Closing CelebrationPerformance & Screenings

The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work: Closing Reception
Closing Event

August 20, 2011

Participants: Performances by Andrea Merkx and Nathan Gwynne/The Ice Machine and Swift; exhibition by Adam Brickell, Jen Weih, Igor Santizo, John Anderson, Aaron Carpenter, Beth Howe, and Sylvain Sailly.

The Or Gallery is pleased to present performances by New York artists, Andrea Merkx and Nathan Gwynne/The Ice Machine and Swift for the closing reception of the Or’s destination-based art project for Vancouver’s Dunbar-Southlands neighbourhood curated and produced by Vancouver/New York based artist-curator Barb Choit. Works by Adam Brickell, Jen Weih, Igor Santizo, John Anderson, Aaron Carpenter, Beth Howe, and Sylvain Sailly will continue to be on view in the space, including a new installation for the closing by Sailly.


Andrea Merkx (b. 1978, Albuquerque NM, lives and works in New York) will present the North American debut of a new performative lecture, Red Line. Merkx leads us through a multi-media lecture with live and pre-recorded narration, music and video as we follow several cultural trajectories, overlapping with a the building of highways in Europe, the project of Suburban development and car culture in America as it relates to institutionalized racism and the rising popularity of science fiction as it captured the ‘public cultural imagination’ in the late 20th century.


THE ICE MACHINE AND SWIFT (Nathan Gwynne and Graham Watling, both living and working in New York) have been sending ice cubes to the Dialog space from the various locations that they are visiting this summer on their band’s tour: Brooklyn, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Mainz, Ober-Olm, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Newark, Seattle and others. To commemorate the closing of The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work, these ice cubes will be refrozen and then used to cool a celebratory drink.


The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work is a series of exhibitions and events produced and curated by Choit in an open studio setting situated in a 1000sq. ft. office space near Vancouver’s Dunbar Street. The offices are also currently partially occupied by Dialog Medical Systems Inc., a Vancouver based software company that produces billing software for doctors and dentist, now in the process redefining it’s business model in the face of a rapidly shifting technological marketplace.


Taking cues from the seminal 1979 article The Function of the Studio by French conceptual artist Daniel Buren, The Unspeakable Compromise… will involve a collaboration between Choit and a diverse range of artists to produce an ever-changing configuration of artworks, performances and artifacts that investigate and illuminate multiple economies and reveal thresholds between production and display within a combination production / exhibition space. The project will present artists as workers, ultimately; workers that are subject to the same fluctuations and outside influences as others in information economy workforces.


The offices of Dialog Medical Systems Inc. are located at 202-3540 41st Avenue West, in Vancouver’s Dunbar-Southlands neighbourhood. The office building itself is home to a number of businesses (predominantly service-industry and health related) including – Dentists, Doctors, Travel Agents, Mineral Extraction companies, Software companies, Investment companies, Physiotherapists, Laboratories, Acupuncturists and an Asian Women’s Health Center.

Adam Brickell Untitled 2011 digital c-print 11 x 17 inches (DETAIL)
Sylvain Sailly Paper Stack (Friendly Reminder) 2009-2011 video loop projected on wall dimensions variable (DETAIL)