For his performance/installation Freedom, Conlin will use the gallery as a place to work (and/or do nothing), as a space for encounters and to stage impromptu events. This activity will enact a playful and subjective consideration of the idealistic sides of the Western Front’s past in relation our current art and social climate. Specifically, the project looks at ties between hedonism with liberation, and challenges to ideas of value and production inspired by the amazing good-for-nothing Robert Filliou. At the heart of this show is an ambivalence around that favorite old idea that true pleasure leads to freedom—for Conlin it’s just too good to pass up, and yet it seems overwhelmed by its proximity to consumerism.
For the duration of the exhibition, Conlin will spend time in the gallery: creating installation elements in an improvisational way, looking out the window and figuring out how to get rid of the BC liberals (and other impediments to freedom). Visitors may either view the various elements as an installation with a performative element, or can interact with Conlin and participate in this open-ended, process-based experience.
Conlin will set up several different zones in the gallery that will function as conceptual bases, and also act as material starting points for the work he develops. These zones will be based on a various themes (art-life collaboration, quotes of liberation, documentation of past work), with corresponding materials, scenarios and related ideas. The idea is to reconsider and renew utopic impulses, and to look at why it is so difficult to imagine alternatives to the current social and economic order.