The Art Gallery of York University takes flight with its 20th anniversary celebration

Embark on a journey with the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) as it celebrates its 20th anniversary with its upcoming winter line up, which includes the opening of three exhibitions, a book launch and a party all on the same night.

The journey begins on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6pm to 9pm at the AGYU, Accolade East Building, at the Keele campus.

AGYU is presenting two video projections by the London-based Dutch artist Saskia Olde Wolbers – Trailer (2005) and the premiere of Deadline (2007). The two short narrative videos appear computer-generated, but are actually filmed using meticulously constructed, miniature film sets. The accompanying voice-over narratives – seemingly fantastic stories from far away places – are based on actual reported events.

Right: Saskia Olde Wolbers, Deadline, 2007. Video for projection. Courtesy of Maureen Paley, London.

Deadline, a road trip from Gambia to Benin, is a compilation of fictionalized stories Olde Wolbers gathered while staying in a Gambian fishing village. Set between an opulent movie theatre and the jungle, Trailer unravels the story of a man who learns from a film trailer that he was adopted as the illegitimate offspring of two Hollywood "B" actors who crashed in the Amazon in the 1930s.

Olde Wolbers’ work is an AGYU Founders presentation.

Also on the same night, Toronto artist Bruno Billio re-opens AGYU vitrines with a new site-specific commission. Akin to the AGYU’s strategies, Bruno’s practice involves the use of conventional items and prescribed spaces in unconventional ways. Billio is also participating in the AGYU’s off-site, interdisciplinary arts education initiative with middle school students from the Jane-Finch community.

While at the gallery, take a flight to Brazil. AGYU begins its service to Brazil with São Paulo artist Rodrigo Matheus’ video animation New World Airlines (2007), screened in the AGYU lobby. The soothing, yet startling, ride includes an on-board homage to some of the heroes of Brazilian art.

Left: Rodrigo Matheus and Laura Faerman, New World Airlines (2007)

Olde Wolbers and Matheus are presented by the AGYU in conjunction with the Images Festival.

In the arrivals lounge on Feb. 6, celebrate the launch of Disassembling the Archive: Fiona Tan (AGYU, 2007), a new book by AGYU director Philip Monk.

Also, the esoteric initiation into the world of Vlackie O continues with his Web project Weitiko.

People downtown can get to the opening by taking the Marmco and Friends Performance Bus. It departs Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 6pm sharp from the Ontario College of Art and Design, 100 McCaul St., and returns downtown at 9pm.

AGYU winter exhibitions continue until May 4. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday from 10am to 8 pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm. The gallery is closed on Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information on AGYU Winter exhibitions, contact assistant curator Emelie Chhangur at or by phone at 416-736-5169.