Current Residents

February 2019

Lisa Birke, Saskatoon
YUKON School of Visual Arts Guest Resident

Lisa Birke is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is a collision of video, performance art, painting and installation. She is interested in the stories that we re-cite and re-brand and how these inform a tragi-comic conception of ourselves in a fragmented world. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in complex single and multi-channel videos and installations that trouble viewer expectations in the mixing of referents from art history, popular culture and the everyday. The thin line between theatrics and documentation is blurred, exposing an indeterminate subject and an even shakier subjectivity.

Lisa Birke has had solo exhibitions across Canada and her award-winning short films have been screened at film/video festivals and media centres internationally, including: Time is Love, International Video Art
Program, CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Scotland, touring), Vancouver International Film Festival, CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area), Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery, Athens International Film + Video Festival (USA), Cologne OFF X (Germany, touring), Cold Cuts Video Festival, along with many others. The short film Calendar Girls was awarded a “Jury Award for Creative Achievement” at the Arizona International Film Festival (USA), the Jury Award at ForadCamp (Barcelona, Spain) and was installed at Manif d’/Art (Quebec City Biennale, 2017). The Knits screened, most notably, at Slamdance Film Festival (USA, 2018) and the Florida Film Festival (USA, 2018), and was mounted as a solo exhibition at Cambridge Art Galleries (Canada, 2017). A survey program of Birke’s short film work was presented at the International Short Film Week Regensburg (Germany, 2018) and 12-14 Contemporary (Vienna, Austria, 2018). Lisa Birke is a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, along with other awards and scholarships. Birke is currently Assistant Professor of Digital and Extended Media at the University of Saskatchewan.

During her stay at SOVA AiR, Birke will be shooting digital video footage for two new “film” projects.

When beginning new work, the process is very fluid: a performative action is tested out….which most often leads to reshoots and adjustments to the concept. Collecting of footage usually happens over the course of one to two years with different locations from across Canada manifesting into a short film or multi-channel video installation.

Freak accidents and Vanna White are currently on Birke’s mind, so we’ll see what happens.

Justin Tyler Tate

The framework of the one month residency will utilize repurposed, leftover and found materials in the construction of alternative spaces developed to engage with the local community. These temporary architectural installations will be purposefully built as habitats for relational events while also utilizing Dawson City’s unique landscape. The components of the work will not be limited to traditional modes of art production but will use methodologies from other fields to make the work more accessible to viewers/participants.

Justin Tyler Tate was born in Canada, grew up in the United States and now works internationally. Receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University and a Master of Fine Arts from Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts, his work combines elements of sculpture, installation, media, performance as well as social art. During the past decade as a professional artist he has exhibited more than 80 projects, in +20 countries, on 4 continents. His practice draws knowledge from various fields and marries them in order to find solutions to contemporary problems. Architecture, carpentry, botany, cooking, electronics, chemistry, new-media, and more are all merged under a singular umbrella of artistic production. Tate is also occasionally a curator as well as a frequent teacher of workshops focusing on utilization of available materials, tools and site specificity.

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