CAPRICIOUS! was to be a ‘one month long pop up art installation’ using Londonderry Mall as its location. Through local support and a Rockethub campaign, independent curator Miranda Sayer hoped to bring a group of emerging Edmonton artists together in an inventive and unique way. That was until this was posted on the Capricious! Facebook event page:
“Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, the Capricious! show has been pulled because of a lack of communication between the venue’s own personnel and management. We installed the show this weekend, but without consent or warning, Londonderry Mall uninstalled all sculptures and installations. Because of this, we are no longer using the mall as a reputable venue. We are actively searching for a new location and hope that you will all continue to support our vision when we successfully find a respectable venue. We want to make it clear that if you visit the mall while some of the pieces remain there, the state the show is in now is absolutely not in any way what was intended.”
I talked to Sayer immediately after it was posted:
Why did you choose Londonderry Mall? Did you approach them or did they approach you?
The marketing director of Londonderry Mall approached me after reading my interview with Mack Male. She said the mall would love to host an art show, and since I was looking for a unique venue, it would work really well. She felt it would tie into Londonderry’s rebranding, too. I agreed the mall would be a really intriguing venue, so I took the opportunity.
Was there any sign beforehand that they would react the way they did?
There were no signs whatsoever — we had a two day installation agreed on a month prior (Sept 29, 30), and after the first day we were congratulated by the marketing team on how great everything looked. We finished the installation last night, and this morning I had an email from the marketing director saying that their crew had taken down everything without any consent from me nor the artists. There was no warning.
How did you find out?
Was any of the art damaged?
I don’t at present know the state of the artworks as this has all happened within the past few hours. I hope it’s not damaged, but many of the pieces are very delicate (materials like fabric and tissue paper). The mall’s crew is simply not trained to handle these materials. More importantly, they had absolutely no consent to handle or remove the works.
How much of your time did you put into this project?
I conceived of the project last winter, and have been trying to make it happen for months. I have spent easily a couple hundred hours on this when all is said and done — scoping out potential spaces, calling leasing firms, making contacts, raising money, coming up with a curatorial vision, recruiting artists, mapping out the space, helping install into the early hours of the morning, and so on. Each artist put in at least 50-100 hours of their time analyzing the space, planning for it, driving there several times, buying supplies, and of course creating the works and installing them.
How do you feel?
I feel blindsided and disrespected and frustrated. And heartbroken.
What are you going to do next?
I will start the search anew for a home for Capricious!
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More on CAPRICIOUS:
Mack D. Male (MasterMaq) – Edmonton Needs More Venues for Art Exhibitions Like CAPRICIOUS!