Hey look! My LUXURY merkin at the merkintile show up at 221a. (Top, second from the right)
Opening Reception: 8:00pm, April 1, 2011
Speaker Series: 2:00pm, April 16, 2011
221A Artist Run Centre is pleased to present MERKINtile, a five-week exhibition, performance, and temporary retail store specializing in the merchandising of ‘designer’ artist-made merkins. Conceived by Artist-Curator Kevin Hubbard, a recent graduate of Emily Carr University and the Cooper Union, Hubbard’s practice explores desire, distaste, and beliefs with regard to cultural, geographic, and embodied subject positions. The MERKINtile project draws attention to the political bodies that inhabit public, private, non-profit, and commercial spaces by transforming 221A’s frontage and exhibition space into a spurious retail store that resembles a high-end lingerie boutique. Originating in the 15th century, merkins are pubic wigs originally worn by prostitutes to cover disease sores and by women who shaved their pubic hair to combat lice. Over 25 artist-made merkins produced to size and mounting restrictions by local and international artists will be displayed for sale for the duration of the exhibition.
The MERKINtile exhibition will provide the public with an opportunity to engage in discourse around gentrification, commodity and self-identity and addresses the changing built environment of Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. The exhibition will feature panels, seminars, lectures, and performances throughout the duration of the exhibition. In conjunction with the exhibition, the MERKINtile catalogue will be available for purchase detailing the various artist-made merkins and anthologizing the essays written for the project.
Kevin Hubbard, Artist-Curator
221A Artist Run Centre is a registered non-profit organization funded in part by the generous support of government grants and private donors who share a vision to provide qualitative space for the development, education and exploration of nascent interdisciplinary contemporary art and design practises. The MERKINtile project was made possible through the support of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, SurfaceCollective.com, Vancouver Review Magazine, PJ White Hardwoods, and the City of Vancouver.
Anson Aguirre Firth
Mr.&Mrs. Keith Murray