The last of the Intermission Series, an exhibition entitled The Parallel Collective, focuses on the process of documentation and road trip culture. Running from March 14th to 21st, the show began with an opening reception hosted by UBCO students for members of the community.
The artists featured in The Parallel Collective are four UBCO students (Zeke Kan, Catherine Bennington, Cortnee Chulo, and Sage Sidley), with the latter three also participating in Shelf Life, the Fine Arts faculty’s fourth year grad show. In a post-event interview, curator Shayla Ritchie was extremely happy with the critical response to the opening reception, claiming that it was the most successful Intermission that she has completed to date. Ritchie said it was an interesting task working with four different artists and the varied mediums that were used. With all of the artists working together on this exhibition, Shayla felt like she could take a step back and simply serve as the connection to the gallery space while the artists worked as a team to pull the exhibition together. Shayla mentioned how both The Phoenix and Students’ Union representatives were on-hand—a welcome addition to the first night’s crowd.
The entire show revolves around a recent road trip taken by the artists to local summer hotspot Sicamous. Catherine Bennington, an artist with an extensive repertoire of nature-focused pieces, gave us a short description of her experience of the trip. She said that the artists were aware of an upcoming opportunity to showcase their work, and they decided to showcase Sicamous because it was a fresh and exciting new location to explore. “It was close enough to do in one day, and none of us had concrete ideas as to what we were going to create after the trip,” Bennington said. She explained that the artistic emphasis was placed on the process of the trip itself, with “works [created] as a response to the experience…we heavily documented the entire experience so that we had ample information and imagery to work from afterwards, whether it was photographs, videos, lists, notes, drawings, etc.”
Each one of the artists represented in this show brought their own distinct perspective to it, whether it was through video, sculpture, or drawings. It was all about the real events that organically emerged without editing or any do overs. To ensure realism, they documented every moment of the trip in some form, allowing viewers to experience first-hand what it was like being completely emerged within the ever-changing moment. The result? This group’s dynamism, experiential fluidity, and adventurous mindset set the stage for a stellar show greatly enjoyed by all attendees.