Self-Indulgence at this Time is Helping the Enemy

self-indulgence… but we’re going to ask you to indulge us briefly to read this message.

This is a plea for your support. You’re going to get a lot of these in the next month or so, from a lot of different organizations, who all need your support. If you’re inclined, please consider a one-time or monthly donation to UNIT/PITT, so that we can continue supporting new and underexposed artists, so that we can keep our studio rents low, so that we can continue to pay artists fairly, and so that the Pitt can keep going well past its 41st year. It’s easy to donate to us through CanadaHelps.

We realize that there are a lot of worthy organizations and causes out there that need your support too. This is why we’re asking you to contribute to a group that is doing valuable work in our neighbourhood, the Overdose Prevention Society. Please consider dividing whatever you were going to donate, so that part of your support goes to the Pitt and part of it goes to ODS (we think 50/50 would be good, but it’s up to you).

Every little bit helps. If you have twenty bucks, we’re not going to turn our noses up at it, or half of it, and neither will they. We’re all under fire here from austerity, gentrification, looming environmental and societal disaster, and the culture-war fallout from the US election, and we appreciate you standing with us.

Don’t aid the enemy. Donate now. Donate now to UNIT/PITT. Donate now to Overdose Prevention Society.

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Musik Klub 5: Culture War! Edition

screen-shot_MusikKlub5Thank you to all of you who joined us for the riveting premiere of Musik Klub’s second season, beginning with the Culture War! Edition. Stay tuned for upcoming screenings featuring a number of themes attempting to make some sense of current times. In the meantime, check out the playlists compiled by Jamie Ward below.

“For this screening, we’ll get in the the mud as the US scrambles towards election, Britain sweats out its EU referendum, and Europe’s nerves tingle from a rise in far right politics. Misogyny, authoritarianism, racism…we’ve smelled it before, and risen up in kind. Tonight we’ll look at how music and video in the waning days of the Cold War gave voice to radicalized frustration, creating new models for resistance and new visions for hope, boiled up in wicked fashion. Music is the answer, music is our saviour.”



Past Editions: Musik Klub: TV Party Edition, Musik Klub 2: Selectors Special Edition, Musik Klub 3: Phase Induction Edition, and Musik Klub: Good Times Ahead Edition with Penny Jo Buckner.

MUSIK KLUB is a video screening series organized and hosted by Jamie Ward and is intended to use the music video as a vehicle for critique, but with a nod to the tradition of classic variety hours such as Beat Club, Old Grey Whistle Test, Top Pop & Musikladen. Video performances are sourced from a variety of international television music programs, scopitones and promotionals broadcast or created between 1965 & 1995. Come out, drink refreshing beverages, hang with friends and listen to (and watch) some great music. Ends early so you can keep the night going; it’s like happy hour for adventurous music & video fan-fiends.

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Final days of Joseph Staples: Garden of Paradise

Garden of Paradise 02

There are less than two weeks left to see Joseph Staples’ exhibition, Garden of Paradise. Come by now through October 22 to watch Staples’ series of mesmerizing, collaged GIFS.

UNIT/PITT Projects is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5pm at 236 East Pender Street. See you soon!

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Fall 2016 at the Pitt starts on Friday, September 9

Garden of ParadiseWe’re now mostly recovered from the intense year of programming that was the 2055 Project, and this summer’s T.A.Z. and Chinatown Maps events, and we’re getting ready to launch another year of exhibitions, talks, screenings, and everything else.

We’re starting fall 2016 with Joseph Staples: Garden of Paradise, a compelling and strange exhibition of video loops, curated by Associate Director Jamie Ward. It will be opening during the latest edition of SWARM, a city-wide festival of artist-run culture.

The opening is not the only thing we’re doing on Friday the 9th. SWARM can be busy and sometimes loud, so instead of a loud, frantic after party, we’re inviting you to come to the Pitt after 10 to UNSWARM with music by Zen Finger and Hazy, as we turn our exhibition space into decompression zone.

Later in the fall we’ll be presenting the just-announced exhibition Atrum Fortuna by the artists of Corbin Union, and we’ll be announcing our schedule of other events as they get closer. For now, we’ll see you on September 9th.

