Steven Shearer: Sorry Steve
Art in the Bar
Emblazoned on Chapter's Caffi Bar wall are the words, 'Sorry Steve, when we talk about celebrating cultural diversity we don't mean yours'.
Sorry Steve (1999) is a scrawled, hand-written note which has been enlarged in scale until it is elevated into a statement. It is intentionally provocative in its presentation as the voice in the text places itself in a position of power over ‘Steve’.
Shearer’s text works, or ‘poems’ as he describes them, explore how language and conversations which we perceive as fleeting can be retained and elevated into collective consciousness. This work forms part of an archive of texts, lyrics and statements which look at issues around alienation, isolation and how hierarchies can be enforced through language.
In his wider practice, Shearer works across a range of media, creating installations that combine elements of drawing, painting, photography, collage and text. His work explores what lies beneath the public view and takes a closer look at youth subcultures and uncelebrated cultural movements.
By positioning this statement in Chapter's Caffi Bar it invites us to question the nature of high and low culture and who make the choices.
Steven Shearer was born in New Westminster, Canada in 1968. He now lives and works in Vancouver.He has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at Charles Riva Collection, Belgium; the Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; The New Museum and the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; IKON Gallery, Birmingham; and the Renaissance Society in Chicago. In 2011, he was selected to represent Canada at the 54th Venice Biennale