A MARCO POLO BRIDGE:
IAIN BAXTER& : VENICE / SUZHOU / VANCOUVER
Exhibition: June 1 – November 30, 2013
Various locations in the Garden
Artist: Iain Baxter / Curated by: CAUSA
As the first European to have visited Suzhou (in 1276), Marco Polo was positioned to make the first “Occidental” report concerning the now world-famous classical Chinese garden traditions in that city. From June 1 to November 30, 2013, as a link to crucially important Venice/Suzhou cross-cultural conjunctions, the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will be temporarily inflected by a changing series of textual inscriptions – as introduced by visiting artist IAIN BAXTER& (in collaboration with guest research curators from CAUSA / Collective for Advanced and Unified Studies in the Visual Arts).
Born in Middlesborough, England, Iain Baxter came to Canada in 1937; as a professional artist, he lived and worked in North Vancouver from 1966 to 1978. Through N.E. BAXTER THING COMPANY and N.E. THING COMPANY, he pursued research in the previously undefined field of “Visual Sensitivity Information” (VSI). In 2005, Baxter changed his name to IAIN BAXTER& (pronounced Baxterand). According to CAUSA research curators, the name-changing gesture “contains the artist’s self-sufficient conceptual standpoint and his related belief in the interconnectedness of all things.”
The artist’s first solo exhibition (1961) was presented in Kyoto, Japan. Subsequently, his work has been featured internationally – in solo and group exhibitions across North America and Europe. In 2011, a major retrospective (acknowledging his respected, highly influential lifetime achievement) was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago – in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. His work is permanently represented in both North America and Europe – within a range of prestigious, public collections (including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa).
BAXTER&’s contemporary, on-going project is defined by a long-standing commitment to the theme of identity and environment, with an emphasis on interactions between the “natural landscape” and its contrasting outgrowth, the ‘landscape of information”. The CAUSA / BAXTER& exhibition scheme at the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will present expanding points of reference in relation to the 55th Venice Biennale (June 1 – November 24, 2013). This year’s Biennale theme, The Encyclopaedic Palace, will become enlarged by way of previously unexplored CAUSA approaches to its own particular topic of inquiry – Observation & Reflection. Thematic development of the BAXTER& / CAUSA exhibition will gradually develop (from Summer to Winter) through contemporary dynamics of aesthetic theory and practice, located within the classical Chinese Garden tradition itself.
Image: MIRROR IMAGE & … Letter Press Type from 1910 Chinatown Printer (Vancouver) – on 1913 Chinese/English Dictionary.
Photo by CAUSA, 2013