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Looking back at 2055

2015-16 was UNIT/PITT’s 40th anniversary. At various points in its history, it seemed unlikely that the Pitt would survive to see its 40th year. (And if you want to know more about all of that, Allison Collins wrote a great recap of our history back in 2012.) Since we had already looked back at the Pitt’s history, we decided to do something different, and start with the premise that we weren’t marking an end-point of 40 years, but a mid-point on the way to the Pitt’s 80th year in 2055.

Exhibitions and programs for this year were put together by a temporary curatorial team: Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Kay Higgins, Abbey Hopkins, Brynn McNab, Catherine de Montreiul,  Gabriel Saloman, Jamie Ward, and Zebulon Zang. Artists who participated in exhibitions, panels, music nights, and talks included Elaine Carol, Elliot Heintzmann, Joël Doyle, Eli Zibin, Curtis AuCoin, Terry Hunter, Cecily Nicholson, Michael Clague, Andrea Creamer, Laiwan, Brady Cranfield, Rachel and Sarah Seburn, Pietro Sammarco, The Rita, Graeme Wahn, Monique Levesque, Cole Nowicki, Alison Braid, Alyssa Dusevic, Jordan Abel, bill bissett, Danielle LaFrance, Donato Mancini, sidony o’neal, Anahita Jamali Rad, The Third Thing, Alana Gerecke, Alexa Mardon, Jacquelyn Ross, Carolina Bergonzoni, Justine Chambers, Alex Mah, Lee Su-Feh, Evann Siebens, Hong Kong Exile, Deanna Peters, Justin Langlois, Penny Jo Buckner, Matt Hern, Mark DeLong, Dream the Combine, M. Rattray & Eloise, Skeena Reece, prOphecy sun, Irwin Oostindie, and possibly some others I’m missing right now. Contributors of material to the Limited Time Library project included Brit Bachman, Brick Press, Tommy Chain, Gabi Dao, Stefana Fratila, Steffanie Ling, Emma Metcalfe-Hurst, Lauren Lavery, Cole Nowicki, Jeff O’Brien, Penny Library, Lyndsay Pomerantz, Dan Pon, Jasmine Sacharuk, Ellis Sam, Graeme Wahn, Tom Whalen, and SP Yoon. We would also like to thank Bridgette Badowich, who was doing a co-op with us during much of this madness.

Our audience was bigger than ever before: counting web-based projects and Monique Levesque’s 6-week-long public art project, our audience was probably more than 20,000 people. But we also call something a success if a dozen people show up for a really productive discussion about the how artist-run communities relate to the other communities around us, which is what happened with the Art and Community Reading Group series.

After a bit of a break, we will be changing a few things for fall 2016 and beyond — the day the Pitt stops changing and gets predictable is the day we might as well find jobs selling real estate.


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Why Am I Afraid To Love hits the streets of Vancouver

why-am-i-afraid-to-love-in-situ-detailStreet posters, up until end of February
Artist’s talk and Valentine’s Day reception, Saturday February 13, 7pm
Installation in UNIT/PITT Reading Room until February 27

If you’re seeing some intriguing messages on your local poster kiosk, there’s an explanation. Monique Levesque’s work Why Am I Afraid To Love? is now available for viewing all around Vancouver, at random times and places, as part of the rough-and-tumble rotation of posters that season our urban landscape.

The project, curated by independent curator and writer Brynn McNab, opens the artist’s personal journals and texts to the public, producing a bracing collision of intimacy and anonymity.

Why Am I Afraid To Love? is also on view in the reading room of UNIT/PITT Projects, where the artist and curator will host a Valentine’s Day party and artist’s talk on Saturday, February 13 at 7pm; the Pitt will also publish a book version of Why Am I Afraid To Love?, available at the event.

Monique Levesque was raised in the Canadian prairies by two people whose love story has proved impossible to live up to, or replicate. In 2011 Levesque acquired a BFA from Emily Carr University. Working in alignment with the history of performance in various media, she has since dedicated her work to the pursuit of the romantic comedy.

