October 15, 2009
by Canadian Architect
The AKA Gallery in Saskatoon is presenting the exhibition Nomadic Dwellings by the Quebec-based activist group and artist collective Folie/Culture, part of which involves the establishment of temporary one-person shelters in different locations throughout the city of Saskatoon to raise awareness of homelessness and mental health issues.
The project began in 2007, and calls on architects and artists to conceive nomadic dwellings for itinerants. The shelters had to be designed for one person with materials that are easily found in Canada, inexpensive, and recyclable if possible. They also must be reusable and easy to set up by one person alone.
Between October 20th and October 23rd, the artists involved will set up and display the works in several highly visible locations throughout the city. In the current climate of myopic boosterism for Saskatoon’s burgeoning economy, this exhibition serves as a reminder of the social reality of itinerancy. As vacancy rates fall and rents increase, the most vulnerable among us fall through the cracks and are faced with the prospect of living without shelter.
While the project is not intended as a solution to the problem of homelessness, it does aim to increase awareness of the issue. Placing the architectural act in the everyday suggests a discomfiting social encounter that architects do not often rub up against. The paradoxical meeting of architecture and itinerancy reveals the degree of interconnectedness between these seemingly disparate sites within the social body.
Since 1984, Folie/Culture has facilitated contemporary art projects with a specific focus on awareness building in mental health. They encourage the work of artists who intervene in the field of social perceptions, engaging a public who may not otherwise encounter contemporary art.
The locations, dates, and times of the shelter projects are as follows:
* Tuesday, October 20th in front of the AKA Gallery, located at 424 20th Street West from 12:00pm to 4:30pm.
* Wednesday, October 21st in Kiwanis Park from 12:00pm to 4:30pm.
* Thursday, October 22nd in Friendship Park from 12:00pm to 4:30pm.
* Friday, October 23rd in front of the AKA gallery, located at 424 20th Street West from 12:00pm to 10:00pm.
For more information, please visit http://en.folieculture.org/iiix/home/ and www.akagallery.org