Bonanza & Iqaluit – Curatorial Statement
December 22, 2010
by Sherrie Johnson, Senior Curator.
The group Berlin, based in Antwerp, started their project Holocene (current geological period), a series of city portraits, in 2003. The series focuses on four cities and towns: Jerusalem (2004), Iqaluit (2005), Bonanza (2006) and Moscow (2009).
Berlin‘s work in this series is a celebration of the human spirit and an investigation into the microcosm of human behavior and social interaction. Their unique approach to creation gives audiences a glimpse of how versatile and multi-faceted contemporary art can be interpreted. Berlin’s integration of installation art, documentary filmmaking, performance art, community engagement, public participation, investigative research, and design is expansive and all embracing.
At PuSh we have been steadfast in our belief that interdisciplinarity is a defining characteristic of contemporary art practice. Companies like Berlin are shaping the future of creative practice, of new inquiries, of new methods and forms, and leading the way into a twenty first century vision of how we define an artist.
With Vancouver celebrating its 125th Anniversary, inviting Berlin into our city is a way to engage Vancouver citizens in a public discourse on the nature of citizenship, community building and identity.
Both Iqaluit and Bonanza weave together fascinating stories. The beauty of the work lies in the intimacy of the storytelling and the remarkable cinematography. Berlin captures each city through testimonials and chronicles its subject’s journeys with honesty and integrity. The crowing achievement is that the artists create these amazing portraits without ever passing judgment.