(via Exclaim Magazine online)
Here’s something that showed up on our alerts: a video produced as part of Casey Wei’s Karaoke Video Maker Free Store residency last year is getting attention online. Here’s the finished video for “Population 101” by Glad Rags, directed by KC Wei, shot at her Karaoke Video Maker Free Store at UNIT/PITT , and recorded with Jesse Gander at Raincity Recorders in 2017.
There are only hours left to make a donation and get a charitable receipt for the 2017 tax year!
Here are some of the things we did in 2017, with the help and support of our community. We hope you’ll consider helping us out now for a successful 2018!
- We opened 2017 with Juan Cisneros’s epic wall drawings, done with crayons hand-made from wax and chili peppers, with an opening featuring a surprise performance by Los Dorados.
- In April we hosted Casey Wei’s intensive video residency and Karaoke Video Maker Free Store, which brought songwriters, bands, visual artists and everyone else into the gallery. Stay tuned for a future screening of some of the results.
- Jamey Braden’s SHE _____ THE _____ was more than an exhibition, with works appearing all around Vancouver as street posters during the late spring and early summer. There’s also an amazing book.
- During the summer, we hosted the School of Collaboration and Invention. A group of youth (16-20) spent six weeks talking and working, resulting in a one-day exhibition and performance event titled IMMIGRATION/AF.
- Gio Swaby’s We All Know Each Other opened in fall 2017. This series of stitched portraits became a focal point for discussions about racism and solidarity.
- Matthew Shields’s ever-shifting sculpture Papa Was A Garbage Man will be on until January 13 once we are back from our holiday closure.
- Through all of this, we hosted the Spectre of Fascism Free School (series I and II), a series of free talks by scholars and activists on the subject of the looming worldwide threat to freedom posed by the development of new authoritarian governments and repressive movements. We’re especially proud that our exhibitions and artists’ projects served as a backdrop for these discussions (and of the topical playlists developed by the Pitt’s Associate Director Jamie Ward). Thanks to the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University for bringing this series to us!
We did all of this and more with a budget that is tiny compared to many visual art institutions. In 2018 we’ll be moving more of our programming out of the gallery and into the streets, and moving our discussions beyond interesting ideas and into plans for action, and your support will help us bring new art and new ideas to even more people, and will make a difference to the early-career artists whose work is important for the future.
Your donation of $20 or $50 or $100 now makes a huge difference to us, to our artists, and to our audiences. And if you’re mostly broke (lots of the best people are!), please consider setting up a small monthly donation instead (you can cancel it at any time if it gets to be too much).
Thanks for your support!
For the past two years or so, our front door has featured the logo you see here: the U/P lettermark with the slogan “UNRULY CRITICALITY SINCE 1975”.
What the sign means is that the Pitt has always been looking for intelligent, critical ways to interpret and interact with the world around us, and we have done that in a way that is unpredictable, hard to control, sometimes messy and sometimes disagreeable. We’re not going to stop being that way, and we can do a lot more with the support of our community of artists, cultural workers, and people who care.
Please donate now. We know there are a lot of requests this time of year — many of them from organizations and cause that we support! — but your $20 or $50 or $100 will make a huge difference to us, and to the artists we work with, and to a growing audience that deserves access to new art and new ways of looking at the city around them. If you can’t afford that all at one, your $5 or $10 or $20 a month is even better, and it’s really easy to set up an automatic repeating donation (that you can cancel whenever you need to).
We have 42 years of this glorious, erratic, rebellious institution behind us. Please join us by showing your support now, and in the decades ahead.
For over 40 years now, the Pitt has been an indispensable starting point for the careers of artists and curators in Vancouver, has supported new and radical forms and ideas, has gotten involved in local issues in a unique, incisive, and often irreverent way. We do this with a relatively small amount of support from the City of Vancouver, the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council, and with a lot of support from artists and cultural workers and other people in our community who believe in what we do.
This year, we need your help more than before. The costs of maintaining our space at 236 East Pender, and making it available for exhibitions, events, talks, and of course for affordable studios, have risen dramatically and it is making it difficult for us to function. And we know everyone in our city has been struck by the same increases, so it’s difficult to ask our friends to help when they have no money in their pockets. We appreciate every donation or new membership we get, but we know that a year-end $500 or $200 may be beyond the means of many of our core supporters.
So instead of making a one-time donation this December, please consider setting up a monthly donation through our CanadaHelps page. It’s easy, just choose “Donate Monthly” and enter your details — you can cancel at any time if you need to. If you can afford $20 or $10 or even just $5 a month, every bit helps!
