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Lisa Hirmer: Of Containers and Firestarts
with public activations by Barbara Hobot, Abedar Kamgari, Myung-Sun Kim, Christina Kingsbury, Aislinn Thomas, Mollie Coles Tonn & Shannon Phair

July 12 – September 9, 2018
Closing Party: Saturday, September 8, 2:00pm
Cambridge Art Galleries | Queen’s Square Gallery

* * *

In dangerous storms, ships often drop their cargo. This makes them lighter and better able to navigate the treacherous wind and waves. Without the ship, the cargo is lost anyway, so the cargo is abandoned to save the container holding it. In this moment of crisis it becomes clear: containers outlast content.

The ways people come together to share ideas and knowledge in the gallery could also be considered containers, vessels gathering content into form: the exhibition, the artist talk, the galley tour…The content is usually foregrounded, but what of those containers? What do they do?

A ship allows us to travel on water but stops at the shoreline. The containers being used to bring people together are also quietly performing functions behind the content. Every vessel allows some movements while limiting others. What movements are possible here? What movement do we (who?) need for getting through now?

* * *

I want to burn it down, she said. And she said. And she said. And they said…

Knowing how to start a fire is supposed to help you in an emergency. Light, heat, safety, released by flame. Solid matter (the it?) meets fire, becomes fire, turns to ash (piled powder).

What is the moment when you start a fire with that which wasn’t made to burn?

* * *

The first half of this exhibition is a collaborative investigation of containers. In response to an open call, local artists have proposed alternative containers for coming together. Taking place outside the gallery throughout the course of the exhibition, these artist-created sessions explore wild possibilities for how creative ideas can be exchanged in a variety of formats.

The second half of the exhibition is a series of photographs entitled Firestarts. These photographs borrow imagery from emergency fire building techniques to explore speculative scenarios where material at hand becomes expedient fuel for fires. Speaking simultaneously to very real human needs and the transformative potential of fire, this work considers what it means to be in a moment urgent enough to start a fire, to dismantle and dematerialize something.

Lisa Hirmer is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans visual media, social practice and experimental forms of research. She is primarily concerned with collective relationships, in communities and public spaces as well as within more-than-human ecologies. She has shown her work across Canada and internationally including exhibitions/projects at Flux Factory (USA), CAFKA (Kitchener-Waterloo), KIAC (Dawson City), Third Space (Saint John) and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and is currently based in Guelph, Canada.

For full details on activations taking place throughout the project please visit our website.

Image: Lisa Hirmer, Firestarts, 2018.


QUEEN’S SQUARE GALLERY
1 North Square, Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6
T: 519.621.0460
Mon – Thurs 9:30am – 8:30pm
Fri & Sat 9:30am – 5:30pm
Sun 1:00 – 5:00pm*
*Closed Sundays May 20 – September 2

Admission is free and all are welcome.
For more information, visit ideaexchange.org/art, call 519.621.0460, follow on Twitter or on Facebook.

Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange presents contemporary art, architecture and design from three galleries in the City of Cambridge: Design at Riverside, Preston, and Queen’s Square.

Media Contact
Cherie Fawcett
Gallery Assistant
Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square
1 North Square, Cambridge, ON  N1S 2K6
519.621.0460 x160
cfawcett@ideaexchange.org
ideaexchange.org/art

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