Behind the Wall In Front of the Wall


Unit/Pitt Vancouver BC
Curatorial Residency with artists:
Alex Heilbron, Lauren Marsden and Monsters

Behind the Wall In Front of the Wall is a consideration of two families’ recent past, against a backdrop of political change and economic globalization. Exploring issues surrounding religious, political, and personal freedom, through artifacts of lived experience.It was a six week curatorial residency at Unit/Pitt artist run center including an artist talk and listening party. Minarikova and dAngelo created an installation based on their collection of images and ephemera and composed an exhibition with original works from American artist Alex Heilbron, Canadian artist Lauren Marsden and Czech design duo Monsters.


Above: dAngelo installation

Lauren Marsden’s audio work, The Sound of Your Ancestral Past, produced specifically for the exhibition, Behind /In Front of the Wall, is composed as a sonic reflection of the each of the exhibition curators’ personal archives. Using a collection of family photographs and artifacts as a guide, the soundtrack is comprised entirely of appropriated audio clips including pop music, stock field recordings and Foley sound effects. The Sound of Your Ancestral Past offers a drifting narrative through imagined personal histories while taking its listeners through calm pastoral settings, strange domestic scenes, and heated public protests.


(above) Lauren Marsden listening party

(above) Alex Heilbron

Alex Heilbron A quilt is a traditional object, an important centerpiece of a family’s history. The symbols found in this template, appear next to each other, and create a visual common ground between the two distinct spiritual sides often found in a family, religious and secular. This ‘outsiders’ contribution to this history not only places the person (artist) closer to inside; but also allows the family history to grow and change by being seen by an objective outsider.


Through a series of interviews Sylvana d’Angelo got to know the last three generations of her family and asked everyone to send items describing their shared experiences. Despite their drastically different lifestyles and beliefs they all convey similar responses. What emerges is a three-generation struggle with immigration and integration leading to a retreat into religious faith, and separation from the secular world, despite the freedom of choice offered by Western society. The items in this collection embody an experience with restriction and separation, viewed from the perspective of five family members.

Canadian Art – Must See This Week July 10-16



(above) Anezka Minarikova

Anezka Minarikova‘s design contribution is a self-reflection and contemplation of the impact of mapping her family history in the context of the political and historical events of the second half of the 20th century in the Czech Republic. Personal objects bear an imprint of family members’ lives. The items that no longer serve their original purpose are witnesses of forgotten conversations and events, and as such they become artifacts. The single items are illustrations of memories and emotions, together forming a whole containing several decades of family history. These personal histories exist against the backdrop of national struggle and transformation, and also comprise the curator’s journey of self-knowledge through knowledge of familial, national, and global histories.

(above) Monsters
(below) Monsters, projection


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