Breadth of The Vitrine, 2017
site-specific installation, communal performance
Gallery of Student Art, University of Manitoba, Canada
Traditionally, the gallery/vitrine’s edges mark a line of disconnection. We’re trained to know that anything held within these spaces is intimidatingly valuable, desirable and not to be touched. Breadth of the Vitrine observed passive observation and activated tactile participation.
The project filled the gallery space with messily played with, cheaply sourced(dumpster dived) bread that could not keep, thus could not be bought, only touched, smelt, experienced, and eventually returned to waste receptacles. In lieu of traditional measurements of value, bread slices were nailed to the wall, measuring the gallery’s breadth.
The gallery space evolved over the two weeks of the exhibition, exposed to the air and everything it contained, the bread hardened, shrunk, its smell dulled and began to start growing a garden of sorts. As an idea, it grew stale. But, just as the pieces shrunk, the space in between them, for new ideas, expanded. This collaborative meeting of elements mirrored the project’s emphasis on communal conversation and was documented photographically, as well as through meticulously completed condition reports(as utilised in archival museum practices).
A public potluck picnic manifested in the gallery space in tandem with the deinstallation. The unglamorous elements of the glamorous were shared and paralleled by a communal consumption. The behind the scenes logistical procedures emerged and exhibited themselves, they became the primary performance, the outskirts became the climaxes.