Brynn McNab graduated with a BFA in Critical and Cultural Studies from Emily Carr University by way of Film Production from NSCAD University. Since then, her work has included writing, curating and editing, including the relaunch of ISSUE magazine in 2014. She is currently interested in an expanded field of writing, which incorporates casual correspondence and co-production.

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January at UNIT/PITT: Graeme Wahn, Monique Levesque, Musik Klub 3

january-2016We’re getting ready to start 2016 at UNIT/PITT. Look for Graeme Wahn’s exhibition Mother Hastings Time Capsule, opening Friday, January 15; Monique Levesque’s public project Why Am I Afraid To Love?, beginning at the same time and building up to a reception on February 13; and a new edition of Musik Klub on Friday, January 8.

All events are at UNIT/PITT, 236 East Pender Street. You can bring your friends. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5pm, tuesday through Saturday, starting on the 16th.

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Why you should donate to the Pitt, part two

Donate Now Through!Your donation — whether it is a monthly sustaining donation, or a one-time donation of any size — will help the Pitt show and support new, unknown, and under-acknowledged artists well into the future.

The Pitt has supported new artists and new ideas for 40 years now. We’re governed and run by artists, and committed to supporting critical inquiry, early-career and under-appreciated artists, and creating space for wild and unexpected fusions between visual art, music, dance, literature, and the world around us.

We depend on our community — artists, cultural workers, activists, and everyone else — for our survival. Every donation, whether it’s in the hundreds or thousands, or the five or ten dollars you can spare, makes a difference. Please donate now — your donation before midnight on January 31st will help reduce your 2015 taxes, and it will help ensure that we’ll be around for another 40 years.

Thank you for you help.

Unruly Criticality

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Why you should donate to the Pitt

Donate Now Through!

Your donation — whether it is a monthly sustaining donation, or a one-time gift of any size — will help the Pitt show and support new, unknown, and under-acknowledged artists well into the future.

This has been a great year for UNIT/PITT. This fall was the 40th anniversary of the day in 1975 that students from the Vancouver School of Art rented the premises of a defunct shoe store in the main floor of the Avalon Hotel and founded the Helen Pitt Gallery. We have been through a lot of changes and transformations in four decades, and there were many people who never expected the Pitt to survive. It has been six years now since we were declared dead, and today we’re not only up and running, but bigger and more vital than before.

The Pitt has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation for providing opportunities for artists at the beginning of their careers, for opening the door to new practices and new ideas, and for showing work that for whatever reason is not getting the attention it really deserves.

Take a look at the past year:

A career survey of the work of Elizabeth Fischer, a talented, intelligent, sharp, and under-appreciated Vancouver artist, would never have happened without the Pitt.

An Exact Vertigo, an innovative cross-disciplinary collision of dance, choreography, text, and visual culture provided space for a dialogue and performance that you won’t find anywhere else.

As always, we took chances on early-career artists, with exhibitions like Joël Doyle: It’s a long way from the wishbone to the backbone, The Facility for Consideration, Cultivating Equilibrium, and of course Rachel & Sarah Seburn: We Should Take Below – The Gambling Splinter. We also supported artistic risk-taking in projects like and Limited Time Library, and new critical ideas through ISSUE Magazine, the Musik Klub series, KSW’s Projector Verse series, and the recent Vancouver Noise and the Harmoniously Productive City.

While we were doing this, we kept on providing affordable space for artists and organizations in our building.

Donate Now Through!

Broke right now? Consider a small monthly donation.

Your donation — no matter what size — has a bigger effect than you might think. Every little bit you give us now helps us make sure there will be another 40 years of artists, projects, and critical ideas that you will find here first. Every little bit of support we get from our community shows those people who would like to see us shut down that we’re here to stay.

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Tonight – a sort of closing party, and launch of ISSUE #6

gambling splinter installation viewTonight at 7pm, join us for the launch of the latest ISSUE Magazine, and a closing-of-sorts for Rachel and Sarah Seburn’s We Should Take Below: The Gambling Splinter.

issue-6-and-bartlebyThe first 40 copies of ISSUE also include a fresh, new-look Bartleby Review. And in case you can’t make it tonight, the exhibition will be open until Saturday, December 19 at 5pm. After that, we’ll be closing until January — we’ll be announcing our January events very, very soon.

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