Image Description: A gallery of two images switching back and forth. One image is a close-up of various textures and colours – what appears to be a shiny crinkled sheet and soft cotton reflecting iridescent colours. The other is of multi-coloured lines projected onto 3D objects laying on the ground.
How can something be both what it is and what it’s not?
This emergent photography project isn’t the live installation that I was creating with my collaborator Daniel O’Shea, where we used video projection to animate materials, objects and a physical space, creating illusions of a space in flux. But it is two archival images and a celebration of the magic we were creating. It is two still images in flux, of a project in flux, of a project working on creating a space in flux. So although this is something that it is and something that it’s not, is it something in-between or something else? When I think about something in-between, I think just that. Something between a known beginning and ending, start and finish. So what happens if you find yourself thrown into the space between two known polls? What happens if you stretch this space and don’t look for where you came from or where you are going to? It’s from existing in this prolonged time of in-betweenness where the narrative for this project emerged.
Themes of in-betweenness couldn’t be more fitting. I’ve been curious about all things I deemed in-between for some time. Liminal things, things yet-to-become, almost things, the inhale before a thing. And these artistic curiosities or threads are tied to deeper threads. Threads attached to my sense of self, my mixed raced personhood and my feelings of being so culturally in-between. So as I tenderly untie the meta knots of how in-betweenness has shown up in this project, starting with living through the Covid 19 pandemic, this project in it’s yet-to-become-but-becoming-something-else state and my kinship with all things in-between, I am left reckoning with the inevitability of the present, which I have named in my head, you guessed it, the in-between. The present is simultaneously this moment, the past and future and I marvel at how so many things are both of something and also something else. I am not , but I also am. This is not, but it also is. An ending is not the beginning but it also is.
I humbly thank Kay, Shanna, Beverly and the New Works team, who encouraged me to create this emergent photography project. Allowing the original project to be something that it’s not but also something that it truly is. Something somewhere else.
Erika Mitsuhashi is an artist based based in Vancouver, the unceded territories of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations. She holds a BFA in dance from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts. She has had the pleasure of interpreting the work of artists including Justine A. Chambers, Ziyian Kwan, Sasha Kleinplatz, Rob Kitsos, Vanessa Goodman and Judith Garay. As a maker, her practice spans disciplines using the body as a site for conceptual thematics including in-betweenness, intimacy, materiality of the body/spaces, pseudo-science and DIY performance tactics. Erika’s work and collaborative projects have been presented locally and internationally at PAUL Studios Berlin, Toronto Love-In, Surrey Art Gallery, Halifax’s Kinetic Studio, VIVO Media Arts, New Works and La Serre’s OFFTA festival of live art. She has ongoing collaborations with artists Alexa Mardon (Mardon + Mitsuhashi), Francesca Frewer and is co-artistic director of Farouche collective.
As a maker, my practice is based in dance and performance but spans visual art, theatre and new media. I use the body as a site for conceptual thematics including in-betweenness, intimacy, pseudo-science and personal histories, often utilizing DIY performance tactics and observing the materiality of bodies/space. I am committed to process, collaboration and my collaborators both living and non-human.
In process, I invite my collaborators to meet my curiosities with their curiosities and adopt a non-hierarchical lens to determine who or what can be a performer. I attempt to unravel new layers to understanding what and where meaning making is happening. I work to unpack expertise and non-expertise and how to draw from both in creation and performance. I often work with structured improvisational scores and value real-time choice making. I think I am working on live-ness and presence by working with the gaze — drawing attention to the material present which encompasses bodies, the space, found objects, props, clothing, anything that is present and material. I work to reveal movement in unexpected places, by living and non-human performers.
I often implore philosophical and practical aims for shifting an environment into the space that one wants to be present and/or performing in. I hope to create a kind of respite space for performers and audiences to inhabit. I am thinking about respite in a broad sense, to have physical, psychic or emotional space and time to be with your body, with the materiality of a space, the emergent themes of a work and ultimately with the ever-shifting present.
Visit our accessibility page for information on how to access CMHC Granville Island and our on-site exhibition. Video tours are available in spoke English with English captions and subtitle files in: Tagalog, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, and Punjabi. Audio tours are available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog.
Created by: Erika Mitsuhashi in collaboration with new media designer Daniel O’Shea