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Rodney Latourelle

Gallery 1C03 at the University of Winnipeg proudly presents Kevin Kellyís Colonizing Oort

Colonizing Oort - a project involving new painting, textile work, animation, digital prints, and an artistís book - is the outcome of five years of research and four months of travel, including a one-month artist residency at 1 Shanti Road Studio in Bangalore, India. Tantalizing Kellyís thoughts for this period were space exploration, the growing presence of communications towers, and the sounds of a city buzzing with new forms of exchange stimulated by Western telecom culture. This exhibition is a reflection on those fascinations, as well as a desire to rethink perceptions concerning space, social interaction, and the impact of telecommunication as a new wave of colonization defined in terms that are simultaneously geographic, technologic, economic, ecologic, and cultural.

Trained as a painter, Kelly is interested in new technologies of seeing, as well as the way images change as they move from one medium to another and back again. Relating digital images of asteroids taken by NASA to his original interest in landscape painting gave him the opportunity to destabilize his sense of place and context. At the same time, his fascination with an extraterrestrial phenomena known as Oort - a spherical cloud comprising of comets and asteroids believed to exist beyond Pluto at a distance approximately one light year away from the Sun - gave rise to thinking about the nature of space exploration as a form of imperial dominance. This series, in effect, offers a humorous look at the idea of land ownership and colonization, as well as the resources used to justify such practices.

In conjunction with Colonizing Oort, As We Try & Sleep Press has collaborated with Kelly to produce a limited edition artist book featuring an experimental travelogue by Kelly and an interpretive response by J.J. Kegan McFadden, among other objects and images related to the project. Copies will be available for purchase at Gallery 1C03. Established in 2002, As We Try & Sleep Press explores the overlapping points between the literary and visual arts on a project-basis. Previous publications range from poetry chapbooks to comic books, flipbooks, broadsheets, photo albums, and childrenís tales.

This exhibition will take place in Gallery 1C03 with additional components installed in Centennial Hallís Buffeteria, which is located on the fourth floor.

Biography: In addition to holding a BFA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from Rutgers University (New Jersey), Kelly has pursued post-graduate studies at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in the Netherlands. His work has been recognized through support from the Canada Council for the Arts, among other granting agencies, and it has exhibited as part of solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the United States, and in Europe. Kelly is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba School of Art where he has taught painting and drawing for the past five years.

Members of the media are invited to arrange interviews with the artist at any time.

Colonizing Oort will be available for viewing from January 22 - February 21, 2009
Exhibition launch: Thursday, January 22 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. (1st Floor, Centennial Hall)
Artist talk: Friday, January 23 beginning at 12:30 p.m. in Room 2C15 (2nd Floor, Centennial Hall)
Admission is always free and all are welcome!

Gallery hours: Monday - Friday: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.; Saturday: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Closed Louis Riel Day.
Please note that the Centennial Hall Buffeteria is open during the University of Winnipegís regular operating hours.

Gallery 1C03 and the artist wish to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Manitoba Arts Council.


Kevin Kelly, Ida, 2007. Oil on aluminum, 3' x 5.5'. Photo by Sheila Spence.

For further information, contact University art curator Milena Placentile at (204) 786-9253 or

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