No Vacancy Projects
Neighbourhood Watch: The rented house
29 O'Hara Ave, Main Floor
1:35min Video Animation
Sandra created this work over two years ago in response to a climate that we are all implicated in (and are presently still fighting). This projection on paper occupies the front room of 29 O"Hara showcasing a literal and metaphorical filling of space where we are stronger together.
"I was moved by the formations of protests that were happening in the US in response to the shootings of young Black people by police officers. And how young people responded here in Toronto, in like formation, organizing and showing their solidarity while bringing awareness to similar instances here.
In We Gather I am expressing my feelings of how the accumulation of people for a cause is thoughtful, beautiful, methodical, slow yet strong and dense and impactful and how it stays with me even when it has moved on." - Sandra Brewster
Installed on the front yard of 29 O'Hara Laura Moore reveals the connection between seeing, memory, and being - providing us with voyeuristic guides to welcome audiences and engage with this exhibition.
"The Memory Trees have an anthropomorphic quality; the two square USB holes assuming the role of eyes, peering around their newly created environment, encoding the landscape. Taken metaphorically, the sculptures offer a vision of the world as a computer in which everything is potentially connected and networked. Imagined at their original scale, the forms reference USB memory sticks – common portable devices that many of us trust to store key parts of our lives. In doing so, the works raise the question of housing and retaining memory." - Laura Moore
Kaya Joan's painting in the expanded field takes up the walls and floor of the main room showcasing that afro/indigenous happiness is a form of protest. This immersive installation adopts spiritual symbols/ characters from Kaya's own lineage as well as manifested by their practice.
"To be untangling self in a good way is to also be intentionally embracing all strands of the universe, weaving a path of abundance, joy and liberation. Weaving towards trusting and loving the multiplicities of all our selves, all our potential of being and becoming, the depth of our truths. Tending to self is also tending to the collective-the micro affects the macro, an endless relationship of fractals. Healing self is the most abundant gift we can offer to all who came before us, all who surround us, and all our future kin. So I feverishly untangle amongst the flux of universe, falling deeper in love with myself reflected in all my relations." - Kaya Joan
These cameras were made for watching
Site specific interactive video installation
Only viewable through the slated front door window, James' interactive video installation playfully tackles notions of surveillance balancing the intricacies between public and private.
"I was thinking about what a difference quarantine makes in how you present yourself to the world--especially when there were very little chances to do so. What changes when there is no one watching, observing, glancing, peeking, looking, surveilling (that you know of) for months on end? I wanted to explore the space between surveilling yourself and surveilling others. " - James Rollo
Performance - one night only August 29th at 8:00pm
Performing in the front bay windows of 29 O'Hara on the 29th of August is Cindy Baker providing us with a voyeuristic performance of privacy with the recreation of one of her dreams. The work tackles challenging notions of the personal becoming public and the vulnerability of being on display.
"My current practice focuses heavily on my ten-year catalogue of dreams, exploring the relationship between trauma, memory, and the body, building on past work and my ongoing interests in social systems and embodiment. I’m interested in the transformative potential in realizing my dreams, and the affective power of bringing something to life that once existed only as a memory of itself. It is an experiment in awe and wonder grounded in cynical acknowledgement of the possible. For me, the art lies in unpacking how I might be changed through this process, and how that might change my world.
1000 steps will be a stream-of-consciousness performance drawing from concrete images within one specific dream. This is that dream:
I dreamed I traveled to a performance festival to make a performance about walking 1000 steps, but it was really more about everyday life. During my performances, I mostly sat and had conversations with festival attendees, but sometimes I’d get on the treadmill they’d brought in specially for my performance. I was unsure of how it was going, and though it was supposed to be over once I’d walked a thousand steps, I knew I’d already walked tens of times more steps than that but was reluctant for it to be over because it didn’t yet feel resolved. The festival organizers and audiences seemed to think it was brilliant, but I was unsure. Mikiki was also performing at this festival, and we were both staying in Air BnBs in a large apartment building near the festival site. Andy was there but he spent a lot of time wandering around the city on his own when he wasn’t hanging out with Mikiki and I. While walking in the park one day, a friend and I witnessed a horrific crime in which a gang of bikers jumped a couple of women walking by and tried to beat them up. We intervened, even though we were in danger of being beaten ourselves. Luckily several other people came to our defense as well and the bikers backed off. The women had no idea why they’d been singled out and neither did we; the city’s inhabitants felt much less safe in the park after that, and I decided to complete my performance on the festival site rather than wandering through the unfamiliar city. Running concurrently with the festival was a fetish marathon; there were constantly hundreds of tall thin people in full body rubbersuits running around the city and especially around the apartment building we were staying in. During off hours, Mikiki and Andy and I would stand on the balcony and watch people run by; some had pig masks, some had dog masks, some had gas masks, and many had full coverage hoods. Mikiki often recognized people in the race and would run downstairs to greet them as they ran by; they always stopped, super excited to see him, and shared a joke and a warm embrace before continuing on. One time, Mikiki recognized a rubber couple who were getting married during the marathon, and they were so excited to see him that they stopped for an impromptu photo shoot in which Mikiki posed lewdly with one of the members of the wedding party. Mikiki and I spent lots of time alone in my apartment and his snooping through the belongings, scrounging for food, making peanutbutter toast and fabulous meals out of odds and ends, eating slabs of dark chocolate while he talked about his therapy and had me listen to the lengthy phone messages he’d left for his therapist, laugh-crying the whole time. I was sad when the end of the festival drew near, as I didn’t want to say goodbye. "
- Cindy Baker