The October Project
The October Project
Artists: Nick Brdar, Diana Burgoyne, Chris Creighton-Kelly, Gwen Curry, Lance Olsen, Alan Storey, John Taylor and Colette Urban
Curator: Gail Tutle
Date: October 8 to 24, 1992
On October 15, 1972, Open Space became incorporated as a society (then under the name Victoria Theatrebox Society). In commemoration of twenty years of art activity, Open Space's October Project included a group exhibition, catalogue, performance series, gala concert, colloquium, fundraising dance and unveiling the new archives.
Nick Brdar, The October Project, Open Space 1992
List of Events:
October 8: The October Project Exhibition
To commemorate two decades of artistic achievements, curator Gail Tuttle assembled an exhibition of eight artists who reflected the significance of Open space's contributions to B.C. and Canadian art practice. The exhibition included painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video.
The exhibit argued against the perceived isolation of Victoria: it was, and is, possible for artists to work in a geographically distinct area, isolated physically from mainstream centres, and not become marginalized.
October 9: Making Waves and Gala Concert
In a special collaboration, Open Space and CFUV linked Canada from sea to sea with Collette Urban's Making Waves, an audio performance piece. At precisely 12:15 Pacific Time, CFUV broadcast live transmission from Corner Brook, Newfoundland to Victoria. Five performers wearing East Coast sou'wester hats and portable radios received CFUV's broadcast while walking through various locations in downtown Victoria. Meanwhile, in Corner Brook, Colette Urban formed the content of the transmission: a live broadcast of the sounds of waves from the Newfoundland coast.
The Twentieth Anniversary Gala Concert, performed later that evening, commemorated two decades of Open Space's contribution to new music and deatured works by senior and emerging composers, including many who had past association with Open Space.
October 10: Colloquium
In a special, free, day-long event, four panels examined issues facing Victoria's art and artists today, including a panel which discussed the October Project Exhibition and the interactive nature of the works; ex-Victoria artists discussed the present state of Victoria's arts community; problems of government funding; the University's role in art practice in Victoria; grass-roots, locally-based art and its importance.
October 17: Three Untitled Pieces, by Diana Burgoyne
Burgoyne combined traditional story-telling with sound transmission, video and electronic interaction between performers.
Visitors participating in Diana Burgoyne's Three Untitled Pieces, Open Space 1992
October 30: New Music Trilogy
Montreal-based Alcides Lanza and Meg Shepherd performed an evening of music with voice and electronics, which included a song-cycle of three works by Lanza. Shepherd's performance encompasses music and theatre, with electronic extensions, digital synthesizers and special light effects.
October 31: The Failure of Fluids, Chris Creighton-Kelly
The Failure of Fluids was a provocative performance piece that used elements of visual art, music, theatre and performance art.
Chris Creighton-Kelly, The Failure of Fluids, Open Space, 1992
"All the while, we cover and mystify our fluids, those terrible body liquids which keeps us safe at home in our condos and condoms. But what if we took them seriously? What if we discussed them, smelled them, remembered them?" Through enacting ritualistic behaviour with body fluids The Failure of Fluids invigorated meaning in the body politic.
Open Space produced a catalogue for the October Project which included an interview with past Open Space Directors, an essay by Gail Tuttle and a chronology of the first two decades.
The publication is availble for viewing online, see below:
Group Interview from left: Sue Donaldson, Michael MacLennan, Suzanne Bessette, Jeanne Shoemaker, Gail Tuttle, Gene Miller, October Project, Open Space 1992 (Photo: Bill Blair)