Heather Passmore examines the politics of taste, class and “cultural value” in the contemporary Canadian art world, looking at art galleries as sites that are often closed to many artists by various “gatekeepers.” She exhibited within the gallery space as well as producing an image for AKA’s billboard. The Form Letters project in Gatekeepers consists of an ongoing series of drawings on artist form letters Passmore has received from various art institutions over the past decade.
She presented approximately 250 rejection letters and 50 acceptance letters installed on the walls of AKA gallery and also exhibited a series of over 14 large-scale archival ink-jet prints of her illustrated form letters. Passmore’s rejection letters being the basis for an exhibition lends a sense of irony and challenge to the gallery space, and also speaks to the multiple and sometime conflicting audiences billboards engage with, when made part of an exhibition of contemporary art.
In conjunction with this exhibition, there was a panel discussion with Jen Budney (Associate curator, Mendel Art Gallery), Susan Shantz (Faculty, Art & Art History, University of Saskatchewan), featured artist Heather Passmore and moderated by AKA Director Dagmara Genda. This took place on May 5th, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the AKA gallery space. This video has selected excerpts of that discussion.