In 1992, when recent art graduates from Ottawa University set up shop at the Enriched Bread Factory, far away in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands, a number of young artists were looking for studio spaces as well. Serendipitously, this group, who later formed the Quartair, Contemporary Art Initiatives, found an abandoned bread factory and moved in.

During Doors Open Ottawa, June 2013, the “twins” will be re-united: EBA is hosting a special exhibition, Dutch Settlement, organized by Quartair artists, who will be present. The EBA gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Ottawa for this project.

Dutch Settlement is part of an exchange project initiated by Ottawa curator Petra Halkes. In 2009, while at the DCR Guest Studios in The Hague with her partner René Price, she met Quartair artist Jessy Rahman and learned about the studio-building’s history. She began thinking about an exchange of ideas, experiences and exhibitions between the two groups of like-minded artists.

The project is taking shape this year. Communication between the two groups has been facilitated through Skype meetings and a blog managed by Mana Rouholamini. Plans for hosting five or more Quartair artists in Ottawa at the end of May, beginning of June, are underway. Fifteen EBA artists are preparing projects (and applying for grants) for an exhibition at the Quartair gallery in The Hague:

Interference will take place from Sat, Aug 17 to Sun, Sep 1, 2013. The exhibition will be curated by Petra Halkes.

Participants are: Kenneth Emig, Danny Hussey, Rachel Kalpana James, Marika Jemma, Karen Jordon, Gayle Kells, Julie McDonald, Christos Pantieras, Bodzica Radjenovic, Mana Rouholamini, Daniel Sharp, Svetlana Swinimer, Amy Thompson, Tavi Weisz and Joyce Westrop.

Life continually throws hurdles in the way of individuals and communities; reactions to these can be positive or negative. Interference, in this exhibition, embraces the constructive as well as the destructive aspects of the general idea of creating an obstacle.

Interference is envisioned as a chain of events that begins with an intrusion into the “white cube” gallery space at Quartair: arriving in The Hague in early August, Halkes and Price will drape 100 metres of white, polyester-fibred paper, 122 cm wide, throughout the gallery space. The resilient paper will flow from ceiling and walls to floors and columns, absorbing the geometrics of the building into a flowing but bewildering space. This transformation will present fresh and challenging opportunities for the artists to interfere with the space in turn. The gesture also allows for the combining of planned or pre-prepared work in conjunction with spontaneous reactive exercises in the space.

Halkes and Price have reserved their RIA Artist Project Room in Ottawa for EBA artists until October 2013. Joyce Westrop, Svetlana Swinimer, Bozica Radjenovic and Gayle Kells will be trying out some projects in this space. These exhibitions will be open to the public and will be a chance for Ottawans to see something of the exhibition Interference.

For the bios of Quartair artists participating in the exchange please click here.

For the bios of EBA artists participating in the exchange please click here.

For the Dutch Settlement Press Release please click here.

For Interference Press Release please click here.