It’s not going to be easy to go into the solo showroom to see The Party, by Whitehorse-based artist Nicole Bauberger, at the Yukon Artists At Work Gallery, but unless regulations change, you won’t have to put on a mask to do it.
Instead, you’ll have to sit down, take off your boots and put on the slippers she has hand-stitched for this purpose … that is, unless you’re okay with getting chalk pastels on your socks.
For The Party, Bauberger is bringing her Radiant Circles installation indoors. In the past, she has invited the public to join her outdoors in creating concentric circles of colour on sidewalks or pavement, using chalk pastels. She will create a temporary floor surface with cardboard diverted from recycling. As she draws the circles, she will leave some of them blank cardboard, to better reveal the tracks of those who pass through the show. Over the month, these traces will add up to a kind of “gathering” of those who attended the show—a party over time.
But that’s just the floor. Bauberger will hang a “party” of small ceramic dress-form sculptures whose hollows will also evoke both the presence and absence of guests. In addition, she’s planning a large trompe-l’œil canvas and an interactive wall of “conversation pieces,” to which guests can chime in with Post-it notes.
Having planned this abstraction of a party, Bauberger realized she was still missing important things—food and music. She’s planning Mexico-inspired reception treats, with Dave Haddock and Lonnie Powell playing at the opening. After the opening, for the month’s duration of the show, Bauberger will hide chocolate in the dresses. You can eat it if you find it—but please take just one. She will also set up a tablet, open to Music Yukon’s Arts in the Park web page, where you can access CJUC 92.5 FM recordings of Arts in the Park concerts from the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
You will be invited to choose your Yukon musician, put on the slippers and see if you can find any chocolate in the crowd.
Visit Bauberger, in person, every Saturday that the show is up—March 4, 11, 18 and 25. She will be in attendance while the Yukon Artists At Work Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
She is inspired, in part, by her dialogue with Nakai Theatre, over the past few years. Artistic director Jacob Zimmer has written about the overlap between making a good show and throwing a good party and, in addition to being fun and lively, this exhibition is a way that Bauberger is thinking this idea through a little further.
In The Party, Bauberger hopes to evoke how necessary casual, shared celebration remains, whether or not humans are still dangerous.
Bauberger is grateful for the support of Jazz Yukon in helping pay Dave Haddock and Lonnie Powell.
The Party will open Friday, March 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain in place until Wednesday, March 29, at 4 p.m. The Yukon Artists at Work Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the blue building at the corner of Wood Street and 4th Avenue. Check out the drawing of the Radiant Circles on Facebook Live at https://fb.me/e/4usr22KD4 on Monday, Feb 27, at 3 p.m. And stay tuned for a FB Live tour of the show in March, if you can’t get there in person.