Thursday, April 2, 2015

Introducing Lauren Marsden

Artist in residence, March to May 2015

Alice Yard’s current artist in residence, during the period March to May 2015, is Vancouver-based Lauren Marsden.

Her practice involves various forms, including performance, video, photography, and texts. Using devices such as voice-over narration, ritual gestures, camera movement, and descriptive text, her projects interact with contentious sites, often through the perspective of a misplaced or unreliable narrator.

Marsden is interested in challenging what might constitute a performance and how it is recorded or circulated. For example, she has staged events involving choreographed etiquette drills in a public library, hired paparazzi photographing inanimate objects, a flag-raising on a demilitarised island, the filming of a horror movie with no actors, and conducting an auction that sells itself. She works in collaboration with a range of creative professionals, using a style of direction called structured improvisation, which allows others to articulate their unique skills within the conceptual parameters of a piece.

Her project at Alice Yard will involve creating an index of short looping videos and animated GIFs that will document a series of performative gestures in Port of Spain and the surrounding area. Expanding on filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s notion of “Ecstatic Time,” these brief performances will manifest a sense of redundancy, futility, and slowness in a local, cultural context. See more at her project Tumblr page,

Lauren Marsden as Miss Department of Energy. Shot on location at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Diego, California

Marsden, who has family roots in Trinidad, received a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited her work at the Victoria Film Festival, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Frutta Gallery in Rome, Italy. She is currently teaching at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and is the editor of Decoy Magazine, a Vancouver-based online platform for critical arts writing.

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