Launch of Platforms 2020: Public Works

Phoebe Parson, “Terror Fervor”, 2019, animation still

A new public art program is now being launched on transit shelters, billboards and video screens throughout the city. Platforms 2020: Public Works is a monthly series of public art projects which will be presented from June until the year’s end. Public Works highlights the crucial role of art in our community by sharing the artworks of Vancouver-based artists who continue to work from their living rooms, bedrooms and on the streets of the city at this critical moment.

As part of Platforms 2020, the City of Vancouver Public Art Program invites Vancouver-based artists and artists from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) First Nations to submit their art projects that respond to the complexities of the current situation that we find ourselves in. The City is particularly interested in working with artists who have not previously received a public art commission, and from artists whose communities have historically been and are presently underrepresented in the public realm.

As part of the launch of the Platforms 2020: Public Works program from June 8 to July 5 the Public Art Program will feature excerpts from Phoebe Parson’s video Terror Fervor on the VanLive! screen at the corner of Granville and Robson Streets, and four images from Birthe Piontek’s photographic series Janus on transit shelters throughout the city.

The video Terror Fervor is a hand-drawn cel animation informed by experimental films from the 1960s and 70s, and takes the viewer on a psychedelic non-linear journey through human vice against a visual backdrop of the natural world. Parson’s piece is a wordless journey that is hard to classify or forget, and was awarded a National Film Board grant for its production.

Piontek’s Janus photographs recall still-life paintings, and were taken in the artist’s home, reflecting on the domestic and limitations of space. The artist began this series before social distancing restrictions, and current events continue to inform her work, which includes fruits and vegetables interacting with the artist’s body, revealing their kinship in place, time and the state of change.

For more information about this program visit: vancouver.ca/platforms

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