Johanne Sloan, PhD
Professor, Art History
Johanne Sloan has a BFA from Concordia University, an MA from the Université de Montréal, and a PhD in the History and Theory of Art from the University of Kent, England (1998). Her recent book on Joyce Wieland's 1976 feature film The Far Shore is the culmination of a major research project on the artist, and concerns the question of how landscape was both critiqued and reinvented by this generation of Canadian artists. Other recent publications and conference papers address the artwork of Roni Horn, Mark Dion, Bill Vazan, Ron Terada, Lynne Marsh, Jack Chambers, Janet Werner, Althea Thauberger amongst others. Dr. Sloan is also interested in broader categories of visual culture and the urban environment, and these issues converged in the multi-authored book of essays about the world's fair held in Montreal during the summer of 1967: Expo 67: Not just a souvenir (University of Toronto Press, 2010).
Research & Teaching Interests
- Contemporary Art
- Canadian Art since the 1960s
- Landscape Art and Aesthetics
- Visual Culture
- Urban Art and Culture
Distinctions & Awards
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant, 2013 to 2017. (Collaborative Research Project: Networked Art Histories: Assembling Contemporary Art in Canada, 1960s to the present).
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, 2006 to 2009 (Research Project: Visual art and pop culture in Canada, 1967-1992).
Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Conference Grant, 2005, for Montreal at street level: revisiting the material, visual, and spatial cultures of the 1960s (Concordia and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2005).
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, 2002 to 2005 (Research Project: Conceptual Landscape Art in Canada during the 1960s and 70s).
Co-investigator, The Culture of Cities Research Project, funded 2000 to 2005 by SSHRC-MCRI (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada - Major Collaborative Research Initiative).
National Gallery of Canada Research Fellowship, 2000 to 2001 (Research Project: Joyce Wieland and the Concept of Landscape in the 1970s).
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, New York City, 1998 to 2000. (Research Project: Utopia as discourse and practice).
Landscape in its historical and contemporary guises is an abiding interest which is currently framed by the interdisciplinary Critical Landscape Studies Group at Concordia. Another current project concerns the intersection of Conceptual Art and urban activism in Montreal in the 1970s, while Dr. Sloan is also writing about visual-art projects which use and transform postcards.
- Joyce Wieland’s The Far Shore (University of Toronto Press, Canadian Cinema book series, 2010).
- Expo 67: Not Just a Souvenir, ed. R. Richman Kenneally and J. Sloan (University of Toronto Press, 2010).
- Urban Enigmas: Montreal, Toronto, and the Problem of Comparing Cities, edited by Johanne Sloan (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007).
Book Chapters and Articles
- “Experiments in Urban Luminosity,” The Senses and Society, Vol. XX, Issue X, 2015.
- “The Kaleidoscope Pavilion,” in Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67, ed. Monika Kin Gagnon & Janine Marchessault (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014).
- “Joyce Wieland: Life and Work,” Art Canada Institute online project, 2014. (www.aci-iac.ca/joyce-wieland)
- “Sherry Walchuk: Chasing Shapes,” Border Crossings, November 2013.
- “The Storm Room” (Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller), OTP, No. 1, September 2013.
- “Parc Belmont Flashback: André Forcier's La Comtesse de Baton Rouge,” (Re)Discovering ‘America’: Road Movies and Other Travel Narratives in North America, ed. Wilfried Raussert & Graciela Martínez-Zalce (Trier : WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2012).
- "Postcards, Chromophilia, and the Visual Culture of Expo 67," Expo 67: Not Just a Souvenir, ed. R. Richman Kenneally and J. Sloan (University of Toronto Press, 2010).
- "The New Figuration: From Pop to Postmodernism," The Visual Arts in Canada, ed. B. Foss, S. Paikowsky and A. Whitelaw (Oxford University Press, 2010).
- "Roni Horn's Portrait of an Image: revisiting "the art of reading faces," Udine Seminar on the History of Film Theories, (Conference Publication, 2010).
- "From genre to genre: image transactions in contemporary Canadian art. Ron Terada and Lynne Marsh.," How Canadians Communicate III: Contexts of Canadian Popular Culture, ed. B. Beaty et al (Athabaska University Press, 2010).
- "Modern Moon Rising: Imagining Aerospace in Early Picture Postcards," Strange Spaces: Geographical Explorations into Mediated Obscurity, ed. André Jansson & Amanda Lagerkvist (London: Ashgate Press, 2009).
- "Something Resembling Childhood: Artworks by Jack Chambers, Daniel Barrow and Rodney Graham," in Depicting Canada's Children, ed. Loren Lerner (Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2009).
