A Nuit to Remember
OCAD U's own presentation, Night Kitchen Under the Tabletop, treated visitors to an experience that playfully fed them through the systems of the institution and its architecture, and engaged them in Canadian Aboriginal history and contemporary concerns. Using cooking and digestion as metaphors, visitors were invited to reflect on institutional processes, hierarchy and identities.
Curated by OCAD U Criticism and Curatorial Practice MFA graduate Lisa Myers, Night Kitchen featured work by artists Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Christina Zeidler and Sean Procyk, also all members of the OCAD U community.
Check out our interviews with the artists as they go through the final stages of setting up for Night Kitchen.
L'Hirondelle's treatycard.ca net.art project was reimagined for Night Kitchen as participatory work that explores treaty relations by re-examining the intent of the Canadian government's Certificate of Indian Status. With bureaucratic flare, L'Hirondelle invited visitors to question classification and colonialism as they were processed and issued their own treatycard.
Zeidler reversed the roles of audience and performer by taking over OCAD U's auditorium seating with her video performance as American feminist writer Valerie Solanas. Virtually filling the auditorium balcony, the Turd Choir joined in with lyrics inspired by Solanas' infamous SCUM Manifesto, which irreverently urges us to question the status quo.
Procyk's work was designed as a response to the unintentional soundscape of OCAD U's heating, ventilation and air conditioning infrastructure. His sculptural installation in the Great Hall combined the effects of light refraction through water and amplified sounds of vibration to make visible the ubiquitous hums often ignored in our built environment.
At the end of their journey through Night Kitchen, visitors were treated to a "ration" of digestive cookies and a mock $5 bill, signifying the money that Aboriginals receive annually on Treaty Day in Canada. Thousands of visitors were "processed" through Night Kitchen.
Dozens of other projects involving OCAD U faculty, alumni and students were situated across the city. Highlights included Museum for the End of the World, curated by Janine Marchessault and OCAD U Liberal Arts & Sciences Associate Professor Michael Prokopow and presented at Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall. Museum for the End of the World included works by alumni Sarah Beck and Geoffrey Pugen, alongside other venerated artists such as Douglas Coupland, Dana Claxton, Jean Michel Crettaz, Mark-David Hosale, An Te Liu, Tania Mouraud and many others.
Congratulations to everyone who participated across the city, giving Torontonians another Nuit to remember!