Gordon Lebredt, still from Outers, colour video with sound, 1983.
Hart House Permanent Collection, University of Toronto.

Not To Be Reproduced

Gordon Lebredt

23 May - 5 July, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, May 23, 6 - 9pm

Exhibition organized by Joel Herman

G Gallery is pleased to present Not To Be Reproduced, an exhibition of the work of Gordon Lebredt. Consisting of works produced between 1974 and 2010, the exhibition emphasizes Lebredt’s importance as an artist who combined rigorous critical thinking with the production of objects and images.

Not To Be Reproduced is an attempt to articulate the complex ideas around reproduction, reproducibility, and appropriation that appear as consistent concerns within Lebredt’s practice. Central to the exhibition at G are two works that reconstruct spectral objects, Lebredt’s facsimile of Robert Smithson’s Enantiomorphic Chambers and Outers, a video from 1983 that addresses impossibility of representing the “Bayview Ghost,” an unfinished and vacant building that overlooked the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto for over two decades.

Enantiomorphic Chambers (1965) was a sculpture by Robert Smithson that was either lost or destroyed. In 1982, Lebredt submitted an exhibition proposal to YYZ (Toronto) titled l to r: to (from) Robert Smithson and (to) Paolo Uccello, which was to include the reconstruction of Smithson’s sculpture. Although the proposal was not accepted, Lebredt produced his version of the Enantiomorphic Chambers regardless, and this effort, and the ideas surrounding it, expanded over many years of work, culminating in the publication of Afterthoughts: A monologue [to RS] (YYZBooks, 2008), a text addressed to Smithson that acts as the philosophical ground upon which Lebredt’s facsimile can be seen.

Lebredt thought of Outers as a “counterpoint to the difficulties I was having writing a script around Chambers. An audio-visual ‘round-trip,’ it marked an attempt to rewrite Smithson’s site/non-site dialectic, an operation that involved the superpositioning of two incompossible localities based on a reading of the game of fort:da recounted by Freud in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920).” In this sense, Outers can very much be seen as occupying the same ground upon which Lebredt's facsimile Enantiomorphic Chambers are situated, an earlier draft of the philosophical concerns discussed in Afterthoughts. Indeed, much of Lebredt’s work functions this way, sustaining rigorous intellectual engagement with ideas over time, each work an attempt at solving a problem that persists, only to be challenged and taken up again.

Gordon Lebredt (1948–2011) was born in Winnipeg and studied at the University of Manitoba, both in the Faculty of Architecture (1967–1970) and the School of Art (1972–1976). Before relocating to Toronto in 1980, Lebredt executed a number of important site-specific installations at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the newly opened Plug-In Gallery. He exhibited extensively in Canada during his long career and was included recently in Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980 (an exhibition that travelled across Canada between 2010 and 2012) as well as Get Hold of This Space: A Geography of Conceptual Art in Canada at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris (2014). Gordon Lebredt: Nonworks 1975–2008, a collection of Lebredt’s unrealized proposals, was published in 2011 by Plug In Editions and the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art.

G Gallery wishes to thank Lin Gibson, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and Hart House (University of Toronto), Micah Lexier, Brian Groombridge, John Goodwin, Mercer Union, and C Magazine for their invaluable assistance in helping to make this exhibition take place.

For information about Gordon Lebredt and his work, please contact: Lin Gibson

416.536.9537 / 647.269.9537 gibson.lebredt@sympatico.ca