About 2055

2055The Helen Pitt Gallery was founded in 1975 by students from the Vancouver School of Art,  and regularly scheduled exhibitions began in January 1976. That means the 2015-2016 season is our 40th anniversary. However, we’re not celebrating our 40th year.

If you’re not familiar with the history of the Pitt (Helen Pitt Gallery, Unit 306 Society, Unit/Pitt, Pitt International Galleries, Pitt Gallery, Helen Pitt Gallery Artist Run Centre, and UNIT/PITT again) you might not know that reaching this 40th-year milestone was probably the last thing people were thinking about for most of its history. At times it would have been inconceivable that it would arrive, but it did. And now that it’s here, we’re thinking that it deserves to be looked at differently: not as an end-point, but a mid-point on the way to something else.

So, from September 2015 to April 2016, we’ll be celebrating the Pitt’s 80th anniversary, which arrives in 2055. A curatorial team including Zebulon Zang, Jamie Ward, Gabriel Saloman, Brynn McNab, Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Keith Higgins, and Catherine de Montreuil will be presenting a series of exhibitions, public actions, performances, talks, and publications which collectively propose a path to 2055.

First up is Joël Doyle: It’s a long way from the wishbone to the backbone, opening during #SWARM16, curated by Zebulon Zang. More announcements to come shortly.

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Held over: Orphans and Dogs open until August 1st

Elizabeth Fischer - self-portrait (digital print)We’ve had great public response to our summer exhibition Elizabeth Fischer: Orphans and Dogs, so we’re keeping the exhibition open for another week to give everyone a chance to get there. The last day is now Saturday, August 1st.

You can also order a copy of Elizabeth’s book online if you can’t make it down. We’ll be making a new run of copies any day now to keep up with demand.

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Hurry on Down


Today and tomorrow are the last days to come and see Elizabeth Fischer’s Exhibition Orphans and Dogs. Brave the rain and come see the show – not one to miss! We are almost sold out of this run of her book, so feel free to purchase one of these while we’ve got em. See you soon!


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…Canada Day? We’re open as usual.


No, Unit/Pitt will not be celebrating this Canada Day. July 1st, 2015 will continue on as per usual. Drop on by between noon and 5pm today to see Elizabeth Fischer’s Orphans and Dogs exhibition, and join us in this non-celebration on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Our gallery attendants await you. See you soon!

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25% more Pitt!

25-moreStarting this week, we’re open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5pm. That’s an entire extra day added to our public hours, during which you can come in, see Elizabeth Fischer’s exhibition Orphans and Dogs, buy our fine Pitt publications, relax in our reading room, or watch the street from the bench on our front step.

This week we’re also saying goodbye to Brynn McNab, who has been Building and Office Manager since the summer of 2013, curated some distinctive exhibitions, and was responsible for the re-launch of ISSUE Magazine in early 2014. At the same time, we’re welcoming Jamie Ward (Building Manager) and Catherine de Montreuil (Programming Assistant) to UNIT/PITT.

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This week: Elizabeth Fischer opening

Elizabeth Fischer: Orphans and DogsAfter a short hiatus, we’re opening again this week with an exhibition, book launch, and performance by Elizabeth Fischer on Friday, June 12.

The exhibition, Orphans and Dogs, opens on June 12 and continues through July. We have also published a book that goes with the exhibition but stands really well on its own.

You should definitely come to the opening (tonight!) if you can though. We’ll start the usual sort of gallery-opening at 8pm, but at 10pm we’ll be walking with you around the corner to China Cloud to see Elizabeth’s band, DarkBlueWorld. (Also, it’s the bass player’s birthday. It’s polite to bring a gift of some sort.)

Next week, we’ll be extending our open hours. We used to be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday. Now, there is 25% more Pitt, because we will be opening on Tuesdays.

We’ll be uploading some photos of the show, but in the meantime you can check our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for news.

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May and June at Unit/Pitt


The current exhibition, Cultivating Equilibrium will be extended until Thursday, May 21.

This coincides with ISSUE Magazine‘s one-year anniversary launch. So come by for the last chance to see the installation by Patrick Campbell and Madison Killo, stay for a drink and pick up a copy of the new magazine. This coming issue features work by Stephane Bernard, Ileanna Cheladyn, Michael Cook, Shauna Doherty, Alice Fleerackers, Brittney Groetelaars, Stacey Ho, Stella Hsu Brennan Kelly, Steffanie Ling, Brynn McNab, Erik Rzepka,  and Antoni Wojtyra.

We will also be launching an information booklet for emerging artists put together by Jenn Dickieson, Alex Hill, Barbara Matthews, and Mona Min.  It outlines basic information about exhibition spaces in Vancouver, like how to apply, what you can expect in terms of payment or sales, and what kind of work they are looking for.

Coming up in June, an exhibition of work by Elizabeth Fischer entitled Orphans and Dogs opens on June 12th at 8pm with a performance by the artist at 10pm.

