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Archaelogical Infrastructure / Jen Aitken & Aryen Hoekstra

Friday, April 22, 2016 to Friday, June 3, 2016

Forest City Gallery is pleased to present Archaeological Infrastructure a collaborative exhibition by Jen Aitken & Aryen Hoekstra. 

Opening Reception: Friday, April 22nd from 7 - 10 PM

Artist Talk and Online Publication Launch: Thursday, May 26th, 7 - 8:30 PM

This publication features the essay "Fragments of the Forks," written by Vanessa Brown & Jason Dickson, in relation to Jen Aitken and Aryen Hoekstra's exhibition, Archaeological Infrastructure at Forest City Gallery.

About the exhibition:

Archaeological Infrastructure unearths the apparitional architecture of an imagined city. To mould a cityscape into a mimetic image of its ruling class is an exhaustive venture, yet because of this expense it covers the odds of outliving its investors. George Steiner wrote that, “it is not the past that dominates us, it is images of the past,” and similarly cities are haunted by their ruins; afterimages of formerly imagined utopias that both produce and are produced by their own signification. As such, the citizenry is resigned to navigate its streets within a spectral loop, an oozing river of ectoplasm kept raging beneath their feet, agitated when needed to invoke ideological ghosts. Archaeological Infrastructure investigates the stability of these seemingly fixed, concrete limits, proposing instead that the city’s demarcations are imprecise and illusory, and that its citizens possess the potential means to claim sovereignty within the territory they seek to decamp.

About the artists:

Aryen Hoekstra's practice originates in the formal and conceptual language of the moving-image and develops in relation to specific historical events and conditions. Identifying a radical potentiality immanent to filmic projection, Hoesktra roots his work in the structures and apparatuses that create and control light and dark, or image and interval, within the projection event. Hoekstra obtained his MFA from the University of Guelph and BFA from the University of Alberta. His work has been shown in​ a solo exhibition at 8-11 and Mercer Union (Toronto) and in group exhibitions including Absolutely Free (Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto, 2014) and Future Station: Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2015 (Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 2015). ​ ​

Jen Aitken’s sculptures invite prolonged moments of focused observation. Aiming for a state of sustained formal ambiguity in her work, Aitken simultaneously emphasizes and obscures volume, mass, material, and process. She relies on basic geometric shapes to ground her sculptures in the familiar built environment, but combines these simple units into forms that contradict anticipations and provoke embodied responses. Aitken received her MFA in 2014 from the University of Guelph, and her BFA in 2010 from Emily Carr University, and is currently based in Toronto. In May 2016, Battat Contemporary in Montreal will present a solo exhibition of Aitken’s new work. Aitken has recently participated in group exhibitions at Kamloops Art Gallery, BC, and Hamilton Artists Inc.

Forest City Gallery wishes to acknowledge that this exhibition is made possible in part by support from the Department of Visual Arts at Western University.


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