karen elaine spencer

bio
karen elaine spencer is an artist who maintains a studio practice, performs, curates and writes.  in a practice oscillating between work in the street, exhibitions in galleries, and disseminations via the web, spencer’s work questions hierarchies and investigates how we, as transient beings, occupy the world we live in.  rambling, dreaming, loitering, sitting – these repetitions that lead us nowhere – are sustained over time until “something” accumulates. spencer employs materials that speak of our day-to-day existence: newspapers, cardboard, oranges, bread, chalk.  through a détournement of materials or intentions spencer intervenes into places; shifting, ever so slightly, perceptions of the possible.  in 2011, she curated the program gosser le furtif at galerie skol, montreal, quebec. in 2012 she was an artist in residence at the international studio and curatorial program (iscp) in brooklyn, new york and she was awarded the 2012 powerhouse prize.  her work has been exhibited in canada, europe and the u.s.a.

c.v.

education
2001 m.f.a. université du québec à montréal.
1986 b.f.a. nova scotia college of art and design.

prizes and grants
le prix powerhouse – la centrale galerie powerhouse – 2012
prix du jury – paysages éphémères – 2008
conseil des arts et des lettres du québec – bourse de voyage – 2013, 2011, 2003
conseil des arts et des lettres du québec
recherche et création – 2007, 2002, 2001, 1997, 1995
conseil des arts et des lettres du québec, studio du québec à paris – 2005
the canada council – new york iscp – international studio and curatorial program – 2012
the canada councilresearch and creation – 2012, 2003, 1991, 1989
the canada council – travel – 2005

public art and commissions
2014 galerie des arts visuels, université de laval à québec – outdoor 20’ x 20’ banner, in collaboration with nadia myre.
2014 government of canada (foreign affairs), london house, québec room – carpet design, in collaboration with nadia myre.
2010 paved, saskatchewan saskatoon – billboard as part of une étendue apparemment infinie et tentaculaire.
2008 paysages éphémères – la rue des rêves, street level sound and text installation, in collaboration with l’oeil dans l’front (elsa charpentier and perruche.)

residencies
2012 international studio and curatorial program (iscp), brooklyn, new york.

2011 the new gallery, john snow house, air, calgary, alberta.

2011 praxis art actuel, sainte thérèse, québec.

2009 centre sagamie, alma, québec.

2009 centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec.

2009 3e imperial art actuel, grandby, québec.

2008 visualeyez, latitude 53, edmonton, alberta.

2007 white water gallery, north bay, ontario.

2006 le lobe, chicoutimi, saguenay, québec.

2005 la cité internationale des arts, paris, france.

2002 the new gallery, calgary, alberta.

solo exhibitions
2015 letters home/lettre à ma mère, galerie b-312, montréal, québec.

2011 transient traces, le mur saint martin, paris, france.

2011 life size/grandeur nature, articule, montréal, québec.

2009 dream letters for granby, 3e imperial art actuel, grandby, québec.

2008 writing with water, galerie espace, festival voix d’amériques, montréal, québec.

2007 dream listener, dare-dare centre de diffusion, montréal, québec.

2007 dream listener, white water gallery, north bay, ontario.

2006 votre rêve dans mon oreille, le lobe, chicoutimi, saguenay, québec.

2005 metro rider, la centrale, montréal, québec.

2003 bread-bed, eastern edge, st. john’s, newfoundland.

2003 tit sucker, gallery 44, toronto, ontario.

2003 bread-bed, galerie verticale, laval, québec.

2002 bread-bed, the new gallery, calgary, alberta.

2002 tit sucker, bread-bed, eyelevel gallery, halifax, nova scotia.

2000 expect nothing, dare-dare centre de diffusion, montréal, québec.

2000 vérifiez que, centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec.

1998 menaçante et fusionnelle, action art actuel, saint-jean-sur-richelieu, québec.

1997 if you could hear my voice, alternator gallery, kelowna, british columbia.

1997 evolutio, ace art incorporated, winnipeg, manitoba.

1996 strong enough, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

1995 evolutio, artcite, windsor, ontario.

1992 karen spencer, struts gallery, sackville, new brunswick.

