Karen Zalamea’s practice has developed through the lens of many disciplines, mainly photography, video, and installation. Her process involves a hands-on material engagement with image-making, ranging from studio constructions to performed physical gestures for the camera’s vision. She is interested in generating forms as photographic subject matter and in experimenting with the intersections of light and surface.
Her concerns are largely invested in analogue photographic practices, in the unhurried nature of large-format photography, in images as evidentiary traces of process, and in the direct relationship between lens, light, and subject.
She studied at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (BFA 2004) and at Concordia University (MFA 2009). She is the recipient of several awards, including the inaugural Sylvie and Simon Blais Foundation Award for Emerging Visual Artists, and she has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Zalamea’s work has been exhibited and screened across Canada and internationally, notably at Feature Contemporary Art Fair (Toronto), Galerie Simon Blais (Montréal), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), Gallery 295 (Vancouver), Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax), SÍM House (Reykjavík), Eject (Mexico City), Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto), and Art Souterrain (Montréal).
She lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Karen Zalamea | b. 1980
2009 Master of Fine Arts, advised by Manon de Pauw, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
2004 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada
2003 International Student Exchange, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
SOLO + TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2016 Spectres of Desire, Franc Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2013 Form in Matter, Gallery 295, Vancouver, Canada
2012 Ground Truth [with Andreas Rutkauskas], TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary, Calgary, Canada
2011 Working Order, Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture, Edmonton, Canada
2010 WORK WORK WORK, Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre, Kingston, Canada
2009 WORK WORK WORK, Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal, Canada
Lignes imaginaires, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada
2008 Exercises in Napery, FOFA Gallery, Montréal, Canada
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS + SCREENINGS [*exhibition accompanied by published catalogue]
2015 You Are New to the Mountain, SÍM House, Reykjavík, Iceland
The Liberia Pure Honey Project, Make Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2014 Here to There, Access Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2012 Topographie, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada
2011 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada
And No One Was Around, Société des arts technologiques, Montréal, Canada
The Art Marathon Festival, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, Canada
Art Souterrain, Nuit Blanche à Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Exposition Portative, Dazibao centre de photographies actuelles, Montréal, Canada
2010 aluCine Latin Film & Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada
Asian Hot Shots Festival for Film & Video Art, Cinema Moviemento, Berlin, Germany Eject 3, Mexico City International VideoPerformance Festival, Mexico
Proof 17, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, Toronto, Canada * Exposition Portative, Dazibao centre de photographies actuelles, Montréal, Canada
2009 Caustic Assets, Dalhousie Art Gallery, curated by the Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Canada
The Office for Archival Review, Centre des arts actuels Skol, Montréal, Canada
Body Break, Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art, Halifax, Canada
Diagonales 3, Goethe-Institut, 27e Festival International du Film sur l’Art [FIFA], Montréal, Canada
2008 21 Instants Vidéo, Polygone Étoilé, Instants Vidéo Numériques et Poétiques, Marseille, France
Eject 2, Mexico City International VideoPerformance Festival, Mexico
Monobandes, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada
Vidéos de Femmes dans le Parc, Paraloeil Cinéma, Rimouski, Canada Strata, Espace Artefacto, Montréal, Canada *
2007 Vidéos de Femmes dans le Parc, Théâtre de Verdure, Groupe Intervention Vidéo, Montréal, Canada
Vidéos de Femmes dans le Parc, Studio de Daïmon, Gatineau, Canada
Compression, Art Mûr, Montréal, Canada * Les Nocturnelles, La Centrale, Montréal, Canada
2006 De Gootsteen, Medium Gallery, Groningen, Netherlands
2011 Kiss & Cry, Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture, Edmonton, Canada
ACTIVITIES [Residencies, Art Fairs, Auctions, Portfolio Reviews etc.]
2015 Feature Contemporary Art Fair, Toronto, Canada
Artist residency, The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists – SÍM, Reykjavik, Iceland
Centre A’s 16th Anniversary Gala and Live Art Auction, CBC Studio 700, Vancouver, Canada
2014 Here to There auction, Access Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Portfolio review [by invitation], The Incubator, Vancouver, Canada
2013-14 Artist residency, Residency for Artists on Hiatus, Vancouver, Canada
2012 Topographie benefit, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada
2011 Artist residency, Espace Marie Chouinard, Montréal, Canada
2010 Art with Heart auction, Casey House Foundation, Toronto, Canada
Portfolio review, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada
Souper-Projection, L’Atelier, Dazibao centre de photographies actuelles, Montréal, Canada Experience Canada Pavilion showcase, International Media Centre, Toronto, Canada Digital Project Residency, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
2009 Portfolio review [by invitation], Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Montréal, Canada Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada
2008 Residency for Emerging Artists Program, Sagamie National Research & Exhibition Centre for Contemporary Digital Art, Alma, Canada
2005 University of British Columbia Farm Residency, Faculty of Land & Food Systems, Vancouver, Canada
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE + SERVICE
2015-16 Board Member, Board of Directors, Centre A, Vancouver, Canada
2013-15 Gallery Assistant, Gallery 295, Vancouver, Canada Volunteer, Ballet BC, Vancouver, Canada
2014-15 Volunteer, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Vancouver, Canada Volunteer, Access Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2009-11 Research Associate/Resident Videographer, Matralab, directed by Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Art: Sandeep Bhagwati, Montréal, Canada
2009 Co-director, The Office for Archival Review, Skool Summer Practicum, Centre des arts actuels Skol, Montréal, Canada
2006-08 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Concordia University, Faculty of Studio Arts, Montréal, Canada
