Untitled (Plural Anterior)

The Crying Room

157 East Cordova Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 1K7

November 2014

Untitled (Plural Anterior) is composed of a collection of prints each with reproduced, hand-drawn marks. These marks were found in various stores selling pens and pencils in Vancouver, and were made on shelves, cases, and store infrastructure illicitly, typically by visitors testing a product. At a minute scale, every one of these gestures defaces and vandalises the store, while paradoxically benefitting it and fulfilling its aims, as the marks are not ends in themselves (like graffiti) but the means to gage the viability of a product. Untitled (Plural Anterior) translates these anonymous marks into digitally-manipulated photographs and prints assembled in a kind of taxonomic collection. The halfheartedly consumerist doodle, the absent-minded product test is here brought to light in a completely different setting. The project highlights the private contexts that lead to these covert tests by transferring the marks from commercial interior spaces to reassemble them uniformly outside, for public view. Untitled (Plural Anterior) changes the aesthetic and spatial coordinates of these marks, and in the process raises questions about individual agency in the socially-oriented provisions of commercial infrastructure. How can cultural forms contest institutional dictates when their production and character are deeply inscribed within the interests of those dictates? Are we less likely to condemn a commercial enterprise if we are writing with a pen it manufactured and sold to us? My mural project is meant to embrace contingencies and accidents at the Crying Room site, and to a certain extent, keep pre-existing and accumulated marks, as well as general wear and tear.