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  1. Belkin Archives items and 26.0.25. Photo: Michael R. Barrick.


From the Archives

Walter C. Koerner Library
1958 Main Mall

January 16-June 5, 2016

Curated by Susannah Smith

a material thing that may be perceived by the senses and stir a particular emotion; the goal or end of an effort or activity

to protest; to express one’s disapproval of or disagreement with something

This exhibition features a selection of artifacts from the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Archives. The artifacts are presented in their protective archival enclosures, obscuring their most obvious levels of significance and making them into receptacles, inviting viewers to provide their own meanings and points of reference.

The potential for investing objects with meaning – ceremonial, secret, found, shared, nostalgic, feared, adored, symbolic – is limitless. The experience of imagining the objects through the double enclosure of their individual housings and the surrounding vitrines invites us to a poetics of archives where we are free to wonder, associate and make connections as we please.

“If you think about the narrative that collections or assemblages of things make, the interesting thing is that there are always at least two possible stories: one is the story that the narrator, in this case the artist, thinks she’s telling – the story-teller’s story – and the other is the story that the listener is understanding, or hearing or imagining on the basis of the same objects.” (Susan Hiller, “Working Through Objects”)

Artifacts in this exhibition have been selected from the Belkin Archives Collection, the Fluxus Collection and the Morris Trasov Archive. The floating words on the wall originate from descriptive fields in the Belkin Art Gallery Archives database for the objects on display.


This exhibition is a collaboration of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Walter C. Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia, and is made possible by the generous support of the Audain Foundation. Art in the Library offers new perspectives on contemporary art by presenting art that challenges our perceptions. This exhibition complements the questions posed by the objects that are included in Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery from January 16-April 17, 2016.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689