Water Astonishing and Difficult Altogether Makes a Meadow and a Stroke
June 22-July 29
688 E Hastings St, Vancouver BC, V6A 1R1
By ERIC BENEDON, AUG. 2017
Vancouver knows water, from a drizzle to a downpour. In the summer, however, the weather clears up, so Wil Aballe Art Projects (WAAP) filled soggy hole in the city’s heart with his recent group show Water Astonishing and Difficult Altogether Makes a Meadow and a Stroke. The title of the show is an excerpt Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. The book is broken into three sections: “Objects,” “Food,” and “Rooms”. It is worth noting that Water Astonishing is found in the “Objects” section as the show alludes to the creative potential of water. Through their unique practices, the artists questioned the use of water as a medium or methodology. Wil Aballe’s curation of the show facilitated connections among the artists’ wide range of approaches despite the daunting theoretical undertone.
Aballe’s approach can be summed up thusly: “if you hang [all of an artist’s work] together, they cancel each other out.” I found his approach to be successful in creating a dialogue between the pieces. Rather than considering ideas existing within a solitary vacuum, the viewer was invited into a group mind where the artists’ concepts played off one another to create a larger discourse regarding how water can be considered as a material.