AGYU @ The DepARTment:
Rob Kovitz: Ice Fishing in Gimli

Presented by the Art Gallery of York University
Curated by Michael Maranda
@ The Department  (1389 Dundas St W, Toronto ON)
8 – 27 February 2011
Opening reception: 11 February 2011 @ 7 – 10pm
Artist’s talk: 12 February @ 2pm

“Ten years in the making, Ice Fishing in Gimli is an 8-volume image/text montage bookwork by Winnipeg artist/writer Rob Kovitz. Set in and around a strange small town and a large frozen lake in the uncharted center of Canada, it’s an epic citation saga of desire, ambition, weather and landscape …”

Testing the fair dealing copyright exemption to the limit, and probably slightly beyond, Rob Kovitz’s Ice Fishing in Gimli is a citational tour de force. Extending to 4,750 pages, this eight volume novel consists exclusively of quotations, textual or otherwise, which coalesces into a strange yet compelling narrative. Settled in 1875 by Icelandic emigrés, Gimli is located on the south-western shore of Lake Winnipeg and is currently the sole location for the distilling of Crown Royal whiskey. While still certainly an artists’ book project, Ice Fishing approaches sculpturality in its heft. The installation of the work aims to provide its readers with the ideal study-room environment to browse, to study, and to contemplate.

Ice Fishing in Gimli was the 2010 Artists’ Book of the Moment (ABotM), an open competition for artists’ books presented by the Art Gallery of York University. For more information, and details on the 2011 ABotM see:

For more information on tIce Fishing in Gimli, please see Kotitz’ website:

The next Pieces chapbook, Whole Cloth from Piecemeal, consists of a conversation between Kovitz and Marcus Boon on ideas around citationality, appropriation, and meta-ness, will be available at the gallery.

Not to be missed at the back of the gallery is a public presentation of the submissions to the 2011 Artists’ Book of the Moment competition. Short list and finalist to be announced in the near future. The Gallery would like to take a moment here to thank Joe Friday for his generous financial contribution to the ongoing health of the ABotM.