The Artist: Sara Mameni
The Lowdown: Mameni's deadpan window installation, aptly titled The Poster Project, replicates one of the music poster--covered construction hoardings found throughout downtown Vancouver.
Coordinates: The Poster Project is located in the Artspeak gallery window from Friday (July 23) to September 4. The show opens tonight (July 22) at 8 p.m.
Process-Oriented: The artist's Gastown installation comprises more than 30 redrawn music posters originally lifted from the corner of Granville and Smithe streets. The idiosyncratic posters range in size, shape, and colour and are characterized by a variety of band names together with last year's gig dates and venues. Mameni spent a year collecting some 500 assorted music posters; her selected, hand-drawn copies reveal the labour implicit in DIY promotion and highlight the aesthetic potential of such ephemeral cultural products. Made with felts, pencil crayons, and pencil, the uncannily accurate posters reverse the process of mass production (e.g., photocopying) through a slightly obsessive formal analysis.
What It All Means: "I'm making these posters even though they've already served their purpose," Mameni says at her home studio. "I'm working the only way I know how. To me, doing useless things is work, and if I want to make art about work it has to be useless. It's what we're used to, it's what we do all day long."