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Dogs & Boats & Airplanes
February 4 - March 3, 2012.
Opening Saturday February 4, 2012

While there is no simple way to really explain the content of this show on a web page, partly due to the complex nature of the artist's work (i.e. 'it really must be seen). But such is the nature of the work . Dogs & Boats & Airplanes is centered around five motifs: 1) a group of eighteen photographs (souvenir snapshots taken by the artist, each in a different city somewhere in the world - with the ostensible dog, boat or airplane used as phtographic object), 2) an installation 'Letter to Purina' (consisting of a series of lettes, a bag of dog food and an eames chair - the meaning is left for you to contemplate), - 3) an installation of 'Ivan the Terrible' posters, 4) a collection of salt and pepper shaker figurines.





At left: excerpt from the show: above, two of the 'snapshot' images. directly to left: 'Letter to Purina' (from the installation in Dogs & Boats & Airplanes.





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excerpts from a few of Bill Burns' recent works - involving carving the names of individuals (art dealers primarily) who have shaped the landscape of the art world/market in particular ways. The work above, the photograph, is called 'Meeting of the Board' - below is a recent installation from one of his gallery shows.

bill burns

Bird Radio and the Eames Chair Lounge (2002-2011) and Bird Radio for Afghanistan (2010) consist of a set of jerry-rigged bird calls, a video, a radio transmitter, a microphone, a series of drawings, blueprints, photographs and a 52 page guide book.

  About the Artist

Bill Burns is an artist and writer living in Toronto. His work about animals and civil society has been shown in solo projects Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2008), Cristina Enea Foundation, San Sebastian, Spain (2010) and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2007) and the Wellcome Trust, London (2002) as well as in major thematic shows at the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2002); the Kunsthallen Nikolaj, Copenhagen (2010) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006).

His books and essays include When Pain Strikes, an anthology about pain and its relief, (University of Minnesota Press,, 1999); Bird Radio, (KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, 2007); The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Station, (ICA, London, England, 2008); Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War ; Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible, (Space Poetry, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011). His books and editions are included in collections around the world including the MoMA, New York, Tate Britain, London and Cabinet de estampes, Geneva.His books, multiples and photographs are included in several collections including the Tate Britain (London), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Art Institute of Chicago (IL) and the Getty Center (Los Angeles, CA).

Bill Burns was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1957 and has lived and worked mostly in Vancouver, Toronto and London, England. His work consists mainly of sculpture, photographs, multiples, books and reworkings of everyday materials. He is known for his Safety Gear for Small Animals (SGSA) series, and the accompanying museum, where gear for animals and guides on how to assist them are displayed. [1] Using the conventions of both traditional museum display and print-media marketing, Burns' work spotlights minuscule safety vests, work gloves, bullet-proof vests, U.V. goggles and respirators, and acts as a commentary about human stewardship of the environment. In 2002 he began a project called Dogs and Boats and Airplanes. The project includes an extensive body of photographs as well as a children's choir whose entire repertoire consists of the sounds of dogs and boats and airplanes.

Bill Burns has published several books including When Pain Strikes, a critical anthology about pain and pain relief, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1999. Other book titles include Analgesia (1993), How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats (1996) and Urban Fauna Information Station (2002) and Safety Gear for Small Animals (2005). Burns has also published dozens of guides, posters, and editions. His book works and artists' editions are included in major museum collections throughout the world.
Burns' other works include, "Boilersuits for Primates" a collection of all the items that prisoners receive when they arrive at Guantanamo Bay . [2] and "How to Help Animals Escape from Natural History" a series of photographs depicting animals taking leave of natural history books.

Burns has received commissions and awards from l'APAPE in France, the Danish Arts Agency, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. His 2002 project "Everything I Could Buy on eBay About Malaria" at the Wellcome Trust in London, England is considered a seminal work in the area of electronic collecting. In 2005 and 2006 Burns exhibited his series of safety gear and rescue and triage tent works in the groundbreaking exhibition "Safe: Design Takes on Risk" curated by Paula Antoinelli at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His animal rescue works have also been exhibited at the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea and El Basilisco in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Burns participated in the Forum Arte y Vida at the Havana Bienal in Havana, Cuba in 2003 and at the Bienal del Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia, Argentina in 2007.
Burns studied at Goldsmiths College at the University of London, England.


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Available Multiples & Books
We are also pleased to offer the following multiples and books in tandem with the exhibition.

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holga image - liquor store
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click on thumbnails for a larger view

At left: The IKEA Camp Gitmo Playlist Kit

Guard Tower Plans, Prison Cell Plans and the Songs of Guantanamo Bay, 2010 - packaged in a custom hot foil stamped editioned folio case
self published Toronto Canada
12.5 x 12.5 x 2 in.

"Prison Tower Plans, Prison Cell Plans and the Songs of Guantanamo Bay" includes a set of oversized instructional diagrams produced in the style of IKEA's step-by-step furniture assembly guides. These diagrams provide the user with a complete list of materials and methods used to build replicas of the guard towers and prison cells at Camp X-Ray. The edition also includes a large-format, screen printed playlist of the metal, hardcore, rock and pop songs played to prisoners at the camps as well as a set of three long play vinyl records containing songs from the same list. Housed in custom made archival box. All proceeds from this edition will benefit Art Metropole.

Edition of 7, + 3 A/Ps and 1 production proof, signed and numbered.

Please inquire on availability before purchase.

Price: USD $1250.00

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holga image - liquor store

At left: Dogs & Boats & Airplanes Told in the Form of Ivan the Terrible

Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible is a 192 page, linen bound book published by Space Poetry, Copenhagen, 2011.

This book is called Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible. It is modeled on Sergei Eisenstein’s classic film of love, war and nation building, Ivan the I have endeavoured, as much as possible, to remain true to Eisenstein’s original work with the exception of replacing the film’s movement, players and story with pictures of dogs and boats and airplanes. The photographs in this book were taken between 2002 and 2011 in many places. The place where each photograph was taken is indicated in the book’s index.

click on thumbnails for a larger view

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Dogs & Boats & Airplanes Told in the Form of Ivan the Terrible Price: USD $35.00

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holga image - liquor storeplease note: 'mottling' on surface of book is due to lighting only.

At left: Safety Gear for Small Animals

Safety Gear for Small Animals – Green Book. A 220 page hardcover book fully illustrated in colour. Texts in French and English by Johanne Sloan, Annette Hurtig, Bill Burns and Beth Seaton. Also available at MKG 127, Toronto and Daviet-Thery Paris. Published by MOCCA Toronto, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria and Cal State Fullerton, Los Angeles, 2005.





click on thumbnails for a larger view

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Safety Gear for Small Animals : USD $35.00

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holga image - liquor store

At left: Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War

Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, 2011. It is a paper bound boxed set of three paper bound books and a paper bound CD. 156 pages in black and white and colour.

Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War is a boxed set edition of three books and a compact disc. The book trilogy, Bird Radio, 0.800.0Fauna0Flora and Two Boiler Suits and a Playlist

The edition is limited to 50 and is numbered and signed by the artist. Click on images for a larger view

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Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War Price: USD $100.00

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Please feel free to write or call if you have questions. Thank You.



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C4 Contemporary Art
5647 Hollywood Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA  90028 
e-mail: info@c4gallery.com