August 3 - 30, 2013

The Art Gallery

David LaRiviere

Saskatoon-based artist, David LaRiviere, employs humor in the critique of the institution. August 3 at 8 pm. Artist will be in attendance.

The “Art Gallery” is home to diverse precious objects, collected and mounted with painstaking care. We commonly understand that the work is presented as such because it is deserving of a privileged consideration, a special kind of reflection that is superior to the casual attention paid to crass advertising and the noisy, nonsensical, fantastic, pornographic pallor that otherwise permeates our media environment. For inside of the would-be sanctuary of the “Art Gallery” we run near and far from the alleged model, finding there an array of iconic representations, fashion statements, elite commodities, political gambits, florid decoration, refined sensibility, escape, critical engagement, passion, propaganda, aesthetic sensitivity, compulsion, misinformation, conviction, affirmation, multiplicities and ambiguities.

Contrary to garden variety truth claims, there is nothing stable or fixed about an artwork. With every return the artwork is bestowed new politics, and the complex “history” that marked out its original reception is further articulated with unforeseen twists and turns. Although the Art Gallery is full of the airs of connoisseurship, such inscriptions are entirely imaginary. Indeed, the artwork is in no way “de facto superior” to the surrounding media environment, as nonsensical and pornographic as it may be. There are many instances where the work of art is nothing but a warm, fuzzy distraction that relies on the very same over-coded rhetoric as is so rife in advertizing. The ambiguity of art is precisely that there is nothing noble about the work by virtue of its status as an artwork. After all, artworks have also been at the forefront of the most tyrannical movements of history, witness the “Death of Marat.”

David LaRiviere received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta in 1989 and an MA Fine Art degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London in London in 1996. Since 2008 he has worked as the Artistic Director of PAVED Arts in Saskatoon.

LaRiviere’s current art practice encompasses audio art, video, web art, performance and commercial “intervention.” His interest in a variety of media is influenced by a research path that includes a still developing interest in continental philosophy. Last year LaRiviere's work was featured in a two-person exhibition at the Truck Gallery in Calgary and a group exhibition at the Mendel Art Gallery entitled Beneath a Petroliferous Moon. In 2013 he will mount a solo exhibition at Neutral Ground in Regina.