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Anne Low, a sunken ash pit, 2017, aluminum, handwoven linen, powder coated steel, walnut (detail)

installation views


16 December 2017 - 21 January 2018

Alexandra Bischoff

Gabi Dao

Julian Hou

Scott Kemp

Anne Low

Tiziana La Melia

Nicole Ondre

Unit 17 is pleased to announce the group exhibition SOOT, bringing together new and recent sculpture and performance from artists living in Vancouver. These objects and actions centre around languages of the interior, ranging from the historic to the psychic, bodily to domestic. The works included in SOOT — a stove warming the centre of the gallery, a pillow against a nearby support with garments clinging to its architecture — turn banal or awkward interactions into sensual and uncanny intimacies. 

SOOT initially emerged from conversations with artist Alexandra Bischoff around her publication titled the same name. It recounts the artist’s night shifts at Fantasy Factory, Canada’s longest running sex shop franchise. Graveyard shifts ran from 8pm - 8am, mirroring the duration of eggshells, eggshells which will be performed at the gallery in summer 2018. The gallery will remain open during this 12 hour performance. Throughout the performance, Bischoff will read SOOT to herself, cracking dozens of eggs with and against her body. 

Concerned with notions of intimacy, voyeurism and persona, the exhibited works trace detailed social and material histories around mechanisms of production and desire. They encourage a tender yet distant touch; composed of discreet found objects, myths and narratives alongside soldered glass, printed polyester and sculpted paper. SOOT examines where intimacy might be found within the larger world, scaling the body, in the Factory, fighting between labour and love. 


Alexandra Bischoff (b. 1991) is a performance artist, researcher and writer. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and was named valedictorian of her class. Recently, she has performed and exhibited at the Vancouver Art Book Fair (2017); 221A, Vancouver (2016-17); Nuit Blanche, Edmonton (2016); IKG Live, Calgary (2016) and The Works International Art & Design Festival, Edmonton (2015). Previous residencies have included N.O.P.E. at 221A, Vancouver (2016) and Naked State produced by Arts Unfold, Toronto (2016), as well as writing residencies with the Historic Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver (2016) and Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver (2015). Upcoming exhibition and performance venues include the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver and the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary (both 2018).


Julian Hou (b. 1980) works primarily in audio, textiles, performance and installation. He has recently participated in solo, two person and group exhibitions at 8eleven, Toronto (2017); Artspeak, Vancouver (2017); Spareroom, Vancouver (2017); the Vancouver Art Gallery (2016); 221A @ Occidental Temporary, Paris (2016); L'escalier, Montreal (2015) and CSA Space, Vancouver (2014). He has recently held performances at Things that can happen, Hong Kong (2017); Damien & the Love Guru, Brussels (2017) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (2017). He was the 2017 recipient of the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for Emerging Artists in the Visual Arts.


Gabi Dao (b. 1991) addresses the structures that influence biography, history and memory. Incorporating sculpture, installation, sound, writing and podcasting, she questions popular narratives of global cultural industries such as tourism, Hollywood, music, museums and retail within the formation of subjective experiences. Dao is a co-organizer of exhibitions, readings, musical performances and other happenings at Avenue (2013-2015) and Duplex studios (2015-present) . She has participated in projects and exhibitions at the Nanaimo Art Gallery (2017) and Vancouver institutions such as the Western Front (2017); Artspeak (2017); 221a (2015) and Spare Room (2015).


Scott Kemp (b. 1991) was a co-organizer of Avenue, an independent gallery and project space that operated in downtown Vancouver from 2013 to 2015, and in 2015 co-founded Duplex, an exhibition space focused on supporting emerging artists, experimental projects, and community events, also in Vancouver. Recent solo exhibitions include Compositions with Coloured Light, Flux Gallery, Winnipeg (2017); Compositions with Toys and Tinted Glass, CSA Space, Vancouver (2017); An Upper-Middle Class Fantasy, After Hours, Vancouver (2017); Master and Apprentice, Lobster and Leaf, Duplex, Vancouver (2016). Group exhibitions include Schererstraße 10 (Institut für Alles Mögliche), Berlin, Germany (2017); Soil Gallery, Seattle, USA (2017); Flux Gallery, Winnipeg (2015) and 221a, Vancouver (2015).


Anne Low (b. 1981) is based in Vancouver, Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include Witch with Comb, Artspeak, Vancouver (2017) and Some Rugs and Blankets, The Taut and the Tame, Berlin (2012). Recent and forthcoming group exhibitions include Soon Enough – Art in Action, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2018); Separation Penetrates, Mercer Union, Toronto (2017); Clive Hodgson & Anne Low, The Block, London (2017); Dream Islands, Nanaimo Art Gallery (2017); Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery (2016) and Reading the Line, the Western Front, Vancouver (2015). Her ongoing project with Derya Akay, Elaine, has hosted events at AKA Artist Run Centre, Saskatoon; Haunt, Vancouver, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has collaborated with The Grantchester Pottery as part of The Grantchester Pottery Paints the Stage, Jerwood Space, London, 2015; ARTIST DECORATORS, ICA, London, 2013 and Studio Wares, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2013. 


Tiziana La Melia (b.1982) grew up in the Okanagan region of British Columbia and now lives in Vancouver. Her paintings, textiles, installations, collaborations and writing are concerned with overlapping registers of perception, feeling, memory and narrative. She has recently exhibited at Galerie Anne Baurrault, Paris (2017); Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (2017); Damien & the Love Guru, Brussels (2017); Cooper Cole, Toronto (2017/15); Oakville Galleries (2016); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2016); Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); Mercer Union, Toronto (2014), among others. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver and an MFA from the University of Guelph. La Melia won the 2014 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. 


Nicole Ondre (b. 1986) holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MFA from Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg. Her work has been included in solo, two person and group exhibitions at Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2014); Or Gallery, Vancouver (2013); Benzulli zeigt, Düsseldorf (2012) and Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2011). Since 2010 she has worked under the alias Feminist Land Art Retreat (FLAR) in collaboration with Vanessa Disler. FLAR's recent exhibitions include Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2017); ACUD, Berlin (2017); Ginerva Gambino, Cologne (2017); and Kunsthaus Bregenz (2016).

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