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Jackie Dives | A Room for the Pain

A Room for the Pain, a solo exhibition by Jackie Dives, originally scheduled for April 17 to May 23 at Gallery Gachet, is now postponed. We anticipate the day when we can safely welcome you to the gallery to contend with the added layers of fraught meaning witnessed by Jackie Dives’ challenging series.

A Room for the Pain is a photo series by documentary photographer and contemporary artist Jackie Dives. Created soon after the death of the artist’s father to drug overdose, the series is a personal testament to a public health emergency. When Dives was informed of her father’s death, she visited the single-room occupancy hotel where he had been living. She was compelled to photograph the room, his body in the funeral home, and places and things that reminded her of him. Working with film, she documented her experience of the “strange and jarring circumstances of losing a parent to such a stigmatized death.” Dives used double exposure to compose each image, a technique that traces her “confused, layered, and fraught emotions,” as the photographs honour her father, mourn her loss, and commemorate their relationship.
Dives’ documentary photography has been published internationally for newspapers, magazines, and websites and exhibited in galleries in Vancouver. For A Room for the Pain, Dives seeks the space of an art gallery, emphasizing the detail and effect of each c-print and situating the series beyond journalism. As art, the series is immersed in the diaristic and vulnerable aspects of Dives’ practice, becoming autoethnographic: “for the first time I felt like I was photographing inward instead of outward.”
A Room for the Pain has particular meaning in the neighbourhood of Gallery Gachet, the Downtown Eastside, where those most directly affected by substance use are often the object of journalism and research rather than the narrating subjects. The exhibition offers space to reflect on the value of harm reduction in the context of Vancouver’s overdose crisis, conventions and ethics of documentary, as well as a photographic tradition including the work of Sally Mann, Jo Spence, and Nan Goldin, whom the artist cites as feminist inspiration.

This exhibition is part of the 2020 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program. From Capture Executive Director Emmy Lee Wall: “While we are all staying close to home, Capture has reconceptualized many aspects of our programming to bring digital content directly to our audiences. I hope you will enjoy our cataloguewebsite and Instagram as we deliver virtual exhibitions, the Incubator online auction, filmed talks and tours as well as other online content to you. It is a way for us to celebrate the work of the incredible local and international artists featured in this year’s Festival, and, importantly, to stay connected.”

The project is supported by a Tricera Printing Grant.

Image: Jackie Dives, Murray Hotel, 2017/19, c-print, 91.44 x 60.96 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Carmen Papalia Wins Sobey Art Award

Congratulations to all 25 recipients of the 2020 Sobey Art Award. And congrats specifically to Carmen Papalia; Carmen is currently working with Gallery Gachet on an accessibility study. His previous projects with Gallery Gachet include For a New Accessibility, a convergence in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery in 2015, Nothing About Us Without Us with Kristin Lantz in 2013, and Madness + Mobility: The Art of Inclusion in 2012. You can find out more about Carmen's practice at carmenpapalia.com

In the context of the pandemic, the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada decided to divide the annual award equally among all of the longlisted artists.

Image: Nothing About Us Without Us at the Vancouver Art Gallery collection vault, 2013;
© photo by Tom Quirk

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