Whatever this is ... under constructionOur summer exhibition, Whatever This Is It Won’t Last Long, opens on Friday, July 12 at 8 pm.  This is another provisional transformation of the 236 East Pender Street space, where renovations are still taking place “behind the scenes” — literally in this case, because the installation itself is enclosed in a facade, one of a small shop filled with odd objects.

For those of you who might want to keep score, this is the third time since April 2011 that the Pitt has gone to “shop” mode (see here, or the fake convenience store containing a radio station by Red76, or the Luminous Books residency). It’s also an odd sort of transformation of scale: the move from 15 East Pender and its less-than-400-square-feet-and-no-toilet-either environs have been a relief, but here we are transforming ourselves (temporarily) into an even smaller space. Chinatown and the DTES have had, and in fact still have, some shops this size or smaller (the jeweller a few doors down and the lottery and key-cutting shop across the street being two obvious examples). However, as older businesses continue to be priced out or regulated out of non-conforming premises, it’s uncertain whether these odd shapes and sizes will remain.

Whatever This Is … is envisioned as a shop at the end of the world (“pre-apocalypse”). As the Institute for Applied Metaphysics used to point out periodically, “life as we know it no longer exists”. In other words, the world we know is always being replaced by the future, which is unknown. However, looking around the neighbourhood, it’s less likely to find yourself musing about the nature of cognition than it is to find yourself envisioning a looming apocalypse — one of unrestricted speculation, and the proliferation of condo towers that are meant to provide investment opportunities rather than housing.

Join us on Friday, July 8th. Whatever This Is It Won’t Last Long is curated by Zebulon Zang, and includes work by Brad Allen, Scott Kemp, and Gregory Ligen.

Posted by:Kay Higgins

Executive Director of UNIT/PITT from 2010 to 2018. Artist, writer, publisher.

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