- "At Home on the Street: Public Art in Montreal and Toronto," Urban Enigmas: Montreal, Toronto, and the Problem of Comparing Cities, edited by Johanne Sloan (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007).
- "Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow: Conceptual Landscape Art," in Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity, and Contemporary Art, ed. John O'Brian and Peter White (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 2007).
- "Landscape Immersions: Lynne Marsh's Performative Spaces," Art Papers, March/April 2006.
- "Appropriating the Megastructure: SYN's Prospectus," Ciel Variable 69, October 2005.
- "Joyce Wieland at the border: nationalism, the New Left, and the question of political art in Canada, circa 1971," Journal of Canadian Art History, No. XXVI, Fall 2005.
- "Nationalism and Canadian Art in the 1960s," Fronteras en American del Norte (Mexico City: CISAN: University of Mexico Press, 2004) (translated into Spanish).
- "On the Waterfront: Roni Horn's Riverworks," C Magazine, No. 76, 2002/2003.
- "Biennialism in Montreal," Public, (Special Issue on City Scenes), January 2002.
- "Corridart Redux: 25 ans plus tard," Spirale, No. 182, Janvier-Février 2002.
- "Rainbows and other Ruins: Peter Doig's Paintings," Afterall (London: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, May 2000).
- "The Spectacle of Virtuous Pain", in When Pain Strikes, B. Burns, C. Busby, and K. Sawchuk, ed. (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).
- "Fake Animals, Anthropomorphism, and other Travesties of Nature", Parachute, Fall 1993.
- "Fastwurms and the Art of Recycling Canadian Landscape", Parachute, No. 63, 1991.
- “Melanie Smith’s regime of unruly things,” in Melanie Smith: Short Circuit (Stuttgart: Villa Merkel, 2013).
- “Something fleeting: old and new pleiniairisms,” À ciel ouvert: le nouveau pleinairisme, exhibition catalogue (Québec: Musée du Québec, 2012).
- “Long Term Forecast,” Jocelyne Alloucherie’s ‘Climates', exhibition catalogue (Ottawa: Carleton University Art Gallery, 2012).
- “Everyday objects, enigmatic materials,” La triennale québécoise 2011: le travail qui nous attend (Montreal: Musée d’art contemporain, 2011).
- "Bill Vazan's Urban Coordinates," in Bill Vazan: Walking into the Vanishing Point - Conceptual Art, (Montreal: VOX Gallery, 2009).
- "Janet Werner and the Surface of things," Janet Werner Paintings, exhibition catalogue (Montreal: Parisian Laundry Gallery, 2008).
- "A human figure in full stride...", Randal Anderson's Zoom! (FOFA Gallery, Concordia University, September 2006).
- "The Great Escape," Exhibition catalogue for Bill Burns exhibition, Safety Gear for Small Animals, (Montreal: Saidye Bronfman Center, 2005).
- "Hallucinating Landscape, Canadian-style," catalogue essay for Peter Doig exhibition (Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, February 2001).
- "Outside Matters," catalogue essay for Elusive Paradise exhibition, (National Gallery of Canada, March 2001).
- "Space-Age Slow Motion", Gravity Duet: Video Installations by Nina Levitt (Toronto:Toronto Photographers Workshop, November 1999).
- "Painting the City, Painting Mutability", Eleanor Bond (Montreal: Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 1998).
- David Williams, (exhibition brochure) (Quebec City: Galerie Vu, 1994).
- Nell Tenhaaf and Blair Robins (exhibition brochure) (Toronto: Glendon College Art Gallery, 1994).
- "Vies Abimées", Sorel Cohen (exhibition brochure) (Quebec City: Galerie Vu, 1993).
- "The Provisional Stillness of Photographic Space", Social Studies, Still Lives (exhibition curated by Cheryl Simon) (Montreal: Mois de la Photo, 1993).
- “Natural Sights and Millennial Landscapes”, Social Centres: Eleanor Bond (Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1993).
Conferences Papers & Lectures
- “Écho d’un récit féministe,” colloque Archi-féministes, Congrès international des recherches féministes dans la francophonie, Montreal, August 2015.
- “Networked landscapes: Early postcards and communication practices,” Portable Landscapes conference, University of Durham, UK, July 2015.
- “Qui connait Joyce Wieland?” roundtable panel, UQAM, March 2015.
- “Cross-town Redux: Mapping and Memory-Work in Urban Art Practices,” Time, Art & Cartography conference, Milan, December 2014.
- “The rise and fall of postmodern Montreal,” for Where was postmodernism? conference panel, UAAC, Toronto, October 2014.
