B.c. Almanac(H) C-B

Curated by: Helga Pakasaar

Bringing to light a little-known chapter in Vancouver’s recent art history, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B features a remounted exhibition and reprinted book originally commissioned by the Stills Division of the National Film Board of Canada in 1970. Organised by Vancouver artists Jack Dale and Michael de Courcy, fifteen West Coast artists were invited to produce photographic booklets that were then compiled into an anthology. Participants included multimedia artists Jack Dale, Michael de Courcy, Christos Dikeakos, Judith Eglington, Gerry Gilbert, Roy Kiyooka, Glenn Lewis, Taras Masciuch, NE Thing Co. Ltd., Michael Morris, Jone Pane, Timothy Porter, Peter Thomas, Vincent Trasov, and Robertson Wood. The book itself was conceived as an exhibition and became the content of a touring exhibition – a multimedia version of the book, complete with walls painted greyscale. This self-referential project highlights the processes of print production and the mass media circulation of print culture. In the spirit of the era, the artists were experimenting with new technologies and used the camera to explore ideas about communication in the electronic “information age”. Concurrently, Presentation House Gallery is organising a related exhibition of photographs, film, mixed media works and ephemera that features Almanac artists.

More information about the 1970 exhibition: Pulp: Article Thirteen: BC Almanac(h)-CB 

'PULP: An Account of the Newsprint, Corrugated Cardboard, and Box Art Created in Vancouver Between 1968 and 1972' was created by Michael de Courcy. The reprinted book is available for purchase in the gallery and online. Paperback with a cardboard box. Edition of 700, 472 pages.

Events

Saturday, November 28, 1:00 pm | A discussion about the BC Almanac with Michael deCourcy, Christos Dikeakos, Andrea Kunard, Michael Morris

This discussion will uncover new information about how artists approached this unique project commissioned by the NFB in 1970. Fifteen West Coast artists, filmmakers and writers—many using cameras for the first time—were invited to produce photographic bookworks that were disseminated individually and compiled into one publication that Presentation House Gallery has reprinted. The vibrant interdisciplinary art scene on the West Coast embraced newly accessible camera technology, like a Portapak video camera that arrived in Vancouver in the late 1960s, and the democratic promise of disseminating art via mass communication. The book is conceived as an exhibition and the remounted 1970 Almanac installation (shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1971) is a three-dimensional version of the production of the book, complete with walls painted greyscale. The Almanac project is highly self-referential and upends conventional hierarchies through witty and inventive approaches to making art. The BC Almanac has proven to be prescient, anticipating the zine and digital image cultures of today, and the renewed experimental ethos of artist book production.

Michael de Courcy is a multidisciplinary artist and community activist, and one of the organisers of the National Film Board's 1970 exhibition B.C. Almanac(h) C-B. From 1967 to 1972, de Courcy was an active member of the Intermedia Society, which he documented extensively. His practice encompasses photography and video, printing and publishing, online projects and public artworks.

Christos Dikeakos graduated with a BFA from the University of British Columbia in 1970; the B.C. Almanac(h) C-B exhibition was one of his first shows. Since then, his multimedia works and photographs have been exhibited across North America and Europe, and currently can be seen at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Andrea Kunard is Associate Curator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada. She has presented numerous exhibitions on contemporary photography at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and National Gallery. She has taught the history of photography, Canadian art and cultural theory at Carleton and Queen's Universities. She co-edited The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada, and has written on contemporary and historical photography in a variety of publications including The Journal of Canadian Art History, The International Journal of Canadian Studies, Early Popular Visual Culture, Blackflash, and ETC Montréal.

Michael Morris is a painter, photographer, video and performance artist and curator. A key figure of the West Coast art scene, he created mail-art networks and collaborated as Image Bank with Vincent Trasov, and co-founded the Western Front in 1973. His experimental work is often media based, and involved with developing networks, collaborations and new art activity. He recently had a survey exhibition at UBC's Belkin Gallery, with a major publication.

Monday, November 23, 7:30 pm |  DIM Cinema Screening - Almanac (Circa 1970)

at The Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver | (604) 688-3456

In 1970, the Stills Division of the National Film Board of Canada commissioned a series of photographic booklets by West Coast artists that were later compiled into an anthology. The B.C. Almanac(h) C-B artists conceived the book as an exhibition, and designed the accompanying exhibition as a 3-D version of the book’s production. To bring to light this forgotten event in the history of West Coast media art, Presentation House Gallery has reprinted the anthology and remounted the exhibition, along with works from the period by artists featured in the book. Tonight’s program celebrates the collage and deconstruction aesthetic of the B.C. Almanac. Not all the films were made in the year the book was published, but all are representative of the vibrant multidisciplinary art scene of the West Coast as it embraced the expressive potential of newly accessible camera technologies.

Cosmic Ray | Bruce Conner/USA 1961. 5 min. 16mm

Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper | David Rimmer/Canada 1970. 9 min. 16mm

7362 | Pat O’Neill/USA 1967. 10 min.

Aaeon | Al Razutis/Canada 1970. 24 min. 16mm

Runs Good | Pat O’Neill/USA 1970. 15 min. 16mm

Crossroads | Bruce Conner/USA 1976. 37 min. 35mm

 

Total running time: approx. 99 minutes

Tickets available at the door.

