REVIEW: Through a Window: Projections at the Perel

Denise Ryner | september 25, 2015

On the busy, but warm and clear, evening of Friday, September 11, Vancouver’s artist run centres celebrated the second evening of SWARM16, and the Audain Gallery opened the SFU MFA Graduating Exhibition featuring Lucien Durey, Curtis Grahauer and Jaime Williams. Tied into these events, a significant site in the history of Vancouver’s artist run culture and visual arts studies at SFU was highlighted during two hours of artist performances and video projections.

Just after 8pm a small crowd gathered as SFU alumna Casey Wei climbed a bench in front of the Woodward’s building West Hastings street entrance to perform in front of HAIR (2015), a text-based work referencing an earlier Hastings Street project by Ken Lum. Casey’s work was projected from the windows of 112 West Hastings street, the former Perel Building, an address that once housed SFU visual art department studios as well as incarnations of the Or Gallery, Artspeak and the now defunct Perel Gallery.

Casey’s guitar riffs floated up Hastings Street beyond the output of her smoke machine and drew the curious in.

By 8:30pm the images flickering across the Perel building’s windows switched to the film noir scenes and documents that SFU alumna Cindy Mochizuki edited into a murder mystery. The audience pulled in closer to hear her dialogue about memory that addressed the events of the WWII-era internment of Japanese Canadians in Hastings Park. This site was known as a ‘Manning Pool’ and Cindy’s work Wake (2006) evoked this in black and white montages.

The crowd shifted. Some moved on and others arrived to watch successive screenings of Wake and a second performance of HAIR. Then everything ended just before 10pm and less than an hour later, the street resumed its regular Friday night rhythms.

For more information on Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965–2015 click here.

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