2015 In New Light [review of Michael de Courcy’s it’s about time], LeftCoastArt, October [online].
ARTICLES + REVIEWS
2010 Proof: Fresh Frames, Canadian Art, July 15 [online].
2009 Belles Applications, Bernard Lévy, Vie des arts, No. 217 Hiver 2009-2010, p. 81.
Le geste contre la doctrine, Jérôme Delgado, Le Devoir, August 22-23, p. E6.
Tools of Production, Christopher Olson, Montréal Mirror, August 6-12, p. 35.
Karen Zalamea remporte le prix Sylvie & Simon Blais, T. Malavoy-Racine, Voir, May 13.
2004 Emily Carr Grad Exhibition ‘A Knockout’, Michael Scott, The Vancouver Sun, May 22.
PUBLICATIONS + CATALOGUES
2013 Portfolio d’artiste: Karen Zalamea, Punctum arts visuels, October 17 [online].
2012 Picturing Drift, Mapping Disorientation, text by Pablo Rodriguez, Truck Contemporary Art in Calgary, Calgary AB; text for exhibition Ground Truth.
2011 Optic Nerve, BlackFlash Magazine, No. 28.3 Summer 2011, p. 19.
2010 Sharing and Digital Photography, text by Matthew Williamson, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, Toronto ON; catalogue for exhibition Proof 17.
2009 Karen Zalamea: WORK WORK WORK, text by Ève Dorais, Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal QC
2008 How Do Thoughts Get Filmed ?, text by Harris, Langdon & Mowchun, Concordia University, Montréal QC; catalogue for exhibition Strata.
2007 Hands, Mind and Movement: Investigations of the Body, text by Jacinthe Soullière, Concordia University, Montréal QC; catalogue for exhibition Compression.
2005 Evolution, Emily Carr Institute Alumni Society, Vancouver BC; catalogue for exhibition Evolution.
Cyclops’ Dreams, Perro Verlag, Vancouver BC; catalogue for exhibition Cyclops Dreams: Artist’s Books, Comics & ‘Zines.
Domestic Subversions, The Last Caption Magazine, Special Issue 3, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Raise Hands All Those, Perro Verlag, Ottawa ON; catalogue for exhibition Raise Hands All Those. The Infinity Project, Jo Cook, Vancouver BC; catalogue for exhibition The Infinity Project.
LECTURES, ARTIST TALKS + CONFERENCES
2015 Artist talk, SÍM House, Reykjavík, Iceland
Speaking Off It [panel], Capture Photography Festival, Field Contemporary, Vancouver, Canada
2014 Artist talk, Centre A, Vancouver, Canada
Artist talk, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada
2013 Artist talk, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
Artist talk, Gallery 295, Vancouver, Canada
2011 Artist talk, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, Canada
Critique guest, Art School 101, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, Canada
2010 Artist talk, Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre, Kingston, Canada
Artist talk & Video art lecture, Advanced Integrated Studio in Contemporary Art Practices, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
Artist talk, Graduate Studio Photography, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
2009 Final critique guest, Time-Based Images, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
2008 Panelist, Interdisciplinary Dialogic Session, Commuication Studies & Journalism Department, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
Artist talk, Intermedia/Cyberarts Department, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
AWARDS + HONOURS
2015 Travel Grant to Professionals in the Visual Arts, Canada Council for the Arts
Project Assistance for Visual Artists, British Columbia Arts Council
2014 Project Grant to Visual Artists, Canada Council for the Arts
2013 Finalist, Georgia Straight’s People’s Choice Competition, Capture Photography Festival
2011 Grant for Up-and-Coming Artists, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Honourable Mention, Optic Nerve Image Contest, BlackFlash Magazine
2010 Travel Grant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
2009 Emerging Visual Artist Award, Sylvie & Simon Blais Foundation
Jeune tête d’affiche [programming poster] winner, Dazibao centre de photographies actuelles
2008 Travel Grant, Centre Interuniversitaire des Arts Médiatiques
2007 Project Grant, Centre Interuniversitaire des Arts Médiatiques
Senior Scholarship Award, British Columbia Arts Council
2006 Graduate Fellowship, Concordia University
Tuition Remission Award, Concordia University
Harriet and Abe Gold Entrance Bursary, Concordia University