Local is an exhibition of 22 Vancouver artists curated by The Apartment in collaboration with Fillip Magazine.

Abbas Akhavan, Kim Kennedy Austin, Raymond Boisjoly, Colleen Brown, Sabine Bitter, Barb Choit, Andrew Dadson, Jason Fitzpatrick, Jacob Gleeson, Andrew Herft, Jeremy Hof, Cameron Kerr, Jeff Khonsary, Jacquie Leggatt, Sara Mameni, Brad Phillips, Sylvain Sailly, Igor Santizo, Jeremy Shaw, Kika Thorne, Ron Tran, Jen Weih.

Local is an exhibition of 22 Vancouver artists curated by The Apartment in collaboration with Fillip. The exhibition will inhabit Fillip’s office for a week and directly responds to the studio’s location at the corner of Cambie and Cordova Steets in Vancouver. As a commentary on current artistic practice and discourse in Vancouver, Local acknowledges the city’s history of regionally reflective exhibition making. Local is meant to be a part of this history and contribute to the ongoing discourse.

Vancouver is recognized world wide as a city for rigorous art making informed by a rich history of research and concept driven practices. The artists included in Local are active participants in this conversation. Local is an opportunity to bring these artists work together in a physically engaged public dialogue.

The project responds to the exhibition site. Gastown is the center of fast and furious gentrification. It is the living room of Vancouver’s disenfrancised, densely populated with drug trafficing on streets inhabited with newly established designer boutiques and restaurants. The economic struggle of these conflicting service economies is clearly visible on Cordova Street where the impoverished try to find shelter in the doorways of developments that will inevitably push them out. Although this conflict is not the central paradigm of all the art in Local, an interest in the street as subject, site-specific projects, and sculpture that incorporates the material reality of this place permeate the exhibition. Economic inequality and the systems of capital are common preoccupations in Vancouver art and Local emphasizes these investigations within this specific context.

The art in Local is also literally localized. The works were selected to express an engagement with the present tense, the here and now. The artists in Local centralize the individual subjects of their work in the present by choosing common materials directly at hand, organizing relational projects that place the viewer in the work, and process-based projects that express their time and activity in form. These projects are rich in political and economic critique, raising questions around the import of artist labour and the value of their social antagonism.

The opening of Local is held in conjunction with the Vancouver launch of Five Broadsides, an edition produced by Fillip in collaboration with The Apartment featuring newsprint posters by Fia Backström, Andrew Dadson, Matthew Higgs, Colter Jacobsen, and Frances Stark. For more information see http://fillip.ca.

Image: Sara Mameni, The Poster Project.