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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
11 Oct 19until5 Jan 20

Sreshta Rit Premnath

Those Who Wait

B.C. Binning Gallery

Leaning on either side of a chain link fence, two thin, foam cutouts in human-like form sit slumped on a floor. Two of three fence sections have stretched emergency blankets instead of chain links.

Sreshta Rit Premnath, Accompaniment (detail), 2019. Photo: SITE Photography

For Those Who Wait, Sreshta Rit Premnath has developed new work in an ongoing series of investigations on the tension between ownership and occupation of space, and the conditions that define migrant experience. His works are often informed by his own observations and experiences: witnessing facilities for immigrants who await legal proceedings and possible deportation, and enduring security procedures at airports because of his skin colour. In Those Who Wait, Premnath employs sculpture to consider the racialized experiences of waiting. Incapable of holding their own weight, plaster-caked forms slump and lean against steel fences, which act as stand-ins for the architectural structures that detain human bodies. Visitors’ own bodies are reflected in the mirrored surfaces. As Premnath writes, “to lean is to be held,” suggesting that waiting might be reconsidered as waiting together, and spaces of uncertainty can also nurture empathy, solidarity and the seeds of political mobilization.

Curated by Kimberly Phillips, with assistance from Julia Lamare

Those Who Wait is generously supported by the Embassy of the United States, Ottawa, with additional support from Brigitte and Henning Freybe. The forthcoming publication is partially funded by a Faculty Research Grant from Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York. We acknowledge the support of Emily Carr University of Art + Design towards Premnath’s initial research visit.


Sreshta Rit Premnath is a multidisciplinary artist and the founder and co-editor of the publication Shifter. His work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at Rodriguez Gallery, Poznan (2019); Ace Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Nomas Foundation, Rome (2017); Kansas Gallery, New York (2014); Gallery SKE, Bangalore (2013); The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2012); Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago (2012); Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin (2011); and Art Statements, Art Basel (2010). He has participated in group exhibitions at venues including Westfällischer Kunstverein, Münster (2019); Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, Dubai (2017); Queens Museum, New York (2015); YBCA, San Francisco (2011); Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris (2010); and 1A Space, Hong Kong (2010). With a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA from Bard College, he attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, Skowhegan and Smack Mellon. Premnath has received grants from Art Matters and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and was awarded the Arthur Levitt Fellowship from Williams College. Based in Brooklyn, Premnath is the Director of the BFA Fine Arts program at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York.