Joseph Staples & Femme Zeppelin
Jimmy Xerox & the Mala Mala Malas
This exhibition features new work by a local artist who practices under the moniker of Joseph Staples and/or Office Supplies Incorporated. The artist produces Xerox prints that are collaged and pasted on public spaces. The upcoming exhibition deals with the musical cover band as a metaphor for the matrix and impression within printmaking. The history of print as a means of promoting live music will also be explored.
Within the culture of printmaking there are considerations of time and nature that typically ensure prints will last as long as the materials will allow, or longer if possible. The relentless drive of the printmaker is to make an accurate mechanical representation that holds the chemicals, print materials, and substrates in tight control, ensuring that they perform in a desired way.
This exhibition discards these notions in favour of disposable culture and style. The print studio is framed as an agent of change that creates ephemera and temporary experiences rather than a template for immutable objects anchored in time.
The printed work made during the show will be dispersed outside of the gallery, throughout the city, to promote the opening night and the performances without any direct references to the artist, the location, the date, and what the actual show is. The cohesiveness of these images will lie in their method of dispersal, materials, and style of execution. Hints and clues to a performance will be attached, but the majority of the posters’ effectiveness will happen through word of mouth and traditional avenues of art promotion.
On display within the exhibition, in place of the prints, the viewer finds the original matrices—the plates and screens that are used to print multiple images—and collages that these prints came from. These matrices have been altered to render them useless for their designed tasks. At the conclusion of the show the images on the matrices will be reclaimed or re-stretched, the plates will be cleaned or sanded and the entire show will be recycled back into the print shop.
The tribute band process will be presented as a metaphor of the printmaking process: the reference band acts as the matrix and the tribute band’s performance acts as a print. Tribute bands bring the live music experience—considered by most rock aficionado to be the truest way to hear music—to fans of bands that may have stopped performing years ago. Its uniqueness lies in not only a replication of the original recordings based in the most accurate reproduction possible, but also a recreation of a live performance piece.
Though most tribute bands are given greater respect for the “truest” cover, each brings an element of personal style to the performance. The opening night of the show will feature the tribute band Femme Zeppelin, fronted by singer Rachel L. Davis. Davis brings not only classically-trained vocal power to her interpretation, but a female energy to this overtly masculine and male dominated musical form.
Artist statement by Joseph Staples
Joseph Staples works with found image and photography through collage and printmaking. His work focuses on abstraction with a base in photography and representation of the human form. The work has revolved around two main themes—repetition and the cut line that separates one image placed on another image.
His work endeavours to keep the human form a relevant subject but with a leaning towards the abstraction and reinterpretation of these basic human building blocks. Processing these figures through a matrix, grid, or system of repetition creates objects that give the opportunity for chance occurrences, but remain systematic. Despite this, he is interested in the “hand” of the artist and remains invested in style.
Staples has shown work in galleries and museums such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, Equinox Gallery, and Wil Aballe Art Projects.
Curated by Justin Muir, Executive Director