COVID-19 has magnified and deepened all of the social, health, and economic inequities of our society, and art-making is an important way to respond creatively to this moment. Platforms: We Are Here, Live commissioned 23 Vancouver-based and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) artists grappling with the issues revealed by a still-unfolding global pandemic.
Artworks will be displayed on the platforms listed below beginning in November 2021:
- Billboard at Arbutus St and West 12th Avenue
- Light box at šxʷƛ̓ exən Xwtl’a7shn Plaza
- Banners at Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch
- Glass wall at City Centre Canada Line Station
- Transit shelter posters throughout the city
- VanLive! video screen, Robson St and Granville St
- Digital display boards throughout the city
Alex MacKenzie, Waiting Room, presented on the VanLive! video screen
Waiting Room, Alex MacKenzie’s material-based film work, speaks to the various states of tension, calm, frustration, apprehension, injustice, inequity, and struggle felt in our respective waiting rooms. 16mm found footage is manipulated using optical printing, layering and reprocessing.
The simultaneous banality and stress of waiting undergoes a physical transformation into an active and highly charged materiality informed by our personal projections and desires.
Waiting Room, Alex MacKenzie (2022)
Clare Yow, slow new wave, presented on the billboard at Arbutus and 12th
2020 found Clare Yow, a new parent, grappling with familial strain and the sudden loss of community. Confronting neoliberal issues around productivity, momentum, and desire in her caregiving and creative work, slow new wave was born out of honouring these difficult times and conversations.
In this photographic and text work, the artist is engaging in playful gestures with her toddler, their limbs in concert and afloat in darkness, grasping, raising, and straining.
As a woman of colour, she strives to make sense of the cascading, systemic crises that continue to grip us, while finding solace with others striving for a better and kinder way forward.
slow new wave, Clare Yow (2022)
Tafui, Out of Many, presented on Vancouver Public Library Banners
Out of Many is a series of six large vinyl banners. It is inspired by the similarities of racialized and Indigenous cultures around the globe and the idea that "we belong to each other".
Tafui’s practice is informed by the idea that through the understanding of our histories and shared experiences, we become united as people, as cultures, and to the earth.
Tafui, Out of Many (2021)
Romane Bladou, All That We Cannot Grasp, presented on šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Lightbox
All That We Cannot Graspis a set of photographs depicting the artist's shadow and is about reflection, projection, and movement. The work evokes notions of uncertainty and groundlessness. It is about trying to find rest in the tumult, but always moving with it. It is about adaptability.
It is an invitation to embrace the uncertain state we find ourselves in, and to try to situate ourselves in this blur and confusion.
Romane Bladou, All That We Cannot Grasp (2021)