What Are Our Supports: Re-grounding the Footnotes
DRIL Art Collective
Cathedral Square Park (Dunsmuir at Richards Street, Vancouver)
The surfaces we walk on and pass by contain stories – the residual and collective memories of a place. Sometimes stories are not told, but felt; sensory clues abound. For Re-grounding the Footnotes, DRIL Art Collective catalogues the surrounding urban area through frottage, mining surfaces and beneath for other narratives and pathways within. Transforming Boothy into a lightbox, these rubbings are reconfigured akin to stained-glass windows, offering unexpected and alternative ways of reading the city.
Buried within these ‘footnotes’ are an accumulation of residual histories, failed utopias, and potentials overlooked. Shifting perspectives from dominant narratives to the structures that quietly support, DRIL affirms the margins. In doing so, what do they discover? What else emerges? The imprints of past and current worlds may yet reveal something in their inverses; margins, footnotes and oblique views prove crucial in this re-examination. By gathering fragments of forgotten structures DRIL catalogues and memorializes a rapidly vanishing-reconstructing city, adding texture to our architectural amnesia. Fragmented patterns framed within cross-sections of surrounding architecture echo the spirit of Gothic Revival and its post-modern interpretations, recalling humanity’s own pattern in reaching to the past for insight. Their gesture is not nostalgic, but revisits questions of intent in aesthetic representation: how can representation convey social consciousness, shared values, and collective acts of creation? How can one read within aesthetics the indices of process and webs of relations – both human and human-material collaborations? What latent energies exist within the built environment, and how can invisible patterns be made present?
Friendship is a medium and often a condition of cultural practice: it is “a vital alliance, a sharing of acts and thoughts, an exercise in freedom.” As Celine Condorelli further describes, it is also a political act, “a specific model of relationship in the large question of how to live and work together – towards change, and as a way to act in the world." Re-grounding the Footnotes looks to render legible this process of praxis, accepting the gaps between current support structures and the future ones as-yet-unformed.
- Joni Low, Curator
What Are our Supports, a series of artists’ projects in public space by Emily Neufeld with Cease Wyss, Stacey Ho with Elisa Ferrari, DRIL Art Collective, and Khan Lee and Andrew Lee, is made possible through the generous support of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program.
For this project, we are especially thankful to Denbigh Fine Art Services, LocoMotoArts & IMAPON for their additional support.