"Democracy Village (Phase 1)"
Karine Giboulo, "Democracy Village (Phase 1)," detail, polymer clay, acrylic, Plexiglas, mixed materials, 2010.
KARINE GIBOULO and OLIA MISHCHENKO
Habitaptation, April 15 to June 12, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon
BY: Amy Fung
Curated by the Mendel Art Gallery’s Sandra Fraser, Habitaptation is a playful critique on our modern world, and how we live together. Pairing Montreal’s Karine Giboulo and Ukrainian-born, Toronto-based artist Olia Mischenko, the exhibition looks at the structures that organize our society, touching on issues of displacement, urbanization, migration, and architecture. Through chaotically improvised structures and illogical blueprints, the works in Habitaptation defy not just the order of architecture, but of city planning and zoning that govern much of society’s interactions. The hyperbolic works in the show speak to the utopic, ingenious, and transient aspects of humanity. Personal space emerges to be the underlying issue — how we define it and how we attain it, as most visibly through Giboulo the clash of economic classes collide. In her work, shantytowns sit up against golf courses as cities fold up onto themselves. Adding tension to the exhibition is the context of Saskatoon’s current economic upswing. Currently of Canada’s fastest growing cities, Saskatoon faces a shortage of affordable housing, as a dramatic ascension in the housing market continues.