XXIX IS IN DEVELOPMENT: If you are interested in participating in the development of this project please contact me.
XXIV is a public participatory art installation. It is a sculptural and experiential artistic interpretation of the 24 concentration camps constructed across Canada between 1914 and 1920 for the internment of over 8000 Ukrainians, Croats, Poles, Austrians, Bosnians, Czechs, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks, Syrians, Germans, Turks, Romanians, Bulgarians, and Armenians, of which 5000 were Ukrainians.XXIV is designed and constructed for the pathway of a wooded outdoor public park. The work consists of 24 equidistant sculptural portals of timber and barbed-wire which people walk-through, a metaphor of entry into each of the camps. Each portal stands 4.5-metres high and spans an average width of 1.5-metres. Though repetitive in form and structure, each portal will be made-up of assemblages created by public participants and inspired by the memories of those interned, which will be secured and layered upon the actual portal posts. The forward movement of the public throughout the installation is meant to evoke the displacement and marching of many as they approach each portal and engage in the viewing, reading and touching of XXIV. At dusk, a glowing light will emerge from the tops of all the portals to elicit a sense of homage.
A Call for Participation would go out to all the communities whose sense of heritage was affected by internment, inviting them to participate in a creative process that would include researching correspondences, journals, images, drawings, carvings, clothes/food-making, souvenirs, etc. belonging to those interned. Since each of the portals will represent one of the camps, participants will have the opportunity to decide which camp/portal they would prefer to explore. Through a workshop process and supporting design manual, participants would transpose their research about their selected camp into a created or found element that would be incorporated into an artistic assemblage for that camp/portal, which would represent the zeitgeist of the camps, the creativity of the participants and the experience through which the public would pass.
My goal is to bring an immediacy and awareness to those who were interned, mostly civilians from every walk of life, who, for no other reason than being from a linguistic culture, were interred for up to six years, for suspicion of being an enemy of the state.
ARTS EDUCATION LAB:
As with previous artworks, we would notify and invite schools to participate in our arts education lab. Students would develop a miniaturized version of XXIV’s portals and assemblages within their classroom in collaboration with our team of arts education lab leaders who would visit the participating schools and introduce the project, provide a XXIV Student Workbook and monitor the overall progress in conjunction with the teachers. The students would also be invited to visit the public participatory workshop and XXIV at its outdoor site.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PARTNER ON THIS PROJECT OR HELPING OUT IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER, PLEASE CONTACT US.