Curated by Tegan Moore

We have all been confronted with the challenge of stepping over a threshold, whether it’s as trivial as passing over the sill of a doorway or as momentous as graduating from school and entering the “real world.” However great or trivial the action, the act of breaching a threshold involves expectations of transformation and assimilation. The term “liminality” is derivative of the Latin word “limen,” meaning “threshold,” and applies to a state of being in which one is prompted into an indeterminate transitional period or space. The term was conceived in part by Scottish anthropologist Victor Turner who rested its meaning as that which is “neither here nor there, betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremony”. This amorphous “space,” whether physical or metaphorical, operates between polarities, most notably between the ephemeral and the finite, and between modes of possibility and restriction.

In a balancing act of intervention on the threshold, Cedric Meister and Joshua Bartholomew’s Liminality Project at the Helen Pitt Gallery involves architectural alteration on the flipside of practical design. Using various structural and spatial elements of the gallery, as well as it objects, the project seeks to put the gallery and its attendees in a temporary liminal state. This project undertakes a specifically rendered exchange between the gallery’s office space and back gallery, bringing to light the limits and opportunities set in place by common physical thresholds, like windows and doorways. By reconditioning social spaces and objects, this undertaking levels structural hierarchies in search for, in the artists’ words, “an unstructured state of ‘communitas,’” an ergonomically challenging and unexpected equalization of people and place.

Bartholomew and Meister’s project appreciates the unique sensibilities in the architecture of the space, namely the integrated office space, the narrow back corridor, the back gallery’s low ceilings and its doubly interior window. The reframing of the gallery’s place for art, visitors, and administration is an institutional inquiry that, while nodding heads at other work like Michael Asher’s wall removals and replacements, taps into the personality of the Helen Pitt itself and what it feels like to move through it.

Cedric Meister is a Vancouver-based artist from Basel, Switzerland. He is currently finishing a visual arts degree at Emily Carr Institute majoring in Photography. He has had work published in West Coast Line and has previously shown at LES Gallery.

Joshua Bartholomew is originally from Toronto, Ontario. He attended Parson’s School of Design for Architecture in New York before transferring to Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He is currently in his third year of a Visual Arts program.

Bartholomew and Meister’s collaborative work involves formal and conceptual elements from the fields of architecture, film, semiotics, history and institutional critique. The Liminality Project is concerned with the various sociological and aesthetic language systems that are implicated through alternative motives in design processes of labour and product.