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The exhibition Public Domain presents work by artists who propose to reclaim the public domain for art. For gallery goers, it brings into the gallery setting works of art that were created for presentation in the public sphere. The exhibition also provides an opportunity for audiences to view new work by Vancouver artists in non-gallery spaces around the city.
Public Domain is a timely exhibition. The City of Vancouver is in the middle of developing municipal policy on the placement and funding of public art. The show also coincides with Simon Fraser University's summer intensive on The Problematics of Public Art, and with the Vancouver Art Gallery's lecture series on Art and Society.
There are five artists/artist groups in Public Domain. John Greyson's film The Making of Monsters is a musical about anti-gay violence, produced at the Canadian Center for Advanced Film Studies in Toronto. Sara Diamond's Lull Before the Storm, first produced for Knowledge Network, Vancouver is presented here with the addition of a “slide commentary.” Paper Tiger Television, based in New York City, broadcasts its work on Manhattan Cable. PTT has four programs here, two of which are part of the Gulf Crisis TV Project the collective has been working on since the outbreak of the Gulf war.
The Association for Noncommercial Culture is presenting material about their Private Addresses project which is currently underway in nine residential yards throughout Vancouver. Anne Ramsden's Window uses the Contemporary Art Gallery's two street-front windows to present the fetishized side of fashion.
Public Domain received equipment loans from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Simon Fraser University and the Video Inn. The Contemporary Art Gallery is also grateful for the financial assistance of The Canada Council, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.
Accompanied by symposium “Public Art! In Vancouver?” at SFU Harbour Centre on June 22, 1991 Panelists: Bill McLennan, jil p. weaving, Sandy Percival, Bryan Newson, Alan Storey Happening concurrently with “Problematics of Public Art” by The Contemporary Arts Summer Institute, SFU, June 10 – 28, 1991