Fall 2023 Exhibitions Launch at Esker Foundation

Esker Foundation is thrilled to present our Fall 2023 Exhibitions Care and Wear: Bodies Crafted for Harm and Healing; and the group exhibition Like everything alive that we try to hold forever until December 17. Continuing in the Project Space is asmaa al-issa’s exhibition bab el-soosa | باب السوسة until October 15, followed by Angeline Simon opening on October 23.

Opening Reception:
Friday September 22, 2023, 6-9pm, all welcome.

Crash Test Dummy, Alderson Research Labs, Inc USA, c. 1960. Metal, rubber. Photo by: Blaine Campbell.

Care and Wear: Bodies Crafted for Harm and Healing

Curated by Brendan Griebel and Jude Griebel
Until December 17, 2023

Curated by the Griebels from the collection of the Museum of Fear and Wonder, Care and Wear: Bodies Crafted for Harm and Healing delves into the materiality of bodily experience: birth, growth, illness, anger, sexuality, disaster, frustration, and finally, death. The exhibition brings together a collection of crafted surrogates for the human body that are variously designed to model or mimic physical and emotional aspects of the human experience.

The Museum of Fear and Wonder houses and illuminates the Griebels’ collection of historical craftworks that possess uneasy emotional or psychological resonance. The Museum opened in 2017 but represents over two decades of active collecting by the Griebels. Inspired by a shared childhood spent deep in the imaginary, and adult professions dedicated to visualizing and communicating inner lives (they are employed respectively in Anthropology and the Visual Arts), they have gravitated to acquiring material objects that speak to a larger picture of how humans understand their places in this world.

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Still of Bridget Moser’s My Crops Are Dying But My Body Persists, 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Like everything alive that we try to hold forever

Until December 17, 2023

Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Diane Borsato, Stephanie Dinkins, Bridget Moser, Sondra Perry, and Miya Turnbull

Like everything alive that we try to hold forever brings together seven artists whose works, in a broad sense, reflect ways that our human bodies exist in relation to non-human objects and the complex, interconnected ways that these objects, through their systemic collection, consumption, and contextualization, impact our understanding of self and others.

Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s video Dust to Data poetically critiques the construction of past and contemporary knowledge systems through the entangled legacies of archaeology, eugenics, and colonialism. Diane Borsato’s Gems and Minerals and Artifacts in My Mouth disrupt existing museum collections – those of the Royal Ontario Museum and Museum of Ste. Hyacinthe, respectively – in ways that subvert the authority of the institution through bodily intervention.

Stephanie DinkinsConversations with Bina48 documents fragments from an ongoing friendship between the artist and a humanoid robot named Bina48, who was developed with the goal of bestowing human consciousness and the capacity of independent thought to a robot. Dinkins and Bina48 are seen discussing topics such as race, relationships, emotions, and popular culture.

Through a collection of coded consumer objects used as props and bodily proxies, Bridget Moser’s My Crops are Dying but My Body Persists engages absurdist humour to address the existential anxiety of being a fallible body living in a world afflicted by a host of interconnected diseases: overconsumption through capitalism, environmental degradation, social isolation, white supremacy.

Sondra Perry’s video IT’S IN THE GAME ’17 interweaves personal and familial narratives with an incisive critique of technology, power, and representations of Blackness. Lastly, constructed primarily from papier-mâché and photo collage, Miya Turnbull’s Mask Sculptures self-portraits are an ongoing exploration of her identity as a person of mixed Japanese-Canadian heritage. Through a process of casting her own face, then photographing it, cutting, and reconfiguring the image, Turnbull’s sculptures are an exploration of the mask as a device that both reveals and conceals the complexity and shifting nature of human experience and the self.

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asmaa al-issa
bab el-soosa | باب السوسة

In the Project Space
Until October 15, 2023

In bab el-soosa | باب السوسة , al-issa pursues a method of mapping borrowed memories and stories she has acquired from a land known and claimed, but one she will never inherit.

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Angeline Simon, pineapple tarts, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Angeline Simon

Upcoming in the Project Space
October 23, 2023 – February 4, 2024

Angeline Simon’s artistic practice considers her family’s diasporic experience, and the capacity of food and other everyday items to serve as conduits to her ancestral past. In this new site-specific installation, Simon layers together large-scale photo-collage with a collection of hand-built ceramics that reference foods shared with her maternal family while on summer trips to Malaysia – plates heaped with fiddleheads or skewers of beef satay, a gleaming cross-section of durian, or a batch of pineapple tarts.

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Cut + Paste: Inside Out

In the Bridge Space

Explore and download the Fall Exhibition Brochure here.

About Esker Foundation:
Esker Foundation, established in 2012 by Jim and Susan Hill, is a privately funded contemporary art gallery located in Calgary, Canada. Through exhibitions, public programs, publishing, and commissioning activities, the Foundation supports artists and audiences through a variety of learning, connecting, and collaborative models. The gallery reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture; creates opportunities for public dialogue; and supports the production of groundbreaking new work, ideas, and research.

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Friday: 11am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12-5pm

Accessibility: the gallery is barrier-free.
Admission and programs are free.

Press Contact:
Jill Henderson, Communications & Marketing
Tel: 403 930 2499


Esker Foundation
4th Floor, 1011 9th Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada