‘Untitled, everything’ (2008) a site-specific installation made at Western Front, Vancouver BC. All three installations, shown outside the gallery, references interior spaces of the artist run centre – three accidental memorials or memorials to accidents.
‘untitled curtain’, bed sheets hung outside Hank Bull’s apartment.
‘untitled flowers’, a variety of flowers were placed on and near the post outside the gallery. The flowers were replenished every week. During gallery hours, several buckets of flowers were placed near the post.‘untitled shoes’, the Western Front building houses multiple facilities including a dance studio. Mimicking the shoes left outside the dance studio, about thirty pairs of shoes were placed directly outside the entrance of Western Front building, instigating many of the audience members to remove their shoes before entering the building. The shoes were replenished every week.
“Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, but Not Simpler”
A polemical survey of minimalist and conceptualist strategies by young artists, the exhibition “Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, but Not Simpler” has been organized by Ph.D. candidate Juan Gaitan. These days, even a ramshackle institution like the artist-run Western Front, housed in a former Knights of Pythias hall, is ripe for critical intervention: Thus Ron Tran exhibits his front door, Arabella Campbell destructures the gallery space, and Abbas Akhavan offers a rough-and-ready mourning for alternative art. Tran’s Apt. 201, 2008, takes place both in the gallery and in his nearby apartment. With his apartment door as metaphoric portal, not only are the domestic and the aesthetic intertwined, but Tran’s private life is also suddenly, literally, vulnerable. Property is theft, indeed. In To experience the space of the gallery without opaque mass, a trajectory of 526 square feet, in one line, 2008, Campbell’s wall text instructs the gallery visitor to exit and walk in a straight line to a park bench a block and a half away—artwork asdérive. Indeed, the viewer’s body is arguably Campbell’s medium: As we walk, we become the work of art. Akhavan’s sly untitled series of works is easy to miss. A dozen or so bouquets of flowers, of the cheap kind bought at corner stores, are taped to the lamppost outside the gallery, as if a car accident has taken place there. Inside the building’s foyer, shoes are piled in a corner, suggesting both the dance studio that shares space with the gallery and, perhaps, a religious entryway.