April 24 to June 8, 2014
Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
Curator: Mona Filip

Click here for the exhibition digital publication featuring an essay by Dara Solomon

Vancouver-based artist Adad Hannah has earned an international reputation for his video-recorded tableaux vivants that often reference art history and paradigms of museum practices. Staging models to hold poses for an extended time, he deconstructs the photographic image, undermining its authenticity. Drawing attention to the performance inherent within photography, he creates a space for reflection on the production of meaning.

In this new body of work developed specifically for the Koffler Gallery, Hannah shifts focus to his personal history, re-animating a “frozen moment” captured eighteen years before he was born. His starting point is a yellowing photograph of his grandmother painting a portrait of her daughter at an art club on an American military base in Kodiak, Alaska in 1953. Hannah works in dialogue with his mother, Barbara Txi Hannah – the subject of the original photograph and an artist herself – collaborating to expand the moment under observation through a complex video and still installation.

Using photography, video-recorded performance and set design, Hannah breathes new life into the found image. The reenactment of the original Kodiak photograph is the centerpiece, along with the mock-up of the studio setting constructed for the video-shoot. Other findings from the family archives, his mother’s autobiographical photo-collages, and recent interview recordings with his grandmother provide further insight into Hannah’s personal history. Source materials attempt to complete the picture, including the The Kodiak Bear article featuring the art club scene, the original and two copies of the oil painting, and Hannah’s own portrait of his grandmother from an earlier series, Family Stills.

Positioning for the first time a family member as collaborator rather than as subject or model, Hannah pushes his practice deeper than ever into the exploration of what has historically been the most popular genre of photography – the family snapshot. Moreover, he examines the conceptual and historic associations between the visual media of photography, painting and sculpture, revealing both artistic and museological strategies of exposure.

Koffler Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 6 PM | Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM

Closed on Mondays and statutory holidays


Featured Exhibition in the 2014 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival


Grolsch is proud to be the Official Beer Sponsor of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival