Guidelines: Carmen Papalia and Heather Kai SmithBanff Centre for the Arts and Creativity
Since 2015, Vancouver-based artist Carmen Papalia's practice has been grounded in the conceptual framework he terms Open Access. Through a set of five tenets Papalia draws on his experience as a non-visual learner, a term he chooses to identify with over the medicalizing terminology of “blind” or “visually impaired”.
Emphasizing what he understands as an institution's social accessibility, the framework of Open Access advocates for an understanding of "accessibility as social practice" – a temporary experience that requires a relational approach to mutual care.
For this exhibition, Papalia is collaborating with Heather Kai Smith on an animation and series of works on paper which visually interpret the concept. Primarily working in drawing, Smith's work often engages ideas of mutual support through careful renderings of archival protest documentation. Materially emphasizing the labour, as well as ephemeral nature, inherent in a relational approach to accessibility, the commissioned works will mark the Vancouver-based artists' first collaboration. The exhibition design for Guidelines is by Goodweather Studio.
Text courtesy Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre