Carrall Street by Althea Thauberger

Carrall Street by Althea Thauberger


August 22, 2008

Althea Thauberger

September 30, 2008
8-11pm in the 200 block of Carrall Street, Vancouver

An Artspeak OFFSITE project,
curated by Melanie O’Brian

Althea Thauberger’s site-specific event will take place on the 200 block of Carrall Street in front of Artspeak Gallery.

Althea Thauberger’s one-night performance will present the street (brightly lit like a film set at nighttime) as a stage, or zone of illumination where the roles of participant and spectator blur. The interweaving of organized performers, random passers-by and audience members will allow for unforeseen interactions to take place, resulting in a destabilized form of community theatre that reveals the street’s history, its current successes and stresses, as well as its future.

Carrall Street is one of the oldest streets in Vancouver. It can be argued that the entire history (and pre-history) of the city can be mapped along it. Caught between urban gentrification and extreme decay, the 200 block of Carrall Street divides the most touristic part of the city from what is described as the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. Activity on the street is varied: hundreds of homeless people live in this area and thousands of tourists pass through it each day. It is frequented by activists, professionals, private security guards, addicts, hipsters, pub crawlers and business people. The area is home to social service organizations and community advocates, boutique businesses and condominiums, entertainment industries and arts organizations. Like many inner cities, it has been affected by development, public policy neglect and polarized politics. The film industry frequently uses the neighbourhood’s streets to represent generic urban centres. Although contemporary artists have a long history in the area, those who work publicly in the area are often perceived as interlopers.

The event Carrall Street is planned in collaboration with local theatre directors and community members with varied interests in the area. It will provide a platform for conflicting political positions and present possibilities for reflection on familiar, deadlocked issues.

A public forum on the event will take place October 2, 2008 at 33 West Cordova Street.

A publication accompanying the project will be available in 2009.

Althea Thauberger is an artist based in Vancouver. Her work involves research and collaboration with a group or community that result in performances, films, videos, audio recordings and books. Thauberger gravitates towards social enclaves perpetuated by coercive and voluntary social controls. She has worked with members of a linguistic minority in a small valley in Northern Italy, San Diego military wives, Canadian tree planters, male youth in the German civil service and residents of a low-income building in Victoria.

Thauberger’s work has been presented at Manifesta 7, Trento, Itlay; The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2008; BAK, Utrecht, 2007; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2006; Singapore History Museum, 2006; Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, 2005; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, 2005; Berkeley Art Museum, 2005; Insite, San Diego/Tijuana, 2005. Later this year she will participate in the Gaungzhou Triennial, China, and will be travelling to Canadian Forces Base Kandahar, Afghanistan to make a new work with soldiers stationed there.

Artspeak is a non-profit artist run centre established in 1986. Artspeak presents contemporary practices, innovative publications, talks and events that encourage a dialogue between visual art and writing. From September 2008 to September 2010, Artspeak is going OFFSITE, taking artist projects outside the gallery to the street, airwaves and other alternative sites in Vancouver and beyond. OFFSITE will include performances, public projects, speaker series and collaborations that engage with innovative strategies of production. At the same time, Artspeak’s gallery space is transforming into a venue for publications, printed matter, readings and dialogue.

This project has been supported by Arts Partners in Creative Development, The Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and the Portland Hotel Society.

233 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2J2 Canada


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August 22, 2008

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