Canadian artist Hank Bull concerns himself with the working process involved in the creation of art, and much of what is on display in the exhibit is a mixture of his own art and the art he has produced in collaboration with other artists. His exhibition Hank Bull: Connexion alludes to the influence of media in everyday life, and calls on the viewer to see the relationship between seemingly unrelated objects. Bull features props from videos produced in collaboration with other artists, including playing cards, shadow art, and videos, all of which create a sense of movement in a humorous yet thought-provoking way. The exhibit provides insight on the overall nature of collaboration in modern-day society.
The Vancouver-based artist engages the viewer in such a way that it pushes them to consider the question of what can be considered art. For Bull, art is all and everything. As the viewer spends time contemplating each object both independently and as a part of a greater whole, the diversity of the art becomes increasingly prevalent. The exhibit’s layout allows observers to survey the artworks, videos, and installations from many angles. This serves to highlight the interactive elements of the exhibit; it’s akin to finding oneself in a treasure trove of objects. In this way, the viewer is able to engage with the objects on a personal level as well as with Bull’s artistic vision.
The interactive arrangement of media in the exhibit catches the eye and imagination of the viewer and speaks to them in many different ways. Bull takes the viewer on a journey of discovery through moments of stillness and evolution, captured through video montage, sparking curiosity.
The artistic form of collage is prominent throughout the exhibit—something that relates well with the composition of the exhibit in its entirety. Bull works with art on all levels. He frames ready-made art from a variety of sources, like newspaper print and paintings, and many of his artwork is linked to this exchange of information and travel. The interconnected channels and networks enabled by technology and communication allows the artist to engage with a wider audience, and allows the viewer to see the artwork in relationship to their own lives as well.
Bull’s artwork works in synergy with concepts of old and new, as he merges together the past with the inevitability of the future. This is most evident with Bull’s collection of old telephones, televisions, typewriters, and tape cassettes, which invites the viewer to think about how objects that were once considered technological advancements are now reduced to relics on display. Bull’s collection of telephones and typewriters dating back to their early forms also heightens the viewer’s awareness of the increasing developments in technology since the ’70s, and the role that technology plays in people’s day-to-day lives.
This concept of everyday objects as art prevails with the overall narrative of what exactly makes up the ‘daily experience.’ The melange of material objects linked to the concept behind art poses the question of how the viewer can see objects in their life as art. /Hank Bull:Connexion/ highlights the developing network of communication since the 1970’s and the viewer recognizes the possibilities of art as a form of communication, locally and globally.
Hank Bull: Connexion will be on display from Oct. 23 to December 5, 2015 at Galerie de l’UQAM (1400, Rue Berri, Judith-Jasmin Pavillon, Room J-R120) Free admission Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.