Give & Take is an ongoing installation project involving a one-for-one exchange between the artist and the visitor. The artist offers up small, handmade talisman-like sculptures which resemble Japanese “netsuke”.  The visitors are given the simple instructions ” take something from the wall, leave something behind”.  Each instance of this project is shaped by the space and the community in which it is installed such that an identical proposal creates a unique experience and outcome. The items that remain behind at the end of the installation are photographed by the artist like commercial product shots, thus completing the cycle of consumption, trade and objectification. The product shots are published by the artist in an ongoing ‘zine project that in resembles a glossy luxury magazine.

Give & Take has been exhibited:

  • Elevate the Arts Festival, Courtney, BC (June 2014)
  • Artist Platform Series at the (e)merge art fair, Washington DC (22-25 Sept. 2011)
  • Artwalk, Vancouver Olympics 2010 Cultural Olympiad (February 2010)

INSTALLATION

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NETSUKE

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ABSTRACT

“Give & Take” is a participatory, site specific installation during which an orderly grid of identical objects placed on hooks are replaced by the personal effects of exhibition visitors. Visitors engage in a spontaneous and intimate performance with the installation in a public context. The strict, formally defined ecosystem as installed by the artist is allowed to evolve through human interaction. As a result, the environment transitions from a geometric, planned, hygienic “Modernist” environment to a chance-driven, spontaneously-generated “Populist” environment.

The project investigates the nature of participatory art works and human psychodynamics in response to a call for action and a permissive environment. In doing so, the reverential and expert role of the institution is subverted. Under query is the psychology of human engagement in learned situations based on rules and regulations attached to authority and civic order. The dynamics of commerce, commodification and the “honour system” are at play in the one-for-one exchange stipulated by this installation.

Finally, the artwork only fully reveals itself with the passing of time over the course of the “show” not only revealing but utilizing the visitor in the process of exhibition-making and therefore art-making.

“The presentation of visual art has typically been a static experience where the artifacts are presented after being removed from the artists studio. In such as way the art objects (artifacts) are already like taxidermy objects in a museum diorama.  As a visual artist I am very interested in exhibitions that develop over the course of the “show” and live in the dimension of time thereby revealing to the visitor the process of exhibition-making and therefore art-making. On some level perhaps the point of this project is to underscore the ultimate futility of attempts at “utopian” controlled environments for any extended period of time.”