Capturing Vancouver

In a City of Glass, bound by mountains and sea, photographers will thrive. Photoconceptualism – or ‘The Vancouver School’ –  includes world-renowned artists like Vikky Alexander, Roy Arden, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace.

Jeff Wall: Tableaux, Pictures, Photographs 1996-2013 gives us a vivid glimpse into Wall’s pioneering work in cinematographic re-creations. “Something lingers in me until I have to remake it from memory to capture why it fascinates me.”

In support of an exhibit of Tableaux, Pictures, Photographs at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, Wall talks about one of his compelling works: A Flooded Grave. “It represents what I think of as an instantaneous vision in which a person strolling in the graveyard, just on a walk – maybe walking their dog or something – sees a freshly dug hole. It’s what you see often in cemeteries unfortunately, and for some reason this imaginary person has a vision of the sea.”

The Flooded Grave. 1998-2000. Courtesy of the artist

And of Overpass, he says: “These are nomads, people who don’t have a fixed place. They are people who are having hard times, they’re not fortunate. They are exposed to difficulties that most people can avoid.”

Overpass. 2001. Courtesy of the artist
Inspired by artists like Wall and the rest of The Vancouver School, Kim Spencer-Nairn started the not-for-profit Capture Photography Festival in 2013. As she and her her team wrote in an indiegogo campaign: ‘Capture is here to promote awareness of Vancouver’s unique history of photoconceptualism, inspire community engagement with photography, and create platforms for showcasing local and international artists.’

This year, the official festival runs from April 1-28 and features photography exhibits at more than seventy galleries and community venues. The many offerings include:

10 @ Capture
i. Modern Colour. Fred Herzog. Equinox Gallery
ii. Photo Works. Gordon Smith. Equinox Gallery
iii. Consumed. Monique Motut-Firth. Gallery 1515
iv. Spin. Kiku Hawkes, Ross den Otter. AMP Studios
v. News Photographers Association of Canada Pictures of the Year Nominees. Pendulum Gallery
vi. Silence in Schools. Luke Potter. Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art
vii. Falling through Time. Barbara Cole. Bau-Xi Gallery
viii. Song of the Open Road. Vikky Alexander, Robert Arndt + . Contemporary Art Gallery
ix. Making statues for over-60-year-olds in Shengjing Village. Weishan Tan
x. Under Vancouver 1972-1982. Greg Girard. Monte Clark Gallery

Do double-check the dates for any particular show that interests you. Different exhibits run within different windows of the Festival.

Capture Photo Festival 2017

Written by Elizabeth Newton


Header Image: Jeff Wall. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue.
1999-2000. Courtesy of the artist



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