Project dates
April 12 – May 31, 2018
Untitled Art Society +15 Vitrine
Arts Commons, 205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
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Drawing The Curtains: An Oblique Act of Concealment, Lemons, Oranges and Sage explores the intricacies of living, where struggling to live and dying to live are realities that are in fact not so far away from one another. This evolving installation features ombre curtains in a range of skin tones; the castings of a pot that once held an olive tree grown in Toronto, Canada, from a Mediterranean seedling; and a casted plug that represents and in turn holds the space of the former plant. That an olive tree was able to naturally grow in such a different climate and geography than its place of origin reflects the possibilities of hope, whereas the subsequent act of holding space for it is a caring gesture.

Over the duration of the project, the vitrine will accumulate more and more detritus, reflective of lives lived: consumption, waste and eventual death. Overall, the work offers a material and poetic commentary on the notion of wanting to live well—to thrive—as opposed to merely trying to survive. This, perhaps, is how the original olive seed might have begun its journey.

This project is part of I believe in living, curated by Ellyn Walker. The exhibition features diverse works by local, national and international artists, in and outside the Untitled Art Society main gallery space, online, in the UAS +15 Vitrine and on billboards across the city.

Basil AlZeri is a Toronto-based visual artist. AlZeri’s practice involves the intersection of art, education and food, and takes multiple forms such as performance, interventions, and gallery and public installation. His work examines the socio-political dynamics of the family and their intersections with cultural practices, drawing on the necessities of everyday life and the visibility of labour as sites of exploration. His work aims to facilitate a space for empathy through gestures of inclusivity and generosity. AlZeri’s has presented his work in Amman, Dubai, Halifax, Mexico City, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Regina, Rome, Santiago, Tartu and Toronto.