Michael Christie is the author of The Beggar’s Garden, a collection of linked stories that won the 2011 Vancouver Book Award, and was a finalist for the Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize. He holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia, and his fiction has been twice nominated for the Journey Prize, Canada’s top short story honour. Currently, he lives in Thunder Bay, where he teaches Creative Writing at Lakehead University, and is at work on a novel about a woman living with agoraphobia.
I had a great trip despite a brutal feeling of cognitive dissonance
February 4–March 17, 2012
OBJECTS REMAIN SPELLBOUND IN THE MERCIFUL SEPARATION OF SPACE, NO MATERIAL PART CAN COMMONLY SHARE ITS SPACE WITH ANOTHER, AND A REAL UNITY OF DIVERSE ELEMENTS DOES NOT EXIST IN SPACE.
THE FORM OF A CITY CHANGES, ALAS, MORE RAPIDLY THAN A MAN’S HEART.
Artspeak is pleased to present I had a great trip despite a brutal feeling of cognitive dissonance, a new solo exhibition by Vancouver-based artist Samuel Roy-Bois. Reconfiguring and partitioning the gallery, the exhibition demonstrates the artist’s continued interest in the deconstruction of space. An enclosed living area—inhabited by a stranger free of charge for the duration of the exhibition—will be made private with no public access, its occupant given full authority over its usage. Paired with the built environment is a voice recording that furthers the gallery’s transformation into an intimate place of residence.
Through concealment, the installation portrays a character with a double identity—the individual that we hear and try to visualize and the one that we will never see and may occasionally hear. By juxtaposing the viewer and the occupant’s respective experiences, Roy-Bois creates an uncanny moment in which they imagine each other, creating a new imagined reality. In addition to bringing forward notions of estrangement, space retribution, and struggles for power, the exhibition contributes to an ongoing discussion in Vancouver about how land in the city is divided, occupied, and used.
Postscript 45: Michael Christie on I had a great trip despite a brutal feeling of cognitive dissonance (PDF)