SpaceSeries is a roving gallery that occupies spaces in their moment of transformation. It provides a platform for artists and architects to reimagine, augment, twist and manipulate the existing spaces to build and express their creative impulses. In its third edition, Divadale Project is taking place in a suburban house near Bayview and Eglinton.
In the 1990’s a group of students in Italy, going by the name of Stalkers, began navigating the empty spaces within Rome in the tradition of the Situationists. In their descent to the underbelly of Rome they came across the uncanny, the marginal and the forgotten physical and social landscape of the city. In the contemporary history of urban living exploration has become a device of owning the chaos and integrating its oddities. The ensuing act of appropriation of these sites and their rearrangement, in appearance and function, is an act of bravery, an ambition to express oneself in the density of the metropolis and reclaiming forgotten spaces. They can be alternatively understood as romantic acts of citizenship in the age of digitization of culture.
In the third edition of SpaceSeries Divadale Project is an art event that is taking over a destitute property before its demolition. It is a terrain vague that is given a new definition by the concentration of works created by artists who are recognized for their sharp and witty expressions. Sean Martindale, Pascal Paquette, Cindy Blažević and PA System, each represent, make and narrate slices of Toronto’s urban landscape in form of graffiti, murals, sculpture and photography. They are individuals who are literally and conceptually painting and making the visual iconography of Toronto’s urban culture, but they are also emblematic of the cultural renaissance that the city is going through as its massive army of condos grow in numbers and heights. In Divadale Project they have treated the house no different than found surfaces of the city they usually work with and took advantage of every possible architectural element as a blank canvas.
The vivid and energetic expressions of works created inside the abandoned site of 82 Divadale were created over a four months period and in an ad-hoc model. Some are inspired by real life events, others are spontaneous reaction to the space or the narration of personal histories. In the spirit of urban exploration, we are inviting everyone to a night of trespassing at 82 Divadale Drive on February 28, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to experience a piece of suburban Toronto unleashed.
The show is curated by Society of Homo Ludens (SoHL), an experimental studio that practices place-making through various methods including psychogeographic walks, narrative environments, play and storytelling. SpaceSeries is a product of the studio and a roving gallery that occupies spaces in their moment of transformation. It provides a platform for artists to explore spatial possibilities and qualities of their work. SoHL’s works involve and encourage presence and active engagement of the audience with their surroundings and other people, with an ambition to enhance and lift the culture of collective-making in the urban built environment. The studio is co-founded by Gelareh Saadatpajouh and Talayeh Hamidya and they have created, collaborated with and exhibited work in Toronto for the past few years with Luff Art+Dialogue, Gladstone Hotel, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, University of Waterloo, Ontario College of Art and Design and other cultural institutions.
In the spirit of urban exploration we are inviting everyone to a night of trespassing at 82 Divadale on February 28th, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to experience a piece of suburban Toronto unleashed. The demolition is taking place on 2nd of March 2015 (to be confirmed).
Sean Martindale is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist and designer currently based in Toronto, Canada. His interventions activate public and semi-public spaces to encourage engagement, often focused on ecological and social issues. His playful works question and suggest alternate possibilities for existing spaces, infrastructures and materials found in the urban environment. Frequently, Martindale uses salvaged goods and live plants in unexpected ways that prompt conversations and interaction.
Pascal Paquette produces site-specific works using painting, design, street art, graffiti and photography. His art has been exhibited, commissioned and published internationally and locally, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) and at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). He lives in Toronto, Canada.
Visual artist Cindy Blažević uses photography and photographic processes to document shifting social and political landscapes, exploring themes of identity, authority, and access. Blending oral history with visual expression and employing collaborative and participative processes are key to her practice. She has exhibited both in Canada and Europe and has received numerous grants for her art collections and projects.
PA System is Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, a duo that create work ranging from the colossal to the intimate. Working in murals, temporary land works, textile, printmaking, video and photo, they maintain a highly productive and nomadic practice. They live and work throughout Canada, specifically in the high arctic, and abroad.
PA System maintains a consistent residency, public mural painting and exhibition schedule which has most recently taken them to Denver, Colorado, Chettypalayam, India, Zurich, Switzerland and Cape Dorset, Nunavut. The pace of movement and effort to make sense of their ever-changing social and physical environment continues to inform their work. PA System have created public art and film works in Canada's high arctic regions of Nunavut and Nunavik for ten years. They are currently living for three months in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, where they are splitting time between participating as artist in residence at Kinngait Studios, creating a video work for exhibition in 2015 and under the name Embassy of Imagination, they lead a group of ten Inuit youth through ten weeks of art workshops.
PA System has exhibited work at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Institute for Contemporary Culture, The Trace Gallery in Zurich, Articulate Baboon Gallery in Cairo, and the Institute for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona. The Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, The Chalmers Family Fellowship, the BC Arts Council, and Nunavut Film have all supported their projects.