- “1988, a postmodern catalogue,” for Networked Print Culture symposium, Winnipeg, May 2014.
- “Urban art histories (in Canada),” Networking Art Histories… panel at AAH, London, UK, April 2014.
- “….” The Urban Night, UNAM, Mexico City, February 2014.
- “Lighting, legibility, and spatial effects in contemporary art,” Rethinking Dark Space panel at the Royal Geographic Society conference, London, UK, August 2013.
- "Melodrama as 'expressive code' in the work of Althea Thauberger," Melodrama Workshop, Concordia University, May 2011.
- "We have never been contemporary," invited lecture at Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies, New York State, May 2011.
- "Abstract Architecture," Lecture to accompany exhibition Eleanor Bond: Mountain of Shame, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, ACAD, Calgary, February 2011.
- “Conceptual Art meets urban attitude: Melvin Charney and the 1972 exhibition “Montreal plus ou moins?” Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada Conference,” University of Toronto, Fall 2010.
- "Joyce Wieland's politicized landscape art," Invited lecture at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on the occasion of a screening of the Wieland film. Co-sponsored by Cinematheque Ontario, June 2010.
- "Expo 67 vs. Parc Belmont: reinventing the (Montreal) past in André Forcier's La Comtesse de Baton Rouge," NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) Conference on "Urban Mediations," Istanbul, June 2010.
- "For the Birds: Mark Dion's Library for the Birds of Massachusetts and the disassembled genre of landscape," Critical Landscape Studies Group panel, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, CCA, June 2010.
- "Joyce Wieland and the North," Conversation between Kristy Holmes and Johanne Sloan, Magnetic North Exhibition, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, April 2010.
- "Appropriation Montreal-style (the 1980s)" Keynote lecture at graduate student conference on "Appropriation" York University, Art History Department, March 2010.
- Slow-motion evidence/the "desire for history," The Stephen Bann Effect conference, University of Bristol, June 20 -21, 2009.
- "Roni Horn's Portrait of an Image: revisiting "the art of reading faces" XVI International Film Studies Conference Permanent Seminar on History of Film Theories: In The Very Beginning, At The Very End (Udine, Italy, March 24-26, 2009).
- "Writing on photographs, communicating with pictures: the emergence of the postcard," Rogue Photographs Session, Universities Art Association of Canada, Toronto, November 2008.
- "A Stroll through the Televisual Plein-air," Banff Centre for the Arts, July 2008.
- "Speaking of Materials," Canadian Communications Association Conference (Aesthetics & communication panel in honour of Nancy Shaw) University of British Columbia, 4-6 June 2008.
- "Public Art, creative and entropic," The Gallery and the City panel, Canadian Museums Association, Victoria, BC, April 2008.
- "Joyce Wieland's book-work as conceptual project," Documentary Protocols symposium, Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, September 2007.
- "Expo 67 postcards and sixties visual culture," invited speaker, Études québécoises Program, McGill University, November 2007.
- "From genre to genre: methodological issues related to the relationship between contemporary art and pop culture," Contexts of Canadian Popular Culture conference, Banff, Alberta, October 2007.
- "Shifting territories at Expo 67," Mexican Association for Canadian Studies Congress, UNAM, Mexico City, February 2007.
- "Countercultural war machines in Montreal, Circa 1968," Association of Art Historians, University of Ulster, Belfast, April 2007.
- "Le moment du paysage dans l'oeuvre de Roni Horn," Dyschronies de l'image colloquium, L'Association francophone pour le savoir, McGill University, May 2006.
- "Real vs. utopian treehouses?" Treehouse as Utopia symposium organized by Liane & Danny Taran Gallery, held at the Canadian Center for Architecture, September 7, 2006.
- "The Sutured Landscape," The Concept of the Horizon and Limits of Representation, Conference at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, May 2005.
- "Objecthood Rules: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Minimalism," Lecture given in conjunction with 3 x 3: Flavin, Andre, Judd Exhibition, Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, February 2005.
- "L'art public comme geste utopique," Colloque Interventions (organized by Artexte in conjunction with La Biennale de Montréal), October 1, 2004.
- "Animals and Art History: The Great Escape," Lecture at Saidye Bronfman Centre, to accompany the exhibition Bill Burns: Safety Gear for Small Animals, Montreal, May 2004.
- "Utopia on the Street," Future Cities Conference, Art Gallery of Hamilton, February 2004.
- "Postcards, Visual Culture, and the Construction of Urban Space," Culture and Communication Conference, University of Bahia, Brazil, October 2003.
- "The Utopian Horizon: The Question of Landscape in Contemporary Art," invited lecture at Vermont College MFA Visual Art Program, Montpelier, Vermont, August 2002.
