PuSh Blog

Curatorial Statement – Fiction(s)

November 20, 2012

CIUDADES PARALELAS / Station / Sometimes I Think I Can See You from Cork Midsummer Festival on Vimeo.

Here at PuSh, the shows Sometimes I think, I can see you, Human Library, and Do You See What I Mean? are referred to as the Fiction(s) Series.

Dani Fecko, Associate Curator of the PuSh Festival, answers some questions about the shows in her curatorial statement.

Q. Tell us about the shows in three sentences or less.
A. Fiction(s) is a suite of works about discovering the stories of Vancouver. They are born out of humans’ need for connection – and aim to bring people together.  Each of these shows tells the story of the city, whether it be fact or fiction. 

Q. When did you first encounter this work?
A. The Fiction(s) Series is a suite of works that we have brought together.  We have very different relationships with each of the pieces.

We first presented Mariano Pensotti (Sometimes I think, I can see you) in 2011, with La Marea.  Last year we had his El Pasado es un animal grotesco and so coming up to 2013 we decided to go 3 for 3.

The artists of Projet in situ, who are the minds behind Do You See What I Mean? made their first research trip to Vancouver during the 2011 Festival.  We have been working to bring them here since 2010 (after Norman heard of the piece in Montreal) and it is incredible to finally have it become a reality.

Human Library is something we have been watching for a few years – we first heard about it when it happened at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.  It fits perfectly in the spirit of the Fiction(s) series.

Q. What was your first reaction to this work?
A. All of them scared me.  That’s how I knew we should do them.  They excite me and challenge me as a curator and producer.

Q. What do you want audiences to get out of this show?
A. I want audiences to see Vancouver in a new way – whether it be the way they view their fellow Vancouverites, the way they encounter public spaces, or the way they experience walking down the street.

Q. How does this show relate to other shows that the PuSh Festival has presented before?
A. This series feels like a culmination of the type of work I have been doing at PuSh.  Many of the shows I have been most involved in have to do with community engagement, whether it be overseeing the community dancers in Poetics: a ballet brut, or helping secure locations for La Marea.  One of the most integral parts of the Festival is our connection to community – to the city at an architectural level, to our fellow Vancouverites, to the local artistic community and to the global community.  The Fiction(s) Series perfectly encapsulates all of those things – it challenges you to dig deeper into this place we call home and continue to tell its story.

Q. What’s been the best/ most exciting/ most rewarding part of your involvement with the PuSh Festival?
A. The fact that I get to work on shows like this and find local artists to help bring them to life.  Choosing the shows is only part of the puzzle – curating the teams and venues is the part I love the most.
We have amazing people on each of these shows.  Human Library is being curated by Dave Deveau with support from Glenn Alteen at the grunt gallery, the writers of Sometimes I think, I can see you came from the minds of Nigel Prince (Contemporary Art Gallery), Vanessa Kwan (Vancouver Art Gallery), Heidi Taylor (Playwright’s Theatre Centre) and the PuSh team, and Do You See What I Mean? is being co-produced by Caleb Johnston of Urban Crawl with much support from Ruthie Tabata and Donna Soares who are recruiting all of the volunteers. 
Q. Quick, give us three reasons why we should see this show?
A. Human Library: to have a new conversation.
Sometimes I think, I can see you: to witness some of our best writer’s telling stories born out of truth and fiction.
Do You See What I Mean?: for a oncein-a-lifetime experience.

Stop the Violence (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Human Library
Presented with grunt gallery. Jan 18–20, 25–27, Feb 1–3. Vancouver Public Library’s Central Library, Level Three. 12–4PM. 
Choose from titles like “Drag Queen” and “Refugee” and be connected with a human book for an enjoyable and informal conversation designed to challenge prejudice. FREE. Supported by the Vancouver Public Library.

Mariano Pensotti (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Sometimes I think, I can see you
Presented with Contemporary Art Gallery, PTC and Vancouver Art Gallery. Jan 18–20, 25–27, Feb 1-3. Vancouver Public Library’s Central Library, Atrium + Vancouver Art Gallery, Lobby. 12–4PM.
Vancouver writers stationed in public spaces are equipped with laptops connected to projection screens, creating beautiful and spontaneous fictions about the world around them that are displayed in real-time. FREE. Supported by the Vancouver Public Library.

Projet in situ (Lyon, France)
Do You See What I Mean?
Presented with Urban Crawl, sponsored by Terra Breads. Jan 25–27 & Feb 1–3, Access Gallery. Departures every 15 min from12–4:45PM. This two-and-a-half hour blindfolded tour of the streets, storefronts and secret spaces of our city offers participants a deeply transformative experience of the everyday. (18+) $31-39 at the PuSh Festival. Supported by the Consulate General of France in Vancouver, Institut français, The Roundhouse, Access Gallery and CNIB (the Canadian National Institute for the Blind).

The Fiction(s) Series is supported by the British Columbia Arts Council, Vancouver Foundation, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation and the Hamber Foundation.