Events Photo Credit: Sally Michael White

Why You Need to Check Out ‘MashUp’ at the VAG

Immerse your senses in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s most ambitious exhibition ever.

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, is the first international survey of its kind, bringing together 371 works by more than 150 artists. Enveloping all four floors of the downtown gallery, it traces and showcases the evolution of mashup culture from its roots in the early 20th century to today.

I had the pleasure of attending a preview of this not-to-be-missed exhibition Thursday, but it opens tonight at 8 p.m. (for members only) and will be open to the public from February 20 to June 12, 2016.

Here are a few of our favourite pieces from MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture:

The Voyager Record, remixed by DJ Spooky.
The Voyager Record, remixed by DJ Spooky. (Photo: Sally Michael White.)

Organized by floor into four distinct time periods, you start your MashUp adventure in the digital age and work your way up—and back—through history. On the first floor, you can see and hear DJ Spooky’s remix of the gold Voyager record launched into space in 1977.

Venturing further in, I loved the gigantic white rabbit-headed sculpture by Vancouver’s own Amber Frid-Jimenez, and Hong Kong’s Stanley Wong’s room wrapped entirely in white, red and blue striped tarp.

Barbara Kruger rotunda. (Photo: Sally Michael White.)
Barbara Kruger rotunda. (Photo: Sally Michael White.)

Moving upstairs, I had a brief feeling of vertigo as I tried to take in the gallery’s rotunda, wrapped entirely in bold black and white text from LA artist Barbara Kruger. I recovered quickly as I entered the late 20th Century era and came face to face with Keith Haring’s iconic New York subway drawings and pieces from Jean-Michel Basquiat. With the preview tour moving along at a brisk clip, I passed through an entire room dedicated to an audio-visual collaboration from Brian Eno and David Byrne without slowing down, taking a mental note to make it the first stop on my next visit. Next up was the Post-War collection, with works such as Andy Warhol and The Factory, and found collages from Jacques Villeglé. Finally we reached the Early 20th Century, where the influential roots of everything we had just passed through were brought into focus with the work of Picasso, Hannah Höch and Marcel Duchamp, just to name a few.

Hannah Höch "Untitled (Large Hand Over Woman's Head)"
Hannah Höch “Untitled (Large Hand Over Woman’s Head.)” (Photo: Sally Michael White.)

On your visit, be prepared to soak in a rich array of work from just about every form of media you can imagine. There is an enormous volume of information to absorb in this exhibit, but it has been curated in such a way that you can take it in without feeling bombarded. I for one will be going back as soon as possible.

Click below to view the full photo gallery for MashUp:

Click on image to view gallery

 

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