1991 the hands that hold, richmond art gallery, richmond, british columbia.

1989 karen spencer, galerie powerhouse, montréal, québec.

1988 symbols and apparitions, the art gallery mount saint vincent university, halifax, nova scotia. curator: charlotte townsend-gault.

group exhibitions
2014 new york stories : twenty years of iscp, international studio and curatorial program, brooklyn, new york.

2013 la moitié du monde est une femme, grande bibliothèque, montréal, québec.

2012 revus, galerie b-312, montréal, québec.

2011 a furtive conundrum: practicing the furtive, 1612 gallery, vancouver, b.c. curators: mariane bourcheix-laporte and ryan mathieson.

2010 une étendue apparemment infinie et tentaculaire, centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec; paved, saskatoon, saskatchewan.

2009 bureau d’investigation d’archives(bia)/the office for archival review(oar), centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec. coordinated by sabrina russo and karen zalamea.

2009 what happens when nothing happens: unrealised ideas from montréal, gallery rotor, valand school of art, gothenburg, sweden. travels to fofa gallery, montréal, québec. curators: veronique malo and emily mennerdahl, the independant study group (isg).

2008 carte postale, atsa, létat d’urgence, montréal, québec.

2008 la rue des rêves, (with l’oeil dans l’front,) paysages éphémères, montréal, québec.

2007 dream listener, atsa, létat d’urgence, montréal, québec.

2002 va & viens, projet du labo centralien, la centrale, montréal, québec.

2001 from the past to the present, la centrale, montréal, québec.

2000 femmes au-delà/edgy women, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

2000 photocopie, les livres d’artists, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

1999 en française, les livres d’artistes, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

1998 poil, les livres d’artistes, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

1997 corps, les livres d’artistes, galerie 303, montréal, québec.

1996 skin, galerie stornaway, montréal, québec.

1996 fertile ground, agnes etherington art centre, kingston, ontario. curator: jan allen.

1996 montréal, 450 broadway gallery, new york, new york.

1996 vue compressée, articule, montréal, québec.

1992 couples, galerie pink, montréal, quebéc.

audio/video screenings
2010 dream listener, cinema politica, concordia university, montréal, québec.

2009 one thousand names, (with chris carrière,) 3e impérial, granby, québec.

2007 dream listener, an audiobook in three movements,(with crum,) dare-dare, montréal, québec.

2002 swim’s walk, shout at eternity, montréal, québec.

2002 karen’s bread shoes, d2d, 7a*11d, toronto, ontario.

2002 karen’s bread shoes, 4th international multimedia art festival (imaf,)
performance art today, odzaci, yugoslavia.

spoken word performance
2012 home less and other stories, for poetry and pastry with jack locke, nathaniel spencer-cross, westmount public library, westmount, québec.

2011 home less and cuss, poetry plus, arts café, montréal, québec.

2011 home less, the john snow house, calgary, alberta.

2011 has not yet arrived, for poetry and pastry with jack (j. j.) locke, john fretz, ryan ruddick, westmount public library, westmount, québec.

2007 score for a voice studying lamentation, catcall, montréal, québec.

2007 beautiful dreamers, text-perplexed, voix d’amériques, montréal, québec. curator: victoria stanton.

2005 things that go down, la centrale, montréal, québec.

2004 facing the lost, la lumière comme surmoi, performance + photographie, dazibao, montréal, québec. curator: france choinière and michèle

performance
2014 blogueurs en captivité, folie culture en collaboration avec dare-dare, montréal, québec.

2013 artist walking 14th st. with sandwich board – how many is too many, aiop (art in odd places), new york, new york. curated by: radhika subramaniam.

2013 ka-boom, fait maison : ayer’s cliff, québec. commissariat patric lacasse et thomas grondin.

2011 sittin’ with moncton, jè-st': festival d’art performatif et d’intervention, moncton, new brunswick.

2011 walk with me, orange, speech acts, viva! art action, montréal, québec.

2011 walk with laurent marissal, response to laurent marissal aka painterman’s work, montréal, québec.

2011 walk with anne-marie, response to anne-marie proulx’s work, montréal, québec.