B.C. Almanac(H) C-B, exhibition publication
B.C. Almanac(H) C-B, exhibition publication
Gallery exit mural, BC Almanac(h) C-B, 1970 National Film Board Gallery, Ottawa
Gallery exit mural, BC Almanac(h) C-B, 1970 National Film Board Gallery, Ottawa
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B. Vincent Trasov, BC Almanac(h) layout boards, 1970
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B. Vincent Trasov, BC Almanac(h) layout boards, 1970
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, re-printed publication
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, re-printed publication
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Installation view, B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, publication pages
Vincent Trasov, BC Almanac(h) layout boards, 1970
Vincent Trasov, BC Almanac(h) layout boards, 1970
Christos Dikeakos, Car Rides, Street Scans, 1970/71. Instant Photo Information Outtakes, c. 1970
Christos Dikeakos, Car Rides, Street Scans, 1970/71. Instant Photo Information Outtakes, c. 1970
Glenn Lewis, from NYSCDSOV Reunion series c. 1973. Michael Morris, Eight Step Spectrum and Grey Scale, 1970. Michael Morris, Props, 1970
Glenn Lewis, from NYSCDSOV Reunion series c. 1973. Michael Morris, Eight Step Spectrum and Grey Scale, 1970. Michael Morris, Props, 1970
N.E. Thing Co., North American Time Zone Photo- V.S.I. Simultaneity, 1970
N.E. Thing Co., North American Time Zone Photo- V.S.I. Simultaneity, 1970
N.E. Thing Co., North American Time Zone Photo- V.S.I. Simultaneity, 1970
N.E. Thing Co., North American Time Zone Photo- V.S.I. Simultaneity, 1970
N.E. Thing Co., A Portfolio of Piles, 1968. Additional research material and documents
N.E. Thing Co., A Portfolio of Piles, 1968. Additional research material and documents
Research material and documents
Research material and documents
Vincent Trasov, Disneyland Burning, 1970 and Guggenheim on Fire, 1970. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Colour Bar Research – Colour Bars in Stream, 1973. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Light-On, 1971. Michael Morris  Studio Light #1, #2, #3, #4, 1970
Vincent Trasov, Disneyland Burning, 1970 and Guggenheim on Fire, 1970. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Colour Bar Research – Colour Bars in Stream, 1973. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Light-On, 1971. Michael Morris Studio Light #1, #2, #3, #4, 1970
Michael Morris  Studio Light #1, #2, #3, #4, 1970. Timothy Porter, 1969 - 1972. Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Michael Morris Studio Light #1, #2, #3, #4, 1970. Timothy Porter, 1969 - 1972. Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Timothy Porter, 1969 - 1972. Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Timothy Porter, 1969 - 1972. Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970. Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970
Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970. Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970
Roy Kiyooka, Stone(d)Gloves, 1970. Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970. Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970. Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970. Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970
Micheal de Courcey, Untitled, 1970. Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970
Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970. Gerry Gilbert, Home Movie, 1968
Judith Eglington, Living Creatures series, c. 1970. Gerry Gilbert, Home Movie, 1968
Michael de Courcey, Untitled 1970  (detail)
Michael de Courcey, Untitled 1970 (detail)
Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970 (detail)
Jack Dale, Cubed Woman #3 a-b, 1970 (detail)
Vincent Trasov, Disneyland Burning, 1970 and Guggenheim on Fire, 1970. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Colour Bar Research – Colour Bars in Stream, 1973
Vincent Trasov, Disneyland Burning, 1970 and Guggenheim on Fire, 1970. Image Bank (Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov), Colour Bar Research – Colour Bars in Stream, 1973
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B
Gallery exit mural featuring the artists from BC Almanac(h) C-B
Original B.C. Almanac(h) C-B poster, 1970
Original B.C. Almanac(h) C-B poster, 1970
DIM screening:  Al Razutis, Aaeon, 1970, collage of film frames, courtesy the artist
DIM screening: Al Razutis, Aaeon, 1970, collage of film frames, courtesy the artist
DIM screening: Bruce Conner, Cosmic Ray, 1961, 16mm, b&w, sound, 4.5 minutes, © Conner Family Trust
DIM screening: Bruce Conner, Cosmic Ray, 1961, 16mm, b&w, sound, 4.5 minutes, © Conner Family Trust

B.c. Almanac(H) C-B

B.C. Almanac(h) C-B, marks the long overdue re-issue of a rare, sought-after anthology of fifteen photographic bookworks, originally commissioned in 1970 by the National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division. The 472-page book, designed as a type of exhibition, includes key figures in the vibrant multimedia art scene that was flourishing on Canada’s westcoast. Presentation House Gallery is also remounting the accompanying 1970 exhibition that was conceived as an immersive, multimedia version of the book. The project highlights the experimental ethos of artist book production as alternatives to gallery exhibitions during that period, as well as radical new approaches to the circulation of print culture through mass media.

Executive producer in Ottawa: Lorraine Monk. West Coast producers and designers: Jack Dale and Michael deCourcy

Supported by John and Helen O'Brian, through the Gallery's Publication Circle.

 

 

BUY THIS BOOK

Connections, meanings, and challenges.

What was your experience with this exhibition?

Experience The Polygon in the best way possible.

Members are among those who are closest to The Polygon’s work in the community and beyond. By contributing to a strong foundation of support, Members enjoy exclusive front-of-the-line privileges while helping to provide artists with a platform for their work, facilitate lifelong learning opportunities, and so much more.

BECOME A MEMBER

facebook twitter instagram

Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play

The Polygon Gallery continues the forty-year reputation of Presentation House Gallery in engaging the public with the most visionary artists of our time. A new waterfront landmark on Vancouver's North Shore, The Polygon offers a one-of-a-kind space to encounter contemporary visual art with a focus on photography.

Admission always by donation, courtesy of Slice 1