"Industry and the Sleepwatchers" by artist Jay Senetchko from Vancouver, BC is a three-part art installation based on a poignant narrative of paintings that re-imagines the everyday lives of the artist's paternal grandmother Ann Senetchko and her husband Pete Senetchko, who was involved in the Alberta oil patch as a tool-pusher. The opening reception will be this Friday, Sept. 27 from 7-10 pm at an open space at a local Sole Foods Street Farm, an organization that transforms vacant land into fruitful working farms in Vancouver.
Taking place in a life-size prairie farmhouse the artist constructed just two weeks earlier this month, the story behind this installation examines the positive and negative aspects of how the oil and gas industry affect domestic life--two elements the artist describes as "definitive of contemporary reality." Although Senetchko's grandfather was able to provide a comfortable life for his wife, he spent a great deal of time away from the house--and from her. The narrative also makes a direct statement regarding the environmental consequences of the ongoing dependency of oil and gas.
"This series is a story about my grandfather’s involvement in industry, the life that it created for him and his family, and my grandmother’s life both with and without him in the domestic sphere," Senetchko explains in his statement about the project. "This body of work re-imagines a portion of their story through my eyes, and stands as a testament to the delicate and complex relationship that they, and domesticity and industry share."
The prairie farmhouse--a 3D replication of the farmhouse depicted in Senetchko's paintings--was built with site-specific and non-specific components. The site-specific parts of the installation will be built on an undeveloped Concort Pacific lot to serve as the gallery and performance art space, and other related exclusive events during the exhibition. At the end of the exhibition, the units of the house will be used by Sole Food Farms as packing sheds. On the other hand, the non-specific site portions of the house will be used when the exhibition travels to public and private institutions.
Proceeds from ticket and bar sales go directly to Sole Food Street Farms to support their urban social programs. The installation will be open for public viewing from 12 pm – 5 pm on Sept. 28. For learn more about the event and Senetchko's other works, click here.
All images courtesy of Jay Senetchko.