Flop Haus & z-ro Collective: brightview

May 8– 15, 2013

Opening Reception: Thurs. May 8, 7-11 pm

Winnipeg has become a city of the past. Unfortunate geography, the demise of train travel, poor planning and a lagging economy has produced a city in decline. Many inhabitants choose to ignore this state of entropy while artists have revelled in branding the disenfranchised city.

The apartment blocks still proliferated most areas of the city and serve as an obvious testament to this this. Most are throwbacks in style and scale. Often smaller than the modern day high rise. These buildings were erected by land hungry immigrants as investments often named for spouses or children. Signage was a matter of pride; earnestly elaborate with gaily painted fonts, a tribute to the lost art of the coping saw

Now there is no more money to invest, and repairing or rebuilding is not economical but the blocks are cash cows, to remain in use until the roofs give out they are monuments to the status quo. Their presence is both economic necessity and a fossilized running joke. But as in Europe, as time goes on, what once was simply dated becomes rare. To the artist, looking for a shortcut to that sought after state of reference—the lost, pre technological world, Winnipeg has become a symbol and it’s sad flavor a commodity. Uneasy nostalgia has been repurposed as a desire to be disenfranchised, which surfaces in the dead style of paintings by Sean Morin, Two-Six and in the downtrodden lyrics of the Weakerthans.

“Brightview” is a visual reference to this fossilization of time, preserving in the amber of four forms of technology by the eroding bricks and mortar, which stand testament to time standing still.

William Eakin, Cliff Eyland, Craig Love and Leala Hewak formed Z-RO Collective in 2012. Their work interprets and pre-digests visions of Winnipeg in a disenfranchised state. Persistent with their images of apartment blocks and nostalgic scenes, Z-RO Collective commodifies what is found as-is for re- consumption in public domain.