Vanessa Vaughan discusses her latest installation piece, ‘CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters’.
Saint John’s Third Space Gallery will host a closing reception and artist talk with Vanessa Vaughan, whose latest work, CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters tackles contemporary issues of privacy in a humourous and thought provoking matter.
“CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters is a mock product launch addressing the current reality that surveillance is everywhere,” said Vaughan. “I did a lot of reading and worrying about Canada’s Bill C-51 and other anti-terror legislation around the world which remove individual freedom and privacy over the past few years. I read Blackwater and realized how the military in America has become out-sourced to corporate contracts and that a whole new corporate surveillance and security industry has become big business. So I thought it would be interesting to discuss this and think about how a Privacy Industry might emerge just as a surveillance industry has to counter this new boom and develop anti-surveillance and totally private hack-proof products. My current installation aims to highlight these concerns in an engaging and humourous way.”
The work has been on display at 87 Germain Street in Saint John for the past month, cleverly embedded among the city’s uptown shops during the busiest shopping season of the year.
“CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters, imitates a typical commercial product display in a business window and consists of a luxurious version of a child’s tin can telephone made of porcelain and gold and an accompanying infomercial running 24/7 complete with a neon sign singing the slogan, Privacy Matters! There is a ‘1980’s Future’ aesthetic which nods to analogue while using a combination of hand-made and digital processes,” explains Vaughan.
As the city’s only artist-run-centre, Third Space Gallery has been a catalyst for creativity within the Saint John art scene for well over ten years, helping to bring contemporary art into non-traditional spaces throughout the city.
“Third Space Gallery is a really progressive artist-run centre,” said Vaughan. “They strive to exhibit work that is critical, thoughtful, cross-disciplinary and are unconcerned about commercial value. This makes it a great space for artists to show conceptual works and experiment with new ideas. It is amazing that the city of Saint John supports this kind of centre because it is so important for contemporary art and critical thought which benefits everyone. I am confident the Saint John arts scene is and will be thriving for a long time with Third Space creating interesting and engaging arts programming.”
Closing Reception and Artist Talk with Vanessa Vaughan | Friday, January 6, 2016 | 89 Canterbury Street, STE 407, Saint John | 7-10 p.m. | View Event