2010 sittin’, 7a*11d, toronto, ontario.

2010 walk with michelle, response to michelle lacombe’s work, montréal, québec.

2010 greece is bankrupt, hi tech/low tech/no tech, raiq, montréal, québec.

2010 onion peeler/épluche d’oignon, art souterrain, nuit blanche, montréal, québec.

2009 never happened (let’s pretend it), what happens when nothing happens, fofa gallery, montréal, québec. curator: veronique malo and emily mennerdahl, the independant study group (isg).

2008 i dreamt i ran away from home, visualeyez, latitude 53, edmonton, alberta. curator: todd janes.

2008 intimate/transparent, for grace exhibition space, brooklyn, new york.

2005 lit de pain, for multiprises 2, la cité internationale des arts, paris, france.

2004 bread-bed, for anti-contemporary art festival, kuopio, finland.

2003 partager, for prescription, folie/culture, québec, québec. curator: denis simard.

2003 onion peeler and play group, for interazioni performance festival, sardinia, italy.

2003 american can(’t), for espaces émergents, coup de dés “déterritorialité,” montréal,québec. curator: guy sioui durand.

2002 toast maker, for un cri vers l’éternitè/shout at eternity, montréal, québec.

2002 no document(doesnotmeanitneverhappened,) montréal, québec.

2001 ramblin’ man, for articule special projects, montréal, québec.

2000 tu me brûles, for les yeux rouges, 24 heures de performance et d’art action, rouyan-noranda, québec. curator: sylvie cotton.

2000 mercredi après-midi, at la brioche lyonnaise, montréal, québec.

1999 indifférence, for l’exposition interuniversitaire, centre de diffusion, uqam. montréal, québec.

1999 rocking/sucking, for public art as social intervention, montréal, québec.

1998 les langues aux doigts, english version for the opening of the conference: feeding our souls, creating a healing community approach to mental health, brescia college, london, ontario.

1998 je fais une erreur, for centre de diffusion, uqam, montréal, québec.

1998 vérifiez que, at the centre r.c.a., montréal, québec.

1998 lecture de irigaray “fécondité de la caresse,” at a vacant lot, montréal, québec.

1998 lecture de irigaray “fécondité de la caresse,” for machination communicantes –1, centre de diffusion, uqam, montréal, québec.

1997 track/breath, at the lachine canal at st. ambroise, montréal, québec.

1997 les langues aux doigts, for centre de diffusion, uqam, montréal, québec.

collections
air canada
the richmond art gallery
the canada council art bank
bibliotheque nationale du québec
richmond women’s resource centre association
the art gallery, mount saint vincent university
private collections

curating
2010-2011 teasing the furtive, centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec.

2009 viva! art action, centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec.

2004 she came to my house, she knocked upon my door, the new gallery,
calgary, alberta.

2002 3plus3, échange san francisco/montréal, la centrale, montréal, québec.

activities: artist talks, juries, panels, workshops, etc.
2014
committee – conseil d’administration, 3e impérial, granby, québec.
exposition bénéfice pour l’art – galerie b-312, montréal, québec.

2013
committee – conseil d’administration, 3e impérial, granby, québec.
artist talk – art now, university of lethbridge, lethbridge, alberta.
artsida5, art against aids, fundraiser – galerie dentaire + musée d’art contemporain de montréal, montréal, québec.
exposition bénéfice pour l’art – galerie b-312, montréal, québec.
activité bénéfice – feuilles mobiles Ⅲ, le lobe, chicoutimi, québec.
salon – moussa kone & karen elaine spencer, iscp, brooklyn, new york.
fundraiser – visual aids, postcards from the edge, new york, new york.

2012
panel – pratiques furtives, une table ronde, skol, montréal, québec.
jury – 3e impérial, granby, québec.
committee – conseil d’administration, 3e impérial, granby, québec.
activité bénéfice – feuilles mobiles Ⅱ, le lobe, chicoutimi, québec.
exposition bénéfice – les faussaires, articule, montréal, québec.

