Katabasis

Or Gallery - Exhibition, Vancouver, BC

Exhibition Design For Artist Julie Andreyev

Artist Julie Andreyev commissioned our studio to design and install support elements for this seminal exhibition at the OR Gallery in Vancouver, BC, and provide photographic documentation of the exhibition. The artists installation used boxed British Columbia minerals, insects and seeds in a rebus of natural forms, converting the gallery into a site merging aspects of natural and cultural, merging the objects of our exploratory desire with some of the devices used in the artists journey, in the seeking.  The intent of Andreyev's work was to construct a psychologized taxonomy linking the pathos of objects with the events of personal dissolution.  In Katabasis the psychology of the idea of a return-to-basics is converted into a naturalist's minimalism that, although it echoes minimalist practice, takes its main frame of reference from the consciousness-in-the-material-world hypothesis of Rupert Sheldrake.

All the natural objects utilized as displays in the exhibition are indigenous to British Columbia.  They are boxed samples of the region.  Surveyor's boxes that were once employed to cart the instruments used to plot British Columbia are here forced to hold some of the specific mineral ores that were one of the desired end-points of that plotting.  They are the objects linked to the event of exploration, of searching, contributors to myths of progress on the act of taxonomizing the world.

The design objective was to create supports that would put the installation elements in suspension and disappear as much as possible against the art pieces.  Utilizing prior insitu-studies of the work of Carlo Scarpa, elements were created from sandblasted structural steel shapes designed as floor pedestals, wall mounts, and hanging elements, creating minimalist supports for the artist's artifacts.  Through careful placement of designed elements, exposing thin edges to create the illusion of minimal support, and playing with dramatic theatre lighting the exhibition had a totally integrated aesthetic physically and conceptually.

 

 
MediaVaughan Hoy