Monday, July 29, 2013

"The Field Manual - A Compendium of Local Influence"

From left to right; Ivan Ostapenko,Michael Brown (CEO of CMLC),
Daniel J. Kirk and Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher
This past Wednesday, July-24-2013, was the unveiling of the new temporary artwork in East Village - "The Field Manual - A Compendium of Local Influence".

Let us start with a brief overview: Just over a year ago, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation released a general call for artists to replace East Village's first temporary artwork, "I am the River" by Derek Besant. After a long and strict search CMLC found the winners; Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher, Daniel J. Kirk and Ivan Ostapenko known as the "Light and Soul" trio; this was the artists' first collaboration as a trio. The project, which was fully completed on the day of the unveiling, is displayed from the Simmons Building to the west side of Langevine Bridge.

Nature, Culture and Infrastructure are the concepts behind this masterpiece and the purpose is to present a dynamic look at East Village and Calgary in view of the past, present and future with no separation.

Eastern most toilet; Nature
Middle toilet; Culture
Western most toilet; Infrastructure
So let's go from East to West, starting with... the public washrooms of East Village; each concept of the project is being manifested on one toilet cube; from Nature, through Culture to Infrastructure.

"Paper Plane"
Here and Now
Continuing westward, we arrive to the new sculptures which are the most interactive part of the artwork; the sculptures are of hands, a repetitive element in this project. The one with the "paper" plane is a strong representation of the "here and now"; the moment of taking flight. It's facing eastward because it is, after all, East Village. This one is bound to the ground and will remain in its place for the next two years.

The other two hands, which are portable, work together with each other; the shapes are those of a Bunny and a Coyote as displayed in shadow puppets to represent the dynamics between the hunter Vs. the hunted and how in Calgary it seems as if the hunted (bunny) has the last laugh; the colours are pink and blue which are to show the conflict and harmony between female and male. All aspects - animals, genders and hands - are seen throughout the entire artwork.

Integration with Nature may lead to a
Cultural Revolution

Aerial view of East Village;

Past the sculptures are the Murals. Every mural provides a different look at those three main concepts (Nature, Culture, Infrastructure) within Calgary; how things were, why they changed and how they can potentially be better. The trio tries to emphasize the need for individuality and togetherness, highlighting that interaction with the environment and with one another may lead to a cultural revolution.

A Playful interaction between entities
History of Calgary; Pre and Post CPR and collision
of Cultures

"Calgary Pushing West"
Mother Nature;
Goddess of Rivers
Every single creation has a meaning; nothing is coincidental if perhaps spontaneous. The artists had a concept, an idea and many elements ready by the time they mounted it on the walls of the bridges of EV; but as they were working within the neighbourhood, they allowed themselves to experience the nature, the culture and the infrastructure and were open enough to include their experiences in their work; the stories people would tell, the impact of the flood and more...

"Light and Soul|"; Ivan Ostapenko, Daniel J. Kirk & Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher
unveiling "The Field Manual; A Compendium of Local Influence"
"I am honoured to have our work in such a space as the East Village" said Daniel J. Kirk. "It helps to mark an area that is both historical for Calgary and at the forefront of being something new in our city. 24 months is going to see a lot of change and I hope that the work is able to remain dynamic, perhaps allowing for the interpretation of the work to change as well".
Kirk recommends to "spend some time with the work... pause... and pay attention to the time of day that you visit the work".

So if you have yet to see this latest addition to East Village, make sure to check it out; ensure to go back in different hours of the day as the pieces respond to the passage of time.

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