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Cold-cast aluminum, resin, soil, rocks, 5 x 14 x 6 inches. The sculpture appears root-like with different protrusions, it is seated atop a faded green and silver burnished cube.

Young Joon Kwak, "Trans-Creation Relic," 2017. Cold-cast aluminum, resin, soil, rocks, 5 x 14 x 6 inches, image courtesy the artist and Commonwealth & Council.

Young Joon Kwak

with Marvin Astorga, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, Adrian Stimson, and Kim Ye
September 29 - December 14, 2018
Organized by Acting Curator Jacqueline Bell

Walter Phillips Gallery, Main Space
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Opening Reception 
Friday, September 28, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Young Joon Kwak and Kim Ye in conversation with John Tain 
Saturday, September 29, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Exhibition Tour
Wednesday, October 17, 5:00 p.m.

Exhibition Tour
Wednesday, December 5, 5:00 p.m.

THE CAVE assembles new and existing sculpture and video works by Los Angeles-based artist Young Joon Kwak, featuring collaborations with Marvin Astorga and Kim Ye, and presented alongside works by Adrian Stimson and Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. Interrogating the cultural phenomena of the man cave, the exhibition speaks to the ecstatic mutability of bodies and the relationship between the cave, the cinema, and the dark closeness of the club. THE CAVE is also responsive to the context of Banff National Park and the legacy of artistic practices which have engaged with the present and historical complexities of the region.

Artist Biographies

Young Joon Kwak

Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984, Queens, New York) is a Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary artist working primarily through sculpture, performance, video, and collaboration. Kwak’s work aims to change how we view our bodies by reimagining their form, functionality, and materiality—from static and bound to pre-inscribed power structures, to an expanded sense of bodies and their environs as mutable and open-ended. Kwak is the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving beauty salon/platform for experimental performance collaborations with their community of queer, trans, femme, POC artists and performers. Kwak is the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner. Performances and exhibitions include: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Broad, Los Angeles; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and ONE National LGBT Archives, Los Angeles; Regina Rex and Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Pavillon Vendôme Centre d’Art Contemporain, Clichy; and the Art Museum of the National University of Colombia, Bogotá. During summer 2018, Kwak was Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Kwak was recently awarded the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant and the Art Matters Grant. Kwak received an MFA from the University of Southern California, an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kwak’s work has been reviewed in Artillery Magazine, Artforum, Hyperallergic, and LA Times, among others.

Marvin Astorga

Marvin Astorga (b. 1982, El Paso, Texas) is a Los Angeles-based artist, producer, and musician. Marvin is one half of the electronic dance/noise duo Xina Xurner, and a Mutant Salon collaborator. Marvin explores queerness, Xicanismo, and transformation through sound and electronics. Past performances and exhibitions include: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Broad, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Smart Museum Art, Chicago; and Material Art Fair, Mexico City.

Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan

Shawna Dempsey (b. 1963, Winnipeg) and Lorri Millan (b. 1965, Winnipeg) are among Canada’s best-known performance artists. Collaborators since 1989, they were catapulted into the international spotlight with the performance and film We’re Talking Vulva (1990). Since then, their live work and videos have been exhibited in venues as far-ranging as women’s centres in Sri Lanka; the Istanbul Biennial; Sydney Gay/Lesbian Mardi Gras and Museum of Modern Art, New York. This duo has also created installations such as Archaeology and You (2003), Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; books such as Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World (Arbeiter Ring Press, Winnipeg, 2012); and public art projects such as Winnipeg Tarot Co. (2010), Winnipeg Cultural Capital. Performance documentation and artifacts are held in collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau; and Dia Center for the Arts, New York. Dempsey and Millan have contributed to arts publications as writers and editors, and have curated festivals, programs and exhibitions for Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre, Buffalo; Gallery YYZ, Toronto; and the Winnipeg Art Gallery; among others. But to most they are known simply as the Lesbian Rangers, serving the lesbian ecosystem from dawn to dusk and well beyond.

Adrian Stimson

Adrian Stimson (b. 1964, Sault Ste. Marie) is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation and an interdisciplinary artist known for his performances exploring identity construction. He re-appropriates stereotypical identities—such as the Indian, the cowboy, the shaman, and the Two Spirit being—to form the basis of his two reoccurring hybrid personas: Buffalo Boy and The Shaman Exterminator. 
Stimson holds a MFA from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina and a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary. He is a recipient of the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award (2017), Blackfoot Visual Arts Award (2009), Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2003), and Alberta Centennial Medal (2005). He has performed and exhibited his work in national and international venues such as grunt gallery, Vancouver; Glenbow Museum, Calgary; Nuit Blanche, Saskatoon; AKA Artist-Run Centre, Saskatoon; Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg; Urban Shaman, Winnipeg; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; National Arts Centre, Ottawa; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris; and Campbelltown Arts Centre, New South Wales. Stimson’s work can be found in collections such as Siksika Nation; Glenbow Museum, Calgary; Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau; and The British Museum, London; among others. In 2010, the artist was selected to participate in the Canadian Forces Artist Program in Afghanistan. 

Kim Ye

Kim Ye (b. 1984, Beijing, China) is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist whose work incorporates social practice, installation, video, performance, sculpture, and the written word. She received her MFA from University of California Los Angeles (2012) and her BA from Pomona College, Claremont (2007). Her work traces the circulation of power by exploring concepts of labor, intimacy, and the exchange between an artist and their audience. She has performed and exhibited nationally and internationally at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Getty Center, Los Angeles; Morán Morán, Los Angeles; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Machine Project, Los Angeles; Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont; Satellite Art Fair, Miami Beach; Material Art Fair, Mexico City; and ACRE, Steuben; among others. She has been invited as a visiting artist and given talks at institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Pomona College, Claremont; University of California Los Angeles; and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.