FUSE Night Out at the Vancouver Art Gallery

On select Fridays nights, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts FUSE, which is an adult event featuring art, music and performances. The theme of last Friday’s FUSE was “Stuff”:

“FUSE gets objectified and explores collecting, material obsessions and everyday encounters. Join some of Vancouver’s most exciting artists for interpretations on the theme of Stuff.”

via Vancouver Art Gallery

Carolyn Jack from the VAG asked me if I’d like to live tweet FUSE and I said: YESSSSS!!!!!!! I’d love to!!!!

I’ve decided to recreate the experience of live tweeting for you. Some photos in this post are accompanied by tweets from last Friday. If you aren’t on Twitter, consider or re-consider signing up and following me @woodwardsmile and the Vancouver Art Gallery @VanArtGallery. Let’s tweet together!

I went to FUSE with one of my good friends, Marie (@Blizzardofice). Marie is the kind of person that remembers names, descriptions, times and layouts. Lucky Marie was with me! Performances were scheduled throughout the night and located in different areas of the VAG.  We checked out all the events, including all three sets of Veda Hille’s A Craigslist Canata, AND the current exhibitions. Yes, we were dashing around, weaving through the crowd and  going up and down the escalators all night. In truth, it was… SO MUCH FUN!

Some descriptive boards set up in the forecourt on the first floor.

Out Innerspace

Out Innerspace Dance Theatre and Film Society is a non-profit company with a mandate to develop contemporary dance in B.C. through creating innovative dance.

Out Innerspace performed a piece that was choreographed specifically by Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond for FUSE.

This video was taken at the 8:15pm performance and as you can see, the rotunda was packed with people! I watched people watch people.

Veda Hille, A Craiglist Cantata

Craigslist ads set to music. Veda Hille sings.

Marie and I, we adored Veda Hille! She is the reason we dashed around all night. We saw all three of her sets and went early to the second and third to get good seats.

Free Man’s Toupee

To the Surrey East Indian Lady Wearing Black and Black to Whom I Wave My Hand

By the third set, there was a HUGE crowd.

Alex MacKenzie, Accumulation

On the third floor, hanging in the middle of the rotunda, was a double sided screen that received images from two projectors, one from each end of the gallery. The content is found footage that is purposely defocused. I must admit, when I first read the description of this piece, I thought:  Oh, great. Not another piece of art that “resists” for “defies” meaning.

And yet, as the night went on, I began to see that the space, event, and people in attendance added meaning to this piece. It is easy to say that context gives art meaning; more challenging is explaining how that happens with specific pieces of art. I saw Accumulation at different times during the evening and from different angles because Marie and I were dashing around from place to place. Accumulation is interesting because for it to shine, it needed and used two things its environment provided: time and multiple vantage points.


Two 16 mm projectors illuminate opposite sides of a screen with defocused found footage. By Alex MacKenzie.

I first saw Accumulation as an isolated piece early in the evening when there were no people in the rotunda of the third floor (above).

As the evening progressed, people started hanging around the rotunda. The screens bearing unfocused shapes became a background and accentuated the people present. Shadows appeared on the screen that served as canvas. A man holds a camera up to film (in focus) that which is defocused. A couple contemplate their own shadows.

The rotunda is a perfect spot for Alex MacKenzie’s double sided projection of defocused found film.

Accumulation is situated between two escalators and the above photograph was taken on the escalator going up.  The effect of Accumulation on people and space was best observed while on an escalator, and at the moment the rotunda is visible between the columns, a brief span of three seconds.

View of Accumulation looking up from the second floor.  Shadows of heads are still visible on the screen.

People from the third floor peered down to the first floor. This is where Out Innerspace performed and later in the evening, the taiko group, Jodaiko (below).

Heidi Nagtegaal, The Headband Project

Heidi Nagtegaal has been making headbands and giving them away for 6 years.

“The mandate is simple: I make them myself and give them out at parties, gatherings, events, weddings, funerals, art openings, music shows (etc).  Everyone must have the opportunity to have one (but they don’t have to take one); and they can wear, decorate, collect, throw away or cherish their object, however they please” (2009)

via Heidi Nagtegaal

She has given over 10,000 headbands away and last Friday was the finale. There were clusters of headbands dangling in her exhibition space and people walking around the VAG handing them out.  By the end of the night, everyone was wearing a headband.

There was also a bowl full of bracelets made by Heidi Nagtegaal.

People (incl. me) are freaking out over bracelets made by Heidi Nagtegaal. Don’t be greedy. Take one only.

A small selection of knit bracelets curated by me.

Marie found the long, two toned turquoise-gray bracelet which is the one I love best. I plan to knit bracelets this winter. Wrists must be kept warm! And, it is the perfect accessory to wear if you need to be spotted quickly. For example when asking a question in a large crowd, or flagging a waiter or cab. The trick, of course, is to wear one with bright, gaudy colours.

New World Theatre, Hrothgar’s Stuff

I long for the days of the rotary phone.

Hogarth’s Stuff was an interactive theatre piece. There was improv lounge music by the Bank Dogs and free smoothies to stimulate audio and taste senses. The room was full of objects grouped together by themes. Upon entering, you are immediately visually struck by the vast array of collectible, vintage and wacky objects.

Match boxes in a tin. Little notes instructing people to open and touch objects.

Wooden doors arranged in a T-shape to create an intimate corner. These objects evoke a games room in a basement.

Found WOODWARD’S outdoor lights among Hrothgar’s Stuff!!!

Thanks to Marie who spotted these lights!

I had so much fun at FUSE.  Let’s go to the next one together?

Meet me by the hand grenade.

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2 Responses to FUSE Night Out at the Vancouver Art Gallery

  1. Chris November 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    ??? No comments? Well, let me be the first.

    I was unaware of FUSE at the VAG, it sounds and looks awesome. In my defense, I am of limited income and tend not to peruse the arts and entertainment sections much, in the Straight or other rags.

    Being a relatively uncouth troglodyte I won’t add much more than that to this post but keep up the good work Zoe, it’s obvious you put some passion and effort into this blog presentation and I’m surprised you haven’t gotten more of a response… to date.

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