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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street

Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday, 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
23 Jan 18·7:00 PMuntil8:00 PM

The Foreshore

Carmen Papalia and Joulene Tse Parent: Dignity and Access

Offsite at the Vancouver Public Library, Strathcona Branch

A photograph of Carmen Papalia speaking into a white megaphone on a street.

Courtesy of Carmen Papalia.

Carmen Papalia and Joulene Tse Parent will discuss issues of cultural accessibility and human rights in the city, including Tse’s ongoing research on the history of Indigenous workers on the waterfront, as well as Papalia’s projects leading up to and including his recent conceptual work Open Access, a new, relational model for accessibility that sets a precedent for considerations of agency and power in relation to the disabling social, cultural, and political conditions in a given context.

This event is part of The Foreshore, presented in partnership with the multi-disciplinary artist collective Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. The Foreshore hosts a series of roving discursive events held at community centres throughout the city of Vancouver, aiming to generate questions and confluence inspired by the conditions of the foreshore, the land along the edge of a body of water that is repeatedly submerged and revealed by the tide. In Vancouver, the term conjures specific histories of trade and exchange, habitation and nourishment, resistance and violent erasure. It might similarly evoke our contemporary lived situation in this city. Considering the potential of this zone as both a metaphor and physical site, year two of The Foreshore initiative pairs together returning speakers and guests of their choosing to deepen a generative and cross-disciplinary conversation around the following questions: Can there be land that is not property? How do we bring the centre to the edge? What is, as yet, unseen?


Born in Vancouver in unceded Coast Salish Territory in 1981, Carmen Papalia is a social practice artist and non-visual learner who makes participatory projects about access to public space, the art institution and visual culture. His work has been featured at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; Tate Liverpool, UK; and locally at Gallery Gachet and the Surrey Art Gallery. Papalia is the recipient of the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary and the 2013 Wynn Newhouse Award. His current work includes the multifunctional acoustic mobility device produced with Sara Hendren’s Investigating Normal Lab at Olin College of Engineering and Let’s Keep in Touch, a collaboration with curator Whitney Mashburn that sets a precedent for haptic criticism to become a viable practice within contemporary art.

Joulene Tse Parent’s maternal lines come from the Indigenous Dene Nation of Northern Saskachewan, and paternal lines from a father who was a working immigrant from Canton, China. Most of Joulene’s childhood was raised in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is an active Union Member of the International Longshore Warehouse Union, and currently holds a two year Executive position for Local 500 Vancouver. She also sits on the Vancouver District Labour Council, as a Delegate and Co-Chair on the Women’s Committee.