March 2 - March 31, 2018

Exhibition Text

Opening reception: Saturday March 3, 2018, 4-6pm

COOPER COLE is pleased to present Between Dreaming and Living, a solo exhibition by Vikky Alexander.

This marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Vikky Alexander’s work is fantastic in both the literal and figurative senses of the words. Working primarily with photography and installation, Alexander is playful and uses a variety of media and techniques to make her point: mirrors, photographic landscape murals, postcards collected on her travels, her own photography and video. Alexander’s practice is at once both seductive and disruptive; she likes to situate the viewer within idealized spaces that reflect our aspirations and utopian desires. With Alexander’s work, one can experience a sense of vertigo: a physical displacement from the natural world that mirrors and frames our desires within the dynamics of consumption and utopian ideals.

Her photographs made in the 1980s investigated culture’s appropriation and particularly question the notions of representation and the power of images. Ideal or artificial, whether it is a figure or a landscape, her pictures hold a strangeness quotient. They also demonstrate a certain commitment by questioning the allegorical vision of women as well as by addressing the underlying issue of consumption. Although dreamlike, the images produced by Alexander discuss our relationship to reality with force bringing to the fore discussions of capitalism, commodification, and desire within the parameters of fantasy and cultural longing.

Between Dreaming and Living is a body of work that was originally exhibited in Vancouver in 1985 at Coburg Gallery. The images originated as sandwiched 35 mm colour slides, which were then converted into black-and-white negatives, printed, and framed with a coloured Plexi overlay. In 2008, Alexander revisited these works by making colour Cibachrome prints from the original sandwiched slides. The images combine figure and landscape using both appropriated imagery from magazines and calendars and Alexander’s own landscapes.


Vikky Alexander (b. 1959, Victoria, Canada) is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is known for her large scale photo-mural installations and multimedia works that combine photography with sculptural objects. These works foreground a strong interest in the history of architecture, the fields of design and fashion supported by the production of drawing and collage. Her early work informed the movement of Appropriation Art and she is aligned with the Vancouver School. Having exhibited professionally since 1981, Alexander has shown in venues such as The New Museum, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, DIA Art Foundation, New York; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland; Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Chernoff Fine Art, Vancouver, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada; Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK; Yokohama Civic Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; amongst others. Her works can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, International Center of Photography, New York City, USA; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; and the Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece. Alexander currently lives and works in Montreal, Canada.

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