We are happy to welcome as an Artist in Residence, Vancouver based writer, curator and cultural producer Michael Turner. His residency will run through the fall of 2017.
“I always say that you cannot tell what a picture really is or what an object really is until you dust it every day…” ― Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Two years ago, while in the midst of a Baudelairian crisis that had me looking to get anywhere out of the world, I saw an advertisement for a reasonably priced 1973 Airstream trailer. The owner said the trailer was in good working condition; all it needed was a good clean. Fortunately for me this turned out to be the case.
“After moving the trailer to a friend’s ranch, I began to clean it, and in cleaning it I came to appreciate the genius of the Airstream design, a design that owes as much to consultations with homemakers as it does with engineers. But as much as I learned about this trailer from cleaning it, I also learned that I am not a very good cleaner. “You’re neat, but not clean,” I was told by a friend who helped out with some renovations. This, too, had a profound effect on me.
When Griffin Art Projects invited me to propose a residency, I asked if I could use the gallery as a training ground and work under a professional cleaner. While I am under no illusions that I will learn more about the gallery by cleaning it, I am hoping to learn what it is to clean a space and clean it well – beyond what appears before me.” - Michael Turner
Michael Turner is a Vancouver-based writer of fiction, criticism and song. His books include Hard Core Logo (1993), The Pornographer’s Poem (1999), Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs (with Grant Arnold) (2007) and 8x10 (2009), while reviews and features have appeared in magazines and journals such as Art 21, Canadian Art, Mousse and Modern Painters. He has contributed essays to anthologies Intertidal: Vancouver Art and Artists (Belkin Gallery/MuHKA, 2006), Vancouver Art & Economies (Artspeak, 2007), Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties (Belkin, 2009), and to exhibition catalogues on the work of artists such as Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Brian Jungen and Ken Lum. Curatorial projects include “to show, to give, to make it be there”: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954-1969 (SFU Galleries, 2010); Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry (Belkin, 2012), with Scott Watson; A Postcard from Victoria (AGGV, 2013); and Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 (PHG/Satellite, 2015), with Allison Collins.