In conjunction with its continuing exhibition,
the Koffler Gallery presents a virtual conversation between multidisciplinary artist The Natalie Brettschneider Archive, Carol Sawyer and Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Michelle Jacques. Sawyer and Jacques have worked together on a past presentation of the Archive in Victoria, and they will discuss the evolution of the project over the years, its adaptation to different institutional and local historical contexts, and its research findings that expand our understanding of the past. Unfixed and ever-growing, the Natalie Brettschneider Archive is a feminist intervention aiming to disturb art historical hegemonies, foregrounding women’s sidelined stories and perspectives.
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Carol Sawyer is a visual artist and singer working with photography, installation, video and improvised music. Since the early 1990’s her visual artwork has investigated the connections between photography and fiction, performance, memory and history. Sawyer studied classical singing, focussing on opera and art song, and trained in extended voice technique with Richard Armstrong. For the past 20+ years she has performed extensively in improvised music contexts. Sawyer graduated with Honours in photography from Emily Carr College of Art and Design (now ECUAD), and earned a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts from Simon Fraser University, where she studied critical theory, music performance and composition, and acting. She has taught studio and critical studies courses at both SFU and ECUAD. Her artwork is represented by Republic Gallery, Vancouver. Michelle Jacques has been living as an uninvited but grateful guest on Lekwungen territory since 2012. She is the Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV), where she is responsible for guiding a curatorial and education program that links contemporary practices, ideas and issues to the Gallery’s historical collections and legacies. Since joining the AGGV, she has facilitated projects with contemporary artists Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce; Gwen MacGregor; Hiraki Sawa; Charles Campbell and Farheen HaQ; and Carol Sawyer; co-curated major retrospectives of the work of Anna Banana and Jock Macdonald; and developed a series of installations that use the AGGV’s collection to evoke cross-temporal and cross-cultural conversations. Prior to moving west, she held various roles in the Contemporary and Canadian departments of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; was the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax; and taught courses in writing, art history and curatorial studies at NSCAD University, University of Toronto Mississauga, and OCAD University.
Image at top: Carol Sawyer,
The Natalie Brettschneider Archive (Koffler Gallery installation detail), 2020. Photos: Toni Hafkenscheid.