Jeremy Isao Speier, 2023
Autotelism: the belief that a work of art, especially a work of literature, is an end in itself or provides its own justification.
Jeremy Isao Speier and his father, artist Matthew Speier, often spoke about the idea of autotelism and its role in their work. They believed in the autodidact and spent much of their time together talking about art, film, culture and life. Speier’s father, ‘Matty,’ was an early video art pioneer, and cinéma vérité auteur in the Vancouver art scene of the 70s and 80s. He was also a collector of found objects, a practice that he framed as the “found object foundation”.
After his passing last year, and as a tribute to him, Jeremy Isao Speier has constructed an homage to his father in his solo exhibition, Autotelēs. He has created a series of kinetic photo collages using old photos and objects from the found object foundation, along with 70s black and white photographs, letters, and other ephemera from the counter cultural era he grew up in.
“Our conversation is not over. It has presence in my work and my art.” says Speier.
The exhibition captures and combines a wide variety of media and materiality. “My interest is in the experiential and spiritual more than style and aesthetics”, says Speier. He is more interested in, “the fire, the mirage, the transformation, the states of the afterlife, dreams, and the journey.”
Jeremy Isao Speier is a Japanese-Canadian Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist who graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 1992. He works in film/video, kinetic sculpture and sound, and installation.
He has exhibited extensively across Canada in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and notably in 2011 at Blim Arts Society and Powell Street Festival, in 2012 at Firehall Arts Centre, and in 2013 at Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre with an exhibition catalogue, Double Zero: The Point Between Future Past, (2013). Speier’s exhibition Double Zero: The Point Between Future Past, has been acclaimed by critics.
Speier was editor for his publication and artist book, Little Tokyo Collaborative Essay Series. Speier was presented in the Byron Aceman Collection (BAC) New Media Exhibition, (2015) curated by Monte Clark and Sherri Kajiwara, and Jeremy Isao Speier: Inner Workings [Selected Works 1980s to present], (2016) at Visual Space Gallery curated by Yukiko Onley.
THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.