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HAPPENINGText: Aya Takada

SWARM” is an annual art event sponsored by the nonprofit association of Artist Run Centres in Vancouver. The fourth SWARM kicked off the fall art season with more than 25 opening receptions held at a variety of artist run centres across the city. This year the grand event was expanded to three nights from one and took place from September 3rd to 6th.

The first day of SWARM was held in the Mt.Pleasant area. Eight places — antisocial, Dadabase/Xeno Gallery, Foundation, Aion gallery, Video IN Studios, Western Front, the Grunt Gallery, and the Butchershop Gallery– all hosted opening receptions on the evening of September 3rd. Most were not conventional gallery settings. A boutique (Dadabase), a cafe (Foundation) and a skateboard shop (antisocial) provided exhibition space and supported the cultural festival.

At the crowded corner of Main Street and Broadway, Mark Neufeld’s eccentric performance titled “Riot for A Rose” caught people’s attention. A half naked Neufeld created a rose on Dadabase’s show window with lipstick kisses. Even though his performance was disgusting, many viewers enjoyed it. The outside location, along with the performance’s dynamism made it more appealing to many viewers than 2D artworks hung in a “white cube.”

The second day of the event was held in the Gastown area, where the main artist run centres of Vancouver are located. The openings were held in ten places: Bfly, Dynamo Arts Association, Blakes, Artspeak, Access, Interurban, Gallery Gachet, the crying room, sugar and sugar, and Iron Works Studio.

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