2011
committee – conseil d’administration, 3e impérial, granby, québec.
committee – conseil d’administration, skol, montréal, québec.
committee – comité d’organisation, viva! art action, montréal, québec.
workshop – for trafic, lost and found/le bureau des objets trouvés, gatineau, québec.
crits- concordia university, (jessica maccormack’s class,) montréal, québec.
exposition bénéfice – pour l’art, galerie b-312, montréal, québec.

2010
committee – conseil d’administration, 3e impérial, granby, québec.
artist talk – université du québec à montréal, (cours de natalie derome,) montréal, québec.
workshop – école dominique-savio, montréal, québec.
artist talk – paved, saskatoon, saskatchewan.
artist talk – skol, montréal, québec.
artist talk – concordia university, (jessica maccormack’s class,) montréal, québec.
artist talk – seminar on public art and public space, urban planning association (upa,) concordia university, montréal, québec.
panel – arts interdisciplinaires: hi-tech, lo-tech, no-tech?, montréal, québec.
panel – documenting the furtive: a conversation/documenter le furtif: une conversation, skol, montréal, québec.
panel – invaders of the everyday?, 7a*11d, toronto, ontario.
committee – comité de réflexion, viva! art action, montréal, québec.
workshop – for skool participants l’inévitable : de l’espace public à la galerie et vice versa, skol, montréal, québec.

2009
artist talk – celat uqam (centre interuniversitaire d’études sur les letters, les arts et les traditions,) montréal, québec.
workshop – cejep vieux montréal, montréal, québec.
artist talk – levier, montréal, québec.
artist talk – uqam, (anne ramsden’s class,) montréal québec.
workshop – mission communautaire de montréal, montréal, québec.
jury – skol, montréal, québec.
jury – 3e imperial, montréal, québec.

2008
workshop – cejep vieux montréal, montréal, québec.
panel – artist + audience: languaging art and negotiating language politics, where do we start?, articule, montréal, québec.
award – prix du jury, paysages éphémères, montréal, québec.

2007
artist talk – white water gallery, north bay, ontario.
artist talk – dare-dare centre de diffusion, montréal, québec.
artist talk – atsa, létat d’urgence, montréal, québec.

2006
artist talk – université du québec à chicoutimi, (cours de michaël lachance) saguenay, québec.
artist talk – souffles, montréal, québec.

2004
curator talk – the new gallery, calgary, alberta.

2003
artist talk – galerie verticale, laval, québec.
member – play group, montréal, québec.

2002
jury – la centrale, montréal, québec.
artist talk – eyelevel gallery, halifax, nova scotia.
artist talk – the new gallery, calgary, alberta.
member – play group, montréal, québec.

2001
jury – la centrale, montréal, québec.
artist talk – articule, montréal, québec.
member – play group, montréal, québec.

2000
jury – la centrale, montréal, québec.
member – play group, montréal québec.
teaching – uqam, montréal, québec.

1999
artist talk – uqam, montréal, québec.
artist talk – concordia university, montréal, québec.
jury – la centrale, montréal, québec.

1997
artist talk – alternator gallery, kelowna, british columbia.
studio visits – ace art incorporated, winnipeg, manitoba.

1992
artist talk – struts gallery, sackville, new brunswick.

1991
artist talk – richmond art gallery, richmond, british columbia.

reviews
le soleil,
15 mars 2014, crypter l’intime et l’afficher. p. a17 arts visuels. desloges, josianne.

cv variable, no. 95: cyber / espace / publicfall 2013. hey! mike de karen elaine spencer, textualiser l’espace, spatialiser le discours. p. 33-39. fiset, daniel.

montreal gazette, 7 september, 2012, profile of artist karen elaine spencer, winner of la centrale galerie powerhouse prize, pohl, john. montrealgazette

le devoir,
les samedi 7 et dimanche 8 avril, 2012, livres d’or, paroles d’argent, p. e 7, delgado, jérôme.  ledevoir3

inter art actuel,
hiver 2008-2009, 101, voix de femmes, voix des amériques. pp. 74-76. letarte, geneviève.

the edmonton journal, july 19, 2008. at visualeyez fest, it’s all about the art. bouchard, gilbert.

