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Art Diary International 2013/2014
is now out, packed with contact information for galleries, museums, artists, curators, critics, and other professional arts services around the world.

James Nizam
Dion Kliner

Jones Gallery, Vancouver.


Given Vancouver's reputation for photography, it's perversely fitting that some of this city's most interesting sculpture is being made by James Nizam, a photographer.  What's more, the sculptures were never shown, and no longer exist except as their incorporeal pictures.  To Nizam the distinction between his being a photographer who makes sculpture, or a sculptor who takes photographs is irrelevant.  So even though there's an agreeable tension between whether what we're looking at is supposed to be understood as sculpture or photography, we won't pursue it.

James Nizam, Cluster of Bulbs, 2009. Lightjet print, 102 x 81 cm. Courtesy Jones, Vancouver.

As with his previously recognized work, Nizam makes a vacated domestic interior its backbone in "Memorandoms."  With the management's sanction, Nizam walked into the former Little Mountain housing project (Vancouver's oldest until being demolished for a higher density combination of market value condominiums and social housing) and turned the living room of one of the dilapidated third floor apartments into his studio for three months.  The result is a series of photographs of the temporary assemblages Nizam made from the standardized, impersonal fixtures like doorknobs and stove rings that he collected from the apartments.  As an architectural metaphor for the body, the loss of home is the disenfranchisement of the spirit.  Into this precondition of loss, Nizam's work introduces the idea that through the performance of certain transformative, memorializing gestures, like the construction of sculpture or the taking of photographs, loss can be given some purpose and meaning. 


February 4-27, 2010


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