Republic Gallery

dialog II

March 9 to April 14, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, March 9, 6 to 8pm

The exhibition dialog II presents a new body of work by Antonia Hirsch. The show borrows its name from a cardiac pacemaker, the Siemens DIALOG II. Together with the iPhone 6, museum display armatures, and the Faraday cage, its visual presence within this exhibition reflects on devices that connect and isolate, that frame experience, and that set the pace. Cotton, cast glass, copper, and expanded polystyrene are some of these works’ agents, collapsing contemporary technology and archaic craft.

“All of these works are about communication in some form, about trying for connection or screening oneself off from it. The work using displays and screens that I had done previously had me look at the black mirror, an occult tool that, in terms of its appearance, resembles a smartphone in sleep mode. This might have triggered the question of ‘magic’ for me—whether an object could be imbued with magic powers. And that jibes of course completely with the fact that we carry around an iPhone like a talisman. People get nervous if they don’t have it on them, like it’s bad luck. Not because they need to be reachable, but because it means something quite indefinable to them. It has something to do with a sense of connection—perhaps to something larger than themselves. But whether you have your worry beads with you or you check your phone all the time, the difference is minimal, except that the worry beads perhaps do a better job in calming a restless mind. When I did research into placebos, relics, and lucky charms I wanted to find out: how does a charm actually become charmed?”
—Antonia Hirsch, January 2018

dialog II is accompanied by a conversation between Antonia Hirsch and the artist and writer Mitch Speed, available as PDF here.

Antonia Hirsch’s work has been exhibited at MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge; The Power Plant, Toronto; the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Tramway, Glasgow; Salzburger Kunstverein; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, among others. Her work can be found in public collections such as that of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry, Miami Beach. She is the editor of the anthology Intangible Economies, published by Fillip in 2012 and Negative Space: Orbiting Inner and Outer Experience, published by SFU Galleries in 2015.

Download PDF of press release.