The Content of Form. A Reading by Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace, Lecture, 2013. Photo: Dario Punales

May 17, 2013, 7 p.m. (English)

In the architecture of the installation, which I will take to be the formal framework of the exhibition as a meaningful statement, I will consider the ambient bodily movements of a spectator in the exhibition space. I will draw attention to the indeterminate (yet guided) flow of the intellectual attention of the spectator (of the image-reader in space) as the completion of intentions of the artist (the initiator) and the collector (or curator) who re-presents these works for contemplation. This spatial movement involves proximity and distance, coming close to the object and drawing away to contemplate the installation as an architectural whole. This “entanglement” of producer, presenter, and spectator comprises the “knot” of signification.


Ian Wallace was born in Shoreham, England in 1943. After completing his studies at the University of British Columbia and graduating with a Master’s degree in Art History, he taught art history at UBC from 1967 to 1970 and at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design from 1972 to 1998.

Wallace has been active in the creation, promotion, and appreciation of innovative processes in contemporary art practice through writing, teaching, and exhibiting his work. He has been an influential figure in the development of an internationally acknowledged photographic and conceptual art practice in Vancouver. His works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2012; Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph 1964 – 1977, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2011; La Biennale de Montréal 2011, Montréal, Québec; and Ian Wallace: The Economy of the Image, The Power Plant, Toronto, 2010.