spirale, no. 219, mars/avril 2008. karen elaine spencer, dream listener/porteur de rêves/portador de suenos: nous sommes tous de beaux rêveurs. trans. colette tougas. pp. 35-38. tayler, felicity.

the north bay nugget, september 17, 2007. montreal artist takes her dreams to the streets. dubois, denis.

the gazette, montréal, october 13, 2007. blogosphere: scattered cardboard signs have a dreamlike quality. faguy, steve.

the gazette, montréal, nov. 29, 2007. taking it to the streets, dewolfe, christopher.

voir, (saguenay), 2 novembre, 2006. rêver mieux. caron, jean-françois.

montréal mirror, june 2 – 8, 2005. what goes down comes up. p. 37. redfern, christine.

cv variable, no. 65: portraits, september 2004. photographic memory: the experience of performance. p. 29. mcleod, dayna. 20040901cv_photo_65review

espace, no. 69, fall, 2004. esthétiques urbaines emergentes/emerging urban aesthetics. pp. 22-25. boivin, julie.

mix, vol. 29, pt. 1, summer 2003. artist-run culture.

the telegram, st. john’s newfoundland, vol. 125, no. 108, july 22, 2003. artist making an impression: bread-lined installation creating a controversy. bradburry bennet, tara.

montréal mirror, vol. 18, #32, january 23 – 29, 2003. bread and bed. p. 41. redfern, christine.

montréal mirror, vol. 17, #16, september 20 – 27, 2001. ramble on. p. 43. redfern, christine.

montréal campus, vol. xxi, no. 8, 06, decembre 2000. l’art qui se mange: hors-d’oeuvre. p. 13. gervais, lisa-marie.

the link, concordia’s independent newspaper, vol. 20, issue 20, january 25, 2000. breaking the chains: multi-media exhibit irritates and intrigues. grace, anita.

winnipeg free press, january 8, 1997. pregnancy transformation captured: video talk more revealing than nude pose. prokosh, kevin.

hour, montréal’s news and entertainment weekly, vol. 4, no. 21, may 23-29, 1996. pregnant causes: karen spencer’s “strong enough” is ripe with speculation. p. 28. catchlove, lucinda.

arts atlantic, fall, 1988, symbols and apparitions: paul miller and karen spencer. p. 26- 27. pope, robert.

vanguard, april/may, 1986. seeing art in nova scotia: ecphore and innova. p. 23-26. townsend-gault, charlotte.

catalogues, brochures, books
jè-st’, festival d’art performatif et d’intervention/performance and intervention art festival, sept/oct 2011, textes by jennifer bélanger, amanda dawn christie, nisk imbeault. galerie d’art louise et reuben-cohen, moncton, nouveau-brunswick, (2012) 59p. couverture souple. isbn 978 0 9877755 3 5.

-nada nº2, éditions clandestines s.i.n.d. – diffusée de main en main entre paris et montréal, et affichée dans une vitrine exposée par le centre des arts actuels skol, : marissal_nada_furtif2B

les flâneuses : camila vasquez, karen elaine spencer, sandra lachance, schütze, bernard; saint-thérèse, québec : praxis art actuel, (2011) 46p. couverture souple. isbn 978 2980546 969.

porteurs de rêves/dream listener, loubier, patrice; spencer, karen elaine; alma, québec. : sagamie édition d’art, (2011) 108p. couverture souple. isbn 9 782923 612 164.

oeuvres à la rue : pratiques et discours mergents en art public, sous la direction d’annie gérin, yves bergeron, dominic hardy et gilles lapointe. en coédition avec le département d’histoire de l’art de l’uqam graphism : marc-andré roy (makara) (2010) 128p. couverture souple.

une étendue apparement infinie et tentaculaire, middlemiss, nikki and lariviere, david, centre des arts actuels skol, montréal, québec; sprawl, paved, saskatoon, saskatchewan, (2010) 12p. : 21 x 14. cm. booklet.

what happens when nothing happens, malo, veronique, mennerdahl, emily, the independant study group (isg). stockholm, sweden. (2009) 52p. isbn 978 91 633 4838 9. 14 x 9 cm. booklet.