- "Expo 67 and the Aesthetics of Display," Urban History Group Conference: Objects, Artefacts and the Materiality of Urban Life, University of Birmingham, England, April 4-5, 2002.
- Organizer and chair of panel "Art in the City/The City in Art," Universities Art Association of Canada annual conference, October 2001.
- "Nationalism and Canadian Art in the 1960s: Joyce Wieland Crosses the Border," North American Borders conference, National University of Mexico, Mexico City, July 2001.
- Panelist on "City Rhythms and Intensities" session, Culture of Cities Summer Institute, Toronto, June 2001.
- "Garbage and Entropy: The Ruined City in the Work of Robert Smithson and Mierle Laderman Ukeles," Plugin Gallery, Winnipeg, May 2001.
- "Landscape Today: The Utopian Horizon; History and Entropy; Ecological Views": Series of three lectures given in conjunction with Elusive Paradise exhibition, National Gallery of Canada, February/March 2001.
- "Expo 67 Postcards: Memories of Utopia," Urban Icon lecture series, McGill University, March 2001, and "Expo 67 Postcards: Signs of the Modern City", The Culture of Cities Research Project lecture series, Toronto, May 2001.
- "Into the Landscape, Into the Past," The Meaning of Flux conference/Being on Time exhibition Public Access, Toronto, November 8, 2000.
- "The Utopian Flower: John Ruskin, George Sand, and the Aesthetics of Botany", Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference, Vancouver, October 2000.
- "Public Art and Urban Culture" Berlin Conference, Culture of Cities Research Project, Berlin, July 2000.
- "Entropic Effects: Merle Ukeles, Mina Totino, Moyra Davey and the Gendering of Entropy", Uncommon Senses Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, April 2000.
- "Earth, Animality, Garbage: Ground-level Aesthetics", public lecture given at Or Gallery, Vancouver, and at McGill University, Art History Department, March 1998.
Guest Lectures, Keynotes, and Public Talks
- “Wieland’s counterculture, circa 1968.” Invited lecture, sponsored by the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art and Design, April 2015.
- “Teaching Vancouver.” Dialogue with John O’Brian, Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, December 2014.
- Round-table discussion about “Expanded Cinema” at Expo 67, Cinémathèque québécoise, November 2014.
- “Urban Art Histories,” Invited lecture, University of Windsor, November 2014.
- “Joyce Wieland, circa 2014.” Lecture to launch “Joyce Wieland: Life and Art,” on-line project, Art Canada Institute, given at Massey College, University of Toronto, November 2014.
- “Melvin Charney: Vers une architecture montréalaise.” UQAM (panellist), 2013.
- “Thoroughly Modern Montreal.” McCord Museum “City Talks” lecture series, January 2013.
- “Activist ghosts and unruly objects: episodes in urban visual culture.”
Invited lecture at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, 2012
- “Buckminster Fuller at Expo 67.” Symposium on “Fuller in Montreal,” Dawson College, Montreal, April 2012.
- “We have never been contemporary.” Guest lecture in Liam Gillick’s ‘Questioning the contemporary’ seminar, Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, New York, 2011.
- “Joyce Wieland’s politicized landscape art.” Invited lecture at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on the occasion of a screening of the Wieland film. Co-sponsored by Cinematheque Ontario, June 2010.
- “A Stroll through the Televisual Plein-air.” Banff Centre for the Arts, July 2008.
- “Expo 67 postcards and sixties visual culture,” invited speaker, Études québéboises Program, McGill University, November 2007.
- “Objecthood Rules: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Minimalism.” Lecture given at Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery of Concordia University, 2005.
- “Animal Pictures.” Lecture at Saidye Bronfman Centre in conjunction with the exhibition Bill Burns: Safety Gear for Small Animals, Montreal, May 2004, and Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, May 2005.
- “The Utopian Horizon: The Question of Landscape in Contemporary Art.” Invited lecture at Vermont College MFA Visual Art Program, Montpelier, Vermont, August 2002.
- Landscape Today: The Utopian Horizon; Into the Landscape: History and/or Entropy; Ecological Views.” Series of three lectures given in conjunction with Elusive Paradise exhibition, National Gallery of Canada, February/March 2001.
- “Expo 67 Postcards: Memories of Utopia.” Urban Icon lecture series, McGill University, March 2001. Another version “Expo 67 Postcards: Signs of the Modern City,” was delivered as part of the Culture of Cities Project lecture series, Toronto, May 2001.
- “Garbage and Entropy: Revisiting the Ruined City in the Work of Robert Smithson and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.” Plugin Gallery, Winnipeg, May 2001.