still underwater open house: deep hole in water

29 May 1PM to 30 May 2019 4:30PM


Please join us for KEXMIN Field Station’s final event in their April - May PLOT occupancy:


Wednesday, 29 May, 1-5 PM

Thursday, 30 May, 1-4:30 PM


As part of the completion of KEXMIN Field Station's April-May PLOT tenure, Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram and Alex Grünenfelder present their graphic research for imagining decolonial land art for the adjacent neighbourhood bounded by Main, Union, Clark, and Great Northern Way. Appropriating and inverting the practices embodied in the 'open house' format of real estate sales, and public community-planning presentations (which often gloss over and obscure important details, future risks, and histories), they imagine a very different kind of cultural precinct for the area—complete with canals, islands, salt marshes, and site-based art; along with safe, secure, and affordable housing and studio spaces.

The still underwater project marks the centennial of the corporate destruction of the massive urban salt marsh, marine ecosystem, and Salish cultural landscape now bounded by Union Street, Clark Drive, Great Northern Way, and Main Street. In 1932, the Squamish government advised the City of Vancouver that the area in question was called 'SKWA-CHICE', which roughly translates from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim as ‘deep hole in water’; and until a century ago, held marine channels and a bio-diverse salt marsh. Today this area continues to undergo rampant development, yet is increasingly vulnerable to liquefaction and sea level rise.


This is the last of the introductory events of the 2019-21 ‘still underwater’ project. The rest of the year will focus on multilingualism and inter-cultural remapping of these past and contemporary landscapes and communities through the three indigenous languages spoken in the area: Halkomelem / hunq'umin'um' / hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓; Squamish / Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim; and Chinook.


IMAGE: Gordon-Brent Brochu-Ingram speaks to audience members of the ecological breakdown cabaret event in PLOT, 2019. Photo by Catherine de Montreuil