Set Pieces

2019

Fabric, motors, rigging, theatrical control system

In the shallow, stage-like display window above the entrance to the artist studio unfolds a play of theatrical scrims and curtains of materials recognizable from the various lives of the area — sheer domestic curtains, sports or cargo netting, office blinds, construction mesh, fishing net, and theatrical curtains. Although they are normally the “background” materials of the neighbourhood, the draperies here become the main players on the stage that is the display window.

The eight layers of scrims and curtains all have an element of transparency and are mechanically operated: drawn, lowered, raised, or pulled across the display area in a play of colour, light and materials, and references. They create material scenes referring to the realms of the domestic, work, industrial, craft, and entertainment. These unfurl over the course of each day into the evening, sparely suggestive of the human dramas to which these materials are normally the backdrop. The innermost of the eight layers — a semi-transparent projection screen and a green screen — are available to the users of the studio spaces via a manual control at the mezzanine level.

Collection(s): Commissioned by Howe Street Developments LP as part of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program

Germaine Koh, Set Pieces, 2019, kinetic installation of translucent curtains and motors with interactive elements. photo: G. Koh