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Through the Looking Glass and
The Paradise Institute

September 26 to November 16, 2008

Come and feast your eyes and minds on Glenbow's new contemporary art exhibition! Through the Looking Glass is a whimsical romp through the world of dreams and altered realities. Curated by Glenbow's former President and CEO Jeff Spalding, this exhibition is inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic of the same title. Visitors will find themselves on a similar journey to Alice's, where time and space playfully invert our understanding of the world.

Glenbow visitors will see paintings, photography, multimedia installations and film projections all related to this theme. The international artists featured in this show include Joshua Jensen-Nagle, William Kentridge, Will Mentor, Matthew Pillsbury, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Julian Rosefeldt, Corrina Schnitt, Marcel van Eeden and Bill Viola. Internationally acclaimed artist Dennis Oppenheim's sculpture of an upside-down church titled, Device to Root out Evil, is also part of this exhibition. It's being displayed outside our four walls, in a small park in the TORODE Group of Companies' Ramsay Exchange development in southeast Calgary.

The Paradise Institute by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

This exhibit is complemented by the first ever Calgary showing of The Paradise Institute, by celebrated Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Cardiff and Bures Miller focus on the language and experience of cinema in this work that was originally created for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

The Paradise Institute is a simple plywood pavilion. Viewers approach the artwork, mount a set of stairs and then peer over the balcony onto a miniature replica of a grand old movie theatre created with hyper-perspective. Viewers put on headphones and the projection and intrigue begin. The film is a mix of genres: part film noir, part thriller, part sci-fi and part experimental. Cardiff and Bures Miller, with this theatrical installation, continue the artistic tradition of illusionism.

Cardiff and Bures Miller were both born in Canada. For over a decade they lived and worked in Lethbridge, Alberta, south of Calgary. Their combined and solo exhibitions have been celebrated around the world and Glenbow wants Calgarians to share in this excitement.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
The Paradise Institute 2001
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Anonymous gift, 2002

About the Artists

Dianne Bos, Stampede Series - Attraction, 2005, Collection of Glenbow Museum.

Canadian artists represented in Through the Looking Glass include Vikky Alexander, David Altmejd, Iain Baxter, Dianne Bos, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Victor Cicansky, Luc Courchesne, Chris Cran, Alan Dunning, Christian Eckart, Terrance Houle, Dan Kennedy, Holly King, Marie Lannoo, Mark Lewis, John Noestheden, Evan Penny, Sheila and Nicholas Pye, Leila Sujir, Katie von der Ohe, Peter von Tiesenhausen, Carol Wainio and Robert Youds.

International artists include Joshua Jensen-Nagle, William Kentridge, Will Mentor, Dennis Oppenheim, Matthew Pillsbury, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Julian Rosefeldt, Corrina Schnitt, Marcel van Eeden, and Bill Viola.

Related Events

Through the Looking Glass with Jeffrey Spalding
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m.

Through the Looking Glass gallery
Level 2 at Glenbow
Limited availability – call to reserve tickets

Glenbow CEO and President Jeffrey Spalding will guide a tour through the exhibition Through the Looking Glass to elaborate on the concept of the show, and reveal insights about the artworks featured.


Through the Looking Glass: Artist Leila Sujir in Conversation
Sunday, September 28, 1:00 p.m.

ConocoPhillips Theatre
Level 1 at Glenbow
Free with admission or Glenbow membership

Leila Sujir is an educator and media artist whose career has spanned 23 years. Her work interlaces archival elements into the time and space of video, employs various poetic and narrative strategies, and reconsiders the official histories and stories which shape our lives. Sujir's work has been exhibited internationally and is on view at Glenbow in Through the Looking Glass.

Media Materials

For more information, click here for the press release on Through the Looking Glass and The Paradise Institute.

130 9th Ave S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm


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