DICK AVERNS, ANDREAS KAHRE, CARLOS VELA-MARTINEZ
October 18–November 22, 2003
This interdisciplinary exhibition is comprised of three diverse approaches to concepts of emergency and public safety. Dick Averns’ Seats of Power is a performative work, in which the Armchair Terrorist delivers tracts, monologues, and mime at ‘seats of power’ around the city while uniformed in his business suit/armchair sculpture. While not in performative use, the sculpted Seat of Power, featuring pin-striped upholstery, will be displayed in the gallery.
Andreas Kahre’s viewing booth reveals glimpses of both the theoretical emergency of the street outside the gallery and the exhibition within. Interleaving video, audio and text data streams glide across a display panel, while an interactive component gives the viewer an illusion of control. Images that float across surfaces, calming sounds and reassuring texts are balanced at the point of collapsing one into the other. Taking a skeptical position to both ’emergency’ and ‘measure’, Kahre both provides and comments upon the palliative effects of media and technology.
Carlos Vela-Martinez’ sculptural work plays with the inherent irony of the fire extinguisher—as a safety implement and explosively charged device. Multiple constructions made of fire extinguishers, supported by steel armatures, are arranged in the gallery: they emphasize the paradox of devices that “signify the largely unspoken tension of the emergencies we fear—the tension of living in a sustained state of safety. These tools of vigilance are talismans of ‘preparedness’ and summon up the slow urgencies of contemporary life.”
Savage Media is a Vancouver-based society and producer of interdisciplinary and environmental art. Their creation and co-production of Emergency Measures has been supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Hamber Foundation and the B.C. Gaming Commission.
October 18–November 21, 2003
Artspeak is pleased to host performances by Dick Averns, The Armchair Terrorist on two separate dates in conjunction with the exhibition Emergency Measures running at the gallery from October 18 to November 22, 2003.