Saturday afternoon we decided to check out the Gladstone Hotel‘s annual art and design show Come Up to My Room. If you are unfamiliar with the concept: artists transform various rooms into unique installations. They range from simple projections to immersive environments. This was the show’s 11th year and it’s still going strong. We decided to show up early and found the crowds both manageable and the rooms not too crowded. As we were leaving you could feel the claustrophobia start to creep in. This is a popular show and people will definitely brave the minus 20 temperatures to come experience it.
Shannon Scanlan’s Gut Feelings had a nice visceral feeling combining foam and fabric to give off that slight Fantastic Voyage vibe. Get out of my Room covered its walls with less than stellar homework assignments and came replete with video game playing teenagers. Christine Kim and Vanathy Ganesharajah’s Confessional broke up the space with intricately patterned screens seperating you from your sins. Andrew Foerster combined diorama type sculptures with an animated film to explore the world of blue-grass in Tin Canyon. A highlight for me would be Kathleen Wicks’ nuanced meditation on the impact of wool on our lives with her installation Common Thread.
Hanging Matters by Jordan Evans, Ryla Jakelski, Evan Jerry and Louis Weinthal enticed viewers with dangling pull strings only to reward them with raining condoms and breath mints. Fall of the Walled Garden by Azero (AO) Also Collective + Mason Collective just made me nostalgic for chill-out rooms from the early nineties.
We then made our way up to the 3rd and fourth floors to check out Hard Twist: a textile based show. All in all, there were some nice works but the show stopper was definitely Marie De Sousa’s Depends which consisted of a pair of boxing gloves made from adult diapers.
I don’t think we found the next Pipilotti Rist at the Gladstone this time around, but we did find something worth coming back to on a cold winter’s eve.