Jun. 20, 2012 - Issue #870: Food Trucks
All together now
The Works finds focus in the energy of collaboration
It probably helps some that Rooke, director of programs & production for The Works Art & Design Festival, and the rest of the festival's team brings the weeks-long visual feast out of the galleries and into the open, public space for an audience to engage in. The Works is easily the most visually intriguing festival to engulf Churchill Square for a stretch of summertime, (though it also pops up in a wealth of other downtown locales) offering the dedicated art crowd and curious passerby alike the chance to see what artists and designers are developing both within and beyond the city limits.
"The big thing about that is accessibility," Rooke says of public art in a very public space. "You don't have to make the choice to go see the artwork, the artwork will come see you. And certainly everything's free and open to the public as well. So, yes, accessibility for one. Two, an engagement opportunity for people who may not normally enter a gallery.
"The environment of Churchill Square is really an energized and participatory space," she adds. "Where they'll have an opportunity to engage with art and design of all forms."
Energy, for a second year in a row, marks the fesitval's theme. Specifically this year, it's about the give-and-take energy of collaboration: an example of such is the PopSex! Exhibition, a blend of history and new art: it showcases archives of Berlin's Institute of Sexual Science, which was destroyed in 1933 by the Nazis, but its remaining files are being presented here alongside artistic responses to the archives in the forms of sculpture, photography and installation.
"The other sort of collaborations we've seen for sure are artist collectives working together," Rooke says. "So for example, En Masse on the Works' gateways: these are a couple of artists from Montréal who go around and work with local contributors. We have Fred Caron and Jason Botkin flying in from Montréal, then we have recruited a number of artists in Edmonton to do live art-making, feeding off of each other's energies and drawings in order to make the four giant murials that make up the entranceways to churchill square."
Still, the ultimate collaboration Rooke hopes to see is the one between audience and artists: that those passing through the Works don't merely wander on by, but take a moment to engage with what's been created. The poster campaign the fesitval's givenitself—2D or Not 2D, and Art Cubed—represents precisely the sort of dynamic multi-dimensional relationship Rooke is hoping to see as she has in the past.
"We are encouraging that you take that extra step: don't just look at the surface but become the third dimension, and, in so doing, you'll get a lot more from your experience at the Works." vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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