orange 2006, como como. babin, sylvette, et al. st-hyacinthe, québec. : orange, l’évenément d’art actuel de saint-hyacinthe, et expression, centre d’exposition de saint-hyacinthe, (2008) 159p. isbn 9 782922 326581. hard cover book. what-do-artists-eat-catalogue-text-by-sylvette-babin-orange-canada-2008-1

lobe résidence programmation 2006 – 2007. bouchard, carl, bouchard, claude, caron, jean-françois, therrien, geneviéve. chicoutimi, québec. : le lobe, (2007)

fleurs de paris : selected works, (2006) 17p. : 19 ill.

point and shoot : performance and photography, nemiroff, diana; thériault, michèle; choinière, france; (et alii) montréal, québec. : dazibao, (2005) 125 p. : ill. ; 21 cm – (les essais/dazibao).

micheline durocher/karen spencer: tit sucker. bourgeois, gail. toronto, ontario. : gallery 44. (2003) 2p. : 4 ill. , 21 x 14 cm. exhibition pamphlet.

articule : 2001-2000. balcaen, jo-anne; brewer, allan; brewer william. montréal, québec. : articule, (2002) 25p. : 17 ill., 23 x 19 cm + 5 livrets. exhibition catalogue.

skol 1999 – 2000. trahan, carl; ninacs, anne-marie. karen spencer vérifiez que, texte de alexandria pierce. montréal, québec. : centre des arts actuels skol, (2003) 13 vol., 4p. chacun : 33 ill. ; 23 x 22 cm. exhibition brochures.

ace art inc. : programming. woodbury, jennifer. winnipeg, manitoba. : ace art (1997) 38. p. : 35 ill. ; 23 x 10 cm. exhibition catalogue.

fertile ground. allen, jan; spencer, karen; reid, leslie. kingston, ontario. agnes ethrington art centre, (1966) 24. p. : 11 ill. (1o col.) 26 x 21 cm. isbn 0 88911 7365. exhibition catalogue.

paul miller, karen spencer : symbols and apparitions. townsend-gault, charlotte. halifax, novia scotia. : the art gallery, mount saint vincent university, (1988) 8p. : 5 ill. ; 28 cm. isbn 0 770306292. exhibition catalogue.

published writing
matters of context, messages to : the edmonton remand centre newspaper, bond, lindsey, winnipeg, bond publishing, 2012, pp. 52-55.

visualeyez. festival’s official blogger, 2011: http://www.visualeyez.org

viva! art action. festival’s official english blogger, 2009: http://vivamontreal.wordpress.com

suzanne joly: no apologies, caught in the act: an anthology of performance art by canadian women, tanya mars and johanna householder eds., toronto, yyz books, 2004, pp. 271-279.

malperformer l’autorité: nourriture et pouvoir, dans esse arts + opinions, dossier nourritures, hiver. 2004, n°50, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 42-46.

à propos de black market, dans esse arts + opinions, dossier citoyen “volontaire”, printemps – été, 2003, n°48, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 61-63.

egg-shell white to burgundy to lime, catherine bodmer échantillons, plein-sud opuscule, 2003. trans. blanc cassé au bougogne au vert jaune by susanne de lotbinière-harwood.

éric létourneau – détourner le norme, dans esse arts + opinions, autour de mémoire vive, hiver 2003, n°47, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 48-51.

document …or die (excerpts from), the magazine, slaps-banks-plots, issue #6, performance and photography, 2002. http://www.asa.de/magazine/index.htm

one page 4 boris, the magazine, slaps-banks-plots, issue #6, performance and photography, 2002. http://www.asa.de/magazine/index.htm

attester…ou mourir, dans esse arts + opinions, dossier balayage: un regard sur la vidéo, automne 2002, n°46, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 62-64.

brouiller les frontières, dans esse arts + opinions, dossier image extrême, hiver 2002 n°44, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 16 -21.

les 12 heures de rachel echenberg: la présence comme acte de foi, dans esse arts + opinions, dossier immatérialités, automne 2001 n°43, trans. isabelle chagnon, pp. 63-65.

nope…she ain’t comin’ home for supper, in pink link ou la proposition rose: le mois de la performance, la centrale, 2001, pp. 29-36.

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