Fountain: the source or origin of anything

When 27 Mar 2014 - 27 Mar 2015
Where The Wall at the CBC Plaza
700 Hamilton Street
Vancouver V6B 5N6

Opening reception: Thursday, March 27, 12nn–1pm

Fountain:the source or origin of anything is a public art installation and parallel interactive web project by Laiwan, produced in collaboration with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, JJ Bean, and CBC Radio-Canada.

The reception will feature performances by Andrew Lee’s musical project Holy Hum, an assortment of sweets, and a special offering from JJ Bean for the first 50 guests. A complimentary printed brochure with a curatorial essay by Joni Low will also be available.

About the work:

Selected by the artist from the CBC’s analogue media archive, the installed image is a frame from the 16mm film Summer Afternoon (1956), which follows the adventures of two children near Keefer and Columbia Streets along the northern shores of False Creek – areas that have since been filled in as land. The openness of this moment – of easy access to water, sightlines to a distant shore, and reflection of boats floating beneath the Old Georgia Viaduct – mirrors a space of extended imagination, a fluidity of consciousness.

Laiwan’s poetic lines, inspired by and sourced from the B.C. Government’s ‘Glossary of Water Quality Terms’, carries the image to yet another place, traversing her chance discovery of rare and curious words and the sensations they inspire.The image’s grainy aesthetic, its inclusion of the film’s sprocket on the left edge and jagged wave of audio signal on the right, acknowledge older analogue technologies. Though revived from the archive, Fountain does not exist within nostalgia of any specific place, but conjures a respect to a history of relationships, of past architecture and past horizons, inviting us to revel in our present experience within a city heightened by an added awareness and depth of context.

Laiwan’s parallel web project extends the exploration of fluidity throughout the city, bringing together the oral and natural histories of nearby communities. This virtual public space, a communal archive, is open for all to contribute, to create a shared flow of ideas over time.

LAIWAN is an artist, writer and educator recognized for her interdisciplinary practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Her practice investigates embodiment through performativity, audio, music, improvisation, and varieties of media, along with bodily and emotional intelligence, so as to unravel and engage presence. She teaches in the MFA Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College (Washington State, USA) and is current Chair of the Board of Directors at grunt gallery (Vancouver).

The Wall is a public art initiative made possible through a partnership between Vancouver Heritage Foundation, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and CBC Radio-Canada. The 2014 project has received additional support from this year’s participating arts organization, Centre A. Every year a new artist is selected by The Wall Advisory Committee.

This web project will debut on March 27th. Please check Facebook page for the link.

Photo credit: Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

For more information, please click here.