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Lines of Travel: Ongoing Artistic Discourses between Rotterdam and Vancouver

What is it about Rotterdam and Vancouver that has enabled an easy dialogue about contemporary art over recent decades? A conversation with Wil Aballe (Director, Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver) and Evann Siebens (Photographic, video, installation and performance artist, Vancouver).

The modernity of Rotterdam could be something that has tuned curators to Vancouver, a place that is so far away and so new. Both cities are major seaports, and both Canada and the Netherlands have their bedrock of art set upon the landscape tradition, invented by the Dutch, and a style of art that has enabled Canada to populate a land mass spanning three and a half time zones. Witte de With has been an instrumental institution for facilitating this dialogue, since an early show with Ken Lum spawned his infamous work of public art, Melly Shum Hates Her Job. Lum was followed by solo exhibitions of other Vancouver photographers and conceptual artists, Ian Wallace, Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen, Luis Jacob, Judy Radul and Douglas Coupland over two decades. Aballe and Siebens will discuss possible factors that has resulted in this cultural exchange, and discuss how these precedents allow for ongoing dialogue of art between these two centres, all the way to the present with Siebens' presentation of new performance work in MOVEABLE TYPES at Witte de With, from 7 February until 9 February 2020.

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