What Are Our Supports?

February 27 – June 30, 2018
Cathedral Square Park, Vancouver
Richmond Art Gallery and Or Gallery

What Are Our Supports? was a series of artist’s projects held in downtown Vancouver’s Cathedral Square Park in 2018. Through Home Made Home: Boothy, a convertible and modular platform created by Germaine Koh, five artist groups collectively addressed the question: what are our supports, amidst current conditions of environmental, social, political and economic precarity? Amidst increased privatization of public life and its friction within everyday experience? How do we draw attention to the supports—invisible and relational, material and incidental, temporary and foundational—that allow for encounters with art and gift economy, and that shift perceptions and ways of coming together? Are there ways to re-inhabit seemingly outdated support structures—ideas, paradigms, technologies—to imagine different futures?

From a currency exchange transforming electronic waste into coins, Indigenous ecosystems exploring tactile histories and life-in-common, surveillance portals alerting us to invisible networks and stratified systems of belonging, light boxes illuminating the over-looked physical and sonic textures of the built environment, complimentary haircut services for the public as forms of care and trust, and sonic and intermedia performances—these sensory-rich projects made perceptible forms of relational connection, self-organization and mutual aid, friendship as a medium, and a critically-engaged pleasure activism. In a city rampant with urban development and regulation, What are our Supports? approached art in public space as a form of research, experimentation, and collective learning.

Afterlives (currency): Germaine Koh, Aron Louis Cohen and Russell Gordon

commonplace: Emily Neufeld and T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss

Outer Plexus: SF Ho and Elisa Ferrari

Regrounding the Footnotes: DRIL Art Collective, with sonic response by Elisa Ferrari, John Brennan, Justin Patterson, and Michele Helen Mackenzie

The People’s Salon: Andrew Lee, Khan Lee and Francis Cruz

Co-presented with Or Gallery and Richmond Art Gallery, with support from the City of Vancouver Cultural Services. Logo design by Julian Gosper.
Compendium publication forthcoming, 2021. Designed and co-published by information-office, with Doryphore Independent Curators’ Society and Richmond Art Gallery.

Photos: Michael Love.

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