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  • Carole Condé &   Karl Beveridge

    Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge

  • Carole Condé &   Karl Beveridge

    Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge

  • Carole Condé &   Karl Beveridge

    Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge

Winds of Change

Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge

September 21 - November 11, 2018

In a climate where the abuse of political and economic power becomes common currency, the scarcity of water is the new normal, global warming is at a dramatic rise, immigration and refugee affairs are up for ‘new debate’, and democracy is under attack, an art show with overt political content seems timely. WINDS OF CHANGE invites a dialogue on those issues through the critically acclaimed, un-compromising work of pioneering artists, Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge.

Since the mid-70s Condé and Beveridge have created provocative, politically charged and socially engaged art, both as a collaborative artist duo (who have been a married couple for 50 years) and as political activists.

Collaboration is the defining element of their work process; political activism is the essence of their art practise; photography is their artistic medium of choice. They use multiple forms of visual storytelling to re-construct social, environmental, political and economic realities, the common denominator being staged photography.

The scope of background work that Condé and Beveridge put into their production of an artwork is broad. Field and archival research on their subject matter goes into every project. Workshops, interviews and dialogue with community groups, unions, blue-collar workers, public service and migrant farm workers have been key to their process. All this allows them to learn from these experiences and ultimately informs the imagery and narrative of the final composition.

Labour issues and working with unions played a dominant role in their practice from the 1980s up to 2000. At that point their work and political agenda shifted toward broader concerns such as the environment, social justice and the economy. At the same time the artists moved from the stage-set method and hand-processed photographs to digital editing and manipulation which allowed them to expand their imaginative strategies. WINDS OF CHANGE highlights this by focusing on the artists’ creative output from the past twelve years.

"Know Your Place" is an ongoing project on the history of immigration to Canada. "Multiple Exposures" (2011) is a series which speaks to the dual crisis of a destructive economy and a collapsing environment. In both, storytelling is embedded in a sequence of eight photographic tableaux that look like cinematic stills from a docudrama.
"The Fall of Water" (2006-07) is an allegorical reinterpretation of Pieter Bruegel’s "The Fall of the Rebel Angels" (1562). It is a large panorama with a complex iconography that is meticulously orchestrated and rendered in great detail. The panel contains close to 70 characters, representing the global breadth of water politics.

In their latest work, a staged theatrical scene called "End Game" (2017), we witness a heated political debate between a right-wing candidate, a neo-liberal and a social democrat. Elections, politics and social struggle seem to be having ever greater impact on our daily lives. Come and see how these two remarkable artists are able to respond.

On Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm the Gallery is showing the film Portrait of Residence: The Art and Activism of Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge (2011; 72 min.). Created by Roz Owen and Jim Miller, this intimate documentary pays tribute to the artists’ multifaceted body of work and provides insight into the nature of their collaborations. Condé & Beveridge will be present for a Q&A. $10 admission.

Canadian artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge moved to New York City in 1969, and soon were at the centre of the burgeoning conceptual art movement. In 1975, they picketed the Museum of Modern Art to protest its lack of inclusion of women artists, while critiquing the apolitical minimalism of Donald Judd. This ferment culminated in a major museum show, It’s Still Privileged Art, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1976, just prior to the artists’ return to Toronto in 1977 where they continue to work and live. Condé and Beveridge’s work have been presented at numerous major museums and art spaces on four continents, including: The Institute of Contemporary Art (London, UK); Museum Folkswang (Germany); Museu de Arte Contemporanea (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Dazibao Gallery (Montreal); Art Gallery of Edmonton; The George Meany Centre (Washington) and the Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney). Equally, and congruent with the artists’ commitment to accessibility, their work has been displayed in a host of non-art and public settings, such as union halls, billboards, bus shelters and as bookworks. OCAD University (in 2010) and Nova Scotia’s NSCAD University (in 2015) awarded the artists Honourary Doctorates; In 2013 they received the Prix au merité artistique from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
http://condebeveridge.ca/