Office of Surrealist Investigations


Office of surrealist investigations featured Kamloops based artist Craig Willms’ newest body of work. The exhibition explored the idea of manipulating chance through Surrealism, drawing games, film noir and multi-author narratives. Arnica Artist Run Centre’s gallery space was transformed into a 1940s private investigators office with the artist occupying the role as lead investigator. Willms occupied the office throughout the exhibition encouraging visitors to collaborate on drawing projects and contribute to elements of the exhibition. The exhibition is the manifestation of an ongoing project found on the artist’s blogspot

Taking cues from film noir motifs and early Surrealist writings, Willms engaged multiple contributors in multiple streams of a sequential narrative. These comic panel styled are found on the walls of the gallery like a series of clues linked by chance connections and locations on a map. Drawings directed by chance and a series of exquisite corpse drawings hang throughout the office. Visitors were encouraged to do their own investigations amongst the artworks, documents and research materials found throughout the office.

Grounded in social practice, collaboration and the merger of artistic and curatorial practice, Willms’ project built on previous works that focused on research into Marcel Duchamp, Dada and Surrealism, possible links between Surrealism to the Black Dahlia murder of the 1940s, and an ongoing interest in graphic novels and film noir. The opening reception included a fusion of exhibition opening, musical performance with happenings throughout the evening. Guests were encouraged to come dressed in 1930s/40s film noir attire.

The exhibition was open June 5 to July 11, and the artist was present on June 6, 9-12, 20, 30 and July 2-4, 7-11.

Full version of video

Kamloops Artist Looks to Film Noir
Craig Willms investigates Kamloops in a film noir inspired installation
Posted On: Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 | 1:26pm PDT Story by: Gareth Madoc-Jones