Do you have the courage to believe that you can stop the hassle and bustle of everyday life and change people’s perception of time and space? Could you believe that art can wash the drudgery away and turn unfortunate events into shared celebrations of the anomalies of life? Can we believe that public art interventions can regenerate our relationship with the concrete jungle?
Idealistically, we do.
From our modest life experience, beliefs always start with an invisible idea, an abstract motivation to change something for the better (or worse). Therefore, in building our gallery space and the events as extensions of our philosophy, we decided to group all of our energy not on fighting the old but on building the new (yes Socrates might have said that some thousands of years ago). Metaphorically building, the new means that our semi-orchestrated art intervention radically pops-up at two different, symbolically charged, locations throughout Christchurch. This traveling multi-sensory/performative installation of sounds and movement emotionally echoes Christchurch’s physical, social and cultural landscape. All these places (Riverside Market & Bridge of Remembrance) symbolize destruction, sorrow and the suffering accompanied, but they are also a symbol of resurrection and belief in something stronger, more beautiful. Instead of staring at the delusioned routine of the day, we feel that belief in change and awareness comes from the seeing of something you thought would not be possible seeing. Especially because it is difficult to let go of the habituated look, we reward the passer-by or casual visitor with a spontaneous interrogation about the affected site’s sociocultural conditions. So in all of those “scarred” places the everyday is brightened up and reshaped for a brief moment.
Working with artist's from different ages and backgrounds trigger different reactions and elevates these intuitive performances, contrasted with the binary characteristics (dark/light, unfinished/finished, vibrant/empty) of these sites, into the realm of the spiritual. We are favoring the creation of unique and unrepeatable aesthetic responses tailored to specific locations within a city. And implicit in such proactive thinking is the belief in an unmediated causal relationship between aesthetic quality of the (un)built environment and the (e)quality of social conditions it supports or disrespects. Our aim is predicated on the belief that with the artist’s humanizing influence, the sense of alienation and disaffection engendered by the inhuman urban, mostly homogenized, landscape could be rectified.
In short, nihilists and pessimists will proclaim that today's belief will be outdated tomorrow but our conviction is that the intervention can offer small moments of connection and possibly reflection as people walk, eat, cycle or skate in their precious neighborhoods.