Crista Dahl: Life Rhythm, a Retrospective
OPENING APRIL 4, 8PM —Sound performance by John Brennan on the opening night
LIVE PERFORMANCES APRIL 18, 8PM —Generations, Spiral Brain, Revolution
“Life Rhythm, two words that identify my complete concept, is to be understood as life and its rhythms experienced through time, space and energy.” –Crista Dahl
Conceived in 1966 and formalized in 1970, Crista Dahl’s Life Rhythm is a multimodal art project that aims to provide structure to the diverse information that we encounter: knowledges that encompass prehistoric and current ways of living.
This exhibition features a fully interactive archive of imagery, books and ideas organized through Dahl’s personal system of mnemonics, charts, and diagrams. What slips out of Dahl’s cabinets and performances is a repertoire of gestures, portraits, kinesthetic models—an ongoing empirical inquiry into the visual language of the brain.
In the adjacent Gallery 1965, a collection of Dahl’s drawings, paintings, sculpture and video form a context and counterpoint to the dynamics of the Life Rhythm project.
On April 18th three performances —Generations, Spiral Brain & Revolution—will serve as workshops through which audiences can experience Life Rhythm’s structures of ancient knowledge and behavior in light of current conditions.
This exhibition and performance project is the culmination of the artist-in-residency of one of the founding members of VIVO Media Arts Centre and the Media Library& Archive that bears her name.
Lois Klassen is a Vancouver-based artist, writer, and multidisciplinarian. Her long-term projects, which include Renegade Library, Comforter Art Action and Slofemists (in collaboration with Lori Weidenhammer), combine collective creations with public dialogue and exchange. Her texts have appeared in Word Hoard, Fillip Magazine, Public Journal, Border Crossings, LIVE! Performance Art Biennale blog, and more. Her work has been hosted by Santa Fe Art Institute’s Emigration/Immigration Artists’ Residency, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and Plug In Summer Institute in Winnipeg, Banff New Media Institute, SOMA Summer Institute in Mexico City, University of Salford in Greater Manchester, Glenbow Museum, the Western Front, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and more. Lois is as a Research Ethics Coordinator at Emily Carr University, and is currently a doctoral student of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Born in Seattle in 1934 Crista Dahl describes this retrospective as inclusive of some sixty-five years of creative practice. Continually stymied by political and domestic conditions, Dahl’s pursuit of art training has followed innovative and experimental trajectories—from running an artist gallery/jazz coffee house in Seattle in 1963, to her beatnik life in San Francisco. Living in Haight-Ashbury in the mid 60’s had an enduring influence on Dahl’s life-work, as did her discovery of Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization in the Powell River Library near Lund, where she was sheltering her sons from Vietnam War service in 1968. After moving to Vancouver in 1971 Dahl became an enthusiastic and committed member of some of this city’s most celebrated collectives and histories including the Intermedia Society, Little Hot Stove League, the Matrix International Video Exchange Conference, the New Era Social Club, the Satellite Video Exchange Society, Disasteroids, and more. Dahl’s insights into art and art teaching were supported by numerous grants and her Life Rhythm Project was presented at Simon Fraser University, Surrey Art Centre, Burnaby Art Gallery and University of British Columbia, among others. Today, Crista Dahl serves as a tireless and visionary volunteer archivist and Chairperson of the VIVO Board of Directors.