hanna Hölling notes, “conservation is always interpretation” and all approaches change and affect the original object.

In this exhibition, students in VAH2292 have responded to talks given by three scholars and conservators who work to preserve, repair, and restore material artefacts.


+ + EVENT + +

After-Art-Party with Nadsat and The Western Contemporary Music Studio
Thursday, January 31, 7-9pm

Presented by the ArtLab Gallery in partnership with Forest City Gallery's Hear Here Committee: The After-ART-Party introduces a musical happening taking place in the Artlab Gallery itself, following the opening reception of "selsun blue"

Music at 7:00 PM
Admission is Free