An Absolute Movement

Or Gallery
June 22 – July 17, 2017

Installation views, An Absolute Movement, Or Gallery, Vancouver. Photos by Dennis Ha.

Curated by Weiyi Chang. 

Featuring works by Sonny Assu, Fiona Bowie, Matt Browning, Kelly Jazvac, Genevieve Robertson and Jay White.
An Absolute Movement brings together works by Sonny Assu, Fiona Bowie, Matt Browning, Kelly Jazvac, Genevieve Robertson & Jay White that address the ongoing devastation of climate change and environmental crisis.

As the consequences of climate change continue to threaten our ways of living and being, the question of time has become a crucial dimension underwriting our modes of understanding and grappling with the realities of ecological crisis. The works gathered bridge entangled temporalities, visualizing and materializing the precarious situation of the present and the uncertain futures that have yet to unfold.

Sonny Assu’s series of photographs, Longing (2011), navigate the entwined processes of capitalism and colonialism through a reflection on the material detritus of the logging industry in British Columbia; Fiona Bowie’s Surface (2010-2013) documents the underwater realm of False Creek in the wake of the area’s decimation by industrialization and urbanization; Matt Browning’s Untitled (2017) are woven silk spirals that index the artist’s labour with the labour of silkworms, whose bodies are sacrificed in the pursuit of the luxury material; Kelly Jazvac’s Plastiglomerates(2013) are post-consumer readymades comprised of sand, stone, shell, and coral mixed with plastic detritus that has washed ashore on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii; Genevieve Robertson & Jay White’s pinhole camera images, Watchers (2015), document the proposed route of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline in an act of counter-surveillance to critically engage with the shifting landscapes of extraction.

Sonny Assu is an artist and member of the Liǥwildaʼxw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations, currently based in Campbell River. He has exhibited solo at Campbell River Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Oakville Galleries.

Fiona Bowie is a Costa Rica-based artist from Vancouver. She has produced a number of public art projects, and her work has been exhibited at Western Gallery (Bellingham, WA), Charles H. Scott Gallery (Vancouver), and Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse).

Matt Browning is an artist from Seattle, Washington. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Vancouver).

Kelly Jazvac is a London, Ontario-based artist. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Parisian Laundry (Montreal), and The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum (Collegeville, PA).

Genevieve Robertson is a Vancouver-based artist. Her work has been exhibited at Touchstones Museum (Nelson), The New Gallery (Calgary), and Gallery 555 (Toronto).

Jay White is an artist and filmmaker based on Bowen Island, BC. His work and films have been exhibited internationally at venues including the Istanbul Design Biennale, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and Modern Fuel (Kingston).

Downloadable PDF catalogue
Funding Acknowledgement

The exhibition was made possible with support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia.

Weiyi Chang (she/her) is an independent writer and curator. Currently the 2023-24 Writer-in-Residence at Gallery 44, Toronto, Weiyi’s work and research gravitates around the nexus between climate change and capitalism, and the legal, political, and social forces that sanction environmental violence.

Weiyi was a 2019–20 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. She holds a MA in Art History (Critical & Curatorial Studies) from the University of British Columbia and a BA (Honours) Major in Art History and Major in Philosophy from Western University.

Weiyi’s work has been made possible thanks to support from the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, Killy Foundation, and the Audain Foundation.

For information about government grant consulting services, please visit