Sharona Franklin, Tellurian Dinner. Installation view at Audain Gallery as part of The Pandemic is a Portal, 2020. Photos: Rachel Topham Photography.

Sharona Franklin: Tellurian Dinner

Presented as part of The Pandemic is a Portal

To be tellurian is to be terrestrial, and in being so, to be a thread in a network of relations that reaches to every crevice of the earth. Tellurian Dinner (2020) is a site-specific installation that reflects on nonlinear systems of healing. Proposing instead that interconnectivity, community and symbiosis are core to algorithms of care, Franklin’s installation observes and venerates connections that are first and foremost of the earth. In the dramaturgy of the project, the promise of Tellurian Dinner as a shared experience of gathering is withheld. What other forms might communion take, whom else might we hold in common, and how can each individual body and sentience serve another? Composed of salvaged botanicals, pharmaceutical elements and construction-site remnants, melded together with animal-derived gelatin, the dinner settings are left to decompose over the span of the exhibition, marking a temporality in relation to both human consumption and biological processes.

The installation features five large posters. A word document with the poster text is available here:

Tellurian Dinner is installed in the windows of Audain Gallery. Respecting DTES Response guidelines to refrain from visiting the Downtown Eastside, this project is intended to be experienced primarily by those who make their lives in the neighbourhood. Others are invited to experience the project through photographic documentation, above, and verbal description, below.

This described tour of Tellurian Dinner is also offered as a point of access for people who are blind, people who live with vision loss or sighted folks who are interested in how meaning is made from looking.

This tour is designed and delivered by Stephanie Bokenfohr, an independent producer focused on performance and access. Sound editing by Eric Emery.

Sharona Franklin is a multidisciplinary disabled artist, writer and activist who has been based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her work explores radical therapies, cybernetic craft, bio-ritualism, ecology, pharmacological, and social interdependence. Franklin’s practice coalesces discourses of disability, gender, class, and bio-citizenship into new kinds of mythologies. Through ontological study that utilizes natural, salvaged, biodegradable, and digital media, her work invites viewers to experiment with the links between knowledge production and healing methodologies.

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