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Image: Lucy Pullen, RECOGNIZE EVERYONE, CAFKA.18. Photo by Ehsan Parvizi. 


CAFKA.18: Exhibition Guide

CAFKA.18: RECOGNIZE EVERYONE June 2 through July 1 in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge

CAFKA.18 is CAFKA’s 12th exhibition of contemporary art projects. The biennial exhibition began at Kitchener City Hall in 2000 and has since grown and adapted to this rapidly changing community. It has grown from a weekend festival of visual art to a 30-day program of art installations, art crawls, multilingual-guided tours, art cycle rallies, and family art education. It has expanded beyond Kitchener City Hall to take place throughout Kitchener’s downtown and the neighbouring municipalities of Waterloo and Cambridge. The CAFKA Program Committee puts together a program of contemporary artwork that animates our public spaces and helps to generate conversations and reflections about the community we live in.  

The theme for the 2018 biennial will be RECOGNIZE EVERYONE. The title comes from an association game created by CAFKA.18 artist Lucy Pullen. RECOGNIZE EVERYONE is a game that helps us to orient ourselves in new places and with new people. Simply by looking to recognize someone you know in the face or the behaviour of a stranger, you are playing the game. RECOGNIZE EVERYONE is a playful and adaptive way to make a home or feel at home, and a creative and engaged way of being in the world.

CAFKA.18 by Robert Dayton

Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener City Hall, 200 King Street West, Kitchener

CAFKA is again working with its festival partners Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound (May 30 to June 3) and Summer Lights (June 9). In addition to its concert program Open Ears will be presenting sound sculptures Tubelum, a PVC interactive pipe instrument by Richard Burrows and Scott Lindsay; Parable II: Personas, an interactive sound caldron by Colin Labadie at THEMUSEUM and a new installation work by Nico Muhly at Zion Church in Kitchener. 

CAFKA’s curatorial partners this year are the University of Waterloo Art Gallery and University of Waterloo Department of Fine Arts who will be programming artist workshops (research creation projects) at “Arts Quad” on University of Waterloo’s main campus and at UWAG Gallery. Artist and curator Lisa Myers, and artists Golboo Amani, Johanna Householder and Abedar Kamgari will perform and lead workshops on site. On June 9th UWAG will host an all-day symposium featuring thematic panels including an afternoon panel with CAFKA artists. Please check the CAFKA website for details. UW's Critical Media Lab will be offering memorial services for dead cell phones, complete with a marble slab and 3D printed miniatures of the cell phones donated to the CML. In conjunction with the CAFKA.18 biennial and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery will be presenting Postscript, curated by Lisa Myers, featuring an important work by Rebecca Belmore, Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother (1991), new work by CAFKA.18 artist Susan Blight and work by Luke Parnell, and Melissa General. Curatorial partner Open Sesame hosts the Lèche Vitrine project window featuring A(d)version by St Marie φ Walker and will be exhibiting the work of Ashley Culver during the biennial. CAFKA will be featuring a performance of the son et lumière work ENSEMBLE by At The Reception during the Summer Lights Festival on June 9.  

CAFKA will be collaborating with the True North Waterloo conference at Lot 42 in Kitchener where Benoît Maubrey will be assembling his interactive sound sculpture ARENA. ARENA will be comprised of over 300 working speakers built into a semi-circular three-tier amphitheatre. The amphitheatre will be at once a functional sculpture that one can sit on as well as doubling as a gigantic PA system. Provision will be made so that anyone can plug into ARENA with a 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch phone jack or connect via Bluetooth. CAFKA will be scheduling open sessions where individuals or groups can sign-up free of charge to perform with ARENA. Stay tuned for further details.

ARENA will be on exhibition at True North Waterloo from May 29 to May 31 after which it will it will be moved to Carl Zehr Square in front of Kitchener City Hall. ARENA has been made possible in part with the support of Celebrate Ontario.