Catalina Tuca, The Sensitive Project, 2020 & ongoing, installation Courtesy of the artist and Contemporary Calgary


Contemporary Calgary, Calgary, AB - To May 22

by Michael Turner

The World Health Organization’s declaration of the novel coronavirus pandemic on March 11, 2020 set off a range of responses affecting every aspect of daily life. But for every closure there was an opening, a new pathway, often with a view to structural problems (patriarchy, enslavement, unequal access to resources) that have plagued humankind since time immemorial – not only in our daily life, but in the way artists bring that life to light. Contemporary Calgary takes this “rerouting” as the basis of its current exhibition.

Faced with the pandemic-induced suspension of its residency program, Contemporary Calgary was among the first arts organizations to offer a virtual alternative. Its Collider: In-Residence Artist Residency asked participants to “draw parallels between their own studio practices and today’s need to observe social distance and self-isolation.” Guiding this inquiry was the question, “Can creative practices build bridges and pave new roads in the making of congruous interactions and harmonious living?”

Now, two years later, the Collider residency is an exhibition featuring 12 artists from around the world working in digital and online modes, sculpture, performance and social practice. Of note is Catalina Tuca’s participatory work The Sensitive Project (2020), which invites interested parties to describe their emotions online. These emotions are then given shape by a team of designers; some are realized as videos while others take 3-D form and, in certain instances, can be held. Rerouting also features work by Laura Anzola & Matthew Waddell, Orsolya Gal, stephanie mei huang, Vishal Kumaraswamy, Yotam Peled, Dawn Weleski, Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky, Huidi Xiang and Cherrie Yu.

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