The song ‘The Politics of Dancing”, was released in 1983 by the British group Re:Flex. Analysis of the lyrics suggests a blurring of media lines, where “deejays become the new politicians” but the popular understanding behind it’s rallying cry is more that dancing is true democracy, able to bridge social divides. With this phrase in mind, we set out to politicize our own dance for the lecture series, “The Spectre of Fascism”, presented by SFU’s Institute for the Humanities.
When originally discussed with Samir Gandesha, facilitator of the series, the idea was of a salon of sorts; a weekly series of lectures by invited guests, followed by hopefully lively discussion, and a dance party. Because ultimately, what better way to resist the weight of the world, right?
But it turned out a simple dance mix was a lost opportunity to truly investigate the importance of music for social movements. We decided to dig deeper and try to create a soundtrack that might help to frame these discussions, and give sound to the conditions specific to each topic. Plus, it was a great way to further research and prepare for each lecture. Many of the playlists are topical, while some are focused on region. Some of the artists are presented for the persecution they endured, not necessarily for the political message of their music.
This series will continue through November 2017; the archive below will be updated after each lecture. Each playlist is titled by it’s corresponding lecture title.
Below, is a link to all the current playlists.
In July, a group of six artists between the ages of 16 and 20 started working together at the Pitt as part of the School of Collaboration and Invention (SOCAI). Through their discussions, they rapidly developed the concept for a one-day exhibition on the subject of immigration and migration, and we scheduled it for a weekend in August.
We didn’t know at the time that anti-immigrant and anti-refugee agitation would come to a head in such a dramatic way this summer. Obviously we could look around ourselves and see the massing of neo-nazi, white supremacist, anti-asian, and other despicable groups using lies about immigration as an issue to draw in gullible, angry followers. But at the time we scheduled IM/MIGRATION AF for Saturday, August 19, we didn’t foresee Charlottesville (just the week before), and anti-fascist groundswells in response to proposed racist rallies in several cities on the same day.
So this one-day show is effectively our response, deftly and intelligently composed by the participants of this summer’s SOCAI session, to the intolerance that is being promoted around us. Thanks to Jonathan Blessin, Lucas Chung, Sarah Kim, Tamsyn Kushner, Ashley Kusumoto, Wendel Vistan, and SOCAI organizer Lisa Novak. And congratulations to the many, many people who stood against hatred today.
We’re into summer now and about to take a break from gallery programming for a while, but if you missed Jamey Braden’s exhibition SHE _____ THE _____, there’s no need to despair! We’re keeping the show open for an extra week. Final day is no Saturday, July 8. UNIT/PITT is open noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
PS we don’t have AC but it’s actually cool in here!
We’re excited to be presenting screenings, an artist tour, and a book launch during Jamey Braden’s exhibition SHE _________ THE _________, which continues until July 1.
Wednesday, June 14, 7pm: Artist’s tour for UNIT/PITT members. Join Jamey Braden and Kay Higgins for a tour of the exhibition, and some bonus extras. To become a member, sign up here.
Friday, June 16, 7pm: A screening of Ulrike Meinhof’s sole film production, Bambule. Set in a prison for young women, the screenplay was written by Meinhof based on an earlier radio drama she had written, and produced as a film to be screened on West German television. prior to the screening date, Meinhof went underground with the Red Army Faction and the film was quietly shelved. Running time is 90 minutes, and admission is free.
Friday, June 23, 9pm: (**NOTE NEW TIME**) a screening of Variety, a 1983 film directed by Bette Gordon, with a screenplay by Kathy Acker (based on a story by Bette Gordon). A young woman takes a job selling tickets in a porn cinema and becomes discomfortingly involved in the lives of patrons. When Variety was initially released, it appeared as a dark, problematic counterpoint to the celebratory character of Lizzie Borden’s Born In Flames, which was also released that year. Running time is 97 minutes, and admission is free.
Friday, June 30, 7pm: Jamey Braden’s book launch. We will be launching an artist’s book, also titled SHE _________ THE _________, and we’ll also have a closing party of sorts for the end of the exhibition.
Also: Watch street kiosks in Vancouver for poster-sized works by Jamey Braden during the next few weeks.
More details will be coming soon!
If you haven’t seen Jamey Braden’s solo exhibition yet, here’s a quick spin through it, courtesy of UNIT/PITT board member Derrick Chang. The exhibition, titled SHE _____ THE ______ runs until July 1st, and our gallery is open noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. We’ll also be hosting some events that go with the show, so stay tuned for announcements.
One schedule note right away: the remaining sessions of the Spectre of Fascism Free School are being postponed until September 2017. Watch for an upcoming announcement on that too!