Project dates
October 5 - December 1, 2017
Untitled Art Society +15 Vitrine
Arts Commons, 205 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
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Survival of the Fitness (Quenching Your Inner Fire) by artist duo Palmer and Messeiller is a series of survival tools that manipulate, enhance or improve upon minimalist sculptures. This project casts survival as a marketable concept used to sell all-wheel drive jeeps and adventure gear to those in search of a thrill. From the concept of survival as central to human existence to television survivalists, this exhibition plays with what it means to survive by simply adapting to change.

In this exhibition, the artists focus on the concept of survival through the creation of tools and understanding their ideal uses. The forms and tools made of materials like plaster, wood and textiles are placed upon plinths and are accompanied by digitally printed vinyl banners and life-size cardboard cut-outs. These elements not only signify the most basic elements of a contemporary art installation, but also play on the idea of a commercial window display; they transform the vitrine into a strange promotional stage for products of an esoteric use and questionable value. In the process of suggesting the utilitarian function of the tool, a dialogue is created wherein the minimalist shape is no longer a prop, but part of a whole, where both the prop and the tool are equally important for each other’s existence.

Messeiller and Palmer are a collaborative duo who have been working together since 2013. They have shown at RATS Collectif, Vevey, Switzerland Lokal-Int, Bienne, Switzerland and Circa in Montréal, Quebec. Their work is concerned with artistic labour, commodification of the art object and the performative elements of professions. Their multimedia works incorporate sculpture, textile, video, silk screening and relational projects.