Crowd Shyness

2020

public and staff engagement work with Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Crowd Shyness
In crown shyness, trees grow with distinct space between their crowns, to avoid spreading pests, to avoid damaging their own fragile tips, and to leave room for their peers. They make small individual sacrifices for collective health. These natural processes are analogous to societies making adaptations rooted in mutual care: “crowd shyness” as a form of conscious citizenship.

Guided by a vision of collective care, Germaine Koh has been working alongside the Belkin staff to workshop a comprehensive approach to public interaction. This includes communication, tools and protocols for re-opening the gallery during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also ongoing workplace procedures that emphasize teamwork and acknowledge both the essential work done by visitor services staff and the fraught character of the gallery threshold. It is a framework for the team to look widely at topics such as exhibition staging, the gallery’s location on traditional Musqueam territory, and how the gallery can open itself, represent and be responsible to a diverse public.

Belkin description:
THE BELKIN INVITED VANCOUVER-BASED ARTIST GERMAINE KOH TO CONSIDER NEW PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS FACING THE GALLERY AND TO DEVELOP CREATIVE APPROACHES ADDRESSING THEM. WE WELCOME EXPERIMENTATION WITHIN THE PUBLIC REALM AND LEARNING FROM AND WITH OTHERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SOLUTIONS. THIS PROJECT INVOLVES ONGOING CONSULTATION WITH BELKIN STAFF AND COMMUNITIES (CURATORS, PROGRAMMERS, BUILDING OPERATIONS, HEALTH AND SAFETY) TO ADDRESS QUOTIDIAN PROCEDURES FOR VISITORS, AS WELL AS EXHIBITION SPECIFIC INTERVENTIONS FOR EXHIBITIONS. TOGETHER WE WILL EXPLORE THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PROTOTYPING AND TESTING OF CONCEPTS, AS WELL AS FINE TUNING AND ADAPTATION IN FURTHER ITERATIONS.

Solo Exhibitions: Crowd Shyness, 2020.

Links: https://belkin.ubc.ca/germaine-koh-crowd-shyness/

Germaine Koh, Crowd Shyness, 2020, public and staff engagement work with Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. entrance installation