On September 12, 2013, the Western Front unveiled a new public artwork on the side of the Western Front building by Mark Clintberg titled It happens at night. This work, which will be up for one year, responds to the role that forms of artificial illumination have in defining the operation and uses of public space.
It happens at night. is only illuminated during the day. When researching the possibilities of installing an illuminated public artwork in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, Clintberg was intrigued by the bylaw requirements and the extent of public consultation that is necessary. The diurnal nature of the sign is a playful response to these conditions. While It happens at night. is a declarative statement, it asks questions through its ambiguity. What happens at night and where does it happen? Inside the Western Front, on the street, or in the condos directly across from the sign? This questioning of the space between private and public, interior and exterior is characteristic of Clintberg’s work. His research interests include public art and collaborative practices, preoccupations that carry through in his art.
Mark Clintberg is an artist, writer, and curator based in Montreal. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Art History at Concordia University where he is also a part-time Faculty Member. His work has been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Banff Centre. Clintberg was finalist in the 2013 Sobey Art Award.