The Ironic Turn
Jul 06, 2003 - Aug 24, 2003

July 6 – August 24, 2003

Opening Reception: July 6

Artists will be in attendance.


John Armstrong    Carmelo Arnoldin    Paul Collins    Lucy Hogg    Janet Jones

Garry Neill Kennedy    Brigitte Radecki    Yvonne Singer   Max Streicher

Curated by Lelah Ferguson and Ruediger Bender.


The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to present the exhibition        The Ironic Turn as part of our ongoing international outreach program. The Ironic Turn, guest curated by Lelah Ferguson and Ruediger Bender, takes place at the          Kunsthalle Erfurt, in Erfurt Germany from July 6 to August 24, 2003, and features work by 9 established artists from British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. This will be the first major survey exhibition of contemporary Canadian art taking place in Germany in more than 20 years and it will be the very first in the former East Germany.


Despite the diverse range of media represented in this exhibition, one of the common characteristics of these works is their art historical and art theoretical self-referentiality.  By referring to European traditions of art history and visual culture, these artists offer surprising “outside” perspectives on European culture. This approach, and the lively imagistic and inter-textual interplay apparent in the work becomes embedded with multiple ironies of both North American and European artistic strategies and culture.


To provide a forum for discussion and to enhance the impact of the exhibition within the European and (east) German art scene, the Erfurt exhibition will be accompanied by an international conference, Multiple Ironies in Canadian Conemporary Art, jointly organized by the University of Erfurt and Bauhaus-University Weimar in cooperation with Kunsthalle Erfurt.  The conference will take place on July 7 – 8, at the Kleine Synagogue in Erfurt.


The Ironic Turn is organized and circulated by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, in partnership with Kunsthalle Erfurt, and will travel to faux mouvment in Metz, France from September to December, before returning to MOCCA in Winter 2004, and continuing on to the Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick in the Spring. An illustrated, multi-lingual publication will be available in Fall 2003.


The exhibition, tour and publication is supported in part by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Thueringer Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Stiftung Kulturfonds Berlin, Sparkasse Mittelthueringen.