Fourth annual Olio Festival brings out the artists
Mirroring its approach to the music, comedy, and fashion scenes, the fourth annual Olio Festival is offering up a diverse roster of visuals for its art component. On Thursday, (September 20) over at the Shudder Gallery (433 Columbia Street), for instance, Canadian multidisciplinary artist Walter Scott is showing a set of four psychedelic screen prints under the title Mood Valleys, and he’s also reconfigured the basement of the spot as a conceptual dance club. Vancouver-based video artist Sara Ludy, who has worked with Moby and Hercules & Love Affair, will screen visuals at the Biltmore Cabaret (395 Kingsway) on Saturday (September 22), while skateboard shop Antisocial (2337 Main Street) will host a group show with a postcard theme that same night. Though the shows are diverse, what they all share is that they aren’t as potentially threatening as the fest’s final art event, the Manwolfs Jean Jacket Art Exhibit.
The show will be held Sunday (September 23) at Fortune Sound Club (147 East Pender), and is based on the feral group of sidewalk surfers that appeared in local filmmakers Corey Adams and Alex Craig’s 2009 fantasy flick Machotaildrop. Nineteen international artists’ variations on the fictional street gang’s insignia will be displayed on anti-authoritarian jean jackets. The original logo displays a somewhat startling, but mostly goofy shaggy lycanthrope with crimson lips curling over jagged yellow incisors, and bright white pupils darting off to the hillside. “Man Wolfs” is suitably scrawled out in scratched-up, blood-red lettering.
“Everyone’s making a patch for the back of the jacket,” Adams confirms of the show’s M.O., on the line from his Vancouver studio. “They’re sending us the patch and we’re stitching them on. Originally, we wanted to send out jackets, but it was just too expensive to ship that many jean jackets.”
Co-curator Craig chimes in that they told the participants to explore the theme however they saw fit—Australia’s Andy Murphy apparently based his patch on his brother, who appeared as a Manwolf in Machotaildrop—with Adams adding that they suggested the artists role-play, and treat the project “as if they were being initiated into such a gang”.
When asked what they’ll do if someone offers up something subpar, Adams quickly quips, “Then we burn the fucking patch at the show.”
Despite already being a long-time pal of Adams’s, Vancouver-based painter Andrew Pommier is hoping his back piece gets him in the gang’s good books. “I’m a lifelong skateboarder, and well-versed in shenanigans. Those are the two things required to be a Manwolf,” he summarizes, before woefully admitting he doesn’t technically throw his “carcass on the concrete” that often these days.
As for his entry, while he wasn’t quite finished the patch when the Straight caught him on the line at home, Pommier said that intricate stitch work will be integrated into a piece that combines the imagery of the original logo and his own quirky and occasionally cartoony illustrative style.
With the Manwolfs having caught on worldwide—skate-shoe makers éS have retailed a signature shoe, and Adams and Craig constantly receive photographs of fans sporting homemade shirts—the pair realize supporters of the vicious wolf pack may not be able to resist picking up one of the jackets without making a proper bid.
“They’re probably going to be stealing them,” Craig jokes. And what might happen if the gang catches a thief in the act? “I imagine they would only react with violence.”