ART SEEN: Housing takes centre stage in four Metro Vancouver exhibitions

The latest statistics show that it now takes 88 per cent of household income to pay for a mortgage, property taxes and utilities in Metro Vancouver. It’s yet another report – this one from RBC – confirming what everyone knows: that we’re in the midst of an ongoing and escalating housing crisis.

As everyone tries to deal with the local real estate mania, three art galleries in the region have separately organized four different exhibitions about housing. While the exhibitions don’t directly address the current housing situation, at least two of them do indirectly explore alternatives to traditional housing models.

One exhibition in particular stands out: The Blue Cabin show at grunt gallery.

In part that’s because I’ve followed and written stories about its restoration/remediation by Jeremy and Sus Borsos. The grunt show is the culmination of both their physical labour in renewing the cabin and their conceptual ideas about putting that work into context.

Against all odds, the Borsos have made what is essentially a major renovation project of a squatter’s shack into something that connects to bigger issues such as the precariousness of housing in Metro Vancouver. They’ve also made it a surprising visual experience that marries craft and concept.

You see that in the shell of a structure on the left as you enter the gallery. Between the studs on glass shelves are some of the many items of different shapes, colours and textures salvaged from the cabin. They include push pins, marbles, nails, hinges and numerous wasp nests.

The Blue Cabin diorama by Jeremy Borsos. It was taken for the catalogue for the Blue Cabin Exhibition by Jeremy Borsos and Sue Borsos at grunt gallery, June 15, to July 28, 2018. [PNG Merlin Archive]

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The Blue Cabin diorama is in the Blue Cabin Exhibition by Jeremy Borsos and Sus Borsos at grunt gallery to July 28. Photo: Jeremy Borsos

Go around to the end, however, for the main attraction. You can look through one of three knotholes in a damaged piece of wood from the cabin. Inside is a diorama of The Blue Cabin. It’s a miniature scale model, lit from the inside to make it look warm and inviting. It moves gently from side to side, as if floating on

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment


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