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Artist Sanaz Mazinani Envisions Vancouver In 2080 at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite

From a media release:

Artist Sanaz Mazinani envisions Vancouver in the year 2080
at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite
July 25, 2020 through to February 15, 2021


Vancouver, BC - Toronto-based artist Sanaz Mazinani creates a speculative garden comprised of native plants, sculptural water catchments and a series of glacier-like formations in All that Melts: notes from the future-past, the latest site-specific installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s public art space, Offsite.

Sanaz Mazinani installation
Installation Sketch, All that Melts: notes from the future-past, Courtesy of the Artist

In this new work, Mazinani imagines the city of Vancouver in the year 2080, a time in which the rise of global temperatures will have melted glaciers around the world, causing ocean levels to increase dramatically and forcing coastal cities to adapt. In this dystopic future, Vancouver will be subject to significantly longer, drier and hotter summers―a climatic shift that will require fundamental changes in water consumption, conservation and urban infrastructure. This transformation will also alter the typical growing season, allowing certain species of flora to thrive and others to suffer.

These conditions establish the conceptual framework for All that Melts, a work that reflects on the past, present and future consequences of climate change in Vancouver. The artist transforms the architecture of this public art space, amidst a commercial and residential landscape, into a crucial piece of environmental infrastructure. Mazinani has wrapped the perimeter walls of the Offsite space with digitally manipulated images of glacier forms that are in contrast to native flora of the region. 

Several small garden plots have been planted around water catchments in collaboration with Hives for Humanity, a local non-profit organization committed to education and skill training towards a greater understanding of nature and bee culture. The various plant species were selected based on their inability to survive in the fragile conditions of Vancouver’s forecast climate in 2080, thereby recognizing a sense of loss. Over the duration of the exhibition, the water catchments gather rainfall to sustain the plant life.
Sanaz Mazinani
Artist Portrait.  Courtesy of the Artist

Spaced throughout the reflective pond are five sculptures that appear as glaciers, preserved cultural artifacts drifting in their own meltwater.  These morphed versions of icebergs are integral figures in a geomythology of the future.

All that Melts proposes an urban landscape for 2080 as a means of speculating about how things could be. It is one vision of a future history; a mythological space inhabited by the consequences of its recent past, a story of the earth as told by the culture that produced it.  This visually poetic, multi-media installation engages the past, as it reflects on our troubled present, in an attempt, to prompt alternative, more desirable futures.

Offsite is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery on behalf of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program and is curated by Diana Freundl, Interim Chief Curator.
OFFSITE: Sanaz Mazinani is open to the public on July 25, 2020 through to February 15, 2021. Offsite is located at 1100 West Georgia Street (between Thurlow and Bute). 

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