Founded in New York in 2011, for its inaugural pop-up exhibition in Montreal, Galerie Thomas Henry Ross art contemporain presented the works of three artists and a collective that provoke reflection on the role that context plays in the production of contemporary art.
In its prees release they said: 'If several art sociologists, since Marcel Duchamp, are now arguing that it is the institutional spaces (gallery, museum, foundation, etc...) which place the object in the position of the artwork, instead we will affirm that it is the artists who, with full awareness of the power dynamics, incorporate these sites within their conceptual concerns which relate directly to the aesthetic and formal concerns of their work. The exhibition Galerie Thomas Henry Ross art contemporain address these issues of context and reflect on what is specific to impermanent spaces, such as pop-up platforms, through artworks that question, incorporate, and manipulate public and mediated spaces. The exhibition offers works made at the intersection of art as an autonomous activity. Starting from the point of view that the exhibition context always feeds to certain degrees both the artworks and the curatorial discourse, we will find in this exploratory initiative diverse approaches that are particular to the mandate of the parasitized gallery. The use of Galerie B-312 a not-for-profit artist-run centre, while closed for the summer, promote questioning with respect to the possibilities for a commercial gallery to act as a platform for experimentation and research. Through juxtaposition and dialogue between the two entities we hope it will be possible to further our knowledge of these structures and their impact on the reception, but also on the production of the works they present'.
The artists in this exhibition are Itziar Barrio (born in Bilbao, Spain, lives and works in New York), Sarah Greig (lives and works in Montréal), Kim Waldron (born in Montréal, lives and works in Montréal) and Group Material (founded in New York from 1979 to 1996).
The 18th of August a public discuss had place in the frame of this exhibition. Marthe Carrier Director of B-312 (Montreal, Québec) presented her gallery and mandate, Maria Mur Dean, director of the art producer organization consonni (Bilbao, Spain) talked on the question of production linked to their ongoing project 'Bird-cum-ornithologist', an investigation into the concept of production in contemporary art and Jean-Michel Ross director of Galerie Thomas Henry Ross art contemporain (Montréal, Québec) presented his pop-up gallery and talked about the premise for it's first show in Montreal underlining the importance of context as discourse in contemporary art.
The artists Itziar Barrio, Sarah Greig and Kim Waldron, together with the public, were part of the discussion about the political meaning of the context (and such as specific one as Quebec), the concept of pop up gallery, also talking about the possibility of non production, the roles of artists and curators in the production chain, the art market and the power relationships in contemporary art among other problematics. Those days the student strike was going on and huge demostration happened. It was the sixth mass demonstration since March, held on the 22nd of every month. that was also present.