Union Gallery

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off-site projects

PARKING ART IN PARKING LOTS (catalogue available)
May - September 2004
Various parking lots in the City of Kingston

For this project, artists were invited to use a parking lot venue in the city as the contextual influence and presentation site for temporary artworks. This project provided the opportunity to expand the definition of local public art to include non-traditional media. Young emerging and student artists were paired with senior artists they assisted the senior artist with the development and installation of his/her artistic intervention within a parking lot. Subsequently the young artist produced a complementary parking-lot intervention. This project was a collaboration between the Union Gallery and Modern Fuel Artist run Centre.

Jennifer Titus, The Corporation of Mobility, performance, 2004

Jennifer Titus
The Corporation of Mobility
May 6-8, 2004

Jennifer Titus’ performance The Corporation of Mobility, meant to provide increasing community awareness of issues of issues pertaining to physical accessibility. Costumed as to be mistaken for a parking enforcement officer, Titus handed out fake tickets to individuals who were parked in spots with close proximity to the store entrances. The ‘tickets’, charging the ‘guilty’ individuals with undervaluing their degree of mobility included a short explanation of the project on the back. A goal of this intervention was to elicit frustration from the recipient – an emotion that, in the experience of the artist, physically restricted individuals face as they try to manoeuvre in a world that does not cater to them. Almost everyone the artist encountered was flustered and confused about why a ticket was being issued while they were parked in a parking lot, and some people even moved their cars for fear of getting a ticket. Once people understood the project, reactions ranged from anger to support for the message that Titus was attempting to communicate.


York Lethbridge, A Slow Bore (detail), 2004

York Lethbridge
A Slow Bore
August 21-22, 2004

Following Visible Art Activity’s project, York Lethbridge presented A Slow Bore, touching on issues relating to commuter culture in light of an expanding and evolving cityscape. Locating his activity to The Kingston Centre parking lot, using a kit of common household hardware, the artist undertook a variety of activities to incite incidental encounters to punctuate the experience of the mundane. Over the course of a week, usually between the hours just before and after dusk, Lethbridge would set to work on extending the existing parking grid using only an opaque yellow marker. On other nights, passersby were given small boxes of matches and asked to create schema and designs relevant to the site, which were later ignited when the work was finished. Lethbridge also conducted interviews with the parking lot users to assess the significance of the lot for the immediate community – their responses were later engraved on steel disks and installed in discreet locations throughout the site. Problems related to urban density and suburban sprawl as it affects Kingston were topics explored over the weeklong course of the installation.

Lisa Visser, Noise Pollution (installation view), 2004

Lisa Visser
Noise Pollution
September 11-14, 2004

Conducting several impromptu interviews with Kingstonians – collecting their words, sounds and ideas, respondent artist Lisa Visser asked her participants to respond to the statement: “What, really, does the parking lot mean to me?” Editing these interviews so they could be played both on a car stereo and a portable CD player placed at the back of a car, Visser parked a white Ford Taurus in a downtown parking lot on a hot and humid Saturday, and played her looped audio within the car where listeners could sit and enjoy. Taking up two parking spots to allow for all four doors to remain open and invite passersby, the end result was an encompassing and possibly overwhelming sound installation that was meant to stimulate thought about one of the most common sites of the city.

Lisa Visser, Noise Pollution (installation view), 2004