Last weekend Mike rushed over to check out the final day of a incredible public art project — probably one of, if not the THE largest of it’s kind in Calgary’s history. Installations were all-encompassing, where throngs of public could openly meander through living rooms and exposed foundations, travel across carpet-clad hanging bridge structures, aaaaaand experience a CAMERA OBSCURA! The soon-to-be demolished residential block became a blur of art gallery/amusement park.
Please check out their website, definitely read the ABOUT page because the scale of the project was too grand to cover in one day!
WRECK CITY: An Epilogue for 809 is a community-based art experiment transforming 9 houses, 3 garages, and a greenhouse scheduled for demolition into temporary art, installation, and performance spaces. The biggest project of its type in the history of Calgary (perhaps even all of Canada), Eight Artist-Curators have invited 100+ Artists, Musicians, and Performers to participate. Artist participants were free to radically alter the architecture of entire houses, re-shaping the homes using materials from the houses themselves, without need for repair at the end of the project. This newly formed community of artists produced a neighbourhood of magical and critically-engaging spaces, made possible only by the freedom of working inside houses soon to be destroyed. You can see some of the finished works here.
Instigated as an epilogue for 809 Gallery, one of Calgary’s influential garage galleries (scheduled for demolition with the rest of the homes), WRECK CITY is a swan song for the history of the neighbourhood, a playful comment on Calgary’s demolition addiction, and an opportunity to cultivate a new community of Artists amidst the rubble of an entire block of houses.