COUNTERCULTURE EXPERIMENTATION, YYC

This project is an extension of the intentions presented by The 809 Gallery/Residency.

Wreck City; An Epilogue for 809 is the title of the whole organization of 8 Artist Curators, who are curating 9 residences slated for demolition, including our much loved 809 Gallery/Residency. This visionary art project will serve as a swan song for the Do It Yourself spirit of the 809 Gallery/Residency, as well as the surrounding community of Kensington.

The homes, and tight community will be removed, in the wake of a large condominium development, changing the history and spirit of the area. Our efforts have been, and ultimately will be, ephemeral. If you weren’t here at the openings, or making art as a resident, you haven’t really experienced what this particular arts based community really is, or feels like. Now is your final chance! Sure there are many photos, and forms of documentation from our years of efforts, but if you weren’t there, experiencing it all in person, it means nothing. There is a spirit. A spirit based on history, social interactions, passion and way too much heart. Who knows if this artistic/creative spirit will exist in this area again? In my opinion as a resident, artist, noise music enthusiast, 809 co-founder and active community participant, I think not. I think our love of human expression and existence will be replaced by consumer culture. AWD cars artists can’t afford will roam the streets, and the condo fees will keep the yards way too clean to breed true freedom of choice. At least there will probably be yet another Starbucks in the area, to alleviate long lines for all of the Lululemon/T&A moms…

This is your last chance, as an artist, or art enthusiast, to experience our Counterculture Experimentation. Hopefully we don’t get shut down because we’ve waded too far out of the mainstream, and shared our voice.

Counterculture Experimentation, Calgary will function as a space to bring light on our YYC counterculture. Those who don’t feel comfortable in a setting based on expression, will finally have a chance to look through some sort of window on to what we do. Good luck future community, we are out of here… but not before we show you what we’re all about, and have been about, for years.

-Shawn P. Mankowske

809’er

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