Keg de Souza: Temporary Spaces, Edible Places: Vancouver Picnic

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1655 Whyte Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia

Keg de Souza:
Temporary Spaces, Edible Places: Vancouver Picnic
Friday April 3, 1-4pm (Rain or Shine)*To add to this feast and conversation please bring your own version of Canadian food to share with the group*

Keg de Souza’s handmade inflatable dome will become a temporary space outside the Burrard Marina Field House for a public picnic engaging Canadian colonial narratives via a consideration of Canadian food traditions. Meeting with local chefs, food activists and local residents de Souza is preparing a truly Canadian feast as a source for an afternoon of unfolding dialogue that de Souza will map directly onto the inflatable’s flooring. A starting point for the discussion is the ephemerality of the event itself – perhaps the only remnants that will be left behind are an intertwining of disconnected dialogues, mapped together with dirty dishes, crumbs and more questions posed. After the meal is eaten and the structure deflates, the temporary community is also dispersed. This event is the first public event by Keg de Souza in Vancouver throughout 2015-16 exploring food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement.

Australian artist de Souza investigates the politics of space informed through a formal training in architecture combined with her experiences such as squatting in Redfern, Sydney. De Souza’s work emphasizes participation and reciprocity, and often involves the process of learning new skills and fostering relationships to create site and situation-specific projects. For over ten years she has self-published her hand-bound books and ‘zines under the name All Thumbs Press.

In 2013, de Souza developed projects for the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. More recently, at the Delfina Foundation, London, she hosted a series of picnics held inside an inflatable tent installation designed to fit within the gallery space. Notionally “traditional” English food such as cucumber sandwiches, Cornish pasties and Ploughman’s Lunches were made linking to specific cultural histories as a way to discuss class, privilege, space and colonialism. As picnickers ate and spoke, de Souza mapped the discussion on the floor creating a giant cartography of the conversation. Also in 2014 she completed a residency with KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working closely with community organizers and residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house and a film featuring drawings by local children made during a ghost story workshop. Their local government had announced a major development plan affecting the Ratmakan area and the squatters residing there started to be displaced. The area is built on a graveyard so ghosts are constantly appearing to the residents, ongoing exorcisms by the local ghost expert, paralleling their own evictions in the living world.