Wayde Compton is a Vancouver writer and editor whose books include 49th Parallel Psalm, Performance Bond and Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature. He also performs live turntable-based audio poetry with The Contact Zone Crew.
DJ Booth / Listening Booth: two works
February 18–March 25, 2006
Opening: Friday, February 17 at 8pm with DJ Dana D
Additional DJ event with Vinyl Ritchie: Saturday, March 11 from 3 to 5pm
Engaging with the social effects of design and architecture, Ian Skedd’s practice centres around the interplay of interior and exterior space. In his investigations into psychological and conceptual relationships to space, Skedd considers architecture as transformative, translational and isolationist. His project for Artspeak, DJ Booth / Listening Booth: two works, defines a controlled system of inside and outside, activating an exploration of the social effects of spatialization where the boundaries between public and private, observer and observed are elided.
DJ Booth / Listening Booth: two works is an architectural and sound installation that uses the form of two separate language translator or interpreter’s booths. The booths, with windows facing one another, will each be able to accommodate only a single individual. One booth will house DJ equipment, and a DJ will perform at intervals during the course of the exhibition. The other booth will house speakers in order to listen to the DJ. When the DJ is not in attendance, a recording of the DJ’s mixing will play in the listening booth. In isolating the DJ and listener, they become equal participants in the work (particularly when viewed by third parties outside the booths). The work approaches the DJ as a translator of cultural material, the listener as a receptor, and the outside viewer as a spectator who will be transformed into an active participant once s/he steps into the listening booth. As spaces of contemplation, Skedd’s work proposes parallels between the listening booth and the gallery as receptacles of culture and places where transformation and reconsideration are possible.
Postscript 19: Rob Brownie and Annabel Vaughan on DJ Booth / Listening Booth: two works (PDF)
Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls
January 7–February 11, 2006
Marianne Nicolson works in a variety of media to express Kwakwaka’wakw concepts in both traditional manners (which remain within traditional contexts) and in contemporary manners (which are meant for exhibition under contemporary conditions). For her exhibition at Artspeak, she is taking the gallery’s context as a starting point to consider the objectification and commercialization of Pacific Northwest Coast Aboriginal objects and cultures. Her site-specific installation, Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls, utilizes Artspeak’s storefront Gastown location. Gastown is home to several leading commercial vendors of Pacific Northwest Coast Aboriginal Art, as well as vendors that are selling cultural kitsch. Together these businesses drive a significant percentage of traditional Northwest Coast art production.
Nicolson’s Artspeak installation centres around an altered bentwood chest constructed from cedar and etched glass. While bentwood chests are traditionally meant to hold articles of value, Nicholson’s decorated chest will contain and spill light, so that shadows are cast onto the gallery walls. These projected shadows index the rich and ephemeral concepts from which this object is conceived. The viewer, upon entering the gallery, will physically interrupt the throw of light to add another layer of shadows. Referencing the traditional tale of how Raven stole the sun from a chief (who kept it in a box) to release it for the entire world’s benefit, Nicolson’s Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls proposes a distinction between the object and it’s contents. Nicolson’s chest is both a play on a consumable object and a receptacle and/or projector of cultural dialogue.
Postscript 18: Daina Warren on Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls (PDF)
Title: Scene of Translations
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Ian Skedd, Marianne Nicolson
Writers: Lindsay Brown, Wayde Compton
Design: Julian Gosper
Year published: 2006
Binding: Perfect Bound
Features: 10 b&w images
Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 0.5 cm
Weight: 164 g
Price: $5 CDN
In Scene of Translations, Lindsay Brown, Wayde Compton, Marianne Nicolson, and Ian Skedd interpret visual, textual, aural, and cultural languages to provide a platform on which multiple translations can occur. The texts by Brown and Compton bring together disparate threads of the problems and potentialities of hybridity and translation. Through etymological investigation, transferals of history, and the metaphors of commuter crows and passenger pigeons, Scene of Translations offers an entry point into translatory perambulations. Nicolson and Skedd present architecture and sculpture as translational, resituating the audience not only within the gallery, but in relationship to other viewers. Both artists present new pathways in their consideration of form’s social aspects, indicating that the gallery, like the publication, is a space where transformation and reconsideration are possible.