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"Getting It Together in the Country: Rodney Graham"
2000-11-04 until 2000-12-14
Presentation House Gallery
North Vancouver, BC, CA

Rodney Grahamís first exhibition in Vancouver since 1996 will present three very recent works and an early photographic project. In all, Grahamís quiet wit is at play. In the two major works, which investigate mythic themes from the cinema, the artist once again steps into the lead role.

The large photo diptych, Fishing on a Jetty, is -to use the artistís words- a not-too-scrupulous reconstruction of a shot in Alfred Hitchcockís To Catch a Thief, wherein Cary Grant (here played by me), hiding from the police who suspect him of a series of jewel robberies on the French Riviera, disguises himself with a hat and sunglasses and pretends to be a sports fisherman.

How I became a Rambliní Man, a video projection work, has Graham as singing cowboy meandering across a British Columbian range. Itís like a classic western: the narrative is in place and the composition and framing seem to be taken right out of John Fordís The Searchers. The protagonist radiates the modest decency of Jimmy Stewartís character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and the easy self-confidence of Johnny Guitar. . . The video is idyllic, dreamy and patient, with none of the draw-at-high-noon angst normally associated with the genre (Jan Estep, New Art Examiner).

Rodney Graham was born in Matsqui, British Columbia, in 1949. He studied art history at the University of British Columbia from 1968 to 1971, and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver from 1978 to 1979. Graham has been included in numerous important international exhibitions and his piece Vexation Island represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1997.

Rodney Graham lives and works in Vancouver. The exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

IMAGE:
Rodney Graham 2000,
still from How I became a Rambliní Man


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