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 engaged in and grappling with the issues revealed by a still-unfolding global pandemic.
Selected 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
Tafui, Out of Many, presented on Vancouver Public Library Banners
Out of Many is inspired by the similarities of racialized and Indigenous cultures through 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 Grasp 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)
Dona Nabata, Westside Palimpsest, presented on the billboard at Arbutus St and West 12th Ave
Westside Palimpsest continues Nabata’s interest in illustrating the Asian experience in Canada. The bust of an Asian woman is front and centre in the piece. Within the demographic of the west side of Vancouver, she is not out of place, but in an art context, she is unusual.
Nabata hopes the Vancouver public will see themselves reflected in the piece Westside Palimpsest by enabling them to identify with the central figure or by finding kinship with other characters.
Dona Nabata, Westside Palimpsest (2021)
Scott Billings, between you and me; the gap that parts us today, will still have zero thickness tomorrow; between you and me, presented on City Centre Canada Line Station windows
Billings work reflects on the ebbs, flows, and waves of the pandemic and its social impacts. Stability follows tragedy, quietude follows anxiety. Billings invites the viewer to take a step back so that we may all move forward as one, so the chaos may appear less chaotic.