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Book launch Thursday, April 30

Collective walks publications promoCollective Walks/Spaces of Contestation Publications Launch

April 30, 2015, 7pm

UNIT/PITT Projects will launch artists’ books by Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau; Didier Morelli; and Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte. These publications are part of the project Collective Walks/Spaces of Contestation, curated by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, which unfolded as a series of performances, public actions, lectures, and an exhibition presented by UNIT/PITT in 2013 and 2014 with the assistance of our presenting partners, the SFU Institute for the Humanities and the SFU Vancity Office for Community Engagement. Collective Walks/Spaces of Contestation examined the collective walk/protest/public demonstration as both a performance and a social formation with, at its core, four collaborations between artists and community organizations. The publications were produced retroactively and act as expanded documents of the artists’ works and the curator’s thought process in relation to this endeavour.

Unlearning Walks by Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau (ed. Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte)
Unlearning Walks is a chronicle and blueprint for the work of the Unlearning Walking Club, a project of artists Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau. Continuing their research into the ways in which dominant experiential paradigms can be deconstructed through movement, playfulness and heightened awareness of the body’s relation to space, the artists devised a series of exercises to venture into the uncharted territory of sensorial and intuitive unlearning.

La fête permanente by Didier Morelli (ed. Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte)
Didier Morelli’s La Fête Permanente borrows the name of Robert Filliou and George Brecht’s Eternal Network to describe his collaboration with the members of Britannia High School’s Outreach Alternative Program in Vancouver. Over several weeks, the students evolved a collective practice exploring the formal and social implications of collective action in space. La fête permanente presents a collection of the artist’s thoughts and documentation of the students’ contributions.

TRACTS by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte
TRACTS is an artist’s book that serves as a curatorial manifesto for Collective Walks/Spaces of Contestation, a series of talks, public actions, publications, performances, and an exhibition curated by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte in 2013-2014.

UNIT/PITT is grateful for the assistance of the Canada Council, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver; we are particularly grateful to individual donors, volunteers, artists, and cultural workers, without whom we would be unable to continue. The Collective Walks/Spaces of Contestation project was also assisted by a grant from The Hamber Foundation.

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Opening this Thursday at 7pm: Cultivating Equilibrium

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 12.27.20 PMThis Thursday evening, slip into the twilight of Cultivating Equilibrium, Patrick Campbell and Madison Killo’s transformative installation in the Unit/Pitt gallery space.  The artists have taken the already transplanted, absurd, and strange site of the Bloedel Conservatory, which rests as a crystalline tropicalia at the top of Vancouver’s Little Mountain, and transmitted the immersive environment into the equally fantastical space of the gallery.

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 12.26.22 PM

Seeking to engage and disorient on multiple sensorial levels, the exhibition constructs the space according to an underlying logic that is alternatively attuned and awry with the natural. Brynn McNab has contributed a piece of writing that engages the space in a site / non-site relationship. Drop in, sip a cocktail, breathe the air, and adjust your eyes.  Opens at 7pm.

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 12.27.38 PM

Madison Killo is an artist and curator living in Vancouver, Canada. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2014. In December 2014, she curated the exhibition ‘Beginning the Shape’ at the Or Gallery. Through sculptural installations, her work architects atmospheres through the lens of existential, metaphysical and ontological affects. Structured through a theoretical and meditative process, they focus on the presentation of space as platform for experience.

Patrick Campbell is an artist and curator based in Vancouver, Canada. He received his BFA from Emily Carr in 2010. His work highlights and acknowledges the presence of societal histories. Informed by his formal training in photography, he seeks to preserve the lasting ephemera of these architectures. His practice often uses traditional cinematic modes of production – situated in installations that enhance the construction of place. The content of his work mediates between the public and the private, structuring narratives around fragments of the every day.


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Coming up in March: An Exact Vertigo, a critical text and contemporary dance series

An Exact Vertigo Calendar

a residency/library/mini festival/community invitation/dancing museum/book publication/lecture series/workshop series/utopia.

An Exact Vertigo is an invitation to Vancouver’s contemporary dance and contemporary art communities to engage in discussion surrounding critical theory, text, and movement. The project consists of multiple actions: A free speaker and workshop series open to the public and accessible to non-dancers, the creation of a library of open-source critical writing, and the use of the 650 square-foot Unit/Pitt exhibition space as an alternative venue for research, development, and rehearsal by independent choreographers for their current projects.

As a way of engaging with the project’s larger theme, we will ask participants to have a conversation about their experience with the project’s curators Brynn McNab and Alexa Mardon. These interviews, framed by curatorial essays, will be published in book form.

By inviting dancemakers and dance-thinkers with varying approaches to participate in An Exact Vertigo, we aim to broaden the city’s traditional audience for discussion around contemporary dance, and to offer space for current dancemakers to re-imagine their practices in a new context.

More details about specific workshops are below. All activities, workshops, reading hours, and talks are open to the public and accessible to those not previously trained in dance.

Week 1: March 4-8

Week 2: March 11-14

Week 3: March 18-22 

Week 4: March 25-29

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