Other ‘Scrap Shack’ 5x8x22′ Mixed Media, 2009
Role: Guest Curator
“…Like the homeless, OTHER relies a great deal on the waste of the wealthy. Wherever he goes, whatever city he’s in, he gathers most of his art materials from picking through the garbage that lines cities streets and alleyways. As we talked, he packaged the sides of a little house, built from scrap, to prepare it to go into the ROM. (It was part of a heating process intended to kill bugs. If his work carried any aggressive insects into the ROM from the street, they could wreak havoc on the ROM’s other collections.) While he prepped the panels, he explained that he gathered the materials to build the little house from the streets of Montreal over a one-month period: “Montreal is insane. People throw out so much garbage. Like a perfectly good bicycle with a flat tire.”“In Japan, you find the best metal. All their posters are made out of aluminum because they have so much excess metal, but they don’t have any wood because they don’t want to cut down the last forests. When my friend and I were in Tokyo for two weeks, we slept outside. We just slept in between houses. And everybody knows that cardboard is, like, the best insulator. If you don’t want to sleep on hard cement, it’s the best thing ever; it’s the warmest. It actually keeps in the heat you release. In every other city in the world it seems that cardboard is completely abundant, but in Japan, the homeless will fight you for cardboard. We were at a subway station and we found some. We pulled it out and these homeless guys ran up to us, threw their fists in the air, and were ready to take us out!” As well as having spent the occasional night on the street, OTHER has also had a short experience with true homelessness. “I lived on the street for four months in Europe…. I didn’t have a home the whole time. I went with, like, one hundred dollars for four months. I slept in bushes, hitchhiked, hopped trains, stole food.”But OTHER sees nothing romantic about the homeless lifestyle…”
Continue reading at:http://torontoist.com/2009/02/questions_and_other_answers.php
This exhibition was a distillation of the spontaneity, spirit of collaboration, accessibility and social consciousness from which street art has emerged. Housepaint at the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the ROM was the first exhibition of street art in a major Canadian museum, an open-ended exhibition and experiment. Through the run of the exhibition, every month-and-a-half another street artist was invited to respond and add to the canvas houses from Tent City and the previous art work in the sequence — layering the exhibition with meaning and building organic connections between the works.
The exhibition also included seven months of community programming, lectures, workshops and outreach to sustainable housing stakeholders. At the end of the exhibition, the canvas houses were auctioned for Habitat for Humanity Toronto.
Starship / Gene Pendon (HVW8) | Specter / Gabriel Reese | Royal / Juan Carlos Noria | Other / Derek Shamus Mehaffey | Lease / Lisa Mansfield | Fauxreel / Dan Bergeron | Evoke / Patrick Thompson | Elicser Elliot | EGR / Erica Gosich Rose | Dstrbo / Dan Buller (HVW8) | Case / Ryan Mackeen | Cant 4 / Amanda Marie
Housepaint Artist Products @ Well and Good | Next | Sketch | Toronto Disaster Relief Coalition | CONTACT 2008 | Dying For A Home: Homeless Activists Speak Out, by Cathy Crowe | Woolfitts Fine Art Supplies | Manifesto Community Projects | Now Magazine | Luminato | Habitat for Humanity Toronto | Royal Ontario Museum | Institute for Contemporary Culture\Subtext: Real Stories